Tuesday, January 08, 2008

BCS: Bullshit Crappy System

Hey Folks,

You like that title? Yeah, I just made it up. I think it's great though. So true and to the point, completely unlike college football's postseason.

There are two completely separate aspects of the NCAA Bowl season, the """Bowl "Championship" Series""" (I used a lot of quotes because that's not what it is... print sarcasm) and then there is the rest of them-- all 95 of them. I don't even know where to begin on this topic, because it just sucks so badly, but I'll just start ranting and see where it goes.

There's nothing like settling in to watch the International Bowl between Rutgers and Ball State on the astroturf of Rogers Centre in Toronto. While watching that game, I had three things on my mind: Why in the hell would they change the name from SkyDome to Rogers Centre, where the hell did the 're' in "centre" come from in Canadian English, and why in the hell is this game even taking place and who cares?

Nobody really knows anymore. The only people who cared were ESPN, some stupid sponsors, Ball State's fans who hadn't seen their team on national televison all year, and Rutgers'stud RB Ray Rice who absolutely dominated and made his case for the NFL.

Back in the day these bowl games were supposed to give teams something to play for at the end of the season. It was something that the teams and coaches worked for. Now, all you have to do is stumble through your season at a .500 clip with 6 wins and have a pulse to get into these meaningless dead-end games. Do the players enjoy it? I'm sure most of them do. They get a grab bag of stuff, get to hit the streets of Toronto or Shreveport or Boise or Mobile for a few hours and get some sweet Papajohns.com Bowl T-Shirts. But I'm not sure that's it's worth it.

These lower-tier bowl games many times have bizarre and/or unwatchable matchups that are played in locations too far for one team's fans to travel to. Then, on top of it, the payouts for these games ends up being split multiple ways within the conference and the teams, and before you know it, these teams are losing money on travel costs and per diem handouts to players (the lucky ones break even, and only the big time bowls earn a profit).

I read a great article about the PetroSun Independence Bowl in Shreveport, LA. In it, the writer likens it to the worst possible bowl game for a team to go to. The weather is unpredictable, nobody wants to roadtrip to Shreveport and it's not near a major airport to fly into, hence higher costs. The payout sucks, the sponsor is unheard of, and Alabama and Colorado hadn't played each other in something like 60 years.

So we have bad weather, no financial incentive, a non-"destination" city setting, and no rivaly. Sounds like the fixins for a good old fashioned barnburner of a hootenany!

I'm not saying that we need to abolish these games, but we really need to do something with them. Part of the allure of some games is the intriguing matchups that never happen in real life-- I mean the regular season. Which game would you rather watch? A non-rivaly game like Boise State-East Carolina in Honolulu and Alabama-Colorado in Shreveport or Colorado-Texas Tech in Albuquerque or Boise and Boston College-Clemson in Charlotte or Nashville?

In order for these games to mean something, these teams need to want to beat each other. I don't see what the motivation for Cal and Air Force is to rip each other's heads off other than just natural competition. Keep the matchups regional and for God's sake put them somewhere where it's not a 5 hour flight for each team's fans to go to the games. People forget that these are kids who want to attend these games. These long distance destinations are cost prohibitive and the games become sterile and pointless to everyone involved.

The only exception to these ideas of keeping bowl games intra-conference or intra-regional is when two cross conference powerhouses are matched up. For instance: Florida-Michigan, Tennessee-Wisconsin, Texas-Arizona State, etc. Which leads me to my next beef...

Please fix the BCS! You can't see me, but I am literally on my knees in my work slacks with my hands interlocked in the begging position. I can't take this shit anymore! All 5 of the BCS bowls have been played, and I am in no way satisfied. It's like the last episode of the Sopranos. They might as well just throw some Journey on after week 8 of the season and then cut to black halfway through the SEC Championship game. At least then we wouldn't be forced to endure the pain and confusion of trying to figure out why losing at the end of the season twice (LSU) is better than losing twice at the beginning of the season (Georgia). We wouldn't have to scratch our noggins raw wondering why Missouri got shut out of the BCS in favor of an overmatched, overhyped, gimmicky team of foreigners and outcasts (Hawai'i) and a team they beat (Kansas). Then there's the question of how Illinois, who had a nice season, but stood at #13 in the BCS rankings, made it to the Rose Bowl over clearly more deserving teams for the sake of tradition and not for the sake of competition.

At this point, you might be asking yourself, why am I holding this 30lb. cinder block in my hands? You might also ask yourself, why does this cinder block have a long piece of string tied to it? And finally, why is the other end of this string tied securely to your penis?

(Sorry, that was from Old School... but strangely relevant...)

I just wonder what the frickin problem with settling the argument every year is? What could the concern be with crowning a true champion that earns it every year? I'm sorry, LSU is a very good football team, but playing in the SEC West, playing an inferior Tennessee team in the SEC Championship game and beating an untested, less athletic Ohio State team does not a champion make.

I find it infuriatingly hilarious that all the ESPN pundit jerks loved saying, "Well, LSU never lost in regulation," and "Georgia didn't even win it's conference." Well those statements might be true, but the Big 10 is garbage this year, with only 4 teams worth a damn out of 10, and Ohio State would be a 3 or 4 loss team if it played in the SEC. I am truly convinced that if there was a playoff system in place that Georgia and USC would've been playing in the Superdome for the title. In fact there's no doubt in my mind. Bear with me now because I don't have a bracket diagram.... or do I? No I don't. Sorry.

So we'll take the last BCS rankings that they used to select the bowl games and have a little fun with it. This'll be a 14 team playoff, and each game for the playoff will retain a traditional (or non-traditional) bowl name, so that they won't be obsolete. And I know I have no life, but I'm at work, so shut up and read it.

1.) Ohio State
2.) LSU
3.) Virginia Tech
4.) Oklahoma
5.) Georgia
6.) Missouri
7.) Southern Cal
8.) Kansas
9.) West Virginia
10.) Hawai'i
11.) Arizona State
12.) Florida
13.) Illinois
14.) Boston College

So Ohio State and LSU will get byes in the first round, and then it'll play out like this:

#3 Virginia Tech vs. #14 Boston College (Meineke Car Care Bowl, Charlotte, NC)
#4 Oklahoma vs. #13 Illinois (Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Atlanta, GA)
#5 Georgia vs. #12 Florida (Gaylord Music City Bowl, Nashville, TN)
#6 Mizzou vs. #11 Arizona St. (Valero Alamo Bowl, San Antonio, TX)
#7 USC vs. #10 Hawai'i (Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, Las Vegas, NV)
#8 Kansas vs. #9 West Virginia (Outback Bowl Tampa, FL)

Uh, each one of those games is outstanding. I'm literally twitching with excitement. I don't think you could come up with better matchups... seriously. Each year the bowls would be eligible to receive a BCS playoff game based on where the teams are from. Like if Oregon and Utah were matched up, they could play in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. This would be an east-heavy year. Okay, let's move on, and I'm not going to analyze each game and why each team will win. Just roll with it.

(Note that each team is now re-seeded)

#1 Ohio State vs. #8 West Virginia (Capital One Bowl, Orlando, FL)
#2 LSU vs. #7 USC (AT&T Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX)
#3 Va Tech vs. #6 Mizzou (Allstate Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, LA)
#4 Oklahoma vs. #5 Georgia (Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, AZ)

Okay, you still with me? How sick are these games? Now it's go time! (Teams retain their seeding). The Capital One Bowl and Cotton Bowl are officially BCS Bowls now and can host the National Championship Game.

#5 Georgia vs. #6 Mizzou (FedEx Orange Bowl, Miami, FL)
#7 USC vs. #8 West Virginia (Citi Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA)

Obviously the BCS 4 + 1 format doesn't work perfectly anymore, but they would all rotate through somehow, with higher ranked Pac 10 or Big 10 team always playing in the Rose Bowl; USC in this case (for their precious tradition).

#5 Georgia vs. #7 USC BCS Championship Game, New Orleans, LA)

National Champion: Georgia

So, BCS/NCAA jerks, I'd like you to explain to me and all 7 of my readers why this would be bad. As far as I know, I just fixed your problem. Vegas would love it, people would be gambling like crazy (I mean crazier than they already do). The great thing about it, is that with 8 more bowl games used up for the playoffs, there would be 16 less crappy teams playing in the rest of them. That means no 6-6 teams (well maybe a couple) and that also means that Ohio State doesn't get a free pass like they have two years in a row. NO MORE BLOWOUTS!

Opponents of my system could say that this cheapens the regular season. Not a chance. Your ability to compete for the championship requires you to be in the top 14 of the BCS standings. If you're not, have fun at the Nutsac Caddy Independence Bowl in Shreveport.

I have now solved all the problems. Games like the Emerald Bowl will no longer be allowed to drag Maryland and Florida State across country to play a meaningless game. They will be forced to get a team within a 3 hour plane ride so that their fans can come to the game.

This will boost attendance and revenue in the "pointless" bowl games as well as increase the viewership due to more relevant regional and conference matchups.

The playoff system speaks for itself. I would literally kill a man to make this happen, and I don't doubt that FOX, CBS, and ESPN wouldn't either.

So I guess congratulations to LSU for winning the title, but we all know that the Buckeyes were no match for them. Hopefully one day we won't have to watch debacles like the Georgia-Hawaii holocaust and the Bayou Bloodfeast of Ohio State by LSU any more. Bad teams need to get exposed in the first round of the playoffs, not in the championship game.

I've gotta go, Hillary Clinton is crying again....