Monday, August 08, 2005

The BCS Explained

Eight years ago, when the concept of the BCS was announced and the scuttlebutt was that it was part of an inexorable march towards a playoff, this is not what I hoped to be reading almost one decade later. To summarize, Brad Edwards writes that the BCS has created non-stop controversy since its inception, there have been cosmetic changes made this off-season involving new polls now that all of the old ones refuse to be associated with this miasma, and his proposed solution - a committee to pick the teams - was rejected. I'm not a big fan of the committee approach for two reasons:

1. It places too much power in the hands of a few people and there are no checks on those people because their decisions are made in private; and

2. The analogy to the NCAA selection committee is misplaced because that committee makes marginally important decisions in seeding and selecting the last at-large teams, all of whom will be done by the end of the first weekend, while a football committee would have a hugely important and essentially impossible task, thus amplifying the effects of problem #1.

All that said, I'd be very interested to read a transcript of the ESPN college football analysts' review of the game tapes of USC, Oklahoma, and Auburn last year. Assuming that they aren't using the Orange Bowl for 20/20 hindsight, I'd like to hear what some people with knowledge of x's and o's had to say in separating the three teams. Personally, I thought there was virtually no good way to do so, thus highlighting the stupidity of the current system.


peacedog said...

I always thought a selection committee was what you started with. But even the NCAA one has polls & ratings to help lean on. And they are somewhat culpable - if they really screw up the ratings, we'll know and there will be a reckoning.

What saddens me is everytime I read someone like Terrance Moore say "no playoff == good. Current system == people talking about CFB, and that's all that matters".


Michael said...

Right. I could take my clothes off and run around the office, rapping "It's getting hot in herrre" and that would lead people to talk about me, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. I hate the idea of a big playoff, but after last year, when Auburn and Utah didn't get a shot despite doing everything they could, it's impossible to justify the current system.

peacedog said...

Well, I can only repeat that it (big playoff) works in every other NCAA division (albeit with slightly different scheduling. Conference title games might be out, and I dunno what that would do).

Since this is a money issue, we should consider altering the playing field. There are too many D1 teams anyway. Well, maybe you bump the scrapers-by down (hi Mid Ten State!). You divy up D1 into an upper and lower division. Divy them up further by attendance. Money is already the invisible elephant here.

Yes, programs like BSU might lose here. I care. A playoff is more important.

The bowl system, both old and new, sucks. CFB is the only sport where the champion is not crowned on the field. Ridiculous.