Has the BCS worked?
here for article from the Sporting News Matt Hayes
In 1998, Tennessee was the only undefeated team and a good
team but, in our opinion, not one of the best two in the country.
Although FSU and Tennessee did play in the Fiesta Bowl, all of
other bowls were displayed as nothing more than a political arena.
The matchups in the other major bowls should have
number of losses for each team before the bowls are shown in parenthesis)
Ohio State (1) vs. Kansas State
Florida (2) vs.
For unknown reasons, Kansas State and Arizona were
left out of the BCS bowls. This
essentially negated the importance of the bowl games of the above (4) teams
where: Florida was strong with losses only to the two teams in the Fiesta Bowl;
Arizona and Kansas State both had perhaps the best regular seasons in their
school’s history; and possibly the best team in 1998, Ohio State,
was without a chance at the National Championship because they faltered
late in the season as opposed to Florida State’s early season loss.
With further analysis, the above proposed bowl configuration reveals
dramatic results! Understanding
that the Rose Bowl had two teams both with only one loss (Wisconsin and UCLA);
and that the Fiesta Bowl sponsored FSU, which had one loss, and Tennessee with,
of course, no losses.
If FSU had beaten Tennessee (and if Arizona would
have beaten Florida), there would have been total mayhem!
There would have been (5) teams with only one loss and each with a strong argument for the
1. Florida State
2. winner of Ohio State vs. Kansas State
4. winner of UCLA vs. Wisconsin
Whomever or whatever was at fault is now irrelevant.
The point is: that there
were not two teams that stood above the crowd and simple probability states that
there rarely ever will be; and that the best teams were not matched in the major
Simply stated, the 1998 postseason was one of the
most flawed and manipulated in history and clearly did not work as was intended.
As for the 1999
season, Florida State definitely did look like the best team in the country - on
paper. But go no further than to
ask Nebraska with their running game and devastating defense (whose only loss
was to a Texas team they later beat handily in the Big 12 Championship game), or
Kansas State whose only loss was to Nebraska, or Wisconsin - if any one of them
felt worthy and capable enough to play the likes of FSU.
Also, the 1999 postseason displayed the continuation of an ugly pattern
of manipulation that started one year earlier.
Like that selfish kid in the neighborhood who owned the Monopoly game and
insisted always on being the banker and consequently changed the rules during
the middle of the game, the BCS reared it’s head late in the season to change the rules in Virginia
Tech’s favor. With the Big 12
Championship game only days away, there was a tight race in the BCS standings
between Nebraska, with one loss, and Virginia Tech, with no losses, for the no.2
slot and a chance to play FSU in the title game. At this very inappropriate time, the rules were then changed.
No longer would the BCS take into account any Division I-AA playoff games
to determine schedule strength points. This
was relevant in that Virginia Tech had played James Madison, a Div. I-AA school,
earlier in the season. Now that
James Madison’s - and James Madison’s opponents - won/loss record would not
be utilized in further games, the margin that would have narrowed in
Nebraska’s favor was suddenly such that Nebraska did not have a chance to be
in the title game, regardless of the outcome of their final game.
So, to continue the analogy, we all know what happens to that selfish kid
in the neighborhood - eventually, no one plays his game anymore.
Research shows that 58% of players believe that an
early season loss makes the rest of the season less meaningful, where fans of
the sport feel similarly. Only 35%
of fans understand the BCS system, where too much time is spent on
interpretation and justification. Instead
of "we’re number 1", now with the BCS system, players chant
"we’re in the top quartile (of a maximum adjusted deviation ...)!"
Everything told, the BCS preserves everything that college fans have complained about for years. One early loss kills a team’s chance to win a title. Teams still try to blow out opponents by five or six touchdowns. And at the end of the year, we’ll still have no confidence that the best teams even made it to the championship game.
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