I know what a lot of you might be thinking after reading that title. “The BCS is the very epitome of unfairness!” How dare a Utah fan of all people call the BCS fair?
Let me explain my reasoning.
There is an elitist culture in college football when it comes to the BCS. The haves and have-nots. The SEC is deemed strongest conference every year before the first snap in the fall. Certain geographic regions gain more attention and respect than others. Heisman hopefuls are selected before a single stat sheet is filled in.
The #1 argument against the BCS is that by selecting just 2 teams at season’s end based on what their BCS poll rank is, you run the risk of leaving an equally deserving team out of the conversation.
Let’s use the ’08-’09 season as an example.
Hindsight is 20/20. Utah finished the regular season undefeated and ranked #6 in the country. Like 2004, I was just excited that the Utes were able to play in a BCS bowl game. Before the selection of the teams, I ran over the possible opponents Utah could have faced, Texas, Alabama, and Ohio State. In all honesty, I didn’t have a lot of confidence doing a mental run down of each matchup. When Utah and Alabama were matched up for the Sugar Bowl, I thought, “Well, it was a great season. Let’s hope Utah can somehow pull this off.”
It wasn’t until AFTER Utah showed what they were capable of, beating Alabama senseless, that I started hollering for a chance at the title. But would Utah have deserved it in all reality? No.
True, they were the only remaining team in Division 1 without a loss. True, the Utes handled the same Alabama team that future champion Florida needed a come from behind victory to beat. But also true, is that Utah’s pathway through the season was much more pleasant.
I am a firm believer that anything can happen in college football on any given day. Appalachian State beat Michigan. James Madison beat Virginia Tech. These things happen. Does that mean because a team is capable of beating another team, that they are deserving of a chance at the national title? No, at least not the way the setup stands.
The bottom line is this: There are 2 spots only in the national championship game. There will be teams left out.
A team that has faced more overall talent in their field of competition throughout the year, (and anyone who follows college football recruiting knows where the most talented players flock) is more deserving of a spot in the title game than a team that destroyed and tore through teams with half the talent.
This isn’t to say that the more deserving team is necessarily more talented. For example, I think that TCU could hold its own against Auburn and come out victorious 70% of the time. However, the hardest opponents on TCU’s schedule were Oregon State and Utah, and Utah didn’t even show up for that game.
TCU showed that they were talented enough to beat BCS powerhouse Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, but they also didn’t have to play the same strenuous schedule as Auburn did.
In the end, the real solution to the problem is, of course, a tournament and playoff system. You wouldn’t even have to get rid of the BCS bowls or their sponsors.
You can still have all the crappy 6-6 consolation prize teams play in their “Jack’s construction in Eastern Mississippi and the surrounding area.com” bowl games all in one day or week, but reserve the Cotton Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and the Orange Bowl for the 8 top teams selected to the tournament. You can play those games the same week as the lower tier bowls currently start, the week before Christmas.
The 4 winners then play in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl as the semifinals the week after Christmas. Then, you can hold the National Championship game on New Years Day like it should be.