The BCS works

What 'cha so hot about?

The Bowl Championship Series was created to match the #1 and #2 ranked teams at the end of the regular season to try and determine an undisputed national champion for college football and that's exactly what has happened this year. Top ranked Ohio State will meet #2 Florida, the two most deserving teams, for the title; the BCS has worked perfectly.

So why all the hullabaloo?

All of the hysteria you hear about how the BCS failed again is coming from two distinct camps: commentators who've already planted their flag on "the BCS doesn't work" mountain and are unwilling, under any circumstance, to admit when it succeeds, and Michigan fans.

Wolverine guy is of course delusional and off his rocker, but he's a college football fan notorious in the sports world for being the most myopic and irrational and he can't be expected to think clearly. What's far more disturbing is the laundry list of prominent college football opinion makers who have made it their purpose in life to submarine a system that, while flawed, is infinitely better than the one it replaced and just as superior to their own farcical notions of determining the national champion with a playoff.

College football fans and commentators who root against the BCS succeeding remind me of liberals who cheer for US casualties in Iraq to prove their point we don't belong there.

Whose side are you on?

Are you on the side of what makes you look better or the side of the country you claim to love? If the death of a few hundred more Marines proves you were right about Iraq, is that preferable to being wrong? Many liberals think so.

Many so-called "college football guys" openly root for BCS chaos to make their longstanding opposition to it look visionary. They'd rather see the sport they claim to love in turmoil than prosperity because it proves them right. These people mistakenly believe BCS uproar will hasten the onset of a playoff system and they're dead wrong. The BCS has been barked at for almost 10 years and there is still no playoff on the horizon.

The BCS worked; it worked perfectly, and if you're unwilling to admit that then you're lying to yourself.

Ninety-nine percent of the made up controversy surrounding the BCS this year involves the lopsided debate about who the #2 team in the final regular season poll should have been: Florida or Michigan.

I'm going to make this as simple as I can for you. Florida has more good wins than Michigan. Florida won its conference, Michigan did not. The conference Florida won, 95% of the people who matter in college football concede is tougher than the conference Michigan lost. Florida has won six games in a row while the Wolverines lost their most recent game. Michigan had a chance to knock off #1 Ohio State and couldn't get the job done, now it's Florida's turn. What about any of that confuses you?

Michigan's two best arguments for inclusion into the BCS title game are its close loss to Ohio State and the idea that, on a neutral field, they'd beat Florida.

Yes, Michigan almost beat the Buckeyes in Columbus, so almost did Penn State, you want a lolli? Florida's loss, at a Top-10, charged up Auburn team, on the road, at night, with an incredibly dicey, late, crucial officiating decision, is just as impressive if you want to start talking about impressive losses, which Michigan fans seem to be fascinated by today.

The other idea, that Michigan would beat Florida if the two played a game and that's the reason why the Wolverines should be ranked ahead of the Gators, is even more ridiculous. You hear a lot of, "I think if Michigan and Florida played, Michigan would win and that's why I have them ranked #2."

Ok, who did you think would win the USC-UCLA game? Who did you think would win the Georgia-Auburn game this year or the Iowa-Indiana game or the Tennessee-Cal game? Unless you picked every single game right this season, what you THINK would happen is irrelevant. What you THINK would happen between Michigan and Florida is total conjecture, completely based on opinion and bias and totally unprovable.

I don't THINK JFK was killed by a lone gunman, but until someone can prove otherwise, with certainty, that's the story we've got.

The only concrete evidence we have to determine who more merits inclusion into the title game is the schedules and Florida's schedule was tougher with more games, more bowl teams and more big wins. Florida won at Tennessee, at home against LSU and on a neutral field over Arkansas. Michigan won at Notre Dame and at home against Wisconsin.

Cold, hard, facts. Empirical data that proves Florida has done more to deserve playing for the national title. "But, what about ... " but nothing.

Take what you THINK, ball it up, throw it in the trash and go pee on it because it doesn't matter at all. What matters is what can be proved, and what can be proved is that Florida won the championship of a better conference than the one Michigan played in and lost and has more impressive wins. Period.

So the two best will meet in the BCS title game, again, and yet the system still has more critics than advocates. I have always been a supporter of the BCS and if I have to live alone on this island, I will.

Let's quickly examine the history of the BCS to find where the legion of cynics gets its ammunition. In its eight years, the BCS has had three legitimate meltdowns - someone has a gripe every year, like Boise and Louisville this season, but I'm talking about actual controversies not just the insane shrieks of zealots:

  • 2001: an improbable string of final game loses allows non-division champion Nebraska to back door its way into the Rose Bowl, over 2nd ranked Oregon, and play Miami.
  • 2003: Oklahoma is routed in the Big 12 title game, but still goes to the Sugar Bowl to meet LSU for the title leaving out USC who's ranked #1 in both human polls.
  • 2004: undefeated SEC Champion Auburn is left out in favor of a match-up pitting also undefeated Oklahoma and USC.

  • Fair enough. Three of eight seasons have been a mess, but what the anti-BCS crowd fails to mention is that just as often, the BCS matches two teams that previously wouldn't have played due to preexisting conference bowl tie-ins in the championship game, including last year's classic USC-Texas Rose Bowl. And in all those controversial years, with the pre-BCS system, the confusion would have been greater and the title picture more tangled.

    The BCS never promised to be perfect; it promised to be better and it has been.

    Eventually, college football will work itself into a four team, "Plus 1," playoff model, but until such time, the BCS is better than what came before it and more often than not, provides us with the unquestioned #1 and #2 ranked teams settling the championship debate on the field and that is all it was ever supposed to do.