Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Possible Return to the BCMess

While the BCS meetings have wrapped up for a while, a disturbing rumor has come out that would put 3 conference champions and a wild card in the four team playoff instead of the top four teams. Bruce Feldman said this on Paul Finebaum June 12th. If the powers that be decided to go with this model, it will make the outcry from the opponents of the BCS even louder and more profane that it is now.

This is an outrageous idea being pushed down the throats of the BCS by Jim Delaney of the Big Ten, Larry Scott of the Pac 12 and the Rose Bowl. The alliance between these three is so strong that they are willing to do anything to preserve the "sanctity" of the Rose Bowl. They are worried that if the top four teams are taken by the BCS in a four team playoff little to no attention will be paid to the Rose Bowl.

While the Rose Bowl is worried about falling into irrelevance, Jim Delaney and Larry Scott are also worried that the SEC will continually get two teams in if the top four teams are taken. The SEC has recently become a force to be reckoned with in the BCS era winning 8 of the 14 titles. Their ultimate nightmare was realized when the title game was an all SEC affair. But if they went with the three conference champion model they would actually end up hurting more than just the SEC.

If you go back to the BCS Computer Ratings taking the top four, it would look like this:

  • 1998: #1 Tennessee, #2 FSU, #3 Kansas State, #4 Ohio State
  • 1999: #1 FSU, #2 Virginia Tech, #3 Nebraska, #4 Alabama
  • 2000: #1 Oklahoma, #2 FSU, #3 Miami, #4 Washington
  • 2001: #1 Miami, #2 Nebraska, #3 Colorado, #4 Oregon
  • 2002: #1 Miami, #2 Ohio State, #3 Georgia, #4 USC
  • 2003: #1 Oklahoma, #2 LSU, #3 USC, #4 Michigan
  • 2004: #1 USC, #2 Oklahoma, #3 Auburn, #4 Texas
  • 2005: #1 USC, #2 Texas, #3 Penn State, #4 Ohio State
  • 2006: #1 Ohio State, #2 Florida, #3 Michigan, #4 LSU
  • 2007: #1 Ohio State, #2 LSU, #3 Virginia Tech, #4 Oklahoma
  • 2008: #1 Oklahoma, #2 Florida, #3 Texas, #4 Alabama
  • 2009: #1 Alabama, #2 Texas, #3 Cincinnati, #4 TCU
  • 2010: #1 Auburn, #2 Oregon, #3 TCU, #4 Stanford
  • 2011: #1 LSU, #2 Alabama, #3 Oklahoma State, #4 Stanford

When looking at these results, you can see that in 2001 (Nebraska and Colorado from the Big XII), 2004 (Texas and Oklahoma from the Big XII), 2005 (Penn State and Ohio State from the Big Ten), 2006 (Florida and LSU from the SEC and Ohio State and Michigan from the Big Ten), 2008 (Oklahoma and Texas from the Big XII and Florida and Alabama from the SEC), 2010 (Oregon and Stanford from the Pac 10), and 2011 (LSU and Alabama from the SEC) all had years where two teams from the same conference would have been in the top four. In two years, 2006 ad 2008, two conferences dominated all four slots.

If the three conference champions and a wild card had been used, we would have had these results:

  • 1998: #1 Tennessee (SEC Champion), #2 FSU (ACC Co-Champion) #6 Texas A&M (Big XII Champion), and Wild Card #3 Kansas State
  • 1999: #1 FSU (ACC Champion), #2 Virginia Tech (Big East Champion) #3 Nebraska (Big XII Champion), and Wild Card #4 Alabama (SEC Champion)
  • 2000: #1 Oklahoma (Big XII Champion) #2 FSU (ACC Champion) #3 Miami (Big East Champion), and Wild Card #4 Washington (Pac 10 Co-Champion)
  • 2001: #1 Miami (Big East Champion), #3 Colorado (Big XII Champion), #4 Oregon (Pac 10 Champion), and Wild Card #2 Nebraska
  • 2002: #1 Miami (Big East Champion), #2 Ohio State (Big Ten Co-Champion), #3 Georgia (SEC Champion), and Wild Card #4 USC (Pac 10 Co-Champion)
  • 2003: #2 LSU (SEC Champion) #3 USC (Pac 10 Champion), #4 Michigan (Big Ten Champion) and Wild Card #1 Oklahoma
  • 2004: #1 USC (Pac 10 Champion), #2 Oklahoma (Big XII Champion), #3 Auburn (SEC Champion), and Wild Card #4 Texas
  • 2005: #1 USC (Pac 10 Champion), #2 Texas (Big XII Champion), #3 Penn State (Big Ten Co-Champion), and Wild Card #4 Ohio State (Big Ten Co-Champion).
  • 2006: #1 Ohio State (Big Ten Champion), #2 Florida (SEC Champion), #5 Louisville (Big East Champion), and Wild Card #3 Michigan
  • 2007: #1 Ohio State (Big Ten Champion), #2 LSU (SEC Champion), #3 Virginia Tech (ACC Champion), and Wild Card #4 Oklahoma (Big XII Champion)
  • 2008: #1 Oklahoma (Big XII Champion), #2 Florida (SEC Champion), #5 USC (Pac 10 Champion) and Wild Card #3 Texas
  • 2009: #1 Alabama (SEC Champion), #2 Texas (Big XII Champion), #3 Cincinnati (Big East Champion), and Wild Card #4 TCU (Mountain West Champion)
  • 2010: #1 Auburn (SEC Champion), #2 Oregon (Pac 10 Champion) #3 TCU (Mountain West Champion) and Wild Card #4 Stanford
  • 2011: #1 LSU (SEC Champion) #3 Oklahoma State ( Big XII Champion), #5 Oregon (Pac 12 Champion), and Wild Card #2 Alabama

Most of the years the top four would be in the picture but in 2006, 2008, and 2011 the fourth place team would have been left out. This would have meant two SEC teams were left out and a Pac 12 team would have been left out. Would a fifth place team jumping a fourth place team make everyone happy? I seriously doubt that. People would be crying foul just as they are now.

The biggest factor involved in these BCS negotiations will be the television money. ESPN will want the largest television audience possible with viewers from all over the U.S. Would that mean they'd push for four conference champions and the potential to not have the top four teams in the nation? It would give their talking heads more than enough fodder to complain about the way the system screwed some deserving team out of a shot at a BCS Title. At least this version would allow us to have a team that is ranked in the top four to be a wild card if they are not a conference champion. But I still think that the best way is to take the top four teams and retool the BCS computer system. They need to just have more transparency with the way the formulas are composed.

While they are making progress with the BCS system, the new system must be in place by September 1st for ESPN to bid on it. the time is closing in faster than we think. The best interest of the fans will not be seen until we get a clear cut playoff with the top four teams taken regardless of their conference champion status. But when was the last time the powers that be of big time college football did anything that benefited the game and the fans?

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