Nov 27, 2007

BCS Mess

Merely writing this one for my own enjoyment, as I'm probably the only one here who is enjoying this year's NCAA football mess. I was reading Dan Wetzel's column on Yahoo! Sports earlier. He proposed a 16-team playoff system incorporating the champions of all 11 Division I, er sorry, FBS conferences with 5 at-large teams. Yawn. Real shocking column there, Dan! Pretty much what every sports pundit has been dreaming about for years, but it ain't gonna happen. Not in this lifetime. 3 extra games for those teams who reach the Championship? No "traditional" bowl games? Dogs and cats sleeping together?

No. It won't happen. There is too much money invested in the current bowl system for this to work, but I do have a plan that might be a decent middle ground to Dan's plan and the current system.

The Current BCS system
  • A number of "human" polls are combined with a number of "computer" polls to come up with a weighted "BCS" poll for the top teams in the land. No reason for the "quotes". I just like 'em. The humans and the computers often disagree, just like in The Matrix, but for the most part they are pretty close. Humans will rank Hawaii at #10 and the computer will assign them #14 so they wind up with a weighted ranking of #12. I'm fine with that.
  • At the end of the season, #1 will play # 2 for the Championship in the BCS Title Game. It doesn't always work out. In the 2003/2004 season Oklahoma lost their final game, the Big 12 Championship, to Kansas State but still managed to make it to the BCS Title Game because of it's strong computer ranking. USC, also with 1 loss that year, didn't get the chance to play LSU, but won the Rose Bowl against Michigan. So the Associated Press final poll had USC on top, while the BCS Title Game was won by LSU. Co-champs! It sucked and everyone knew it sucked. It's been pretty good since then, but this year could cause more headaches.
  • 8 more teams play in the other BCS bowl games. The Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. Generally the rules are; the PAC-10 and Big-10 champs will play in the Rose Bowl (unless already playing in the BCS Title Game in all cases), the ACC champ will play in the Orange Bowl, the Big-12 champ will play in the Fiesta Bowl and the SEC champ will play in the Sugar Bowl. The remaining at-large teams will come from BCS and non-BCS conferences if applicable. This year, Hawaii (a non-BCS team) currently is eligible for a BCS bowl game. But all that is mere bullshit. None of these 8 teams have any chance of becoming BCS National Champs. These games are more like exhibitions. Fodder for schools that want to end on a winning note, but no real significance.

Let's play a little game. We'll make 2 assumptions: 1) Top-ranked Missouri loses to #9 Oklahoma in the Big-12 Title game. Why not? 2) All the other favored teams wins their matchups this weekend. Again, why not? The BCS rankings next week might look a little something like this:

  1. West Virginia (11-1) - Big East Champions
  2. Ohio State (11-1) - Big-10 Champions
  3. Georgia (10-2)
  4. Virginia Tech (11-2) - ACC Champions
  5. LSU (11-2) - SEC Champions
  6. USC (10-2) - PAC-10 Champions
  7. Kansas (11-1)
  8. Oklahoma (11-2) - Big-12 Champions
  9. Missouri (10-2)
  10. Florida (9-3)
  11. Hawaii (12-0)
  12. Arizona St (10-2)
  13. Illinois (9-3)
  14. Clemson (9-3)
  15. Oregon (9-3)

The BCS poll probably won't look like that because the computers love Kansas (even though they lost to the only good opponent they played all year), so I'm not sure about LSU, USC and VA Tech leapfrogging over them. Also, I have Missouri falling from #1 all the way to #9 even though that is unlikely. But you can't have them ranked higher than the current #9 Oklahoma who would have beat them twice in my scenario. Well, we humans can't. SkyNet may differ.

Either way, you could have three Big-12 teams and three SEC teams in the top 10 after it is all said and done. Yuck! Anyway, assuming this final BCS ranking to be correct let's predict the BCS bowl game invitees, shall we?

BCS Title Game - #1 West Virginia vs. #2 Ohio State - without a Big-10 Title Game, THE Ohio State University gets to sleepwalk into the title game. Missouri cries "unfair"!

Rose Bowl - #6 USC vs. #7 Kansas - with no decent Big-10 opponent, USC gets a Big-12 runner-up. I just don't see Kansas hanging with the really big dogs.

Sugar Bowl - #5 LSU vs. #3 Georgia - why not? Let's see who really is the best team in the SEC.

Fiesta Bowl - #8 Oklahoma vs. #11 Hawaii - a repeat of last year's Boise St. upset over Oklahoma? Maybe. That game last year was easily the best of the bunch.

Orange Bowl - #4 Virginia Tech vs. #12 Arizona St. - the Sun Devils deserve consideration so let's give it to them.

Who did we leave out? Oh yeah, 3-loss #10 Florida and 2-loss #9 Missouri. The BCS may not leave them out, especially Mizzou, but I just don't like including 3 teams from any one conference in the BCS bowls. And hey, if Mizzou can't beat Oklahoma just once this year then frankly they don't deserve to be in it. They still have this weekend to prove themselves, and I think the BCS would breathe a sigh of relief if they do win.

Tomorrow: How I, Earl, plan to fix this whole mess. Mwah-ha-ha-ha!

UPDATE - I've revisted my original rankings and made some changes. No one is going to catch Georgia this year, so there is no way they slide.


elizabeth said...

Sports.... zzzzzzzz. ;-P

Verdant Earl said...

Sorry, Liz. No Hockey news here.

jiggs said...

college football depresses me.

Suzi Q said...

Why don't they call it a Turkey Bowl when they play on American Thanksgiving Day?

Toilet Bowl?