By Lance McCaskey
Ever since its creation in 1998, no playoff system in sports has received more scrutiny than the Bowl Championship Series. The BCS has one purpose, and that is to rank the top 25 teams in the nation and decide who will play in the national championship.
The BCS is a very complicated system based on a very simple premise. Find the best team in college football. In order to rank the teams, the BCS uses three parts or sections and averages a team’s rank in all three to determine who comes out on top. These three sections include two human polls, and a combination of six computer generated standings. After each of these parts is completed, the teams rankings are averaged together, and teams are chosen to play in the five BCS bowl games.
The bowl system in Division I football has angered and outraged many fans over the years. Why should a team have to be perfect for a chance to play for a title? Why should people in suits in skyscrapers decide who goes to a good bowl? There should be a playoff, so if a team has a bad game, and they deserve to play for a title, they get the opportunity.
These people are what I like to call, wrong. If you take the top 32 ranked teams in the country, you would end up with second class talents from schools like Southern Mississippi and Houston going up against high-powered offenses and steel-strength defenses with first class talent from across the nation.
Teams are overrated, that’s just the way it is. Boise State plays one good game a year against a decent opponent like Virginia Tech, and all of the sudden they’re the best in the nation? No. Anyone can prepare for one game against a strong opponent.
Even if you allow a 32-team playoff system, attendance would be a major issue, and would end up costing the NCAA, the teams conferences, and most of all the Universities involved a ton of money. As opposed to paying for a round trip ticket to one game somewhere in the United States, you end up having to pay for five trips.
A playoff system costs everyone money. Not to mention how low attendance would be for any game more than a state or two away. The fans cannot shell out enough cash to travel to an out of state game five times, with insane ticket prices these days, they can barely afford to travel to one.
This past season, controversy swept the nation when Oklahoma State ended up No. 3 in the nation behind Alabama. As an Alabama fan, I felt this was the right call for both the obvious and unobvious reasons. Both teams ended up with one loss. Alabama lost to the No. 1 team in the nation, LSU, while Oklahoma State lost to a barely bowl eligible Iowa State. It is obvious that LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in the country. They have the undisputed No. 1 and 2 defenses in the nation, and neither lack a high-powered or exciting offense.
The BCS has one job, and that is to ensure that No. 1 and 2 play in the national title game. This year it got it right.
To hear the other side of the story, go here.