Monday, November 17, 2008

BCS Means More Than Ever this Year

It has happened in '00 and '01 and '03 and '04 and '06. It garners attention of President-Elect Barack Obama. It is hated by just about every college football fan. Yet it still decides the national championship match-up.

And the BCS means now more than ever before.

As part of the nation's most heated and competitive conference race, the Big XII's South division hinges on the decision of the BCS Standings. Because of 4 quality teams -- Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas, and Oklahoma State --, the South has been compacted into a tight, neck-and-neck dash to the finish. If Oklahoma beats Texas Tech on Saturday, there would be a three-way tie between Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech in the Big XII South. The first few tiebreaking procedures will do nothing to break the tie. So what is the deciding factor? The BCS. So, for one the first times, if not the first, the BCS will decide a conference race, an important conference race.

With the emergence of non-BCS conference schools, the BCS has been thrown for a loop. Are they supposed to take an undefeated mid-major team or a once- or twice-beaten powerhouse? This year, unlike the last two years, there are multiple undefeated small school teams. Utah, from the Mountain West Conference, has been the most impressive so far, beating a respectable TCU team. From the WAC, Boise State's best win came against Oregon. And Ball State, hailing from the MAC, does not deserve to go to a BCS bowl primarily because their best win was against and 3-7 Indiana squad. But under BCS rules, only non-BCS teams in the top 8 are elgible for BCS bowls. So for two of these teams, the dream will be differed.

Because the Big XII and SEC are elite conferences and the ACC, Pac-10, Big East are mediocre conferences, another question has arisen. Do those conferences deserve bids to BCS bowls, especially with whining mid-majors? The ACC has been shaken up week after week and rocked by upsets, giving the conference a bad reputation. The ACC is deep, but their highest ranked team, #22 North Carolina, is behind Utah, Boise State, Ball State, BYU and TCU, all mid-majors vying for a spot in a BCS bowl. In this case, the ACC Champion would land in the Orange Bowl while Boise State would land in the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl. Even though the Pac-10 has USC, the conference champion is likely to be Oregon State by virtue of their early season victory over the Trojans. So another bid would be stolen from the mid-majors. Thus the rankings, especially for the non-conference winners, are the most important in recent history.

And it shouldn't come as a surprise that another controversy is among us. But this time, there will be two or three or four of them.

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