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The Beauty of the BCS System

It’s strange when one begins to think about the benefits of a playoff system in College Football, he may start to see some beauty in the current BCS system in his arguments.  People cry that teams do not get a fair shot at the title game because it’s hard to win every single week and the best team may not even be in the National Title game because they lost to…we’ll just say Iowa State.  Teams should not be punished for playing a tougher schedule than other teams.  Everyone deserves a chance to prove they are the best team!  Well, try telling that to the team with the hardest schedule in the country which has managed to go 11-0 so far.  Should not other teams, if they are so great, be able to go undefeated as well?  I mean LSU is doing it.

Mathieu and LSU are the archetypal example of BCS beauty

Everyone is being thrown into a panic because a rematch between Alabama and LSU appears imminent for the National Title game  Alabama will most likely reach the title game without even playing the SEC Championship Game, something LSU will have to take part in.  Should LSU lose that game to Georgia, it seems only logical that the Tigers would find themselves in the title game anyway.  Also, a loss for LSU to Arkansas prompts a awe-inspiring three way tie atop the SEC West next week, when LSU, Bama, and Arkansas will be ranked 1, 2, 3 respectively.  Pro-playoff people everywhere are hollering about how there is no justice.  Just because Oklahoma State loses one game they shouldn’t be given a second chance?  And what about Stanford?  The Cardinal lost to one very good team, Oregon.  But since Stanford was throttle by Oregon, should the Ducks not get a nod ahead of the Cardinal?  I mean Oregon’s losses are to USC and LSU…not exactly light-weights.  And who could forget about the only other undefeated team, Case Keenum and the Houston Cougars?

Case Keenum is the playoff system's biggest proponent right now.

Is going undefeated in Conference USA worse than losing to Iowa State?  The Cougars deserve a look for the BCS National Championship Game!  All this nonsense makes clear the best part of the BCS: it makes the regular season of college football the most dramatic of any sport.  No other sport can claim the importance of a regular season as a whole quite like college football.  If you want to be crowned the best team in the nation, it isn’t about being the best during one part of the year like in college basketball.  It also is not about winning just enough games to beat out some other teams in order to clinch a division.  No, in order to be the best team in college football, a team has to schedule hard and win every game.  It really is a beautiful thing to see a team have to grind through 12 or 13 games, having to make no mistakes along the way, before earning a chance, just a chance mind you, to win the National Title.  I love the BCS because it makes the regular season important.  Who wants to see a team finish 16th in the BCS standings upset the #1 ranked team that ran through the regular season just so they get pummeled in the next round?  Some say it would mean the “real best team” would end up being National Champion.  This logic is completely obliterated by what has happened this weekend.  I doubt people are calling for  Iowa State to be moved up to #2 and earn a chance to play for the title because they beat Oklahoma State.  No one is probably interested in seeing if Baylor could make a run through the playoffs.  Any upset can happen on any day in college football.  A team has to prove it is the best by winning every game, not by getting hot at the right time or making a colossus upset.  That’s why college football’s regular season is the best.  And even when something happens when there are 3 undefeated teams are left and one has to be left out, maybe you should have scheduled a little harder, gotten a key win that propelled you to #2.  And I hate the people who say that Bosie State deserves a National Title opportunity.  Boise should have to schedule 4 teams ranked in the preaseaon top-25 for every non-conference game before they earn semblance of a chance, and one of those teams should have to be from the SEC.  Sure, they beat Georgia this year…but they also lost to a mediocre TCU team which has also made a living beating the Mountain West…at least they used to have Utah.  As much as I loved the Boise State-Oklahoma upset, it did not make Boise the better team by any stretch of the imagination.  No one is saying USC is more talented than Oregon or that Baylor has the better athletes on both sides of the ball compared to Oklahoma.  The fact is that sports are played by humans and are not decided by the paper facts.  A team won’t play at its highest caliber every week, and sometimes it will meet a team clearly less talented which has more motivation to win, more adrenaline, and plays its best game of the season on that lackluster week.  Ask Oklahoma State.

Pictured: the entire population of Ames, Iowa

The BCS system may not be popular, but no one can deny the beauty withheld in a system where the best team is decided throughout the season.  I think Ohio State men’s basketball would have enjoyed such a style last year.  The Philadelphia Phillies probably would be content with such a method.  It is a shame that the postseason of almost every league at every level makes the regular season obsolete.  Sample sizes of abilities of teams are large enough in major sports to decide which teams are the two best.  I think the NFL would benefit from a Conference Championship Game only system.  Is it fair that the Green Bay Packers got hot at the right time in order to meander through the playoffs and win the Super Bowl and the Atlanta Falcons went 13-3 in the regular season, had an off-day against the Packers and suddenly are making a quick exit without anything to show for it?  How can one justify that being more legitimate than a team battling through a grueling regular season schedule and making the National Title game over WAC powerhouse Boise State even though Boise went undefeated?  Florida won the title that year, and had gone 12-1 in the regular season (including a win over Arkansas in the SEC Championship Game).  Boise went undefeated (including such heavyweights as Oregon State, Idaho, and Nevada) and beat Oklahoma to finish 13-0.  It isn’t justice to say a team which schedules around competition should get the chance to play for a National Title.  And yes, I know Boise doesn’t really get to pick and choose a conference, but they could have scheduled better class opponents in  the non-conference.  I don’t mean to be rude, but your 17-10 win over at Wyoming does not impress me, Boise State team of 2006.  The majesty of a truly meaningful regular season is found in only one sport: college football.  It’s the only place where you have to prove yourself for more than a couple of games against hardly D-1 teams.   It is the only place where if you overlook a team and they best you, your season falls into the toilet.  It’s the only place where a 37-yard field goal is the difference between a National Title berth and an at-large in the Fiesta Bowl.  The BCS may have flaw, but all-in-all, the system is gorgeous.  The dramatic weekend which the world of sports has just experienced is testimony to how phenomenal the BCS really is sometimes.  Without the BCS, Iowa State beating Oklahoma State would mean the Cowboys would be seeded a few spots lower before getting the chance to win the National Title.  With the BCS, it means all 28 years of Brandon Weedon will go home without a National Title.  Gotta love the BCS.

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5 thoughts on “The Beauty of the BCS System

  1. Beautifully done, Yadam. You have captured my opinions perfectly.

  2. Compelling arguments here, and I hate the BCS system. Well written! But man what an awesome day for college football.

  3. J. B. Kraft on said:

    I’m a 59-years old guy who loves College Football and reads and a lot of blogs about it. It’s rare I encounter sound thinking about an emotionally-charged subject that is as elegantly expressed. Great job on all counts.

  4. Shouldn’t the best team in the regular season have to prove they were the best? Don’t those other leagues consider the playoffs the second season? I like the playoff since it proves who is playing the best. The Packers this year are arguably the beat team. They will have the prove this during the playoffs.

  5. I found the following simalirly related”The press is the best instrument for enlightening the mind of man, and improving him as a rational, moral and social being” – Thomas Jefferson

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