OT: BCS maintaining the importance of the regular season

Submitted by JDVan on January 10th, 2012 at 11:10 AM

The largest reason given by the BCS for not having a playoff is maintaining the importance of the regular season. With Alabama winning the NC game was the regular season worthless?



January 10th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

not at all, if Ok St had beaten Iowa St or Stanford had beaten Oregon, they would have played for the title.  Why does everyone act like those teams didn't lose?  If bama had lost another game they certainly wouldn't have been in the title game.

All of this nonsense comes down to the same old thing we always have, when you have teams with the same number of losses at the end of the year, you have to pick one to play in the title game.  You guys just don't like the one they picked.


January 10th, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

didn't like the team that got picked specficially because it seemed to ignore the regular season.  Alabama played an easier schedule than most of the one loss teams.  Alabama already lost to LSU.  Alabama did not win their conference.  Oklahoma St. played a much tougher schedule and just suffered one loss away.  I think many people are mad because the decision to thrust Alabama into the title game sent the message that regular season preformance is not the most important thing.


January 10th, 2012 at 11:33 AM ^

again, it didn't ignore the regular season, it just came to a conclusion you don't like,  many people want to ignore the fact that Ok St lost a game this year.

bama did not have an easier schedule than most of the 1 loss teams.  they arguably had an easier schedule than Ok St but they did better with it.  yes they both lost 1 game but Bama's loss was against the #1 team and Ok St lost to an Iowa St team that went 6 and 7, they beat A&M by 1 and played a nailbiter with K St.  Bama destroyed everyone they played except the 1 game against the #1 team.  I'm not saying it not legit to believe that Ok St had a better claim, but its certainly reasonable to feel the other, which of course a majority of coaches and media did.


January 10th, 2012 at 12:53 PM ^

Alabama did not "destroy" everyone they played. They had trouble during their game with Georgia Southern, an FCS team, for most of the game and scored a final TD with less than 1.5 minutes left, when they could/should have just kneeled down to run out the clock. Georgia Southern scored 21 points on Alabama, the most scored on them all season.

For comparison, Georgia Southern lost in the FCS playoffs to eventual champion North Dakota St. by 35-7.

And before you claim that Alabama was playing with their backups, their last scoring drive, that lasted to near the end of the game, featured runs by T. Richardson and a TD pass by McCarron to Smelley, all offensive starters.

Also, their game against MissSt. was hardly a destruction. The game featured a 7-0 halftime score and another LATE TD scored with less than a minute and a half left. For the season, Alabama scored TD's in the fourth quarter 3 times with a minute and a half left in the game, and had another game where they scored a late TD(7 minutes left in the game). And they also played their starters well into the fourth quarter of every game they played, even the blowout games.

The point of this post being that Alabama, and Saban, were playing every game for style points, except the games against LSU.


January 10th, 2012 at 11:19 AM ^

One of the reasons I don't like the one they picked is that they already had a shot at beating the concensus number one.  It seems that a prevailing sentiment in favor of the current layout is that "every week" matters; 'Bama's loss at home against LSU didn't matter in the end.  Oklahoma State's did.


January 10th, 2012 at 12:04 PM ^

Sure there is.  Oklahoma State won their conference.  Alabama didn't even win their division.  That's an important distinction that I think trumps the "Oklahoma States loss is worse than Alabama's" argument.  LSU dispatched Alabama in early November and shouldn't have had to do it again when there was another 1 loss team out there with better credentials.


January 10th, 2012 at 1:03 PM ^

Scary that people are upvoting this post.

You went completely off point.  The previous poster said that picking Alabama made their loss not matter, I responded that picking any of the one loss teams would in effect make their loss not matter and that there was no way around that.  You responded with some stuff about about the relative credentials of 2 of the 1 loss teams.  I suspect you would have to admit that choosing Ok St would have made their loss to Iowa St irrelevant, you'd have to because its a fact.

But since you went to relative credentials, you state that there was another 1 loss team with better credentials as if its fact when its just your opinion, an opinion not shared by the majority of coaches and media who have votes.  I noted elsewhere that Ok St not only lost to a 6 (now 7) loss Iowa St team but also beat a 6 loss A&M by 1 and needed a late td to get by K St.  Alabama lost one game by 3 in OT to the #1 team in the country, a team which beat Oregon and WVU decisively.  Alabama destroyed everyone else they played.  Those are the facts.


January 10th, 2012 at 1:48 PM ^

No I didn't, I simply am arguing that selecting a team based on the quality of their losses makes less sense than selecting teams based on the quality of their season.  Oklahoma State getting picked over Alabama wouldn't make their loss to Iowa State irrelevant, but the fact that you're picking Alabama over Oklahoma State ignores the fact that OSU won their conference, which I think matters a whole lot more than the quality of either team's loss.


January 10th, 2012 at 3:05 PM ^

Quality of Losses vs. Conference Championship is a completely subjective argument.  The only reason Alabama didn't win their conf championship is because they happened to be in the same division of the same conference as the consensus #1 team in the nation (until last night).  That is a subjective thing that Alabama can't control.  I tend to agree with you in that I would've prefered to see OSU play last night but it all comes down to opinion on what a resume looks like at the end of the day.


January 10th, 2012 at 4:53 PM ^

Any argument, by definition, is subjective.  The whole BCS System is based on subjectivity.  The point I'm making is that when your system favors subjective assessments like "How bad was that loss?" over objective assessments like "What tangible things did you accomplish?" you wind up with bullshit match-ups like we saw last night.

The SEC faithful must be delighted this morning, as the BCS has finally regressed to where their conference is the whole of college football.


January 10th, 2012 at 8:21 PM ^

Your "tangible thing" - a conference championship - is just as subjective as the quality of a loss when you get past the simple term "conference champion'.  It's all dependent on quality of the conference, who you miss in conference, etc etc etc.  Boise St. only had one loss (a better loss than OSU) and they were conf. champions...they trump OSU in your argument.

wait for it....

Oh yeah that "tangible thing" gets scrapped because their conference sucks.  Here we are back at square one arguing opinions over what really makes a team more qualified as the second best team in the country.


January 11th, 2012 at 10:24 AM ^

No it's not.  Did you win your conference, yes or no?  There is nothing subjective about that.  Once you get past that initial filter, then you can start talking about quality of wins and losses and how good your conference is. 

You want to have a debate about whether Boise State is a more worthy BCS opponent for LSU than Oklahoma State, or Oregon, or Wisconsin, or even WVU?  Fine.  You want to debate whether the Mountain West is a stronger conference than the Big 12, fine as well, but at least we're starting at an objective talking point of "Which conference champs are the best choices to play for the National Championship?" 

Does this screw teams like Stanford and Alabama, who had strong years?  Yep, but if we're not going to have a playoff system where at large teams are given a shot and are going to stick with a playoff pool of two, then I think conference championships matter more than to whom you lost.


January 11th, 2012 at 2:46 PM ^

"Yep, but if we're not going to have a playoff system where at large teams are given a shot and are going to stick with a playoff pool of two, then I think conference championships matter more than to whom you lost."

That's great, it just so happens that a very large number of people think the opposite due to the subjective nature of conference strength from one year to the next (and the overall subjectivity of comapring conferences as a whole).  Brings us right back to square one where you just have a different opinion.  Doesn't make it wrong, doesn't make it right, just stop acting like the term "conference champion" removes doubt as to whether a team deserves to be in the national title game.


January 10th, 2012 at 2:10 PM ^

You conveniently left out okie state's victories over Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, and K state (although you mentioned the last victory, you somehow think a tight victory over a team widely regarded as being snubbed from the BCS is a bad thing). Why didn't you mention those facts?


January 10th, 2012 at 1:36 PM ^

To me, this season made a strong argument for a playoff.  A playoff may have resulted in Alabama versus LSU, just like last night.  BUT, given the current situation where the "regular season is a playoff", I was displeased that Alabama got another shot.  It's easy to look after the fact and say that they were most deserving of it.  There are three things that stuck out most to me about Alabama: 1) didn't win their conference, and 2) didn't win their divison, 3) got beat at home.  This is all moot now, but whatever.


January 10th, 2012 at 11:40 AM ^

is because the TWO BEST TEAMS should play, and every week every team gets the chance to prove they are one of the two best teams.

LSU proved it every week.

Bama's loss to LSU proved one thing: that LSU was better than them on that day.  It did not prove that a bunch of other teams were better or were more deserving.  I think the problem with all of this is that conference schedule is the killer.

Boise had the same amount of losses as Alabama, so how were they not deserving based on # of losses, a playoff of the best 8 teams would solve this easily.  Arkansas could easily be the 3rd best team in the land, but we'll never know because of the conference they were in game them two losses, which sent them to a lesser bowl instead of a low seaded playoff spot.

At least a playoff spot would still be something to play for if you lose because of a tough schedule (like Arkansas).


Ok, ramble is over.


January 10th, 2012 at 1:07 PM ^

but of course you want to render "moot" Ok St's loss to Iowa St.  Why is that ok?

You're effectively saying that losses in big games to really good teams should hurt a team's status/ranking more than losses to bad teams.  I'm sorry but that makes no sense.


January 10th, 2012 at 1:24 PM ^

It's "OK" because Oklahoma State went on to win their conference championship despite losing to Iowa State.  Alabama's loss cost them their chance to do that in their conference.  Debating the quality of wins and losses is pointless because it's subjective.  The fact that the BCS pitted the SEC Champion against the 2nd place finisher in the SEC West over the 11-1 Big 12 Champion just highlights how the system produces illogical results and is bullshit.


January 10th, 2012 at 3:08 PM ^

See my argument above, of course the fact that LSU is actually in the same division of the same conference as Bama isn't a subjective thing.  But when arguing whether the loss to LSU should eliminate Bama from BCS contention it's a compeltely subjective argument when comparing that criteria to quality off that 1 loss.  You keep arguing a point that has no basis in fact.


January 10th, 2012 at 4:10 PM ^

We already saw Alabama vs. LSU. Why should there be round two? And if we're going to have a round 2, why not a round 3? The season series is tied now. At least that way the season series wouldn't be tied at 1-1. And while we're at it, let's just make it a best of seven.

Wow, I think ESPN just had orgasm at that thought. New plan. Scrap everything else. From now on, at the beginning of the season the media will decide who the best two teams in the SEC are, and then those two teams can have a best of 13 series to decide the national champion.


January 10th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

The reason the BCS made the regular season meaningless this year is because we ended up with a rematch for the National Title Game. Ask yourself, what does it mean for a regular season game to be meaningless? I'll answer that: It means that if the outcome had been different, it would have led to different results. This is not the case for the Alabama LSU game. If Alabama had won round 1, we would have gotten a rematch anyway. Hence, the first game was meaningless.

If Okie St. had been selected for the NCG instead, we wouldn't have been glossing over their loss to Iowa State. We would have simply been saying, "Okay, we already saw Alabama vs. LSU during the regular season, and we got an outcome, so there's no point in throwing that outcome out the window. What's our next best option?"


January 10th, 2012 at 11:55 AM ^

Okie St won thier conference and thier loss was on the road. Stanford is out because they didnt even win thier division

Alabama lost a home game, didnt score a touchdown in that game, not only did they not win thier conference, they didnt even win thier division. To top it off that home loss came to the team they met in the title game meaning LSU had to beat Bama twice to win the title.

The BCS is an absolute joke, the only way they would have gotten it right was for Okie state to play LSU due to the circumstances.

It has nothing to do with not liking the team they put in there, without a playoff, there is no way Bama should have made that game given they didnt even win the division they are in.

Last night wasnt a national title game IMO, it was another SEC title game. The BCS is flawed, the whole bowl system is garbage.


January 10th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

Yes it was.(Sorta)  They lost their division and they lost to LSU the first time around.  This was essentially a two team playoff.  The downside was that no team with an offensive pulse got a shot at the title.  This year's regular season was like seeding for a two team playoff: doing well, winning games, and winnging your conference didn't matter as long as people thought you were good.


January 10th, 2012 at 11:15 AM ^

...is yes.

The first LSU/Bama game meant, what exactly?  A preseason matchup?  A teaser?  It was meaningless.  

The BCS actually made sure that much of the regular season is worthless with this matchup. 


January 10th, 2012 at 11:15 AM ^

for SEC teams not to lose more than one game in the regular season.  If an SEC team does lose more than one game, they will only be given token consideration for inclusion in the Championship game.

Other major conference teams should not lose at all if they wish to be considered.

Mid-major conference teams must lose negative one games in order to be considered.

Bill in Birmingham

January 10th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

This argument always has been and always will be bullshit. It is drivel designed to pretend the status quo makes sense.

If this argument holds water, let's vote the two best college basketball teams #1 and #2. Let them play for the national championship. Then let the other 62 teams play exhibition games that are a lot of fun and help determine #3-25 in the final polls, but have no bearning on determining a champion. What say you, Mr. Emmert?

Mitch Cumstein

January 10th, 2012 at 11:50 AM ^

I think we really need to re-examine what "best" team means.  In basketball, many more teams have opportunities to make the final tourney.  From then it takes 6 straight wins to be the champion and therefor the "best" team.  I would argue that knowing the rules and how the champion is determined before the season, allows for teams to prepare to win the championship, and thus be the "best" team given the criterea of the system.  Not necessarily the "best" team as you define above.

In the BCS, human poll influence hinders many teams' abilities to even make the final tourney (2 team tourney) before the season even starts.  In basketball, every team has a chance to be champion before the season starts (auto-bids).


January 10th, 2012 at 12:22 PM ^

Well, "best" is a subjective term and open for debate.  The fallacy people make is when they equate "champion" with "best".  Champions can be quantitatively determined by results as played out, but that doesn't necessarily make them the "best".

Mitch Cumstein

January 10th, 2012 at 12:36 PM ^

But nor does winning the regular season.  People love to make the argument that the playoff winner wasn't the "best" team b/c they didn't prove it during the regular season.  This logic makes the huge assumption that the regular season winner is always the "best" team.  That is my point.  Of course the playoff winner isn't always the "best" team if you assume the regular season winner is the "best" team 100% of the time.


January 10th, 2012 at 11:46 AM ^

I understand the /s here, but you bring up a great point. Isn't taking down a juggernaut one of the things that makes sports so great? How about the 1954 Indians, who won 111 games (a record at the time in the American League) but got swept in the Series thanks to Willie Mays' heroics? How about the 2001 Mariners, who won 117 games but got knocked out in the ALCS? Or Michigan beating Greater Columbus Community College 24-12 in 1969? We talk about these games and series precisely because the juggernaut was given the opportunity to fail. The more tests a team endures, the more interesting that team's body of work is.


January 10th, 2012 at 11:32 AM ^

The BCS and all of their cronies are now in self preservation mode, and they're grasping at straws to try and remain relevant so they can still collect their paychecks.  A small selective playoff, like the one Brian and others have suggested, preserves the importance of the regular season just as well as the current system does.  The justifications they give for trying to keep the BCS intact are hollow sentiments aimed at trying to convince everyone that the status quo is something we should all embrace. 


January 10th, 2012 at 11:37 AM ^

It does not compute to call the people in charge money-grubbing assholes, and then assume that if you put those money-grubbing assholes in charge of a playoff instead, that they will let the playoff be a tiny little "small, selective" affair.  If there's money to be made in a playoff, then there's even more money to be made in a very big one, and all those people who demanded that the BCS be scrapped in favor of a small playoff will be as pissed off as they were before, only now it will also be ruined for those of us who liked the bowl system too.


January 10th, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

1.  I never called anyone a "money grubbing asshole".

2.  The majority of the argument doesn't seem to be Current Bowl System vs Tiny Playoff.  The issue is that the Bowl System is not a good way of determining the national champion.  Large or small, no one seems to dispute that a playoff is a sound way to choose a champion.  Rarely have I heard anyone complain about the validity of a tourney champ in NCAA hoops or any other sport. 

3.  The logistics of having a "very big" playoff don't work for football like they do in basketball.  An 8 team playoff would be pushing it and I think  the NCAA can figure this out.  You wouldn't have to be pissed off about losing the bowl system.  It will probably still be there waiting to provide you with decent matchups of teams that range from "so so" to "good but not great" from early December until NYE.  Then on Jan 1st you could have a legit way to settle on a national champ as a bonus.


January 10th, 2012 at 11:55 AM ^

An 8 team playoff system which includes the winners of each conference and couple of at large bids would by no means diminish the regular season.  And, the argument having the season go on too long for college players is over exagerrated.  A total of 2 teams would play two more games if they made to the championship game.  2 more teams would play exactly 1 more game than the current system. 


January 10th, 2012 at 12:30 PM ^

The problem is that this model could theoretically have UCLA (having shocked Oregon in the Pac-12 finale) in, while one-loss Stanford sat at home. Or any number of deserving 2 loss teams.

And that is just the silliest of examples. There could be a ton of 2-loss conference champs in, while 1-loss runners up stay home. This year, we'd have Clemson, Wisconsin, Oregon, LSU, OkSt, and one of the three Big East Champs. Alabama would have been in. Where would the last at-large bid have gone? Wouldn't there be a shitstorm of controversy, no matter who it went to? This is why conference championship games themselves diminish the importance of the regular season, and the playoffs would just do it more.

Make no mistake, what we are proposing is a completely new paradigm in which the college championsip no longer tries to crown the best team, but the one who has the best 4-game stretch at the end of the season. If that's OK with you, fine, but let's not pretend that it isn't a drastic departure from the game we love, and that it doesn't water down the regular season. 


January 10th, 2012 at 12:16 PM ^

A lot of you guys like the idea of a playoff, but how on earth would that help?

If we have this much trouble picking the best one-loss team, how would we be able to chose the best two-loss teams out of a pool of 10 or so?

Let's use this year's field: assuming an 8 team playoff, which three teams deserve to go out of Oregon, Arkansas, K-State, South Carolina, Wisconsin, VT, Michigan, TCU, and Southern Miss? Should one-loss Houston make it? Maybe three-loss Georgia or Clemson?

A playoff would introduce more debate, not less. I would give the Champion more legitimacy, in most cases, but suppose a 3=loss conference champion Clemson is ranked #7 and goes on to beat undefeated LSU in the finale? Did they have the better season?

The real question is: do we want an NFL-model that rewards the team who had the best final 3 weeks, or do we want a collegiate model that tries to decide who had the best season?

Because nothing that has been proposed can provide a suitable solution, barring a drastic change in the very nature of the game from the champ having the best season to the champ simply being the hottest team at the end, I'd much rather have the old bowl/poll system, and the occasional split national championship. Why is that so bad? I'd even have a stipulation allowing for the occasional +1 as an exhibition between the AP/Coaches Champions in cases of a tie.