BCS, CBS, CSB, and all that BS….

Maybe it’s just my general stance of apathy toward college sports, but I really don’t care about the whole BCS “controversy”. I just don’t care, and I don’t care if they have a playoff or not.

For those even less interested than I, what basically is happening is this: the “National Championship” of college football, at the Division One level, used to be determined by two separate “Top 25” polls, one by the press and one by the football coaches. Basically, every week the coaches and writers would vote on teams, based on their results that week (if they’d played), and whoever was voted Number One in the polls after all the New Year’s bowl games were done was the champion. However, if both polls didn’t agree, you’d have two teams with a share of the championship. Oh, the horror.

So they came up with something called the “Bowl Coalition System”, or BCS, which used computerized rankings and whatnot to more “definitively” decide who the Number One team happens to be. But this year, there seems to be a lot of anger at the BCS system, because a team with an easier schedule was ranked above a team with a harder schedule, despite their identical records. Or something like that. Anyway, the BCS system, which was intended to stifle debate, merely shifted it. Oh, the horror.

Thus we have the inevitable cries that we must have a playoff system to determine the “National Champion”. This is because they do it in NCAA basketball that way, with the March Madness tournament of 64 teams. In basketball, they invite the best teams to the tournament, seed them up according to record and location, and then let them play. Single elimination, lose and you’re out, and a champion is crowned. No fuss, no muss. Obviously, then, college football needs a similar system.

Except, it’s not going to stop the debate. Not even close.

For one thing, football’s very nature as the most physical team sport out there means that they can’t have a field of 64 teams; otherwise, at a game a week, they’d have their playoffs winding into February, which the NFL would most definitely have something to say about. More likely, you’d just have the top four teams playing off against one another, but I guarantee that under any such system there would still be disagreement, because then you’re just going to have people complaining about whether the Number Five team, left out of the playoff, should have gone in Number Four’s stead. To say nothing of if some team goes 12-0, but then loses in the first round to a 10-2 team in the playoff: you’d still have a team with one loss finishing behind one with two, which is the entire justification as to why we desperately need a playoff in the first place! I went to a Division III school, and Division III has playoffs. One year while I was there, our team went 9-1, and was excluded from the playoffs. (I seem to recall an 8-2 team making it in, because of some rule or other. But that might be incorrect on my part.)

Basically, my whole take is, who cares? College football fans love to complain, and they’re going to complain no matter what, each year. So they might as well choose the system that encourages as much complaining as possible. So keep the BCS! There will never be a lack of controversy, and I find the idea that there should be a bit unconvincing.

To quote George Carlin: “The ‘undisputed heavyweight champion’….well, if it’s ‘undisputed’, then what’s all the fighting about?”

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