Free Leaf

"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold..."

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Location: Falls Church, Virginia, United States

I have a lot more questions than answers, but I just keep asking. I constantly want to leave, but somehow manage to stay. I am both perfectly happy and completely miserable because of it. I think I am misunderstood but that could just be a huge misunderstanding, either way I guess the best way to put it is, "I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong."

11.14.2006

My BcS rant

Since Saturday everyone seemingly has something to say about the state of the BCS. And since I am not one to be left out here is mine. Obvious biases to the Orange and Blue aside the system sucks. Sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks. Looking at the BCS for what it was supposed to be and what it is clearly shows you that it is flawed. The Bowl Championship Series was supposed to ensure that the #1 and #2 teams in the country played in a real championship game, however the formula for selecting said #1 and #2 has been in question every year of its existence. And so every year they tweak the system until it becomes an even murkier thing than the one before it. Oh and by the way, the AP poll can and will name its own National Champion if it doesn’t agree with the BCS (see USC 2003). So why continue tweaking a flawed system? Is it that bowl dollars are precious or that the establishment is too conservative to change? Prior to the BCS the bowl matchups were determined only by conference tie in to the bowl games meaning that it was possible for the top teams to not even play each other. This was clearly a problem that the BCS set out to avoid, and they have but to say they got it completely right is also not true. If we are going to continue selecting winners as if this is a beauty contest we need to select better judges. Everyone knows that the coaches don’t really vote in the coaches’ poll and that the Harris poll is an absolute joke, then you take a look at the computers and you get your mind blown from the statistical equations and huge variables involved in their selections. We either improve the selection process or we go to a playoff, because what we have now is clearly not working.

Not only does the current system leave out legitimate title contenders and crush the soul of the Cinderella team it is also dividing the fans of college football more than ever. From day one of the college football season the lobbying begins and vitriol begins to flow, fans not only have to hope for their teams’ victories but for their nearest opponents to lose. Hardly is it possible to enjoy a hard fought close victory when style points are needed. And then there is the lobbying, from coaches, to fans, to pundits, everyone is lobbying for one conference over another, one teams schedule over another and all of it is only a face value assessment. Bringing us to this year and the perceptions of this season people feel that Michigan and OSU are clearly the two best teams in the country but when you break down their schedules and stats it becomes a lot less clear. A keen observer would tell you that the top 8 teams in the new BCS are not all that different. And that is why we need a playoff, today Urban Meyer suggested that 8 conference champions prove it on the field in a playoff format. I am totally OK with that, the 6 BCS conferences plus the next two strongest each play a conference championship game in early December. After that teams get a few weeks off before playing a first round of playoffs around Christmas, running the playoffs into January when the current Championship game takes place. It would eliminate a lot of the debate, not all of it, but a good amount, because the teams would be proving it on the field. Sure, this may never happen but something has to.

This little rant has been running through my head since Sunday evening when we learned that the Gators were jumped by USC. Part of me understands, USC is the media darling, the team from LA with the celebrity fans and the recent success. They just blew out a decent Oregon team and they earned some much needed style points. People forget so quickly how shaky they have looked all year winning close games and losing a bad one. While Florida has won close games all year and lost to a good team on the road. No, the Gators don’t have the style points but they are winning and don’t deserve to be locked out because SC has a bigger media market. Not to only jump on SC, Notre Dame also has a shot at a Mythical National Championship should they beat USC on the 25th. But this is the problem, to say that either of these teams is definitively better than Florida is impossible, either may finish the season 11-1 which is great, Florida may finish 12-1 after playing a conference championship game and still no one can say that Notre Dame or USC are not better because we just don’t know. We need a playoff. Let them prove it on the field because computer generated equations and human polls clearly have no way of deciding who the two best teams in the country are. 8 conferences, 8 champions, 1 playoff to see who is the best.

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