Lets’ face it: the BCS is a piece of garbage. It encourages unsportsmanlike behavior – and there really seems to be too much of that these days – by forcing teams to run up scores to maintain high poll positions. It encourages corruption by allowing poll voters to affect dramatic changes at the last minute, bowing to political pressure. It has resulted in weaker overall bowl matchups. And worst of all, it denies us the ability to settle the matter of the championship on the field.
Auburn, who will face ninth-ranked and two loss Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, are the first team to go undefeated in the SEC and be denied a shot at the title. They beat three top ten teams, and a good Tennessee team twice. Auburn would actually be better off under the pre-BCS system because there would at least be the possibility of sharing the title.
California led Texas in the BCS and was poised for a deserved shot in the Rose Bowl until, at the last minute, the last night of college football – on a night when Cal faced a tough competitor in Southern Miss after a long trip across the country – some voters raised Texas above Cal. This came after two weeks of politicking by Texas coach Matt Brown. There were even reports that some ballots in Texas were submitted before the games were even done.
California passed on the opportunity to score a very late, meaningless touch down, and it’s likely that move had an impact on their drop in the polls. There is no longer any room for sportsmanship when a game is in hand. A team competing for positioning in the BCS has no choice but to pummel its opponents.
The tie-ins the major bowls now have to conference championships has resulted in an 8-3 Pittburgh team playing undefeated Utah in the Fiesta Bowl, and a two loss Virginia Tech taking on undefeated Auburn in the Orange. Meanwhile, one loss Cal takes on 7-4 Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl. Are these the best possible matchups that could have been put together?
I don’t think the creators of the BCS envisioned what we have now. I really believe it was an attempt to have something better. But it’s time to admit that the system is a failure, and move on. The old system is better than what we have now. A playoff system is very feasible – given that it already exists in every sport except major college football- and would generate even more money than the current bowl system. The argument that it would take too much time away from the players’ schoolwork is rubbish. Will we ever know the true details of the conspiracy among the university presidents, the bowls, and any number of parties, to deny us an honest playoff system? I doubt it. But it is shameful that the presidents of the NCAA-member universities allow such a system, that encourages corruption and poor sportsmanship, to exist.
Jerry Work is an entrepreneur, musician, and sports fan in Nashville, Tennessee. His company, Work Media, is the founder of email@example.com