Thursday, March 26, 2009

Latest BCS Busters? The U.S. Senate!

Congress has been embattled for a long time now. They could use a win, and I can't think of a bigger one than bringing down the scourge of American sports. (Ok, fixing the economy might compare.)

Seriously, is anyone left who still likes the BCS? Quiet down, state of Florida. Look, I admit I'm biased. I'm a fan of a "mid-major" team. (Go UTES!) But I don't think I'm the only one who has realized that term has lost most of its meaning. Yeah, some conferences are traditional powerhouses. But it's changing every year. The ACC, the Big East--they're not what they used to be. And some conferences, like my own dear Mountain West, are getting stronger. Is it fair that we distinguish between them based on their reputation when the BCS was formed? How long can that system continue?

In fact, conference competition isn't really the point (although I expect it's much of what the commenters will debate). The point is that every team in America should have a chance to be national champion. Just a chance. It doesn't have to be easy; in fact, it shouldn't be. But right now, the only realistic way to be considered for a national title is to come from a BCS conference, and that sucks. If anyone disagrees with that assessment, I'll refer you to my friends on the only undefeated team last year. They won thirteen games and beat four ranked teams, finishing their season with the merciless slaughter of #4 Alabama on their own turf, and were never even considered for the title.

When a bunch of big, powerful organizations get together and conspire to keep out the little guy, that's called a monopoly, and it's illegal. I'm hoping congress recognizes the one strangling America's favorite pastime.

30 Comments:

Blogger McWho said...

The hard part is how we fix it. I agree with you that it is unfair that a team like Utah could not be in the national championship.

Do you want playoffs? Or just no automatic bonus for being in the ACC etc.?

3/26/2009 10:41 AM  
Blogger tj said...

Sour grapes.

I'm not a huge fan of the BCS, but I'm far less of a fan of the concept that my government should concern itself with how colleges decide to play extracurricular sports.

If the people of Utah want to root for a team that can play in a national title, they can pick from a pretty wide assortment that already exist.

3/26/2009 11:25 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

"If the people of Utah want to root for a team that can play in a national title, they can pick from a pretty wide assortment that already exist."

I'm just going to assume that wasn't serious and move on. And I'm usually all about telling the government what it shouldn't concern itself with, but I think football is actually pretty important to this country. It seems like the NCAA itself won't get its shit together enough to fix this, so it's time for congress to step in.

McWho, I'd be in favor of a playoff, but anything would be an advantage over this.

3/26/2009 12:12 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

One more thing. It's really not just about who the state of Utah gets to root for. The national championship pays money, lots of it. By keeping schools like Utah, or Boise State, or whoever's next out of the big game, the BCS is disenfranchising them, and that affects anyone who has gone or will go to those schools.

3/26/2009 12:16 PM  
Blogger McWho said...

Tj, I think there is actually a legitimate complaint here. Mostly because of the money, but also in a larger publicity sense.

Schools get national recognition partly based on their sports programs. Denying that to 75% of schools seems unfair.

3/26/2009 12:23 PM  
Blogger tj said...

Nobody's stopping those schools from forming their own product.

The problem? Nobody wants to buy it.

3/26/2009 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More importantly, no one is stopping these schools from scheduling the BCS-conference competition that might vault them into a Top-5 ranking. Look at Utah last year. They had 5 regular-season non-conference games last year.

What did they "spend" them on? Oregon State, Michigan, Weber State, Utah State, and BYU. The first two were legitimate games....but who forced them to go and play Weber State and Utah State? (Even BYU isn't that impressive considering what piddly Arizona did to them in the bowl.). They could have scheduled Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona -- any number of decent BCS teams. They probably would have beaten them too, but they didn't. Most schools in most big conferences are happy to schedule games against Mountain West competition. (Except the SEC. Their scam -- and it really is a scam -- is to start every season with 4 games against Northwestern Chattanooga of the Valley State, so they can talk about how many "great" 4-0 teams they have in September).

Utah got a lot of respect for going 13-0 against a soft schedule. If it had gone 13-0 against even a normal BCS-level strength of schedule, they would be national champions. The fault, dear Brutus, lies in the scheduling, not in the BCS.

3/26/2009 1:03 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Geez, where do I start. Michigan was supposed to be good at the time we scheduled it (like six years ago). Is it our fault they sucked last year? Oregon State actually WAS good. BYU is in our conference, so doesn't even count (and they were ranked #12 when we played them, so shut up). The other two games are in-state rivalries.

But anyway, this seems beside the point, unless you're arguing that Utah would have been let into the championship game under the current system, if they just scheduled harder games. I still doubt that very much.

3/26/2009 1:09 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Also, I like how you managed to call Arizona both "piddly" and "a decent BCS team" in the same post. You win. Someone get 1:03 his prize! Where is it?

3/26/2009 1:15 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I also liked your unnecessary quotes around "spend." That was fun. You're really a delight, 1:03.

3/26/2009 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, lighten up, these are your peers.

3/26/2009 1:17 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/26/2009 1:22 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I think I'm being pretty light! It's just a debate about sports. Trash talk is part of the game. 1:03, we really can be friends. Forever.

3/26/2009 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

First of all..."Anonymous" is possibly the least educated person on this subject I have ever come across and he/she should get his/her facts straight before posting outrageous comments. BYU is in the MWC so that wasn't a choice. Utah beat the winningest team in NCAA history on the road in front of 108,000+ people. They also beat OSU who took down the mighty Trojans just a week before. Utah tries to schedule better competition but every team backs out of games because they don't want to get beat at home like Michigan did. I also laughed at who Anonymous suggested to schedule, Minnesota and Arizona. Are you kidding me? Minnesota went 3-5 in the mediocre Big 10 while Arizona was 5-4 in the Pac 10 which wasn't as strong as in years past.
The only solution is a playoff/tournament but it will never happen because the people who control it are already in it and won't willingly kick themselves out. Legislative involvement is one of few things that will make a difference. A playoff in the near future isn't likely because the next 4 year cycle begins in 2010 with a new ESPN tv deal that the MWC has yet to sign. The BCS is a monopoly and Anti-trust laws will eventually bring it down

3/26/2009 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arizona IS piddly and would STILL be an improvement over Utah's abortion of a schedule. That's the whole ever-mother-fuckin point. Jesus. Consider this site:

http://www.masseyratings.com/cf/compare2008-15.htm

AZ is at 41 pre-bowl, MN at 58.

Now, how many teams did Utah play pre-bowl that were even AS GOOD AS "piddly" Arizona and Minnesota? Four.

FOUR.

That means 66% of their schedule was taken up by giants like San Diego State (122), Weber State (not even I-A), Utah State (99), Wyoming (98)...and on it goes.

You want a NC for that?

I give Utah credit for scheduling Oregon St and Michigan. I really do. And I don't doubt they were a great football team last year, probably top-3 at least.

But if you want to be serious about what you "deserve," skip out on Weber State next year and add just a full roster of just DECENT BCS-level competition to the OOC schedule. Oregon is a start...but how about three more decent games?

And no, San Jose St. on 9/12/09 does not count.

3/26/2009 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Dan, but Utah has no gripe about being left out of the title game. The BCS as a system has no conference tie-ins for the NC game. The two highest rated teams at the end of the year play for the title, regardless of what conference they play in.

Utah's problem is that it didn't have the strength of schedule to finish in the final two, and that has nothing to do with the BCS. Utah undeniably played a weaker schedule than Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, and the like. Whose fault is that? It's partially Utah's for playing in the MWC. And it's partially out of Utah's control because the big boys are scared to schedule Utah.

So there's your two culprits. It's got nothing to do with the BCS as a system.

A playoff could solve part of the problem because it would expand the at-large (i.e. no conference tie-in) selections from 2 to 8 or 16. But that's the same gripe Auburn had in 2004, Michigan in 2006, Texas in 2008, etc. Utah didn't get left out because the BCS disfavors the little guy. Utah got left out because its numbers weren't in the top 2. Plain and simple. Get in line with every other team, from mid-majors and BCS conferences, who has ever felt like they were the best team at the end of the year.

3/26/2009 5:40 PM  
Blogger tj said...

How about the Pac 10 dumps those two piddly AZ schools and adds Utah and Boise State? Would everyone be happy then?

3/26/2009 5:51 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Unfortunately this comment-off has turned into a discussion on whether Utah deserved to play in the championship last year (which is certainly debatable). I probably brought that on with all my Ute love, for which I will not apologize.

But 5:40, you make my point. Utah could not play in the national championship because it is not in a BCS conference, and the BCS teams will not play it. Thus, they had no discernible road to the title, no matter what. Neither did any other mid-major team (and I'm perfectly happy to be "in line" with the rest of them).

A playoff would go a long way to solving this problem. Yes, at some point, someone is still going to get left out who thinks they deserved to be in. But giving eight or twelve teams a chance to play for the title is a helluva lot more fair than giving it to two, and it greatly increases the chances that non-BCS teams will have a shot.

I'm really surprised to find so many BCS apologists in this discussion. You guys are seriously in the minority. Then again, you'll always have this guy.

3/26/2009 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

masseyratings is a bullshit site and I'm sorry but it's not Utah's fault that it's in the Mountain West. I'm confident that the Utes are 3 times better than Arizona or Minnesota and the Utes could do a lot better than 3-5 in the Big 10. All the scheduling talk needs to stop. Utah went undefeated and they were the only team in the country that did so. YOU CAN'T ARGUE WITH THAT. Trust me if Utah could "add just a full roster of just DECENT BCS-level competition" to the non-conference schedule, they would but no one will play them because they don't want to get beat. Therefore Utah has to schedule filler games like Weber. This conversation would not be happening if there were a playoff in place. We would have one undisputed nat'l champ. We wouldn't have multiple teams arguing for a chance at a title like Texas was this year.

3/26/2009 6:38 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

"It's partially Utah's for playing in the MWC"

I've decided that's my favorite thing ever said on N & B. Like Utah could just call the pac 10 tomorrow and be like "Hey, we'd actually like to play with you guys next year."

Utah's pretty stupid for not doing that yet!

3/26/2009 7:38 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

The Arizona schools did. Although I don't necessarily support that idea because I don't want to dilute the competition in the Pac-10.

3/26/2009 7:40 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Armen is right. If Utah just scheduled UCLA every year, they'd assure themselves a spot in the title game. Of course, they'd be left with that one loss to UCLA every year, which would probably preclude them from that same game.

3/26/2009 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oligopoly or cartel, not monopoly

3/26/2009 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

Utah slaughtered UCLA last year and the Bruins got embarrassed 59-0 this year at BYU. Bruin fans should keep their mouths shut until their program is respectable again.

3/26/2009 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

go gators.

tebow=god+jesus+holy ghost

two in a row. the trinity never loses.

3/26/2009 10:43 PM  
Blogger McWho said...

We should add Utah/BYU so that we have a league championship game.

But to everyone that feels Utah should have a tougher schedule, get real. How many top programs does Cal schedule out of conference?

Utah had one of the hardest schedules this year, especially considering it had the hardest ones EARLY in the season, out of conference.

And the next person to suggest removing ASU from the PAC 10 gets egg in the face next week.

3/26/2009 10:53 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I don't know all the details, but I was under the impression Utah/BYU have been trying to get into the Pac-10 for years. Except BYU usually screws it up by sucking too much.

3/27/2009 12:17 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

But anyway, putting Utah in a BCS conference does not solve the larger problem. I hope congress does.

How's that for an attempt to get this thing back on track?

3/27/2009 12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't we just play all the games then vote on a national champion? Oh wait... that's what college football has done for 100+ years. Now all you rubes can debate whether the pre-BCS system was more fair than the BCS.

In the end it doesn't matter. The post season was invented to make money, not satiate the american public's yearning desire for a real, gee golly great, national champion.

3/27/2009 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But what does Susan Peabody think about the BCS?

3/27/2009 11:11 AM  

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