Skip to comments.TCU Football and the BCS: Is it fair to exclude a "weak conference"?
Posted on 11/08/2009 11:14:39 AM PST by dangus
The likelihood of outrage seems inevitable this year in college football: The BCS controversy, which even President Obama has issued proclamations about, seems ready to explode, since six undefeated teams - two from minor conferences - survive with only three games left in the season. Two conferences, Mountain West and Western Athletic (WAC) are excluded from automatic participation in the BCS, and must compete for one of two wildcard teams, and both still have undefeated teams. But should a team which has gone undefeated and unchallenged take a slot from Alabama or Florida, which are likely to also go undefeated... until they face each other in a conference championship game?
If Texas Christian University (TCU) is excluded, we will be told it is a terrible unjustice. (Based on their current ranking and recent success in BCS games, Boise St. seems the more likely of the two to be included.) If Texas Christian and Boise St. both want to be taken seriously, they need to not only lack losses; they need big wins.
[Don't get started about TCU's victory over BYU proving anything. BYU plays in the same weak conference, where only one other team has a winning out-of-conference record. Everyone was so surprised at BYU's defeat of Oklahoma at the start of the season; Now that Oklahoma's unlikely to have a winning record, can we stop regarding BYU as giant killers?]
To prove TCU and Boise St belong in the BCS, they need to face tough opponents. At the very least, they need to face each other. And they need a format to make sure that the right such match-up keeps happening, year after year. There are three options:
The first is to leave a game open in each team's schedules, so that each team in each conference plays a team of equal strength in the opposite conference. If the BCS committee or the NCAA doesn't approve, then they should rejoin and boot the teams which are weakest athletically, or academically. (From an athletics standpoint, what is Colorado St, New Mexico, Utah, New Mexico St., and Louisiana Tech doing in these conferences? For that matter, what is Louisiana Tech doing in Western conferences at all?) Pare the conference by five weaklings, and have a conference tournament, like Alabama and Florida will to determine which is the best.
Lastly - and this is the one which should create the best football - would be to recombine and redivide the two leagues, which were previously divided more based on history than anything else. Beyond Boise St. and TCU, fans will argue which schools belong in the upper echelon, but UNLV, Fresno St., Hawaii, Air Force, San Diego St. and Utah seem like a start, give or take a school or two.
Should the academically strong but athletically weak San Diego St. go in over Nevada, or should Nevada's comparably strong athletics program outweigh their nearly open enrollment? Should the BYU-Wyoming rivalry be preserved, or relegated to history, like the racially charged events which helped spawn it? Given Hawaii's border-line academics and athletics, should they be allowed in, just because they'll help their rivals attract athletes? Or are schools like TCU better off being able to complain about injustice rather than risk proving their exclusion to be just? What's your take?
They should exclude the weaker conferences, starting with the Big East and the ACC. I mean, if the BCS wants to exclude the WAC and the MWAC, out west, they should exclude the weaker conferences out east.
Any one see this today?
“Bleymaier is making a nearly unheard of offer in college football scheduling Boise will bring its popular, high-profile, top-10 team to any stadium in any town to play any big name team in America in 2011. And they dont have to return the date in Idaho.
So far, no one has bit.”
But who qualifies for the playoffs? There are 12 conferences, and 8 spots. Do you let wildcards in, or do you hand off byes to the 4 conferences that have conference playoff games? (Actually, that last idea might not be so bad.)
It wasn’t long ago that people would argue that a national tournament game would settle all the controversies; all it did was spawn rage about who belongs in the “BCS,” which was created to settle the matter. What if a 5-3/7-5 team knocks off a previously undefeated team in a conference tournament while a 10-2 team goes all the way?
There’s always going to be bickering.
>> Do you let wildcards in, or do you hand off byes to the 4 conferences that have conference playoff games? (Actually, that last idea might not be so bad.) <<
Oops: 11 conferences, with 3 byes to the 3 conferences with tournaments. (ACC, SEC, Big 12).
No, I didn’t. But, I did know Fresno St. tries to do that. My 3 suggestions were based on ways that TCU and Boise St. could control their own destinies. Kudos to Boise St. And a pox (not literally) on all those SEC teams that play Division II opponents.
It’s all about TV ratings. The day a WAC or MWAC team plays in a bowl game that gets better ratings than a BCS bowl the system will change, until then forget about it.
Any new conference will have a private school. So even if one is weak, you better include that in any figuring.
It’s hard to knock TCU and what they have done this year but for Boise St., as the article suggests, is asked to score “style” points along with their wins in order to be taken serious. I haven’t seen the BCS poll yet but obviously Iowa should drop behind Boise St. A coworker last week, prior to the poll, thought colusion would put Oregon ahead of Boise. That article I posted sums it up pretty good: “all Boise St. can do is win” and let the chips fall where they may.
This is the biggest fraud in modern sports. Each conference has up and down seasons, I don’t think the ACC or Big Ten have a legitimate top 10 team this year. Boise State a year ago, and Utah in the Fiesta 3-4 years back were playing as well as anyone in the country. These small conference schools continuing to pay into a system that doesn’t represent them reminds me quite a bit of US taxpayers.
The “plus one” is probably the closest we’ll get to a playoff.
Seeding 4 teams in 2 bowls that rotate among the big 5 (if the Cotton becomes a big bowl again in Jerryworld)
This year might Have Bama/UF winner, Texas, Cincy, TCU....or the UF/Bama loser depending on how Cincy/TCU finish.
Tough for Bama or UF to be forced to play the other team again.
Given the fact that most schedules are made 4-5 years out, I can understand why no one has an opening for Boise St. in 2011.
IIRC, Boise St. had great ratings last year in the BCS.
Well, Oregon will have a reserved spot, but it would be almost impossible to get Oregon into a better bowl. I was looking at something happening like (for instance) SEC champ v. Texas, Cincinnati v. Boise St., Penn St. v. Oregon, Georgia Tech. vs. SEC runner-up and bye-bye TCU., which would have outraged sportswriters (the very same who will have voted for the SEC runner-up, by the way) turning 18 colors of purple that the SEC runner-up is in, and TCU is out.
And you know what? The only way a playoff would include TCU would be to give automatic spots to the lesser conferences. But that would leave the SEC runner-up with an argument to be #1, unless the SEC winner, or the team that beat the SEC winner was the overall champion.
My proposal is the each year make each team that finished in the BCS Top 32, to play two games against other teams that finished in the Top 32, to be picked by random in a drawing before the season starts.
The simple matter is this: no playoff system can fairly pick the winner of 120+ teams after only 11 games. Things were better when it was simply the Rose bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, etc., and people fought it out about whether the Pac-10 was better than the ACC.
Yeah but that was in a BCS game, the BCS guys will say that’s because it was a BCS game, they’ve got a lot of ego. Get Boise St in one of those “local sponsor nobody ever heard of” bowls and have IT beat BCS rating and they’ll start paying attention.
In my scenario, the quarterfinals--played one week after the conference championship games--have #1 vs. #8, #2 vs. #7, #3 vs. #6, and #4 vs. #5, with the higher-ranked team hosting the game. This would actually put more balance back to northern-based programs like Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State if they're highly-ranked at start of the tournament, since in early December the weather in the northern climates would be quite cold and that could work against an SEC, ACC, Big 12 or Pac 10 in the tournament normally playing in warmer climates by late November-early December.
Yes, but what’s the alternative? To ignore the BCS and be left out altogether?
>> Boise State a year ago, and Utah in the Fiesta 3-4 years back were playing as well as anyone in the country. <<
Not to disagree, but the point is that we’ll never know. And anyone who thinks that any of these bowl games determines that team A is better than team B is fooling themselves. But it’s the contest that matters. That’s why I’m cool with going back to the days of the Rose Bowl, etc. At least then we didn’t delude ourselves into thinking we had actually determined the best team in the country. We all just watched a good game. Arguing whether an undefeated Notre Dame was better than undefeated Rose Bowl winner was a matter of opinion and sport, not of ‘fairness’ and ‘inclusion.’
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.