Monday, December 3, 2007

Let Me Stake Out a Controversial Position

The Bowl Championship Series works exactly as it should.

That's not a misprint, nor is it you reading it wrong. I said that the BCS, the most reviled concept in college football since...well, ever, exactly as its supposed to. I might be the only guy in the western world who will take that position, but I'll be the Devil's Advocate in favor of the conglomerate of the six power conferences in college football.

When the BCS was formed, it was designed to give the best possible matchup for a national championship. There were three nightmare scenarios: First, three undefeated teams; second, two or more highly-ranked one-loss teams; and third, a bunch of two-loss teams and a lack of higher-ranked one loss teams.

The BCS did its job, as much as it pains me to say it, when the polls gave us the Ohio State-LSU matchup. It gave us the best possible matchup under its formula. Yeah, LSU has two losses, and Ohio State isn't as sexy as Georgia, Oklahoma, or Kansas. But, at the end of the day, the formula differentiated between the two-loss teams, as it was supposed to do. You can argue the human polls did it, but let's remember that LSU won its conference, which Georgia and Kansas didn't. Oklahoma did, and to me they have an argument. Yet Oklahoma has wins over Texas and Mizzou and not many others. They destroyed a weak Miami team; their other out of conference games were North Texas, Tulsa and Utah State, none of whom will be confused with the '72 Dolphins (or the '07 Pats?) any time soon. LSU's foes outside of conference were ACC champ Virginia Tech, and the equally unimpressive trio of Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, and Tulane. LSU defeated defending champ Florida as well, and were bested by a hot Kentucky team and Arkansas, featuring the best player in America taking over the game. Edge to LSU, and thus, they're in the game.

So the system, as it's been set up, works. It differentiated between the pack of teams that were left standing at the end of the season. Let's not get into the question of Mizzou being left out in favor of Hawaii, Kansas or Illinois. The BCS ranking system was set up for #1 to play #2. Everything after that is in the hands of the individual bowls.

And as I'm writing this, the Pats have just stopped the Ravens on a Hail Mary to end the game at the two yard line. Unbelievable.

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