ARTICLE OF THE DAY

Does The BCS Get One Right?
by Josh Spence
1/9/07

An L.A. Times sports headline from December 3rd reads that a "Playoff System isn't needed after all."  That came a day after Louisville beat Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl and two days following the Rose Bowl, in which USC beat Michigan.  The column, by Bill Plaschke went on to say that "the BCS isn't killing the college game, it's strengthening the college game."  I wouldn't go that far, but maybe it is time to give the system its due.

If you are a frequent listener to Pirate Radio 1250 and 930, you have probably heard something negative about the BCS.  There are certainly more of us that are against it than for it. 

The main argument against the BCS is that a true national championship is not awarded.  The system uses computer rankings and human votes to determine who should play in the big game, instead of allowing the teams play it out on the field.  You know, like every other sport in the world. 

Every dog has his day.  It seems the system that many of us have defamed for so long has gotten one right.  Maybe that isn't fair, there have been good match-ups in the past.  Last years BCS setup was solid.  You had one of, if not the best championship games ever between USC and Texas.  The BCS also featured a three overtime thriller between FloridaState and PennState in the Orange Bowl, and a great 38-35 West Virginia win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

I think we can all agree that the right two teams played for the title this year.  I don't think anyone can argue that Florida was the team to get a shot at OhioState, although some folks in Idaho probably think their undefeated Broncos should be in the mix as well.  Florida was the top team out of the toughest conference, while OhioState survived an entire season at number one, and boasted the nation's best player in Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith. 

There were late season title game hopes for Michigan and USC, but both had and lost their chances, USC to UCLA in the season finale, and Michigan to USC in the Rose bowl.  Even though they didn't go through a playoff to get there, the right two teams played for the national championship.  Credit the BCS also for a great Orange bowl between WakeForest and Louisville, and of course the Fiesta Bowl classic between BoiseState and Oklahoma. 

Alright, enough with the praises.  Let's not forget that you only have to go back to 2004 to see that ridiculous national championship game between USC and Oklahoma.  That year it was Auburn that was left out after going undefeated, only to see USC dominate in one of the worst championship games of all time. 

The "right" two teams may have played for the title this year, but is it right that losing a regular season game pretty much takes you out of contention?  Is it right that media members and other coaches determine which team is fit to play for the championship?  Is it right that undefeated teams should be congratulated on a great season and sent home before the big game? 

Josh Spence
josh@pirateradio1250.com