Posted on: October 22, 2010 9:58 am
Edited on: October 22, 2010 10:38 am
How does that taste Alabama?
Is there hope Oklahoma?
How about you LSU, Auburn?
Forget about the non-BCS schools. They're all but out of it. Oregon just laid a nuclear whipping on UCLA that sends a clear and present message: Resistance is futile by you puny humans.
OK, so it was only UCLA but can you think of a better first-game No. 1 defense -- in history? I'm going to spend Friday trying to look it up. Point being, that as we wring our hands about the SEC's chances at a fifth consecutive national championship one thing is clear. Oregon is the only team in the country that controls its own destiny in the BCS.
It is No. 2 (in the BCS) with a bullet and there is not much resistance in front of it. The Ducks face just one currently ranked team (Arizona) the rest of the way. Good for their prospects, bad, perhaps for their BCS numbers. But when you're No. 1 and winning by an average of 39.3 points maybe it doesn't matter.
You say victory margin doesn't count in the BCS? Bull feathers. It impresses the voters. This wasn't New Mexico or Portland State. This was UCLA which at times has had a pretty good defense. If Oklahoma struggles with Missouri and LSU and Auburn grind it out at Jordan-Hare, voters won't have a hard time deciding who is No. 1 in the polls -- at least for another week.
Look for more of these carpet bombings in the future. Blowouts don't count in the BCS? They really do. Those human polls (Harris and coaches) are still two-thirds of the formula, right?
Posted on: October 14, 2010 11:25 am
Full disclosure? I'm on the fence about a playoff. It could work, sure. It also could diminish the regular season like it has in college basketball.
As someone who covers it, I like the BCS. The drama, the lunacy, the fuzzy math. It has given us some of the wackiest moments in the sport's recent history ... Texas' campaigning in 2004 to get in ahead of Cal. The lunacy of Nebraska getting in in 2001. LSU fans' continued disbelief that their team actually shared the 2003 title with USC.
Of course, I don't have a Bulldog in the fight so, of course, it's fun.
What I think folks forget is that the BCS is miles better than the old bowl system. Joe Paterno will go to his grave knowing he could have won four more national championships if not for the old-style back-room bowl deals. We've had 13 1 vs. 2 games in the BCS era (since 1998). From 1943 (the first 1 vs. 2 game) to 1997, we had 31. That's an average of one per year (guaranteed, by the way) compared to one every 1.7 years.
I'll never forget Tommy Tuberville canvassing votes in the Orange Bowl press box (2004). I'll always wonder at Nebraska and Miami stepping onto the Rose Bowl turf as "foreigners" in 2001. I lost part of my hearing watching LSU win two titles. Like it or not, the BCS gave us all that.
With the first set of standings being released on Sunday, this is what I believe about the BCS ...
--Every week is a playoff.
True: In the sense that you lose once and you're in danger of being eliminated for the BCS title game. That has made for some great theater over the years.
"I think we've got to preserve this regular season," BCS executive director Bill Hancock said. "No one knows how much, but it would be diminished. Energy would go from the regular season into the playoff."
--A playoff would ruin the regular season.
False: Sorry, Bill, rivalries are rivalries. A playoff doesn't diminish Ohio State-Michigan, Alabama-Auburn or Kansas-Missouri. Three years ago, Missouri beat Kansas to go to No. 1 in the country. KU went to its first BCS bowl (Orange) in almost in 40 years. Missouri played for the Big 12 title before losing to Oklahoma. Both of those teams would have been safely in a 16-team bracket. And it wouldn't have mattered a lick to the rivalry.
--The BCS is about power, not money.
True: The presidents and ADs would rather keep a system where most of the money goes to the power conferences ... than make more money with a playoff. A playoff would mean more trickle down for non-BCS schools who one day might join the power elite. The BCS, without saying it, wants to keep the membership exclusive.
A BCS executive disagrees.
"The Mountain West could never be [an equal] to the Big Ten," the source said. "Not in your grandkids' lifetime, not in my grandkids' lifetime."
False: I'm no lawyer but it has survived every legal challenge so far. Obama and the Justice Department don't seem to want to get involved. PlayoffPAC sends out a heck of a press release but has yet to make an impression. The Mountain West's trip to Washington D.C. in 2009 seems less compelling now that the league has lost BYU and Utah.
--If the commissioners wanted it today, a playoff could be implemented.
True: No question. If Jim Delany can talk the Big Ten into the BCS and, later conference expansion, he could talk its presidents into a playoff.
--The windfall from a playoff would cure all financial ills.
False: A 1994 NCAA study into a playoff abruptly died when the opinion of Florida State's Derrick Brooks was solicited. Brooks reportedly told officials something like, "What's in it for me?" Any windfall would re-start the pay-the-players argument. Pay the players and you have withholding. If you have withholding, the you lose tax exempt status.
The basketball tournament income is different because it is controlled by the NCAA and parceled out in "units."
True: That way all the conference champions get a berth, along with five at-large teams. That takes care of the non-BCS champions who would suddenly be guaranteed a berth.
Anything else merely extends the argument from who's No. 2 to who's No. 5 (in a four-team playoff) to who's No. 9 (an eight-team playoff).
--A selection committee could pick those five teams.
False: Not all of them. No way. You'd have lawsuits from here to Boise. Look at the trouble we got in weaving voters and computers into the process. Putting, say, 12 people in charge of picking the final few teams of a college football playoff would introduce all kinds of human biases.
--The bowls are a great way to throw away money.
True: As reported in the new book Death to the BCS, schools are lucky to break after having to pay for their own transportation, lodging and having to buy bowl sponsorships and tickets.
"The fact that we didn't go to a bowl game means we actually made money," former Michigan AD Bill Martin said in the book.
--The bowls would die if there was a playoff.
False: How can the likes of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and Humanitarian Bowl be any more meaningless? A playoff doesn't affect that at all.
Posted on: August 21, 2010 3:12 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2010 3:24 pm
His name is Joe Giglio of the Raleigh News and Observer.
In 10 keystrokes of brilliance he made himself and his newspaper more relevant. That's not a swipe, that's a salute to the only AP voter to award a No. 1 vote to Boise State. In a year when the whole seems to have turned Crimson, Giglio hopefully made us aware of the obvious.
Boise State can win the national championship. Not just because it is ranked No. 5 in the coaches' poll and No. 3 in AP. True, it is positioned well to make a run -- Virginia Tech, Oregon State and the bye known as the WAC schedule.
But you have to see these guys play. I don't mean reading a preseason mag, I mean really see them play. For some not-fully-explained reason, every time Boise plays "up" it seems to win. (4-1 vs. BCS schools since 2006) I already wrote that coach Chris Petersen is upset that the Broncos aren't the cuddly underdog anymore.
Now we have to admit they are a powerhouse. What other proof do you need? They're not good because of who they don't play. You can only play the teams in your conference. You certainly can't criticize them for playing a weak non-conference schedule.
If Boise State gets to the championship game, it will have earned it. Giglio is like me. His eyes have been opened.
Other observations about the AP preseason poll ...
This is the first time since 1978, Alabama has been the AP preseason No 1. In the wire service era, Alabama is 72-8-3 in years after national championships.
To no one's surprise, the SEC has six teams in the top 25.
At No. 14, USC has its lowest preseason rank since 2002, Pete Carroll's second year.
At No. 23, Georgia has its lowest preseason AP rank since 2001.
The farthest back a team has come to win a championship in the BCS era is LSU in 2003. It was No. 12 in the first BCS rankings.
Posted on: May 20, 2010 8:38 pm
The BCS has the power to vacate one of its championships should USC be found guilty violating of NCAA bylaws. The question is, what form would that take?
USA Today reported Wednesday that a little-known BCS rule added in January 2007 allows the BCS to vacate the championship of a team if it has found to be guilty of major rules violations. USC is awaiting penalties -- if any -- regarding the Reggie Bush case. Bush is alleged to have taken money and extra benefits from would-be agents while at the school. If he is ruled by the NCAA to have competed while ineligible, the association could strip USC victories while he was at the school. Only, then would the BCS step in.
But the NCAA doesn't sponsor a championship in football so it essentially has no jurisdiction on USC's '04 title. How the BCS would strip that title isn't clear.
The BCS can't compel the American Football Coaches Association or the Associated Press to take back trophies from the Trojans' 2004 championship season. In other sports besides football, the NCAA typically only removes references of championships in media guides and record books of teams that have vacated wins.
In the case of the BCS, what record books? What media guides? The BCS runs a website, bcsfootball.org, and puts out a small pamphlet-like media guide each season.
Since 1998, the AFCA has awarded a trophy to the winner of the BCS title game. The AP awards a trophy to a team that finishes No. 1 among the voters in its final poll. AP told the BCS to drop it from its formula a few years ago, in part due to a conflict of interest among its voters.
A college football national championship has never been forfeited or vacated (in the wire service era since 1936).
"The NCAA will do whatever we do," one BCS official said.
The NCAA has vacated those records and championships in basketball and other sports. That typically involves removing a teams' wins and championships of record books and media guides. In the case of Florida State's Bobby Bowden, it would have involved no reference its former coach being the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history.
Prior to his retirement, the veteran coach was within reach of catching Joe Paterno for No. 1 on the all-time list. The NCAA then forced Florida State to vacate 12 of his victories. Bowden finished with 377 career victories.
Posted on: April 20, 2010 8:30 pm
I don't arrive in Phoenix until Wednesday but I was able to gather information from inside the BCS meetings on Tuesday.
All 11 conference commissioners met on Tuesday afternoon. There is a general feeling that we won't find out the identity of any expansion candidates this week.
The ACC isn't moving on expansion (in response to the Big Ten) because the Big Ten hasn't done anything. Jim Delany hasn't tipped his hand. The Big East, understandably, is nervous.
There is word that Delany will speak to the media on Wednesday. For sure, BCS executive director Bill Hancock will speak. Keep it here for the latest updates.
Posted on: January 30, 2010 9:27 am
Ari Fleischer was hired as the BCS’ PR flack because it was assumed he knew his way around Capitol Hill.
You know Hatch. The powerful senator from Utah has been the BCS’ worst nightmare from the get go. Now it’s getting serious. A staunch Republican is getting some support from the Democratic administration. Remember when Obama kiddingly said he would “throw my weight around a little bit” in getting a college football playoff.
Maybe he wasn’t kidding.
This is not good news for the BCS which has stated its case under Fleischer with a Facebook page, a twitter account and reams of rhetoric. All of that will be mere kindling if this fire burns bright enough to bring about a Justice Department hearing.
Here’s what Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote to Hatch:
"The administration shares your belief that the current lack of a college football national championship playoff with respect to the highest division of college football … raises important questions affecting millions of fans, colleges and universities, players and other interested parties …
One thing is sure. This issue isn’t going away soon. Ari, start spinning, baby.
Posted on: October 25, 2009 7:28 pm
You can quit watching bad NFL football on Fox. Someone has leaked the BCS standings.
The top three remain the same. Interesting to note that Iowa is fourth and TCU has jumped Boise State. If both teams keep winning that will stay that way.
Posted on: October 21, 2009 12:18 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2009 12:28 pm
If you read Wednesday’s AP story, you know that the BCS commissioners don’t know what they want.
The title of “coordinator” of the Bowl Championship Series has been a sentence, not a position. The commissioners look forward to the one-year term of BCS coordinator about as much as a trip to the NCAA infractions committee.
They’ve talked intermittently about hiring an outside person to take over the day-to-day administration of the controversial system. They sure as hell don’t want to do it. What does that say about the system itself? You could put a pistol to my head and I couldn’t tell you what the “BCS coordinator” does. It’s a title emptier than Bud Selig’s head when it comes to replay.
The issue was coming to a head because Big East commissioner John Marinatto is due to take over as coordinator in January. He is a “rookie”, in his first year as commissioner. His fellow commissioners don’t want a rook taking over but that’s part of the problem. The Pac-10 and Big Ten commissioners don’t want the title at all. That eliminates three of the six BCS commissioners.
ACC commissioner John Swofford and SEC commissioner Mike Slive -- guys who actually served -- have had a hard time being coordinator. They have presidents within their conferences who are opposed to the BCS – Florida State president T.K. Wetherell in addition to Florida’s Bernie Machen and Georgia’s Michael Adams.
If the commishes do hire an outsider, they’ve got to decide to spend the money. Take it from me, they’re going to get some blow back from the schools if they pay someone like Archie Manning or Condoleezza Rice half a million a year. The money they’re producing is supposed to go directly to the schools.
What could an Archie or Condie do, really? They would be figureheads trying to sell snow to the Eskimos. But at least they’d be figureheads who could push the BCS with a clear conscience. That’s something Condie couldn’t do with her Bush Push of the presidential agenda.
We’ve already heard “No New Taxes”. Pardon us if we ignore cries of “Know Your Texas”.
I’ll take Archie as the first father of football. As a parent, he produces great quarterbacks. As a BCS flak, he'd probably become just as confused as the rest of us.
That’s why the commissioners don’t know what they want to do. It’s a job they don’t want, but who does?
These are your leaders in these categories halfway through the season:
Rushing: Nevada, 292.83 yards per game