Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Leave the computers out of it

BCS? BS is more like it. With ESPN's new deal to broadcast the BCS games minus the Rose Bowl through at least 2014 there won't be any sort of playoff in college football in the near future, which causes me to feel all the more need to rant about it. I just don't get it. The coaches hate it. The fans hate it. Does anyone know how the thing really even works? I mean can anyone find me someone to explain to me how it works and why it works that way? USC beat Washington 56-0 and DROPPED 2 spots. How does that make sense?

"Its unfortunate. No one likes to do it. I think that's why more and more of us say, 'Hey, let's find a way to get a playoff in place so that we don't have to do that.'" That is Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops in reference to the campaigning that coaches of the top teams feel the need to do at this time of year in the current system.

"The feeling you have to campaign like that just doesn't feel right with me at all. I don't like it. It just plays to the nature of the whole system. You're trying to influence people on their choice as opposed to going out and playing." That is USC coach Pete Carroll, an advocate for a playoff system, despite the fact that his Trojans have had a great deal of success in the current system. Joe Paterno, who four times has coached the Nittany Lions to an undefeated season without a national championship to show for it (all in the old system), doesn't care for the new way of doing things. He joked a few weeks ago that he doesn't even know what it's called.

The current system leaves at least a handful of teams feeling cheated at the end of the season. It leaves coaches spending the last few weeks of the season acting more like a politician than a coach. It takes the attention away from the field. Granted, the old system of using the human polls to determine the champion was incompetent itself (see 1994 and undefeated Penn State failing to receive even a share of the title), so the current BCS system may have been a step in the right direction, but it's time to take that next step. Year after year of confusion, contention, and disappointment have left college football fans wanting more. Let the champion be determined on the field, not by a bunch of computers somewhere. The fans and the game of college football deserve better. The BCS gives us A champion, but how often has it given us THE champion?