In my haste to finish my last post The BS of the BCS I think I rushed a few thoughts and then the weekend from nowhere happened and half the top ten lost, completely marking my post as near irrelevant. In the wake of that, I decided I needed to write again to better articulate my thoughts on the BCS and the craziness that is College Football.
To help me keep this organized, I’ve come up with my four points: The BYU Quandary, the Duplicity of Collegiate back-biting, the BCS AQ juxtaposition, and the Top 25 Merry-Go-Round.
1. The BYU Quandary
In the past 18 months BYU has decided on Independence in football as well as explored conference affiliation in the Big XII and the Big East. In short, they’ve appeared to be as fickle as a high school teenager. On the surface, it appears that BYU doesn’t have any clue what it wants. I believe this couldn’t be further from the truth. The nation is gripped by this wave of “Super Conferences” and what it could mean to those who are left out. I think BYU means for its football team to be relevant in the landscape of college football and whatever that means, they will do. I’m not going to delve too deeply here because I plan to write another post specifically about BYU. I write it down because BYU is just at the forefront of this never-ending carousel because in spite of what people want to believe, BYU is relevant, is at the forefront, and can be a leader in collegiate sports.
What we’ve seen is every major conference make targeted raids on the top teams in other conferences, with the MWC, the Big XII, and the Big East being the main targets of poaching. TCU has switched twice now. Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, West Virginia, Texas A&M, and Boise State have all been on the move. And there are many more. Everyone wants to be in the group of “haves” and who can blame them?
Unfortunately, that leads me to my second point:
2. The Duplicity of the Collegiate Back-biting
In 1978, San Diego State University joined the WAC conference to replace departing charter members Arizona and Arizona State. In 1999, 8 members of the super-sized WAC defected and chartered a new conference, the Mountain West Conference. BYU and SDSU were charter members. For longer than my lifetime, these two schools were partners in sports and more. Then, inexplicably, SDSU decided it had had enough of riding BYU’s coattails and started taking offense at BYU’s desire to expand their brand. Last year, conference realignment came knocking again, Utah took off for greener pastures and BYU decided it had finally reached the point where it could no longer co-exist with the MWC and they bolted for independence. Then the non-sense and back-biting came out. As covered by The Upset Blog’s Zach Bloxham, a SDSU Associate Athletic Director sent an email offering to discuss the “disadvantages of being in the conference with BYU.” Click here to read Zach’s post about it.
Long-time rivals Texas and Texas A&M have butted heads, causing A&M to leave for the SEC. Missouri is exploring the same option. West Virginia is fighting against its former conference mates and the league itself to get out of the Big East.
What happened to camaraderie?
3. The BCS AQ Juxtaposition
In my previous post, I discussed the article by Gene Wojciechowski that outlined some of the proposed changes that the BCS may make in 2014 during its next discussion for the governing of college football. Among those is the belief that the BCS will do away with the automatic qualifier for the major conference champions. While at first glance this appears to be a win for the “mid-majors” and BYU, it doesn’t seem so much to me. Dissolving the qualifications and granting those rights to the bowl games involved (Rose, Fiesta, Orange, and Sugar) would almost eliminate the chance for a BYU to make one of those games because none of those leagues are going to sign contracts with BYU to play in its game. Yes, the renegotiation that will occur with individual bowl games will likely allow an independent BYU to play in the bowl games that are perceived to be better quality, e.g. a bowl game in the new year. But the top tier bowls are going to negotiate to take the top teams from the top conferences and the exclusion will be even more prevalent.
4. The Top 25 Merry-Go-Round
Referencing my previous post, I made some predictions as to how I saw the rest of the season playing out, and I’ll admit, it seems narrow-minded now. Of course, I don’t think anyone reading this post would have thought my predictions too outlandish. But then half the Top 10 lost this past weekend and now everyone is asking, “Who will play in the BCS National Championship Game?” I don’t know many who see LSU losing either of its next two games, which would place them in the big game. However, that’s where the drama begins. Who plays LSU? If Alabama wins, they have to remain #2 in the country and would be the team that gets to play. But who wants a rematch? If the voters decide they don’t want a rematch, the system will have some of its flaws exposed. But if it isn’t Alabama, then who?
In conclusion, the BCS is a terrible system. The bowl games have become exclusive and the exclusivity has created envy amongst the “have-nots.” And because the “have-nots” have found a way to gate-crash the party, the hosts are finding new ways to keep them out. The constant shifting has created a frenzy of activity for those teams (and conferences) trying to remain relevant and caused bad blood to boil to the surface among one-time friends.