SportsProf

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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

And the "B" in BCS Stands For?

Fill in the blank, if you're the Cal Bears and if Texas loses to Texas A&M this weekend.

And the word is probably not one used in polite company, although it pops up with greater frequency in enclosed arenas where the home fans are protesting a referee's call.

Read the whole thing, and then tell me why there shouldn't be a Division I-A playoff system. While it's a neat thing that a non-BCS school can crash the party, it would be a travesty to keep the Cal Bears out of the Rose Bowl at the expense of both Utah and Boise State.

And all because Cal came up just short to the #1 team in the country, USC. (And, to make matters worse, should USC lose to either UCLA or Notre Dame, I believe they still would go to BCS bowl over Cal by virtue of the fact that they'd be the Pac-10 champs, having beaten Cal earlier this year -- even if Cal were to surpass them in the polls!).

Last year, there was much controversy over who should have played for the national title, and, as a result, the final polls were split between the obligated (the coaches' poll, as the BCS coaches were contractually obligated to vote for the winner of the BCS title game) and the free agents (the writers). That controversy, at least, was an expected one -- that there could have been three undefeated teams.

This one, I believe, was unanticipated, which just goes to show you that the mathematical possibilities in this situation are such that even bright guys can create a system that still cannot avoid major problems. Which, therefore, compels a conclusion that the most just way to decide who wins the Division I-A football crown is through a playoff.

Because I'd rather see the top 16, 12 or 8 teams make it (and argue about which of #17, #13 or #9 got left out unfairly), then situations where an undefeated team gets left out of the title game because of pre-season determinations of voters (that is, because USC was a pre-season #1, therefore they're the #1 team, even if the #2 and #3 teams play tougher schedules) or where the #4 or higher team doesn't even get into a BCS bowl game.

Forget the arguments about missed class time. Somehow, Division I-AA, Division II and Division III have solved all of those problems. Ditto with the arguments about the bowl games -- there's enough money to go around to make everyone happy.

So, I'll repeat what I have argued before on this blog: let the players decide who the best team is on the field.

Because that's the only championship worth having.

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