Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Enough BCS ? Obama For College Football Playoffs at the NCAA Division I-A FBS Level

President-Elect Barack Obama has this to say about the current BCS computer ranking system as opposed to the greatly discussed FBS Division I-A college football playoffs



To show the deep problems which are present in the currently flawed BCS system, the following could happen this year in a worst case scenario for the BCS.

Texas Tech (10-0), now ranked 2nd could easily lose either to Oklahoma (9-1) on November 22 or to presumed North Division champion Missouri (8-2) in the Big 12 conference championship game on December 6 in Kansas City. Indeed, we expect the Sooners to be favored in that game since they are playing at home and since the teams appear otherwise evenly matched.

Alabama (10-0), on the other hand, which is already qualified for the SEC championship game in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on December 6, still has Mississippi State and Auburn to play in the regular season, and could easily lose in the SEC championship game to Florida (8-1). Indeed, we are fairly certain that the speedy Gators will be favored in that game: Florida's only loss was an otherwise avoidable defeat in an error-filled game against Mississippi in which they were clearly the superior team, but fumbled the win away. By contrast, in its 4-point win over the Rebels, Alabama was outgained in total yardage and had to hold on to win.

Losses by either of those two currently undefeated teams will send the BCS into a massive quandry from which there is no honorable exit.

To complicate matters, if one, two or three of currently undefeated Utah, Ball State and Boise State continue winning then you have a BCS dilemma of epic proportions.

Indeed, we think it very likely that Texas Tech will lose to Oklahoma and equally likely that Alabama will be unable to contain the high-powered speed and offense of Florida.

Boise State (9-0) would seem to have the easiest remaining schedule on a path to an undefeated season (Idaho, Nevada and Fresno State). Utah (10-0) still has to play San Diego State and has a tough final regular season game upcoming against BYU (9-1), while Ball State still has Miami of Ohio to play and has two tough games remaining against the two other top teams in the MAC conference, Central Michigan (7-2) and Western Michigan (8-2), not to mention the MAC Conference championship game.

Nevertheless, if those teams come through undefeated and Alabama and Texas Tech lose one game each, then it will be the worst BCS situation ever with three undefeated teams (Boise State from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), Utah from the Mountain West Conference (MWC) and Ball State from the Mid-American Conference) claiming a right to play in BCS games in addition to national championship claims from one-loss conference championship teams from the Big 12 (Texas, Texas Tech, or Oklahoma - presuming Missouri does not upset the apple cart), Big 10 (Penn State or Ohio State), the Pac 10 (USC), and the SEC (Alabama or Florida).

Imagine in fact if Missouri were to win the Big 12 conference championship game. With its 2-loss record it would not be eligible for the BCS national championship game so that no team from what is clearly the strongest conference in college football this year - the Big 12 - would be represented in the BCS national championship game at all, while the remaining BCS matchups would be a farce.

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