Tuesday, December 21, 2004

BCS minus AP equals...?

As it says here, the Associated Press is deciding to get out of the Bowl Championship Series formula.

Interesting, considering the AP poll, along with the coaches' poll, were now fairly big components in determining BCS rankings.

Now a system that has seen nothing but heat since day one (IMO) is once again gearing up for change. According to the article linked above, and another at ESPN dot com, a blue ribbon committee could soon be setting up bowl matchups. No shock there, basketball's done that for years during March Madness.

But the problem will always be that the bowls are a tradition that are trying to adapt to a playoff-minded public, and they're just not doing a good job.

That's not the bowl's fault, I think. In fact, I like the tradition that seeps through college football, and bowl games are a big part of that.

On the flip side, having SO MANY damned bowl games is diluting what the purpose of a bowl was: a reward for an amazing season, no matter who had it.

But nowadays, the sporting public has seen playoffs (whether it be a one and done or a series) determine who is the best for a championship. But college football still, in all honesty, doesn't let the teams truly decide who is number one. It's lets, in the end, something else.

It lets someone else.

The biggest problem with the BCS since day one has been humans. Let's face it: if the human can make the perfect formula to decide who's the best, then the computer should take it from there and then no one should complain. But that's what happened last year with LSU/Oklahoma/USC (and being a Tiger fan, I was quite happy with the results). It happened again with Utah and Texas this year. The problem is that no one will be happy because there's too much emotion involved.

I'm in favor for a playoff system, myself. I've heard the idea floated of using the bowl sites as playoff sites. That's a thought, but you then run the risk of outpricing a lot of fans with a lot of travel costs. You'd almost have to regionalize it a bit, kind of like college baseball and their playoff system of regionals and superregionals. That way would probably be fair, though for the life of me, I don't know how to start wrapping my head around that.

But wouldn't it attract more fans, especially from schools considered the underdog? Their fans' would have a little more to pull for, considering there's a chance your school could pull of the upset and move on to the possibility of greater things? Now, it's just an upset. Sounds like I'm slighting it, but imagine if your team not only gets an upset, but gets closer to a national championship?

The system now is trying to give a semi-playoff, with the matchup (hopefully) of 1 and 2 teams across the board: BCS, AP, Coaches. But it always ends up with someone on the outside looking in. Oklahoma and USC deserve a shot at a national title. And as much as it pains me to say it, so does Auburn. A playoff would give them a chance at that.

I think everyone would be happy then.

But then, no one's asking me for my college football thoughts.


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