The BS of the BCS

Carl asked me the other day to help him with some scenarios as he prepared to guess which teams might be playing for the BCS National Championship Game as well as the other four BCS Bowls.  As the good friend that I am, I consented and prepared some notes and thoughts.  As I presented them to him, he decided I’d done enough work and essentially worked out my own scenarios much the same way he had and determined I should just do this write up instead.  Here’s what I came up.

He asked me to determine the match-ups based on each of the following scenarios:

1 – LSU wins out, but Oklahoma St loses one

2 – LSU loses one, but Oklahoma St wins out

3 – Both LSU and Oklahoma St lose one

In order to answer these scenarios best, I looked over the remaining schedules of the current top 11 based on rankings after week 12.  After I reviewed each team’s final few games, I charted whether I thought they would win or lose each match-up and went so far as to research some history into some of the upcoming rivalry games that would affect the outcome of these games – The Battle for the Golden Boot between LSU and Arkansas, the Bedlam Series between Oklahoma and Oklahoma St, the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn, and the Battle of the Palmetto State which matches up Clemson and South Carolina, as well as the implications of several potential conference championships.

1 – LSU wins out, but Oklahoma St loses one

In my opinion, scenario #1 is exactly how this will play out.  LSU will win out, while Oklahoma State will lose to Oklahoma.  Arkansas and Clemson will each lose one by virtue of the schedule and all others in the top 11 will win out.  If that is the case, LSU makes an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game and in my opinion, the voters will not want to see a rematch so soon of the Alabama game nor the Oregon game and by virtue of beating the #2 team in the country on the final weekend of the season, Oklahoma will get placed into the game.

That would leave Oregon (as Pac 12 Champ) and Wisconsin (by virtue of beating Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship) in the Rose Bowl.  Oklahoma State and Houston will meet up in the Fiesta Bowl.  ACC Champion Virginia Tech will match-up with West Virginia (the most undeserving team in the mix by virtue of sucking the least in the Big East.)  Finally, Alabama will get the second SEC nod and match-up against Pac 12 runner-up and Heisman Finalist Stanford and QB Andrew Luck in the Orange Bowl.   Boise State will be left on the outside, despite a top ten ranking by virtue of their inability to win the MWC, despite conference champion TCU being ranked lower.

2 – LSU loses one, but Oklahoma St wins out

Scenario #2 is a fairly unlikely scenario since the LSU-Arkansas game is played at LSU.  The more likely chance for the upset will be against Georgia in the SEC Championship game since it is played in their backyard, but I digress.  Should this scenario play out, I see Alabama getting the reward of playing in the National Championship Game against Oklahoma State.  LSU would still get a BCS Bowl (provided the loss is to Arkansas and not in the SEC Championship Game – in which case that winner would get a BCS game, leaving LSU to try and understand what went wrong).  LSU would match up against Houston, Oklahoma as an at-large would get Pac 10 runner-up Stanford, while West Virginia and Virginia Tech would tussle in the Orange Bowl.  Only the Rose Bowl would remain the same.

3 – Both LSU and Oklahoma St lose one

This is the most unlikely, yet most interesting scenario to me.  In the event that this should happen, I still feel Alabama is the benefactor of the LSU misstep.  But the biggest beneficiary would be Oregon.  Stanford would get the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin and Oklahoma would find itself in the Fiesta Bowl once again, facing at-large Houston.  Michigan State could see an invite as a second Big Ten team against the SEC second team LSU in the Orange Bowl.  The Sugar Bowl would pit ACC Champion Virginia Tech against Big Ten runner-up Michigan State.

Why am I even talking about this?

Of course, all this is interesting and we know the saying, “Any given Saturday” is certainly applicable when these teams will be battling for the coveted cash cow of a BCS game.  Of course, any of this could change and there are certainly tie-breaking factors in play that I have researched but not discussed, but that isn’t what I’m writing this for anyway.  So then, why do I bring all this up?

The point is that it’s all going to change.  In fact, just today, ESPN posted a piece by Gene Wojciechowski citing proposed changes in the next BCS agreement.  Sweeping changes.  Changes such as the BCS relinquishing the AQ status of conferences or even so far as to give up the responsibility of providing teams for the Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, and Rose Bowls, but rather, only providing a matchup of #1 and #2, leaving the responsibility of filling the “BCS Bowls” the to the organization itself.  But why now?  The BCS has been on the receiving end of ridicule for its participation in the exclusion of the non-AQ schools such as Boise State, TCU, Utah, and Hawaii and their chance to play for a national title.  I don’t know many people who don’t believe Utah didn’t deserve a chance to play for it in 2008 when they beat Alabama or TCU last year.

The drawback is that it would also eliminate the cap of two teams per conference in the “BCS Bowls” and in a year like this one, you could see the SEC with three potential teams.  However, that would also allow the best bowls to not be obligated to take an unranked Big East team like they were last season and likely this one as well just to meet an obligation.

The BCS is corrupt – I don’t know how you could argue the other side of it.  Changes are needed.  The article mentions the playoff system or even the plus one scenario but make no doubt about it, change is needed.  The fact that they are talking now is good.  It’s too bad it can’t be taken care of this year.  I’m sure nobody wants to see a near .500 team from the Big East getting rewarded for its excellence in mediocrity.  But until then, it will be fun to dream of possibilities and at the same time, poke fun at the BCS for believing that it has college football’s interests in mind.

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2 Responses to The BS of the BCS

  1. Carl says:

    Well….scenario 2 is out. And suddenly lots of pressure on scenario 1 and LSU. If they lose, what justification does the BCS system have to say that it works and produces the 2 best teams in college football to play for the National Championship? Oh, and if LSU does lose, a follow up scenario will be needed, AND it will be much longer.

  2. Matt says:

    Lemme see here. #2, #4, #5, and #7 all lose, completely devaluing my whole post (at least the scenarios.) I’m not quite sure how the three big winners in the Big Ten (MSU, UM, and Wisconsin) all win – convincingly – and all move about one spot each up in the polls. Oregon falls 6 spots, but OkSt only falls 2? Oklahoma has lost 2 of its last 4 and only slips 4 spots? I thought it mattered when you lose? Georgia hasn’t lost since Sept 10 (9 wins in a row) and still can’t crack the top ten. (Head shaking)

    I don’t get it.

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