Blog Entry

BCS Needs a Fix

Posted on: January 9, 2009 1:52 am
 
I am almost ashamed to say that I spent the better part of my evening watching the BCS National Championship Game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Florida Gators. And from watching this game I have come to a conclusion: The BCS doesn't work. You can not play the championship game between two teams almost a month and a half after the regular season/conference championships are over. It doesn't make sense. Neither Florida or Oklahoma looked like National Champions tonight, at least neither of their high-profile, Heisman winning QB's did anyway. And it's not their fault, it's the system. And it just doesn't work anymore.

Before I go off on a quick tangent on the actual game, I want to say that I do not care for a playoff system much either. It will make the college season longer which creates two significant problems. One, is it increases the chances for these players to get injured. Two, and most importantly, it will keep the players out of the classroom for basically an entire semester. And these kids should be considered student-athletes, even if you and I both know that's probably not the case at some schools. But having a system that produces the two best teams and has them play a game for all the marbles after not playing a game in over a month isn't working. That much I know.

I'm also not here to debate whether Utah or USC should be considered for the No. 1 spot in the country, because ultimately Florida will be considered the champ and I really don't care all that much. I can't remember the last time I was so disinterested in a bowl season ever. And I do mean that. I quite frankly didn't care for any of these games and that might be another reason to change the system, to get the casual fan to become interested again in the bigger bowl games.

Quick Tangent: I don't dislike Bob Stoops. I am not a Bob Stoops "hater." To get a program into the Championship game 4 times in 9 years means your doing something right. But I had major issues with two of play calls. He left 6 points on the board by going for it on 4th down instead of kicking a FG and also failed to kick a FG as the first half ended. Even with those points, the Sooners still could have lost the game, but I think failing to score on those two drives shifted momentum over to the Gators and that might have cost them in the 2nd half. But both teams and QB's looked rusty enough to throw this theory out the window. I personally wouldn't have done it. But I'm not a Div. I-A/FBS football coach with a resume like Bob Stoops.

If I had a choice, I would advocate an 10-team playoff. Here's why: You get the 6-BCS Conference champions and then 4 "Wild Card" teams. These can be based off the BCS rankings or selected by a committee, I don't really care. Once you get all 10 teams, reseed them based on ranking, so that the lowest ranking team becomes the 10th seed, etc. This way, non-BCS teams like Utah or Boise State that outrank BCS conference champions have a higher seed. The top 6 teams get a bye. Then you have two first round games with seeds No. 10 and 7 playing each other and seeds No. 8 and 9. Re-seed like the NFL so the No. 1 team plays the team with the lowest rank of the first round winners, the 2nd seed gets the other team and then you have seeds 3 and 6/4 and 5 play each other. Standard bracket after this, no reseeding. All games played at home sites with the exception of the championship which will be neutral. It will only take four weeks and I don't like having 16-teams because I think it's two many.

All of this aside, this is the number one problem with the BCS: teams schedule towards the system. BCS schools don't take many chances outside of conference. To quote, "use the regular season as the playoff" argument, you need to make sure that BCS conferences schedule significant games against each other, which means stop picking on Duke, Washington, Washington St. and Syracuse and all those 1-AA/FCS teams and play against teams that can challenge you. Actually earn a 10 win season instead of giving yourself 10 wins on the easiest schedule every year. Once I can see the strength of schedule actually affecting rankings, then you know the system is getting better.

Because right now, the only thing I do know is that the systems sucks.

- Eagle
Comments

Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: January 11, 2009 11:24 am
 

BCS Needs a Fix

Rich -

I've have seen something similar to this before and I have no problem letting the smaller conference champions have their say in a 16-team tournament. The problem is timing. You have to play the conferences championship games in the first week of December, so the first round of the tournament would be the 2nd week, sometime around Dec. 10th or so. That means the quarter finals would be the week before Christmas. Then you have to take a week off for final exams and the Holidays, it just has to happen, which is why there aren't any games for a few weeks after the conference championship games. That means the "Final 4" matchups would be around New Years and the Championship game sometime before the Divisional Playoffs like we have now.

I have no doubt that this can work. My only problem is I'd like to see the NCAA Championship game be played before the NFL Playoffs start. Odds are this can't happen, so that means that there will be game being played around the NFL Schedule and I think that's unfair for the college players. The only solution I can think of to solve this is to start playing in August, and I don't see that happening either. Also, I like using the pre-arranged sites for the neutral site games for the quarter finals. I hate to say it, but odds are there won't be a colossal upset by a team like Buffalo of Troy, but I'd give ECU a fair shot over Penn St. And there's no way Va. Tech gets a 4 seed. You'd have to rank the teams according to the BCS, but give the conference champions a home game, meaning Va. Tech and Cincinnati get home games, but as 7/8 seeds.

Overall I like the idea and the post. Thanks for reading.



Since: Jan 3, 2009
Posted on: January 11, 2009 9:42 am
 

BCS Needs a Fix

Eagle,

Here is my solution.  You must include all conferences or the big ones will force out the little guy.  This year it was Utah and Boise St.  Next year it could be a school from the MAC and Conference USA.  I like the scenario below:

A quick 16 game playoff scenario.  Must include all conferences and the bowls to be successful.  Top 5 conferences get two teams and remaining 6 conferences get just their champ according to BCS.  Top 8 champs get a first round home game starting in early December.  After the first round, you use the bowls in the BCS(Sugar, Rose, Orange & Fiesta) plus add Cotton, Citrus and Chik-fla for example.  This will give you 4 for quarter finals, 2 semis and final.  Let's assume for this example that the top conferences according to BCS were 1Big12, 2SEC, 3Pac10, 4ACC, 5Big10, 6BigEast,7MW, and 8WAC.  These teams would get home games.  This is a reward for tougher schedule and higher seed, plus easy for attendance.  With the 8 home teams established, use a committee to help with the matchups much like the NCAA basketball tourney.  This allows you to keep conference foes from playing until finals or semis whichever is best.  You would have 1st round matchups(home team in caps) 1OU v 16Troy, 8BOISE ST v 9Bama, 5PSU v 12East Car., 4VT v 13Oregon in the top bracket and in the bottom-3USC v 14BC,  6CINC v 11Ohio St, 7UTAH V Texas, & 2UF v Buffalo.  After this round give it 2 weeks and then rotate the seven bowls mentioned above.  This gives it time for people to make holiday plans to go to the quarter final games.  Sites could be cotton, citrus, chik-fla and fiesta.  Semis would be 10-14 days later in the rose and orange bowls.  Have the final game in the sugar bowl the week before the Super bowl.  Right now every team gets 14 practices.  After the first and second rounds, there would only be 4 teams left, so you are not hurting too many students.  Every conference gets money and you get more money for your conference as you advance.  This takes the much of the subjectivity of who belongs in the playoff.  The real bonus is for the fans because now schools and confereces will want to play good nonconference schedules to help their BCS ranking for their conference.  I think this is all-inclusive and it gets settled on the field.  Let me know what you think.



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