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.


KC Wolve

December 5th, 2011 at 2:12 PM ^

You just proved my point by saying "no one cares about KSU". They were ranked higher and had a pretty damn good season. Maybe jobbed isn't the right word but they were more deserving than any of the other options. They had one bad loss and the other loss was against a team that some say should be playing in the MNC, where if there were 10 more seconds left they would have probably scored and gone for 2 to try and win.
<br>I know, I know, woulda, shoulda, coulda.

Smash Lampjaw

December 5th, 2011 at 9:53 AM ^

We never got the thanks we deserved from Sparty for their first lucky win against the pesky Badgers. Under the microscope, after 60 minutes of unnecessary violence, Sparty's main goal was to play Wisconsin without personal fouls. Post-game, St. Dantonio seemed more shocked by the miracle of no penalties than he did by the miraculous win. They forgot all of that in the rematch. If not for their old  habits of jumping snaps and personal fouls they might be smelling roses instead of whining.


December 5th, 2011 at 10:00 AM ^

I object to this whole thread, the only reasonable response to those bitching about Michigan getting in is "go fuck yourself".  Do other teams have arguments that they had marginally better seasons?  Sure I guess.  Since when did that become the rule?  While there would still be fights about the rankings, if the idea was to get the top 10 teams in the BCS, only the top 10 teams would be eligible, period.  If we got in over someone like Stanford  who had a pretty great season ok but the Baylors, MSU's, K St's, etc of the world all had two or more losses (cept Boise who is small conf)....why should they go over us?

As for the rematch, I've argued all week that there's nothing wrong with it, I'm sorry but Mich fans are hopelessly biased on this.  I'll just note that our beloved Coach Hoke voted bama #2 (as did a majority of coaches and media) and leave it at that.


December 5th, 2011 at 10:06 AM ^

If you want to get the Sparty heads spinning, just re-run the "triangle of doom" by them again:

MSMoo beats UM by 2 touchdowns, Nebraska beats MSMoo by 3 touchdowns, and UM beats Nebraska by 4 touchdowns.

..."but we beat you!!!"






December 5th, 2011 at 11:06 AM ^

Also if ND was in the B1G, we'd have a whole second triangle of doom.  MSU needs to understand that bowls are based on resume, strength of schedule, and willingness of fanbase to travel.  Not just straight up W-L.  I agree it sucks, but the world works that way.


December 5th, 2011 at 10:50 AM ^

Alabama is 2nd best team in the country point blank period. Ok State, had a good season, but they're the 3rd best team. The Big 12 is an overated conference. More so this year than any other. They loss to Iowa St. for crying out loud. Alabama lost to LSU by 3 in Overtime. No comparison.


December 5th, 2011 at 7:07 PM ^

OK St won what I think is the toughest conference in football, and beat four ranked opponents to do it in the round-robin format. Alabama missed two of the four other ranked opponents in their conference - and missed one of them by not having to play in the conference title game.

This year I think the SEC is overrated - I think Arkansas is overrated, and Georgia and SC too - but Bama missed two of those teams anyway. The reason LSU has been so impressive this year is their two out-of-conference wins against BCS-teams away from home. And then they met up with one of the few okay SEC teams in the title game. Alabama's schedule doesn't compare to LSU's or OK State's. Losing to LSU is the third most impressive thing they've done, after not stumbling in a weak SEC and beating Arkansas to a pulp. OK State beat OU to a pulp, beat K State and then killed Baylor. If you're going to bring up "Bama played the #1 team tough" as a comeback to "They killed the #15 team in the nation," you sound like a Notre Dame fan circa 2005.

Looking further down the list, Alabama's 2nd best win, @Penn State, looks an awful lot like OK State's fourth best win @UT. This is worth repeating: Bama beat two ranked teams, and the second one was beat worse by Wisconsin. OK State has beaten four, and three of them convincingly. I really don't comprehend how this is even a discussion - and I don't think it would be if Bama's conference wasn't called the SEC.

Bama is a good #3, but the way I see it they're only close to #2 because of the OK State's loss in Ames. Yes that's bad, but it was in OT and on the road. It's worse than the LSU loss, but again Bama fans are using the LSU loss as a reason why their #2 is legitimate. It's not, it's a negative - a minor negative. But at the end of the day, Bama's schedule doesn't have enough positives for them to make any sense as a #2.

And I almost got the whole way through my post without mentioning the injustices of rematches, non-conference champions, and a intra-conference bowl game. But I really think the point is made even without that.

death by trident

December 5th, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^

From Black Shoe Diaries.

The teams selected ahead of Penn State in the bowl process? Ohio State (6-6) will face Florida in the Gator Bowl. Northwestern (6-6) plays Texas A&M in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Iowa (7-5) takes on Oklahoma in the Insight Bowl. Penn State (9-3) beat and had won at least two more games than all three of these Big Ten teams -- and it didn't matter, due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal fallout. It's not a fair result for the players, who were justifiably shocked and disappointed in the hours leading up to the formal announcement. It's bowl business, and bowl business isn't fair. It's about advertising and branding.

I feel bad for the players on that team.


December 5th, 2011 at 11:51 AM ^

Should direct their anger at Spanier, Curley, and other members of the PSU family.  You can't blame the bowl for steering clear of that tire fire.  No sponsor wants a brand name anywhere near PSU right now.  

All PSU had to do was come clean on Sandusky in 1998 and this never happened.

death by trident

December 5th, 2011 at 2:12 PM ^

I certainly don't blame the bowls for keeping a safe distance.  Penn State is getting what they deserve as an institution without a doubt.  Also, you are right about the players directing their anger.  They certainly did not sign up for this when they agreed to play football for Penn State.  Those folks responsible for this should feel the frustration from all those lives who have been impacted by their poor choice of morals.


December 5th, 2011 at 11:54 AM ^

I'm both happy and unhappy about this whole thing.  The whole argument for the polls, for the resume based voting, etc was "Every game matters".  No more clinching your division and then sticking in in neutral (like NFL teams do sometimes).  No sleeping through your out of conference schedule (an argument against playoffs is that teams would only care about winning their division).  Every game matters.

Except now we're having a rematch and clearly the fact LSU already beat Alabama doesn't matter.  So now that game didn't matter.

So I'm happy in having a data point to refute the Every Game Matters argument.  I'm unhappy in that the NC is boring rematching.  


December 5th, 2011 at 3:23 PM ^

the crying from EL.   The bottom line is pretty simple.

You won the division. You had the chance to play in the "gran-daddy of them all". You lost.

You choked when the game was on the line by taking a silly penalty. 

So you think the bowl system should swoop in and save you from yourself by awarding you a BCS bowl anyways??


The Michigan players and coaches had nothing at all to do with any of that.

They were "sitting home on the couch" because they did not win the right to be playing another game. The Sparties did and they choked. Period.


The bowl system is far from fair. Kinda like life.