Friday, November 13, 2009

The BCS Mess - 2009 Re-Dux

I know everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, that follows college football has an opinion on the BCS. There are very few, IMO, that come down of the favorable side of the BCS equation. That is, if I were to poll 100 different people to give me a thumbs up or down on the BCS, I would more than likely get 98 thumbs down. The two thumbs up would be from either Florida, Texas, or Alabama fans - or whomever makes it into the title game that particular year.

Without looking, what do all these teams have in common?

Boise State
Georgia Tech

They are all in the top 12 of the nation and are out of the National Chamionship “race”, as it is referred to in the mainstream media as the “BCS” Title Game. It is already a foregone conclusion that Florida or Alabama will be in the game, and all the games have not been played. Texas is the de-facto pre-ordained opponent and will get the honor of going up against the SEC…

Not a problem, you say? Than you are in the minority of football fans that would like to see a play off. What if you were one of the teams above that has an undefeated or one loss record (and even two in a tough conference) that would like to settle it all on the field? Would that NOT be an opportunity worth playing for? Wouldn’t that keep the interest in the season alive?

But our system doesn’t have that. And here’s the real rub:

A one loss team to an undefeated team will not get a shot at the national title – nor will the undefeated team- based on the fact of where they began the season in the National Rankings. Two years ago, a 2 loss LSU team got a shot at the title and beat OSU – Why? Because LSU started out on top of the pre-season polls and never slipped out of the top 7 in the rankings.

Let me make this next part perfectly clear: I am not, if you are a Gatorland, Short Horn, or $atan’s Warriors fan, taking anything away from what you have or will accomplish this season. In fact – kudos – you have all done a great job. Even lowly Big 10 contender Iowa deserves some credit. They simply did what they could do with the opponents they were given. Win all or most of their games. They also deserve that shot at the title.

What irritates me is that I think, once again, based on where teams started in the pre-season rankings, there is going to be a major injustice done to teams in the college football world in the day and age where there doesn’t have to be this impractical selection, voting, and ranking process to determine a National Champion.

Some day, before I die of old age, I would like to be able to bounce a grandchild on my knee and tell them how NCAA FBS Football used to be – and how it finally changed for the better. However, in order for that to happen, we need some common sense and logic to address this issue.

Can the NCAA PLEASE figure out a reasonable way to have a FBS Championship that would make sense and be fair to all those involved? How difficult would it be?

The MMQ has offered a solution before and until I see something better or more logical, I still think it’s the next best thing to what we have in place right now.

Short Term Solution – Within two years:

1. Take the champions of the Big 6 Super conferences: Pac 10, Big 12, Big 10, SEC, Big East, and ACC and give them an automatic bid.
2. Allow the next two highest ranked teams into the play-off and seed them accordingly.
3. In two weeks - 4 games the first weekend and two games the second weekend – you will have your Championship Teams.
4. You will have added two more games to two teams’ schedules.
5. If that bothers you, eliminate the 12th, meaningless game that everyone plays right now- which is a segue to my long term solution.

Long Term Solution – Within the next 5 years:

1. The Big Ten and Pac 10 needs to add a team and two teams, respectively.
2. DAMN YOU DOMERS - JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS! Must finally get off their stupid pedestal and join the Big 10 (11).
3. If not the Domers, we will balance out the MAC to12 teams vs.13 and get one of them to join.
4. Notre Dame can take their chances trying to schedule anyone that’s left worth scheduling that isn’t in an automatic bid conference.
5. Combine the Weak East and C-USA and make a Big East 12 team conference.
6. Take any teams that you pilfer from C-USA from the Sunbelt or MAC Conference and keep them at 12 teams. Pac 12, Big East, and Big 10 will need to add Conference Championship Game.
7. Bids to the Playoff: Win your conference or, win your conference Championship.
That would make 14 automatic bids of the so-called "SUPER CONFERENCES" Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big 12, PAC 10, Conference USA and Big East.
8. If those bids overlap, meaning the Regular season Champion and the Championship Game winner are the same, go with the 2nd place conference finisher.
9. NO MORE PRESEASON CRAP AGAINST DIVISION 1AA or anyone else.... Everyone plays everyone in their conference - Round Robin – 11 games.
10. So, in a 12 team conference you would have an 11 game season, everyone plays everyone (AND SEASON TICKET HOLDERS DON'T GET STUCK WATCHING A DELEWARE STATE GAME IN OCTOBER)...
11. Let the next 2 ranked teams that are not already in that equation into the Play-Off and seed them accordingly.
12. This will most likely be an at large team that is not the Domers because they won’t have played anyone that matters.
13. You play at the Home Field of the team with the better record. (Bring ‘em up north, boys and girls!)
14. If you have an identical record, a coin flip will determine home field.
15. In three weeks, you will have your two championship teams - 8 games the first weekend, 4 games the second weekend, and 2 games the 3rd weekend of December.

We lose some “classic” rivalries, particularly with the DOMERS (JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS) and their USC, ACC, and Big East games. I don’t know how to address that. But my guess is they will be happy to stop getting their collective butts handed to them by several of those teams.

Smaller schools won’t be able to play in the large stadiums for the athletic department saving paycheck that they have come to enjoy. In a way, I would like to address that issue, but I can’t think of anything feasible with one exception:

-Allow big schools to schedule a “pre-season” warm up game against FCS (D-II) opponents.
-These games will not count towards won-loss records.
-They should be held prior to Labor Day and fans shouldn’t have to pay as much for the game…(Yeah, I know. Like THAT would ever happen)

That's it. In January you will crown the champion. About the same amount of time that usually transpires after the last season game. You will not be interfering with classes or finals for all but 4 teams. I think those schools will be able to manage that. The Conference Championships end on Thanksgiving weekend. That will be the 12th game for 14 teams. You will be adding up to 3 games for two teams, which does seem like a lot for college. But, I think they will say it’s worth it. God knows the AD’s will love the extra revenue.

The entire month of December will be for the play off games. You can still qualify for Bowls like you did before. Granted, you might not know where the last few play off teams are going until mid December, but that’s manageable.

And The SEC just might have to travel to the Big House or some other Cold, Barren, PERHAPS SNOWY locale to play a game. Then we'll see who the tough teams are.Losses will mean less - assuming of course that you win the Championship Game or have the regular season best Record, and a non-conference loss will be non-existent. Is there a simpler solution?????? I can't think of one....But I am willing to entertain ideas....

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