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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.

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Comments
  1. Tanner says:

    The BCS’s problems aren’t only in selecting who goes in the national championship, but who goes into the BCS games in general. I know you’re not going to like this argument since Utah is in the PAC 12 next season, but the AQ status need to be done away with!

    If Boise State beat Virginia Tech and Virginia Tech has 2 losses (yes 1 to a non division 1 team), why should the Broncos be left out when their only loss is in overtime on the road against a ranked team? (In the which nobody knows if the field goal ending regulation was good or not). And then of course there is UConn who did not play well enough for a bid.

    Don’t get sucked into the whole “Who has the harder schedule” hoopla. The West is better in NBA basketball, several teams in the East will be in the playoffs with a .500 or lower record. They don’t debate about schedules. The AL East in MLB baseball had the best teams last year, but you never heard fans or players on the Red Sox or Blue Jays complain about how they would have made the playoffs in another “easier” division. Besides, the AL East didn’t make it to the World Series. (Some people may decide this argument doesn’t apply because it’s the pros and anyone can win anytime.)

    Boise State has a slightly better SOS than Ohio State, who got 8 home games and didn’t make an effort in getting a tough non conference schedule. Why should what conference your in decide before the season even begins who gets the big benefits and who doesn’t? In College basketball, pretty much every team will step out and play tough non conference schedules.

    College football is the only sport where people complain all the time about schedules, and who deserves to even be in the CONVERSATION for a national title. My brother and several other people I know hate college football BECAUSE of the BCS. A playoff settles it because the team undefeated with the harder schedule will get byes and homefield advantage, but there is still a chance for champions of other conferences to play it out. This is common sense.

    • Dan Condie says:

      First off, great comments.

      I agree whole-heartedly that there are teams more deserving of playing in the BCS bowl games than some of the automatic qualifiers. Personally, I think Boise got hosed not getting an invite. However, the point of the article was not whether or not the BCS system was the best, because I don’t think that it is, but that the way they choose who plays in the NC game is best.

      Like I said, the bottom line and main point is that with the system in place now, there can only be 2 teams. The end. No 2 ways about it.

      The issue I have with putting an undefeated Boise State team in the NC game over ANY other undefeated team from an AQ conference is the deserving aspect. Do I think Boise is capable of beating either Oregon or Auburn? Maybe once or twice in 10 games, so this year is not a great standard. But say Boise had beaten Nevada and was clearly a top contender.

      Here’s the problem I have. If you take Boise’s toughest games top to bottom and match them up against Oregon’s toughest, sure out of conference, Boise did great, but thats 4 games. Once they get into conference play; San Jose State, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, Utah State, Idaho, Hawaii, Fresno State, Nevada (remember we’re pretending they didn’t lose this game for the sake of the argument). That is really REALLY weak stuff.

      I think too much focus is placed on the underdog when strength of schedule comes into play. Whenever someone says “well they don’t deserve a spot because the teams they play are lower tier,” immediately people on the non-AQ side start raving about how badly they killed the teams that sucked and how its not their fault that the teams they faced were bad, when in actuality, the focus of the comments is really that the teams from the AQ conference DID have to play the teams not scraping the bottom of the NCAA, lucky to be in D1 football in the first place.

      Picture it this way, there are 2 equally talented teams at the beginning of the year. The first team plays in a lower tier conference where the schools can only get the 1-2 star athletes because of poor conference/school reputation. That school absolutely cruises through the conference play, destroying the lower teams with ease, occasionally beating a tough out-of-conference opponent.

      On the other side, the second team chooses to play less intimidating and less talented out-of-conference games in order to fine tune for their conference games. That team grinds out a hard fought conference schedule filled with the 5 star high school recruits and future NFL stars and makes it out undefeated.

      Now, there’s only a spot for one of these teams in the national championship. Again, both are equally talented and capable of winning the game. To take the team from the lower tier conference, that had a pathway clearly less strenuous, is insane. You cannot throw out the pathway teams take to get to the game when the entire basis of who plays in that game is judged on the said pathway every single week. I’m sorry.

      THAT’S why the BCS needs to go. Not because it unfairly decides the 2 teams that play in the NC game, but because limiting the option to just 2 teams is unfair. That’s all. Great comments though pal.

  2. Chris Condie says:

    The “Jack’s construction in Eastern Mississippi and the surrounding area.com” bowl game? I laughed so hard I threw a hemmoroid! I have to agree with Tanner. Strength of schedule never cut it for me.

  3. Tanner says:

    I agree that certain teams have tougher schedules, and thus deserve higher rankings. With this system, half of the teams are eliminated from really contending before the season starts. Utah in 2008 had a pretty good schedule, definitely a title deserving one. With this system, Utah is out just because more people voted for Florida and Oklahoma. The problems start to occur when some ESPN sports bloggers and analysts say a 1 or even 2 loss SEC team deserves to pass non AQs in the BCS rankings.

    I think most people agree the top 2 look like the best teams this time. But I would like to see TCU get a chance. The season is too short to cut it to just 2 teams. According to the BCS director Bill Hancock, the BCS’s top reason for not having a playoffs is “It would ruin the regular season.” Could it? Yes, if it’s like basketball with 68 teams and no home field games for the best teams. But most people think the regular season is still exciting in basketball, so why not improve the post season a little bit in football?

  4. cakeburnette says:

    The problem I see with AQ is this: the SEC is so dominating, we should get at least 2 AQs. Our mid-pack teams are better than most everyone else’s champion. And as for forgetting strength-of-schedule? Tell me this, if it’s not important, why do the SEC champions KEEP WINNING NATIONAL TITLES? Playing the level we do week-in-week-out means we are better prepared than the other conferences. And commissioner Mike Slive has a handful of national championship rings to prove it…one for each finger, in fact.

  5. CBAX says:

    I’m a fan of a non-AQ team. ALL I’ll say is the government better keep their hands off the BCS. I don’t care if it looks unfair. Don’t touch college sports. If you’re good enough your school can get an invite to a real conference… If they (the bcs) wants to change, let em. If not, play harder… over and out

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