By Mark Coogan
It’s time once again for sports writers to start filling out their “The Bowl Championship Series is No Good” article template. “The (year) season has once again proved why the BCS needs to go. Undefeated (SEC Team) is slated to play (undeserving one-loss team) in the National Championship Game, while (underrated one-loss team) and Boise State have to look on from a distance. Don’t even get me started on how undeserving (Big East Champion) and (At-large Big Ten team) are of their BCS games. The whole system is flawed. It’s time for a playoff!”
I realize that very few people like the BCS and that everyone who doesn’t have a financial interest in the outcome of college football games wants it to go. But I used to be a person who could see some merits to the old system. For the same reason, I can appreciate the NFL overtime rules, I can appreciate that the BCS forces its champion to be perfect at all times. Any given play can end an NFL overtime game and, as Boise State has had to learn the hard way two years in a row, any given play can end your hopes at a BCS Championship. I can respect the fact that the BCS doesn’t give teams second chances. That makes every second of the season exciting. But all of that tension is spoiled when you give a team, namely Alabama, a second chance.
Don’t get me wrong; Alabama and Louisiana State University are very likely the two best teams in the nation. And so in that sense, the BCS got it right this year. But in terms of being logical, the BCS blew it. Alabama had a chance AT HOME to beat LSU and couldn’t do it. Why do they deserve another chance? And let’s say Alabama does beat LSU in the National Championship game. Alabama is now crowned champions? Doesn’t that make the record between the two 1-1? Isn’t a road win in Tuscaloosa a more impressive victory than a neutral-site win after both teams have had six weeks off?
I am very much looking forward to the Rose and Fiesta Bowls. Both feature great matchups, have a lot of star power and should be incredibly entertaining games. The final two BCS games however, the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl, are garbage. West Virginia vs. Clemson? Barf. West Virginia didn’t beat AN teams currently ranked. Michigan vs. Virginia Tech? Double barf. Can you give me one reason those two teams deserve a BCS game while Boise State and Kansas State don’t? Don’t worry, I’ll wait…
I understand that I am the billionth sports writer to print this same article over the last ten years. What I can’t understand is why we still have to suffer through terrible football games and unfair outcomes. What will it take for a playoff?