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Non-BCS teams in bolw games
This post was spurred by the mention of the new Rose Bowl rule incorporating non-BCS teams covered by Brian yesterday and today. I post it mainly because it's June, but also because I'm interested in the blogs' overall verdict on this proposition:
Resolved, in a perfect (non-lawsuit) world, non-BCS schools should not be involved in BCS Bowls or the BCS championship game. Rationale: because they are not as good**. Agree or disagree?
My sentiments are betrayed in the subject line, but I'll attempt to briefly elaborate. The three main arguments in favor of non-BCS inclusion are: 1- it's fair, 2- the BCS is an illegal monopoly, and 3- superior non-BCS teams deserve to be in, and recent bowls have proven they belong.
For brevity's sake I won't address #2 as it's economic in nature. And regarding #1, I'll say this: so? The existence of the BCS, polls, life, and any number of things that won't change shows that life is not fair. And adding one team doesn't change that. Did you know that "According to Jim" is still on the air?
On to #3. While it's perfectly legitimate to say that Boise and Utah proved their worth by winning, I say "not so fast my friend." I have an explanation that may or may not be persuasive: the BCS itself. This unfortunate creation has not only warped the system, making it's presence felt in scheduling (cupcakes for non-conference games), but it has also devalued every bowl except the Championship game When Alabama and Oklahoma played in those prestigious Bowls, they were actually DISAPPOINTED to be there. Teams in that situation are always in potential trouble of not playing to their usual level. If Bama has to play, say, LSU or USC, some of that is mitigated by the glamour of the matchup and the challenge of playing a top program. If they have to play Utah, who they believe, in their non-media interview hearts they should easily beat, then watch out. And when a decent team like Utah has everything to play for and the team they face does not, upsets are thus created. Which then perpetuate the (IMO false) notion that those teams belong in the first place.
I don't know anyone who believes the quality of the football played in the Mountain West/MAC/WAC equals the B10 the Big East or even the ACC. And from players sent to the NFL, recruiting rankings of the current players, strength of schedule, and records against outside ranked teams, most data supports what we intuitively know. IMO Utah would have finished no better than 4th in the B10, so for Brian to say that it would be a wash between a non-BCS team and the 2nd place P10 team, I revolt.
The Bowl system is an oligarchy, but one of (mostly) merit, based upon getting though the best conferences with the highest level of talent with the best records. Why make a flawed system even more flawed by including teams that never would get there if they were playing in the top conferences in the first place?
Agree or not?
* Kind of a dumb statement in itself but meant to drive readership so I can get a general sense of the blog while still conveying my innermost, slightly sheepish feelings.
** See above