But...the BCS is still Broken
In addition to congratulating Texas and USC on their undefeated seasons, I would like to congratulate one more entity that won something this weekend. I would like to congratulate the Bowl Championship Series, its sponsors, conferences, bowls and network. This weekend the BCS won validity as the only two undefeated teams this season will play one another in the Rose Bowl for the National Championship, preceded by an undercard of dream games that the BCS was implemented to provide when it merged the Rose Bowl with the Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta Bowls, prioritizing the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup over traditional conference-bowl pairings.
There is no third, fourth, and fifth undefeated team like 2004, no trinity of one-loss teams with a convoluted, unexplained ranking system anointing one team the second best even though they lost their final game of the regular season like 2003, and for that matter 2001. In fact there is almost no controversy at all this year. Almost no cry for a playoff system parallel to the NFL, or every other major professional or collegiate sport…Almost.
In surprising news, Congress has scheduled hearings to discuss the “flawed” BCS system and while Congress’ need to get involved in issues like this during a time of war and natural disaster relief can be viewed as meddlesome even by me, the perception is shared by almost everyone that covers the sport of College Football. The BCS is “flawed”, the fact that the lack of controversy in the BCS is as much of a story as the success of USC and Texas, is a revelation to how flawed the system is.
In a pool of 117 teams, it is almost impossible to determine the top 2 through a period of 12 weeks. With few schools playing common opponents in different conferences, it is short sighted to judge a 2nd ranked teams’ body of work to that of even the 8th ranked, as superior. It is almost corrupt to do it through a means of arbitrary polls, and scientific computer polls with criteria by which the public has almost no knowledge.
When an eight team, seven game playoff system would provide an excitement unparalleled in any sport, professional or college would serve the public interest better, the current system is defended mainly by those who benefit from it; the bowls themselves. You will hear my friend Paul Amin argue the other side to this debate on his blog News U Can't Use He will articulately argue some points that say the current system serves college football fans just fine, if not better than a playoff system would.
To him, I say that if the two best teams play each other on January 4th or after an exciting eight team playoff, he will be just as right. However with the current system in place we will always be skeptical if we are getting the best National Championship possible.