Monday, June 4, 2012

The Big Ten and Their Committees

The Big Ten wrapped up their meetings in Chicago today and proposed their solutions to the BCS mess. Most of the solutions were echoing their previous stances but the biggest reaction was their proposal for a selection committee for the BCS Final Four.

A selection committee is used for the field of 68 in the NCAA Tournament and always has people upset about who the 69th team was. It's not a full proof solution but many people accept it for what it is. Any time a team from a conference is discussed, the conference representative must leave the room. This helps prevent a conference from lobbying for their team and making deals (even though these deals are genrally made ahead of time.)  Each year's selection committee varies it's standards for what makes a team tournament worthy. Road victories may be a deciding factor one year while out of conference scheduling plays a part in the decision the next. Would we really want the BCS Selection Committee having standards that change from year to year? While a basketball selection is a decent solution for that sports, a football selection committee is a bad, bad idea.

A football selection committee has too much possibility for back room deals and conference bias. You would need to have at least 3 people on the committee and make sure that it has an odd number of committee members for breaking ties. You'll need to have a variety of conferences on the committee but it would be rife with conflict after all of the expansions. If the committee was determined before the season and a member of the committee had a school from their conference on the block, would he or she be able to vote on the team? Would you really want 3 or 5 people deciding on the fate of the BCS Final Four? As much complaining as we get about the computer rankings imagine the outrage if the polls had Oregon at #4 and the committee decides to jump #6 Texas over them.

In my opinion, the best way to do it would be to use the current method of two human polls and the BCS Computers. The formulas would have to be on display and show what they factor in. There would still be the human element by including the Coaches' Poll and the Harris Poll and there would be the 7 computers ranking the teams as well. The current BCS model throws out the highest and lowest rank of the computer formulas to determine the average position. I see no reason why if they are made open, that this shouldn't continue.

There is no sure fire method to please everyone in the College Football Universe with a BCS Final Four Selection Method but the best one is being used right now. We just need more transparency from the BCS on what constitutes the formula and what teams need to do to finish in the top four. We can never fully develop a perfect system but we can come very close to it by opening up everything for the schools and fans to see.

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