According to the convoluted formulas of the BCS, even if Stanford does not lose another game, they could be shut out of representing the PAC10 in the Rose Bowl. I would have to think that this would make Harbaugh a very unhappy camper, and I wouldn't blame him. This is nuts.
Picking up from last year, I'll be starting a weekly analysis on the BCS standings since we're getting close to the time it actually starts to matter and the variables get reduced. First, your updated BCS standings:
4) Boise St
So what this means is:
- Oregon and Auburn / Alabama likely control their destiny. Oregon more so, since they have no real roadblocks on the way to a #1 or #2 BCS ranking. Auburn may jump them at the end if they beat Bama and win the SEC, but the Ducks got a slot if they keep winning.
- I still think Alabama will jump all the non-AQ teams if they beat Auburn and win the SEC champ game. Voting pools still make a huge portion of the polls and I have a hard time thinking more "traditional" college football pollsters will not move Bama up considerably with those two wins, and the computers are going to give Bama a big time trampoline-like bounce with potential wins against Auburn and an SEC champ game opponent.
- The non-AQ is playing out as I thought a couple weeks ago. For a slot opposite Oregon or Auburn/Bama should one of the two slip up, it's the TCU/Utah winner, not Boise St. the computers and voters are more impressed with TCU's quality wins at this point over Boise St, and the game against Utah is going to far outweigh any bump in computers's Boise's going to get from either Hawaii or Nevada.
- I also think though, that you're looking at 2 non-AQ's in BCS at large berths. So with that, we're looking at (10 bids overall):
BCS CHAMP 1: Oregon
BCS CHAMP 2: Auburn
ACC: Va Tech/ FSU winner (likely only 1 team)
BIG EAST: Pittsburgh? (Do we have to?)
BIG TEN: Wisconsin or Iowa or tOSU at this point, but more thoughts below
SEC: see above
BIG 12: Nebraska / Mizzou / Oklahoma winner (likely 1 team)
PAC 10: see above
Fill- in for Auburn's SEC (champ slot replacement rules): (1 loss) Alabama
Fill-in for Oregon's PAC-10 (champ slot replacment rules): Stanford / Arizona
At-Large 1: TCU / Utah winner
At-Large 2: Boise St
BCS Championship: Oregon v Auburn
Rose Bowl: Stanford/Arizona v. Wisconsin/Iowa/tOSU
Orange Bowl: Va Tech / FSU v. TCU
Sugar Bowl: Alabama v. Pitt
Fiesta Bowl: Okl/Neb/Mizz vs. Boise St
Big Ten: At this point, I think the Big Ten is likely the conference to get most screwed. Lets say Alabama beats Auburn, I still think both the SEC champ game winner AND a 1-loss Auburn get BCS bids. Sugar Bowl's going to take an SEC team if at all humanly possible to replace Auburn's slot. The fill in for Oregon's slot is probably going to be the Pac-10 runner up so the Rose Boel gets it Big Ten v Pac-10 matchup. Both an undefeated TCU/Utah and an undefeated Boise St are probably for to autoqualify for a BCS at-large slot taking one of the second conference slots from the Big Ten. The second team from the Iowa/Wiscy/tOSU triumverate are going to have to hope for a loss by either (TCU and Utah) or Boise St.
- Big games left really are Alabama v Auburn and Boise St vs. Hawaii or Boise v Nevada. TCU v Utah is big terms of who gets a loss, but really, the winner of that should be able to win out and secure themselves a BCS at large slot. Th eonly real drama about TCU . v Utah is that if Utah wins, then Boise probably has the top non-AQ slot from voters, Utah has the top non-AQ slot from computers, and the difference in BCS standings will be miniscule.
- The Iron Bowl is really shaping up as football armageddon 2010. Should Auburn win, they're either the BCS champ rep or the SEC at-large depending on the result of the SEC champ game, but really, Alabama's probably out at that point. If Bama wins, then we are on the verge of absolute chaos. Bama wins the SEC championship, they're probably in the BCS champ with a whole lot of wailing/gnashing of teeth jumping over non-AQ's & 1-loss Oklahoma/Neb. A loss by Bama in the SEC championship and we probably have the first non-AQ in the championship game, most likely TCU, not Boise.
On Rivals.com (free article - not paywall)... idea of schools losing out on 100's of millions by ignoring playoff system... causing budget cuts of lesser sports.
According to ESPN BYU is close to leaving the MWC to become an independent in 2011. Perhaps this portends an eventual move to the PAC-__ or a desire to allow it to schedule its way into the BCS should the team be good enough.
Either way, Orrin Hatch just became less interested in developing a playoff system.
I have read this blog religiously for 2 years but this is the first time I have been compelled to write a diary. I realize this is not a topic people are thinking about all the time right now and that is why I am writing it. I am really tired of the tate/denard/devin and omg wings freakout. Also, I realize this is against the general opinion of most so all I ask is you wait to neg bomb me into oblivion until you have read my arguments. Feel free to rip my arguments to threads in the comments. Finally, as a proud LSA student I am using a blue book essay like format and trying to give an answer the way I would if I got a “Defend the BCS” essay on an exam.
Over the last few years, it has become the popular opinion that the current BCS system needs updating and that that update needs to result in a playoff. Just the other day I was with a group of people and somebody blurted out, “I assume you all agree we need a playoff in college football.” My comment to that was that we actually do technically have a playoff, it is a 2 team playoff. Furthermore, I don’t even like the current system, however I do believe that it is the better than the other options. Also, this is not a defense of using computers to determine the top 2 teams in the land instead of a selection committee.
The major argument you hear against the BCS is “it is not fair.” It is my belief that a 4 team and an 8 team playoff would be unfair for the same reason people claim the current 2 team system is. The first major argument I hear people bring up the 2008 Utah team because they beat one loss Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and finished undefeated. First off, people conveniently ignore the fact that the Alabama team looked like they would rather be anywhere else but playing in the Sugar Bowl instead of the national championship game. This was made painfully obvious when one of Alabama’s best players (if not their best), LT Andre Smith, decided he would rather talk to an agent and get ready to play on the NFL than play in that game. His backup was eaten alive for some unreal stat like 5 sacks. Also, I got the chance to watch that year’s Utah team live as they barely beat an awful 3-9 Michigan team by only two points and in my opinion they did not look that impressive in person. Even if you ignore those points, and still argue for either a 4 or 8 team playoff, it is still unfair because that undefeated Utah team may not have made it into either of the playoff systems. At the end of the regular season in 2006, Utah was ranked 6thin the final BCS poll behind USC (5th, PAC 10 champ), Alabama (4th, at large bid), Texas (3rd, at large bid), Florida (2nd, SEC champ), and Oklahoma (1st, Big 12 Champ). (http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings/_/year/2008/week/16) In a four team playoff (or the plus one idea), the four teams to go would be the top 4 and Utah would be left out. In an eight team playoff, 6 slots would go to the automatic bids for the BCS conferences and then the 2 at larges would go to the top 2 BCS at large teams (Texas and Alabama) leaving Utah out. There are 2 ways for Utah to get in. The first is to give an auto birth to a non-BCS provided they are top 6. In this scenario you would have to leave Alabama (a top 4 team out of the playoff), which in my opinion would be even more unfair them omitting Utah. The other option is to drop the worse BCS auto bid team, this would not happen for monetary reasons because the big 6 conferences need their team represented. What we have in the 8 team situation is no better than the 2 team option because you still don’t get Utah in. This is why we added a 5thBCS bowl; it was just too hard for mid-majors to crack into 8 teams. So where we are now at is needing some version of a 4 week playoff to find a “fair” championship.
I also believe that from a straight logistical standpoint, a 4 week playoff will not work. While I realize the four week format works at the FCS level, I still just don’t see it as an option in major college football. First off, college football is a very dangerous sport and adding 3 extra games ups risk. With conference championship games, the team that reaches the finals will play a mind boggling 17 team games as an amateur athlete. That is literally more games than are in the NFL regular season. Furthermore, I am not sure how people expect student athletes to go through the media craze of a major college football playoff for 4 weeks in December that happens to overlap with fall term finals. If you are willing to dismiss those points, I still don’t see it working because of the ultimate sticking point. Where would these games be held? There is no way the teams from the north would be willing to play all the rounds at traditional bowl sites because that means the #1 team in the nation (if it is from the north that year) would have to play 4 road-like games to win a national championship (which is so unfair it shouldn’t even be mentioned). The only reason the Big Ten agrees to play these road games now is because it is one game and the beauty of one game is northern families and the team themselves will take a weeklong trip to the bowl location making it much less like a road game atmosphere. The teams would be unable to stay on sight for a week all 4 games due to exams and fans would not be able to take 4 separate vacations. This means that the at least first 2 rounds would have to be held at a regional site (bad for attendance) or home sites of the higher seeds. This means eventually Southern teams like those from the SEC would have to take their vaunted speed up north into the cold December weather. Seeing as SEC teams currently almost always refuse to cross the Mason-Dixon Line even in September, I don’t see them signing off on this. This effectively eliminates the four week idea.
Where we now are at is a situation where 2 team, 4 team, and 8 team playoffs are all “unfair” and four week playoffs are a logistical impossibility. At this point you have to select the best of the unfair systems and I submit to you that the best of the 3 is a two team system. The reason for this is you generally get an absolutely great championship game. Even if you disagree with the top 2 teams in the rankings every now and then, you are going to get a game between 2 of the top 3 teams in the country. This means you are going to get a great championship game between 2 great teams. One of my problems with the beloved college basketball tournament is there are too many upsets. It is too random. This makes it exciting to watch but doesn’t promote the best of possible finals. I realize people love Butler but I would have much rather watched a seven game series between Kentucky and Duke, that would be great basketball. It also means you can never take a week off during the regular season because it acts as a 12 week playoff in a way keeping the season exciting. If you had a large playoff you would get a situation where conference championship games may become boring because both teams are locks for the playoffs (similar to how some great college basketball teams yawn during their conference tournaments). To be honest, I don’t think there is one team in the nation that even had an argument that they were more deserving for a championship game then either Texas or Alabama because going undefeated in a major conference is far more impressive then doing it in the WAC. I would be willing to bet if you swapped last year’s Michigan schedule with Boise State’s schedule, that awful Michigan team would have been about 10-2. Basically, in the current system, we determine the championship by having the two best teams play for it. I love this.
In conclusion, while I readily admit that the current system we have to determine a college football champion it far from perfect and can be perceived as unfair, I believe it is the best system that is actually logistically possible. This is because a fair four week playoff would not work and of the remaining options, I would much rather see the one week version that guarantees us a premier national championship game between 2 elite teams.
I am on my annual summer trip to Vegas and checked the odds for UM to win the BCS Championship. UM and some other teams of note:
- OSU - 18 to 5 (pre-season favorite to win)
- Alabama - 4 to 1
- UM - 50 to 1
- MSU - 100 to 1
- UConn - 100 to 1
I LOVE that even though the team is a long shot it is still favored over MSU and UConn!
UM is also favored by 3.5 points over UConn.