BCS is Finally Gone: Be Careful What You Wish For
For years, the media and many of the fans of college football have complained that the BCS is unfair. There have been many complaints over the years about the teams getting to the championship game not being any more deserving than some of the ones who did not make the cut. After years of complaining, the BCS naysayers are finally getting their way starting next year. Two more teams will be added to the playoffs. This will solve all of the controversy right? Uh….no.
This year the two-team BCS playoff features the unbeaten Florida State Seminoles, champions of the ACC and the once beaten Auburn Tigers, champions of the SEC. While it is true that there are several one loss teams out there, does anyone really have a problem with Auburn being selected over the UCF Knights? How about the Baylor Bears? Clearly Auburn played a tougher slate than either of those two teams. When you beat the Alabama Crimson Tide, Georgia Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, and Texas A&M Aggies you deserve the nod over these two teams.
A few may argue “what about the Michigan State Spartans? They looked pretty tough while knocking off an unbeaten Ohio State Buckeyes team the other night.” But seriously. Did they look better than Auburn who ran up 59 points on a once-beaten Missouri? So clearly we have the game between the best two.
But what if the rules of next year applied to this year? What if we had to pick four teams?
Michigan State should be one of the other two. That is a no-brainer. The Spartans, like the Tigers have only lost once and that was way back at the beginning of the season, on the road at a tough Notre Dame Fighting Irish team that faltered a bit down the stretch, but was pretty good still.
That leaves us with the fourth team. Do we go with the Crimson Tide? They are surely a great team and nobody would be shocked if they ran off two straight wins and won it all. But do they deserve to go over a team such as Baylor or UCF who also lost only once but also won their conference? Bama didn’t even win its division, let alone the conference. And how about the Stanford Cardinal? Yes, they lost two games, but the Pac 12 had six teams with eight or more wins this year. those are some SEC-like numbers. Would it shock anyone if the Cardinal ran off two wins in a row?
And if Alabama is being considered then what about the Buckeyes? After all, this team has win 24 of the last 25 games. Yes they did lose the most recent one, but so did Alabama. We can already see where this is heading right? We are going from a no controversy, FSU-AU title match that everyone wants to see to people screaming for an eight team playoff.
With eight teams, everything would be perfect, right? Not if you are team number 9 or 10. If you doubt that, wait until college basketball season. 64 teams was not enough because teams 65-68 cried foul. So now we have 68 teams. Now we hear the cries of teams 69-72. None of these teams have a shot at winning it all.
Just for the heck of it, who would we pick in an eight team playoff? Should the Bowls be included in eliminating four of them? Or do we wait until after the bowls and pick the best eight? Because if we did that, we’d have three more weeks of football. What’s wrong with that? College football season is way too short, right? Tell that to basketball. Football already cuts into the entire first half of college basketball season as it is.
OK so, we need to include the bowls then. Well, let’s see. Most of these teams have already played in 13 games. Now they will have to play a bowl games and then two others? If you are a fan of the Seminoles or Tigers, which game do you take vacation time to plan to attend here? If you spend all your money on the bowl and your team wins, then what? You cannot take two more weeks off of work and spend thousands more following them to two more games.
But let’s see if we can come up with a fair eight team playoff. Seeds 1-8 could be something like this:
1. Florida State
3. Michigan State
6. Ohio State
These teams are all BCS Bowl bound teams. Nobody has a problem here right? Hmmm. How about the South Carolina Gamecocks, who lost only twice in the brutal SEC and went down to Orlando and beat the Knights? You think might have an issue? And how do we match up these teams now? FSU-UCF I suppose would make a good Orange Bowl. But what about the Rose Bowl? Stanford vs Auburn? So much for your traditional Pac 12 vs Big Ten game. And are we really going to put Michigan State and Ohio State in a bowl after we just saw that game?
Get ready. Because all of this kind of arguing is going to start happening in 2014.