Validity of BCS Gripes

Submitted by Vasav on December 5th, 2011 at 5:30 AM

I'm sure you're all as excited as I am about the Sugar Bowl. But I'm sure you've all been pestered by friend/family/co-workers about how M is only there because it's all about the money. Or they have various other gripes. I've decided to classify these gripes, and share my unsolicited opinion with you on the internet. I'll approach this as a conversation with each of the various butthurt partisans.

(Since we are the lowest ranked BCS team in, I'll compare everyone's resume to ours)


Sparty - I'd almost feel bad for you if you were passed over for a BCS game by us. But you weren't - you were outside of the top 14 and therefore ineligible. Why were you outside the top 14, when we both had the same number of losses and you won the head-to-head? And won the division over us? No, not the polls - we were ranked within a spot of each other in all of them. It was the computers. Why? You see, while you beat us by 14, you lost to Nebraska by 21, who lost to us by 28. Triangle of doom. Shall we look at the other loss? Ours was an ugly one in the division to Iowa - by 8 points. Which gave you the edge in the B1G West. Yours was an even uglier thumping at the hands of Notre Dame. Yes, yes, you beat Wiscy on a Hail Mary at home. And then lost to them by 3 at a neutral site. Want to count it as a tie against a top ten team? Doesn't change the fact that If you had shown up at all in that ND game, you may have had a legitimate gripe. You didn't, so you don't. Enjoy Florida. I hear it's nice this time of year.

Oklahoma - Yes, your TT loss doesn't look that much worse than our Iowa loss. And your Baylor loss looks better than our Sparty loss. But the way you got absolutely stomped in the biggest game of your season is way uglier than anything that happened to us. Also, you're 9-3 after that one. You don't deserve anything more than the Copper Bowl.

South Carolina and Arkansas - Nobody wants to hear it. No, the limit on only two teams from a conference isn't holding you back - it keeps you from playing each other. Look, even in your good years nobody wants to see two teams from the same conference play in a bowl game against each other. And the SEC didn't have a good year - Arkansas, your best win is against the Cocks, and your escape against A&M is not as pretty as our escape against Notre Dame. And you got throttled in your two losses - you got beat worse by Bama than Penn State did. Gamecocks, your best win was against Clemson - and your losses against Arkansas and Auburn are comparable to our losses against Sparty and Iowa. But we pretty much thumped everyone else on our schedule except our rivals. Your wins were...uninspiring. The system isn't holding you back at all - your own failures on the field are keeping you out of the party. And no SEC partisans are ever allowed to complain about the BCS again, unless it's talking about how biased pollsters are towards their own.

Boise State - I usually defend you guys, but I'm not going to this time. Yes, you've got only 1 loss, and it was a close one to TCU - better looking than either of our losses alone, and certainly prettier than both put together. And your win over Georgia is comparable to our win over Nebraska. But here's the thing - your next best win was either Tulsa, Wyoming, or SDSU. SDSU was at the bottom of our resume for wins. In fact, it's so far down there we don't even think about where it is. Your second best win is our 7th or 8th best? I've got to go with our resume on this, even with the uglier losses.

Southern Miss - When both of your losses are to teams without winning records, then you have not proven you belong in the BCS. That interview gave me a good laugh though.


TCU - I love how you guys do what you do, and you had an amazing season. Beating Boise on the blue turf and winning the Mountain West is nothing to smirk at. And while your win @Boise may be better than ours against Nebraska, and your losses are comparable to ours, I've got to go with the same argument I had against Boise - the meat of your schedule is the dregs of ours. What's that you say? Why is West Virginia ahead of you? That's a good point, but you guys know how it is in the Mountain West. That's why you're leaving next year. Good luck in the B12.

Baylor - I've had a lot of fun watching you guys, and I'm rooting for RG3 for the Heisman. And your resume isn't bad - beating three ranked teams is far better than us, and getting blown out by OK St is not so bad. Losing to K St by one isn't bad at all either. Getting blown out by A&M is way worse than anything that happened to us though. So yea, your resume is close to ours. But there's a couple of other guys in your conference who belong more, so I don't feel so bad that we're in over you.


Kansas State - You guys should be in a BCS game. Yes, your blowout at home by OU is bad, but your second loss was by seven @the #2 team in the country. You totally have an argument that "it's all about the money." But hey now, don't look at US like that - we weren't the last ones in. That would be the Hokies you have beef with - and truth be told, I think you'd probably travel to NOLA better than them anyway.

But really, getting a chance to play an overrated #6 SEC team in the Cotton Bowl - a game that was "major" back in the Bowl Coalition days - that's a major opportunity for respect, and pretty much a BCS game anyway. I mean, without the massive payout. But that would've gone to Texas as blood money anyway, right?


Oklahoma State - What can anybody say, guys. You got hosed by Alabama. They have two wins over the top 25, you have four. They lost to the #1 team at home, and you lost to an unranked team on the road - your loss is a little worse, your wins are better. No, just cause they blew out a weak schedule doesn't mean anything - you should have gotten the nod from resume alone.

What makes it ridiculous and insufferable is the obvious - this is a rematch, they didn't win their division, they're playing a team from their conference. I know you've been over it a hundred times over in your own heads. I hope you guys beat Stanford and win the Grantland Rice and the Macarthur trophies. I hope Alabama gets crushed.

But really, your gripe is way more legitimate than K-State's. It's probably the most legitimate gripe I've ever heard with regards to the BCS - yes, more legit than Oregon, Auburn, and USC have had in the past. While I've never loved the BCS, I never thought it was so broken as to screw you over for a less deserving team because they came in second in a conference that was good the last couple of years. The system is broken and you've been royally screwed by it, and will watch them play a regional scrimmage.

I'm way more excited for your matchup against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl than I am for the event that precedes LSU's deserved coronation. Good luck, and prove to the nation that you deserve a shot.



December 5th, 2011 at 5:39 AM ^

"What makes it ridiculous and insufferable is the obvious - this is a rematch, they didn't win their division, they're playing a team from their conference. I know you've been over it a hundred times over in your own heads. I hope you guys beat Stanford and win the Grantland Rice and the Macarthur trophies. I hope Alabama gets crushed."- Vasav

The other thing that gets me is that, on ESPN, they sort of implied that the rematch was what "the people" wanted at one point. This makes me believe that the amount of time they spend listening to "the people" (i.e., the public) is exactly zero.  The object lesson here is that, among other things, the BCS is capable of creating games which will bring in a lot of money but be as exciting as C-SPAN. 

I'll watch OK State-Stanford - that will probably be a good game. LSU-Alabama  - I shall await the results the next morning with mild interest (i.e., I'll wait for someone to tell me). 


December 5th, 2011 at 6:09 AM ^

can be tough to stay up for, anyway; could be a long, boring game. (The much-vaunted LSU didn't get a first down in the first half against Georgia.) I'll be one of those getting up to learn the score in the morning.

OP makes a great point that MSU didn't lose out to us, but failed to qualify. None of the voters were out there asking themselves whether M or MSU should go, choosing BETWEEN us. That said, there is a good chance MSU craps the bed against Georgia; I like our odds better. 


December 5th, 2011 at 10:09 AM ^

Honestly, I got the opposite impression from the ESPN slobbershow last night.  Not that "the people" wanted a rematch, but that we the people wanted OkSt. to play LSU.  Which is true; most people do.  I thought the company line was "well, you people want to see Oklahoma State, but you're wrong.  LSU and Alabama are the best two teams in the country."  Which is nauseating because of 2006.


December 5th, 2011 at 4:31 PM ^

Yea, they were saying that everyone wanted OkSt but "this is the system, bla bla bla..."

Then you have them saying that the system put the best two teams in the country against each other so it works. Then you have them bitching about how teams like BSU got screwed. Then you have them all pitching their new BCS systems out there.

They don't know what they think.


December 5th, 2011 at 10:11 AM ^

I'm a Spartan, and I have no issue with the game we got.  The Outback is a good bowl, and the Cap One wasn't good for either side since we've played there too much lately.  We were one game away from the Rose Bowl, and we had to win the game to go.  We didn't.  No BCS game wants a 3 loss team.  Most of us understand that.  Also, we understand that Michigan is a huge brand, so I'm not complaining about UM going to a BCS bowl. 

I think pretty much everyone, though, understands the whole BCS thing is rather slimy.  I have a bigger issue with teams like Oklahoma State not going.  VT got blasted in their game--why isn't Okie State in a BCS?  Also, the Orange Bowl is a joke--why is that even considered a BCS game? 

So, good luck in your bowl game.  We both have good matchups, and hopefully we do the B1G proud. 


December 5th, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

+1 for being a reasonable Sparty.

But Okie State did not get left out of the BCS - they are playing Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. They got the autobid as the B12 champs (and would have gotten an autobid for being ranked 3).

Also, it's interesting that MSU is playing a team in the exact same position: Georgia is 10-3, won their division in an AQ conference but got bounced from the BCS for losing their conference championship.


December 5th, 2011 at 1:19 PM ^

You seem to have a good understanding of some things that most Spartans are not grasping.  it is not to insult them but actually to lessen their pain.  The BCS national championship game picks the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country.  The remainder of the BCS games do not pick the next best eight teams and match them up, that is not the purpose of the remaining BCS games nor has it ever been.  There are conference affiliations that take up many of the spots (if you want to hate anybody, hate West Virginia), and the remaining at large bids do not necessarily go to the "best" teams nor are they supposed to.  The BCS is simply a bowl alliance, formed independently of the NCAA.  Aside from No. 1 v. No. 2, what they want is appealing matchups to the masses, much like the bowl system of old did.  Michigan going to the BCS is not anybody saying that Michigan is "better," they are just the team that the Sugar Bowl wanted, nothing more.  Although I think the Michigan v. Michigan State game was a lot closer than most Spartans admit, State was the better team this year.  And Georgia is probably better than Virginia Tech.  So the Outback bowl has two better teams than the Sugar Bowl.  Nobody, including the Sugar Bowl, is claiming otherwise.  If you are in the National Championship game, you have been identified as one of the two best teams in the country.  If you are anywhere else in the BCS, you are just a good team that a particular bowl wanted.  MSU v. Georgia is going to be a good game, maybe better than the Sugar Bowl, and you don't have to stay up until 1:00 AM on a Tuesday to watch it.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:41 AM ^

I'm really disappointed at how immature Cousins has been about this. Specifically how he called M out for "sitting on a couch watching MSU" yet to still go to a BCS game. That coupled with his statement of how upset he was that his friends still root for Michigan. For such a standup guy, and a leader, he's very petty and immature. Kind of takes on the personality of his coach.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:51 AM ^

....who ever deserved this board's "pretty pretty princess" imposed tagline (and this is coming from a guy who uses Rainbow Dash as his avatar), it would be this kid after hearing the quotes yesterday. Thanks, Kirk, your cries were heard - we'll let you know how things are  in New Orleans. 


December 5th, 2011 at 11:44 AM ^

Seriously.  I never really saw the guy for anything but a bullshit artist, hiding his moral pedantry and pettiness behind a thin veneer of faith and "good sportsmanship."  Good sports don't bitch about not going to a big time bowl.  Take your moral outrage back to the west side.


December 5th, 2011 at 6:05 AM ^

It is almost annonying how bitter MSU is with Michigan.  They have three losses by way of the Big 10 Championship game.  They knew what was at stake but were already making excuses before the game was even played.  The flaw of the Championships for all conferences is exactly what we see this year.  In the past before most conferences had these tournaments it was always a way for the SEC to beef up their position before bowl selection.  But, it cut's both ways.  The loser will fall in the polls. 

Even if a tournament is eventually part of the BCS, Sparty it appears, will still be complaining about teams they beat earlier in the season.  Guess what, there are no do-overs.  Michigan doesn't get credit for the fact that they did not complain much about the Iowa no-touch down call or the fact that we in 2006 got jobbed and should have had the best case for a rematch.  Look we lost at OSU by 3, the consensus homefield advantage figure.  Alabama lost at home to LSU, why should LSU have to play them again on a neutral field.  None of those arguments came from the SEC this time around and they got what they wanted.

Let's home BLUE takes care of business in the bowl and I look forward to going to the game in Texas against Alabama next year.  Hopefully we can start the year on a HIGH note with a Big victory there.




December 5th, 2011 at 6:24 AM ^

Great post. So many of these scenarios should seem easy to see for the teams on the outside. It's hard to understand how State can bitch as much as they are, but then again it's state. You lost your last game after you had all but had it won. Your balls to the wall dirty play came back to haunt you. It is called karma. Now face mask your way down to Florida. Outside of Lansing , nobody gives a shit. Nobody.


December 5th, 2011 at 7:09 AM ^

When ESPN says "This is what the people want" re LSU/Alabama, you have to consider that they are literally the SEC Network. Having two SEC teams in the title game pushes the myth that these teams are head and shoulders above the rest, thus pushing the brand. Never mind that the Big Ten will win the head to head bowl matchups.

One thing that's great is how ESPN analysts were pushing the story on Saturday that the Heisman is between Luck and Richardson and everyone else is playing for a trip to NYC. Heisman polling on Sunday showed RG3 comfortably in front of both, as he should be. (And Honey Badger should be second). There's an award for guys like Luck and Richardson. It's called the first pick in the NFL draft, and it pays much better.



December 5th, 2011 at 7:13 AM ^

Pat Forde has an article on yahoo sports where he says that the Sugar bowl matchup is a travesty. He mostly focuses on VaTech, but mentions we don't deserve to go based on schedule strength. The funny thing is that the article has a table with the NCAA strength of schedule and we're tied with VaTech for 17th. Most of the other qualifiers are in the 30s and 40s. Stupid Pat Forde, he's just pissed that his mizzou tigers are going to the independence bowl.


December 5th, 2011 at 7:27 AM ^;_ylt=AjMhFltaR8XgbFIbbWmxqowcvrYF?slug=pf-forde_rematch_right_sugar_bowl_travesty_120411

This whole article is the real travesty. I don't disagree with VT having a weak resume, but if you take us out, then who do you put in, Boise? If strength of schedule is your argument, us and VT are the only options based on your table, Mr. Forde. If you think VT is unworthy, then you replace them with one of the B12 contingent. And who would you replace us with, Sparty? Idiot.

And his rant on why Bama should play in the title game pretty much ignores that with limited data points a rematch is absolutely NOT the right call. But since the guy can't compare the numbers in his own table, I don't imagine he knows what a data point means. There are options other than a playoff that can match up the two most deserving teams. But a team that doesn't win its conference doesn't deserve it unless you have a large playoff.


December 5th, 2011 at 9:27 AM ^

All of the bowl games, except the BCS CG (such as it is), are merely exhibitions. Always basically have been, strictly promotional events. So whining about travesties and such is pointless. You want to have the right to whine? Support a playoff.

Or don't attempt a high risk play you don't absolutely need late in a critical game.

Maize 'n Chew

December 5th, 2011 at 7:16 AM ^

I know you want Alabama to get crushed because it makes the BCS look stupid and all, but I'd actually like to see Alabama win and OK St beat Stanford convincingly - then let chaos reign down on the BCS.  Who's #1 in the AP after that?  That'd be a much bigger end of season clusterf*ck than we've had before...


December 5th, 2011 at 7:31 AM ^

I think LSU has reasonably proven itself as the #1 team, and honestly a loss to Bama would not change my mind. Maybe if they lose in a blowout, but even then I'm not sure.

But if they lost to 'Bama, all these same folks and all these SEC fans would say "SEE!? Bama WAS #2 deservedly, and now they should be #1! Or the AP should give the SEC two titles in one year WHOO  SSSSSEEEEECCCCCCC!!!"

I'd prefer LSU prove that they dominate the SEC, and us always be left wondering what could have been with OK St. And I'd prefer seeing everybody else (see: B12 presidents) have ammunition in pushing another "tweak" to the BCS that you have to win your conference to play in the BCS title game. I'd like to continue the traditino where non-conference champions get smoked in the BCS title game.


December 5th, 2011 at 7:37 AM ^

All of the FBS teams signed up for a system with a set of rules and now they have to live by them. The rules say that any team in the top 14 of the final BCS rankings can be selected as an at-large pick to a BCS bowl. They don't say #7 must be selected over #13. Sometimes the rules work in your favor and sometimes they don't. For example, if Michigan did not work its way back into the top 14, we would not be going to the Sugar Bowl. But we did and we are. Period.

If the schools, as a group, want to change the rules next year (or after 2013, actually), they can. But individual schools can't sign up for a system with one set of rules and then complain about those rules later simply because they don't happen to work out in their favor. And if the BSU's and KSU's and MSU's do not like the current CFB system, they are free to go off and start their own. No one is forcing them to ride on the coattails of ND and Michigan and Texas and Alabama and USC and all the other elite programs that spent the last 100+ years investing in and building CFB into what it is today.


December 5th, 2011 at 8:41 AM ^

Teams aren't free to "sign up" or not sign up since there is essentially a monopoly in college football at the highest level.

You're basically saying that if somebody sticks a gun to your head and forces you to sign a contract that you're ethically bound to that contract and that you have no right to complain since you "signed up."

You may have a good idea though.

It would be great if teams routinely excluded from the "national championship" were able to secede.  Since non-SEC teams were effectively barred from competing for a "national championship" this year,  maybe all non-SEC teams should just form their own league and declare the winner the "true national champion."  People would watch the new league since their would be a real champion decided by a playoff and teams would actually play offense not just defense.

Unfortunately, that's not a realistic possibility but one can dream.




December 5th, 2011 at 9:00 AM ^

I'm fairly certain that there was no violence associated with the MWC signing on for the BCS; that's as ridiculous a comparison as I've ever seen. The mid-majors signed on because the BCS offered them a share of primetime football that none had ever seen before. They saw a better oppertunity and took it.

The truth is, any one of the teams currently in the FBS could leave to either a) a division with a tournament, or b) start their own division (the NCAA would welcome a tournament from the MWC, WAC, Sun Belt, C-USA, MAC, ect.). They don't want to do that without forcing the B1G, SEC and Pac to do the same, so things will remain more of less how they are.

death by trident

December 5th, 2011 at 7:36 AM ^

I'm actually taking pleasure listening to Georgia fans complain about having to play Sparty.

Can UGA hold out on the Outback offer until they agree to give us Penn State? I'd rather play them than Mich St

Jesus, the past 24 hours have not been kind to me Really, I can't overstate how unenthused I am as a fan about watching us play Michigan State

I'm trying to pretend that we don't have to re-face Michigan State again (did it in 09 and it was a snoozefest). Would much rather play a Michigan, Texas or Baylor

I don't even think I'll watch another UGA-MSU game. I mean I'll flip over to check the score, but I'll watch something else. COmpletely worthless bowl game.

frick Let's just opt out and focus on recruiting. frick Mich State

 outback was fun when i went 2 years ago.  the stadium was empty so you could sit wherever you want



December 5th, 2011 at 7:35 AM ^

Over the last week or so, I posted quite a few times that the best-case scenario was for Sparty to lose and have to watch MIchigan go to a BCS bowl while they don't, because I would enjoy their whining and complaining.    

Sparty fans crying in their beer while we celebrate is a beautiful thing. I intend to enjoy it for all it is worth.


December 5th, 2011 at 8:01 AM ^

Scott Bell had an interesting tweet about how Michigan played 10 bowl bound teams and won 8. I got Curious and started looking at other teams that have "gripes." Michigan State played 8 bowl bound teams and won 5. Arkansas played 7 bowl bound opponents and beat 5. South Carolina also played 7 bowl bound teams and won 5 of those games. Georgia played 8 bowl bound teams and won 5 of those games. In the Big 12, even including Miami (YTM), Kansas State only played 8 bowl bound teams, winning 6. Lastly, Baylor played 9 bowl bound teams, beating 6 of them. 

I'm not saying that this means that Michigan's schedule was harder than these teams (that might be an argument for another day). I'm only emphasizing the fact that Michigan's schedule was deep with postseason teams, while some of these teams were noticeably more thin. They did exceedingly well against this deep schedule too and deserve to be where they are.


December 5th, 2011 at 8:21 AM ^

... no one really sems to have noticed.

All the chatter is about either VaTech getting into the BCS or the LSU-Bama rematch. And even the people complaining about the teams left out of the BCS seem to be more interested in BSU or Baylor. No one cares about K-State.

Also, FWIW, no one has noticed that the Sugar Bowl could have selected Oklahoma because they ended up at #14. Oklahoma is a huge name in CFB and an Oklahoma v. Michigan match-up in the Sugar Bowl would have looked pretty sweet on the marquee. But the Sugar Bowl picked VaTech instead. Why? I don't know. But it's hard to understand that decision from a purely economic standpoint.

O Fo Sho

December 5th, 2011 at 8:42 AM ^

earned the name "Lil' Brother" they are deserving of it now.  What a bunch of whinny lil brothers.  They are so short sited to believe that the only thing that should determine who goes to the BCS is one head to head match up.  If that's the case, Iowa State and Sparty should be playing each other in the BCS.

KC Wolve

December 5th, 2011 at 9:35 AM ^

The whole V Tech thing is just weird.  KSU fans travel extremely well for bowl games and they would have sold out their alottment instantly.  Complete BS.  I would hope this anyway, but I want Michigan to dominate them.  


December 5th, 2011 at 11:13 AM ^

while I don't understand the VT thing either, no one cares about K St, its more than just tix, its TV ratings too.  Also how does K St's season justify the characterization that they got "jobbed", granted they only lost 2 but if they had gotten selected it would have been over an Okla team that beat them 58-17 at K St (Okla outgained them 690 to 240).  K St didn't get robbed, they were just one of a number of possible choices that didn't get the benefit of the doubt.