Resolution No. 1

September 1, 2007 | 69 comments
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It is the sense of Times and Seasons that the bowl system for college football makes no sense and that there ought to be a proper tournament of some sort.

69 Responses to Resolution No. 1

  1. Benjamin on September 1, 2007 at 12:21 am

    You can’t just leave us hanging — what exactly do you propose?

  2. Sarah on September 1, 2007 at 1:08 am

    Well, it’d make sense if every team in each conference played every other team in their own conference (not too hard except for the Big East.) Then you could have, say, the top 3 teams from each conference play in a big tournament — in Division A it’d amount to what, 16 games for the first round? (top 3 from 11 conferences = 33 teams; add an extra one from the Big East and drop one from each conference with less than 11 teams and it works out evenly.) You can take into account rivalries and the usual ranking nonsense when scheduling who plays whom. If you want to include the what, two? I-A schools not in any conference in that pool you could, since several of the conferences in I-A are small and/or weak enough that their third-best team probably wouldn’t do well in any tournament at the end anyway (in other words, give Conference USA two slots.) The biggest problem with a tournament system is that the entire season is presently geared around everyone playing less than 13 games a year — a championship-winning team playing 10 conference games, 2 non-conference games, and 4 tournament games would be playing from the fourth week in August through the second week in December, plus the final game in the first week of January (if you still want New Year’s Day championships,) which is somewhat insane. On the other hand, you are guaranteed to avoid 60-day breaks between the last regular season game and championship game. Cough.

    Discerning differences between conferences is I think half of why people care about bowl games anyway — “see, the Big Ten really isn’t as good as the SEC, suckers!!” At least, as an Ohio State fan who’s had way too many conversations with otherwise-not-a-Florida-fan southeasterners, that’s how I perceive it. ^_^ After all, we already know, at the end of the year, which couple of teams are the best out of any given conference (and the smaller conferences, we can say for sure which really is the best.) If the last few games from a tournament are filled with Big East and Big Ten and SEC teams, you won’t get insane “Boise State should have gone to the National Championship Game/ranked number 1″ scenarios.

    My system works well for giving the lower-level I-A conferences a chance to shine (or get totally squished,) in any event. And helps correct for the weird home game rule tendencies the NCAA has been leaning towards, which pretty much hurt everyone (I know Bowling Green students prefer their twice-per-decade trips to Ohio Stadium to trying to deal with a gazillion OSU fans parking in their already crowded dirt lot outside their stadium… to say nothing of the traffic on US-23. I mean, if you’re going to lose, at least lose in the state’s football mecca, for crying out loud.)

    Incidentally, does anyone else really hate using “Football Bowl Subdivision” instead of “I-A”?

  3. m&m on September 1, 2007 at 4:06 am

    Can’t wait for more on this one!

  4. Dan on September 1, 2007 at 6:28 am

    Amen! Hear! Hear!

  5. rjamesh on September 1, 2007 at 8:03 am

    As an LDS, University of Florida grad, I fail to see anything wrong with the current system!!!

  6. Adam Greenwood on September 1, 2007 at 9:17 am

    Incidentally, does anyone else really hate using “Football Bowl Subdivision” instead of “I-A”?

    I refuse to use that. Its obviously a plot to corrupt the language in the interest of preserving our present corrupt post-season. But I wouldn’t mind so much if we really were a Bowl Subdivision. It’s being a Cartel Subdivision I mind.

    Aha! From now on, I’m using the term Cartel Subdivision. Confucius would be proud.

    You can’t just leave us hanging — what exactly do you propose?

    I’ve seen lots of decent proposals. I think its a disgrace that no major sport in America has coopted soccer’s system of letting teams advance from division to division and fall from division to division. The game of soccer itself stinks but the way its organized is superb. I’d love to see some coherent way of getting college football into that kind of system.*

    *Though, truthfully, it probably makes the most sense for the NBA. The current playoff is overlong anyway and the disparity between the East and West means that if you have a decent team in the East you are all but guaranteed to cruise to the Championship game. Plus NBA doesn’t have the traditional rivalries to the degree that most other sports do. Instead the NBA should expand a little, create a division 2 and 3, and let teams play their ways up and down. You could still have a playoff, with, say 8 teams. Whoever won division 2 would be in the playoff (maybe even the top 2 teams from that division). There would be a lot of revenue-sharing issues to work out and salary-cap issues.

  7. queuno on September 1, 2007 at 10:12 am

    Thoughts:

    (a) Computers aren’t quite as biased as voters. At least with computers, the biases are known up front.

    (b) BYU wouldn’t have won a national championship under today’s system.

    (c) BYU wouldn’t have beaten Oklahoma in 1984.

    (d) Until they play it on the field (something I’m not advocating), it’s still just a Mythical National Championship.

    (e) The only way I would ever support a playoff is if you scrap the conferences and enforce a scheduling scheme that took out the university’s say in the matter, forced big schools to go on the road to small schools (Miami playing at Boise State in November, anyone?). In other words, if you want an NFL-style playoff, you can have an NFL-style schedule.

    (f) It’s getting harder and harder as I age to support minor-league football, which is all Division 1-A football is.

    (g) I still call it Division 1-A.

    (h) No matter what anyone proposes, the Pac-10 will mess it up.

    (i) Tradition in college football is overrated. Start with blowing up the Rose Bowl, and we can make real progress.

    (j) The Big-10 still needs to learn to count.

    (k) Force Notre Dame into a superconference. No independents.

    (l) If you kept the current BCS-6 conferences, then I think there should be an English Premier League-style relegation system. Get the Mississippi States and Vanderbilts and Illinoises (?) and Northwesterns and the Big Eights out of the BCS if they finish in the bottom 10% of the BCS conferences. Then open those slots up to the BYUs, Utahs, and Boise States of the world.

    (written from the perspective of someone who grew up with Big-10 football, graduated from BYU, and now has academic ties to the Big-XII.)

  8. queuno on September 1, 2007 at 10:17 am

    (m) You can talk all you want about the passions and traditions of college football, but it just doesn’t COMPARE to a Cleveland-at-Pittsburgh tilt in late November or a Chicago-at-Green Bay in December, or the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. The weather in Dallas aside, true football passion only exists in the NFL in an open-air stadium in the cold, where you can see your breath each time you insult Dan Marino’s manhood on Monday Night Football from the Dawgpound… :)

  9. Benjamin on September 1, 2007 at 11:15 am

    I could not disagree more with queuno. At the very least, saying that “true football passion only exists in the NFL” is short-sighted. At most, it’s flat-out false.

    College football’s fans are just as rabid, just as passionate, just as (frankly) insane as NFL fans — and certainly more so in many places. For every Dawg Pound in an NFL stadium, there are three “12th Men” — crowds so raucous that they have a reputation for affecting the game. The added advantage that college football has in this area is the fact that there are passionate fans everywhere in the nation (whereas you’d be hard-pressed to find a passionate NFL fan in, say, Idaho or Montana), and rivalries that, frankly, the NFL cannot beat. There is no way that even Chicago-Green Bay can compare with FSU-Florida, Ohio State-Michigan, or Alabama-Auburn, among others, in terms of the kind of passion that these games engender within the hearts of the fans. That’s just my opinion, but I’ve been observing this for years and I’d like to think I’ve given both sides a fair chance.

    Along those same lines, of course you have NFL fans who take their allegiance to a team very seriously; I don’t care what anybody says — anyone who wears dog ears to a football game is hard core. But at any given college football game 30-50% of the fans actually LIVE their allegiance — they attend the very school they’re rooting for. They live and study with the athletes; they take classes from the coaches. This gives students a very different sort of rooting interest, perhaps evidenced best by ESPN College GameDay, where they’ve found that wherever they go, there are thousands of young people wiling to stand behind their set for at least an hour and probably more holding signs. ESPN’s NFL shows, on the other hand, continue to be filmed in-studio.

    Furthermore, athletes who are not being paid are always there primarily for the love of the game. Of course there are prima donnas at both levels of play, but it seems that taking money out of the equation subdues most of these personalities. You can have your Terrell Owenses, Tank Johnsons, Michael Vicks and your Pacman Joneses of the NFL; I’ll take young kids who play with just as much (or more) heart and don’t go shoot up a strip club. What I’m saying is that I no longer feel good about getting passionate about the NFL, as my cynicism about the character of the players grows.

    So, you can claim the NFL has passionate fans. I’ll never argue that. But you cannot claim that true passion only exists there. You’re telling millions upon millions of students, alumni, and fans that their love is misplaced and has no merit.

  10. Benjamin on September 1, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Incidentally, I do agree with queuno that, ironically, any system other than the pre-BCS one, BYU would not have had a claim on the championship in ’84.

  11. Mark B. on September 1, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Sure, anything to perpetuate a system where universities pretend to teach “students” who pretend to study so they can participate in a minor league with hopes of making the big time and playing on Sundays. (This last is especially appropriate for a university that is sponsored by a church which professes to believe in keeping the Sabbath.)

    Simple solution: end the farce of “student-athletes.” Make the college game a true minor league or prep league for the NFL. Any school that wants to may sponsor a team, dress it in its uniforms, allow the players to enroll in school (or not, if they don’t want to or aren’t up to it). Keep maximum eligibility at four years.

    Then, let the playoff begin. Since we no longer engage in the fraud that the ball players are students, they can play on into January or February. And, since any team can get lucky and win a big game, we could have each team in the tournament play a three-game series against each opponent. The games could go on until June.

  12. Matt Evans on September 1, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Matt’s proposal:

    1. 8 or 16 team tournament, teams decided by methodology comparable to current BCS.

    2. If 16 teams, first round in early December, no conference championships.

    3. Round of eight during holidays, between December 27 and Jan 1.

    4. Round of four on the day before the NFL conference championships (about second weekend in January.)

    5. College championship on the weekend between the NFL conference championships and Super Bowl (about third weekend in January).

    This would determine the champion on the field, and it would make a lot of money. For all I care they could continue to call the different games the Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, etc., as they do the BCS championship now. Other bowls could take the early round games or invite teams not going to the tournament.

    Scheduling the games to dovetail with the NFL would create a January football financial juggernaut. The round of four weekend (college on Saturday, NFL on Sunday) and back-to-back championship weekends (college on weekend 1, Super Bowl on weekend 2) would be a television advertising dream package. College advertising rates would start to approach NFL levels.

  13. Bob on September 1, 2007 at 11:59 am

    If any of you have a problem at the end of the Season, let me know. I ALWAYS know which was really the best team. (And I’ve never been wrong!)

  14. Adam Greenwood on September 1, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks, Bob! Looks like we need to rechristen it the Bob Championship Series.

  15. Eric Russell on September 1, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Sounds good Matt. I would add a clause that says that any undefeated team gets an automatic bid.

    But I don’t any of this is likely to happen any time soon. The powers that be of college football are too proud of their tradition and uniqueness.

  16. Ray on September 1, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    and too greedy

  17. Eric Russell on September 1, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Not necessarily, Ray. If non-participating teams continued to hold bowls at the years end, the system would actually produce more money. The current system is strange case precisely because it’s one of the few instances in all of sports where tradition holds a greater sway than money.

  18. Bob on September 1, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    #12: HATE IT! I can see the first half of the Season, everyone playing Bum of the week to be sure to make your 16 Team Playoff. After Three weeks into the Season, all anybody will be talking about, “Who is the 16th Best Team?”

  19. queuno on September 1, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Benjamin – I didn’t say college football isn’t passionate. I think you could make an argument that college football is this country’s EPL.

    I just say that the passion in college football doesn’t compare to the NFL. Sorry. Ever sit on the alumni side at a BYU game? It’s like primary.

    (written from the perspective of a former BYU season ticket holder…)

  20. queuno on September 1, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    In any discussion of a playoff, you have to guarantee all 11 conference champions a spot in the bracket, with no “play-in” games or bye weeks for powerful conferences. If you want 5 at-large spots dictated by BCS-style calculations, that’s fine. But every D1A conference champion get in.

    And any playoff has to come with a new way to schedule. Don’t let Texas schedule Arkansas State at home. Make the Big-XII South have to play road games in the WAC in November.

    If you want a playoff, have a playoff. But unless you fix the money and scheduling issues, you’re just legitimizing the exclusion of the non-BCS schools, who will find themselves not selected for the playoff.

  21. queuno on September 1, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Simple solution: end the farce of “student-athletes.” Make the college game a true minor league or prep league for the NFL. Any school that wants to may sponsor a team, dress it in its uniforms, allow the players to enroll in school (or not, if they don’t want to or aren’t up to it). Keep maximum eligibility at four years.

    How has that worked out for every other semi-pro league? People love NCAA football for two reasons:

    - The tribe factor. No matter where I go, I retain my ties to my school.
    - The fact that *most* college athletes go to class, study, work hard, use their time wisely, and are true amateurs.

    Once you start paying everyone, then the faux-innocence is officially over.

    I guarantee it — if this ever came to fruition BYU would drop football.

  22. Bob on September 1, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    #19: The USC side is not Primary. I like the Fresno State coach: We’ll anybody, any place, any time, bring them on!

  23. Bob on September 1, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    #21: What’s with all this fairness talk?! We are watching Bar Fights!

    Did we really care that the Beauty Queen couldn’t find the USA on a map?!

  24. Bob on September 1, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    #22: we’ll play…….

  25. Benjamin on September 1, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Queuno — ever sit on the student side? Completely different environment. And you’d never have the kind of trash-talking that you get prior to a BYU-Utah game before, say, New England-Indianapolis. It just wouldn’t happen.

  26. Benjamin on September 1, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    Again, queuno, I agree wholeheartedly with your idea that paying student athletes would be an absolute disaster. I don’t fault anyone for suggesting it, but if you think it through and understand the way that the NCAA and college athletics work in the context of major universities, the only conclusion is that you can’t openly pay the athletes.

    A good book on this is Murray A. Sperber’s “Beer and Circus.” He comes to a conclusion with which I don’t happen to agree, but it’s a fascinating read nonetheless.

  27. Ray on September 1, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    How about Appalachian State beating Michigan today – AT Michigan! Sure, AS is the two-time defending 1-AA champion, but they are 1-AA. (This comes from someone who lives in Ohio and will be celebrating this loss all week.)

  28. Bob on September 1, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    #27: I have calendered Nov. 17, for your posting.

  29. Bob on September 1, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    #29: TOP SECRET Threadjack ( I choose this threat because only men are posting) Am I the only one who has noticed..that the women are taking over T & S as the lead Bloggers?

  30. Guy C on September 2, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    Interesting topic for T&S.

    IMO, the BCS is run by the “haves”. Until that changes, the system will not change.

  31. Ray on September 2, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    #29 – Yeah, I noticed the improved quality, as well – or am I not supposed to respond to a top secret threadjack. Just when I thought I was starting to figure out this whole internet thing.

  32. Bob on September 2, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    #31: Yeah… “improved quality”…. I’m trying to keep that in check!

  33. Ray on September 2, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    Actually, Appalachian State beating Michigan is a perfect example of why there needs to be some kind of playoff to determine the championship on the field. The biggest problem with the current system is the way that the Big 6 are favored (to almost the point of exclusivity) in the pre-season polls. Any team that starts higher than another team in the earliest polls and ends the season with the same number of losses as that other team almost inevitably will end the season ranked higher than that team. All else equal, it’s rigged before the season even starts.

    I despise the two month lay-off before the championship game; it’s the main reason we get so many horrible championship games. I agree completely with Matt Evans in #12, with one simple modification. I like a simple 16 team playoff starting two weeks after the season ends and incorporating 16 of the top tier bowls. In additional to Matt’s suggested games, I would add one additional consolation game for 3rd and 4th place – so that the last four games (semi-finals, consolation and championship) would be the current BCS bowls.

  34. Ray on September 2, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Sarah (#2), yes, I hate it.

  35. Bob on September 3, 2007 at 1:14 am

    #33: Whatever…USC going to take it all anyway. However, John Wooden refused to play ‘consolation’ games because a good team would end it’s season with 2 loses, and he was against that.
    Isn’t it nice to be able to ‘hate’ and ‘despise’ things in good Spirit?

  36. Chad too on September 3, 2007 at 11:03 am

    My two extra cents: I’ve often advocated something like Matt Evans has; creating a College playoff, tying it loosely to the same weekends as the NFL playoffs. I’d go one step further and always make the two championship games be the weekend before Martin Luther King day. That way there would be a national day of recovery before everyone had to go back to work. We LDS Mormons wouldn’t need the free Monday as much as our imbibing friends, but I’m sure they’d appreciate it.

  37. jose on September 3, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Draw straws to see who wins the Nextel Applebee’s Tostida Pepsi Dell Virgin Apple Bestbuy National Championship. That way no one can complain that they didn’t get a fair chance and on the holidays, my family can be more sociable than meth addicts in front of the big screen.

  38. Adam Greenwood on September 3, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Am I the only one who has noticed..that the women are taking over T & S as the lead Bloggers?

    Hey, this high quality resolution didn’t write itself.

  39. christopher johnson on September 3, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    #12, #17: It’s true that more bowl games would mean some more total money for NCAA football program, but the total revenue-from-bowl-games curve does have diminishing returns. There should be an optimization point (# of bowl games) for powerful schools to maximize their revenue. I think that the BCS is full of powerful smart people that are doing just ‘that.’

    What will compel the post-season system to shift from what is probably the financial-pinnacle of the powerful? Nothing short of either a revolution or an evolution. So get out your pitchforks and torches, or your calendars and sunflower seeds, ‘cuz we’ve got ourselves an economic snag.

  40. Ray on September 3, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I have to say that I like jose’s suggestion (#37) – and the title is more accurate than what we currently have. Think the conference presidents would go for it?

  41. Bob on September 3, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    #39: “more bowl games” NO!! Help!!
    I go back to the day, (It was called New Year Day), I would set down on my Lazyboy, I would be shown the best eight teams the nation had. At the end of a long day, I would cast my one vote, (the only one that mattered to me), as to who was the best, (or maybe there were two). I would then go to bed, by morning I was over it, until nest season.
    #38: are you saying they are not more Spiritual, but in HD?

  42. Matt Evans on September 3, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    #39, the benefit of a tournament isn’t its finding the optimum number of games, it’s creating a system that maximizes *interest* in those games, and few things maximize interest like a multi-stage tournament. Interest builds as the stakes increase round-to-round, and each game features the potential champion. The current bowl system is a loser because the stakes are static and only one game (or in some years, two) have the drama of a potential champion. I can’t imagine how *any* school would come out worse under a tournament format. The only reason for the current system is that the conferences are run by former athletes who missed too much class and were never good at math anyway.

  43. It's Not Me on September 3, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    The focus by some on BYU not winning a championship under a different system forgets that a whole bunch of other teams also would not have won a national championship (necessarily) under a different system. The bottom line is BYU won it under the system that was in place at the time, just as every other team has done. Until there is a playoff, all of the championships are suspect. In my opinion.

    Footnote: BYU did not vote itself into that championship, and that always seems to be the implication of statements on the subject.

  44. Bob on September 3, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    #42: How many teams end up better than 10-3? Do care about the others? Do you think 10-4 teams deserve a shot at National Champion? Are we so bored that we need to watch 7-6 teams play each other for three weeks? Or are you saying we should be watching 12-0 teams playing 6-6 and finding them “interesting” games. and hope the 6-6 team wins , so they can be Our National Champion? (only having fun)

  45. Bob on September 3, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    BYU vs. UCLA, worth the watch.

  46. Adam Greenwood on September 3, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    The only reason for the current system is that the conferences are run by former athletes who missed too much class and were never good at math anyway.

    That, and its human nature to prefer to have a smaller pie as long as your slice is relatively bigger.

  47. Bob on September 3, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    #47; No,No..half of football is trash talk. The other half is smash mouth (washed down with beer). Do you guys really want to turn it over the the “Math/Money Nerds”?

  48. Matt Evans on September 3, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    #42, if the tournament is limited to only 8 or 16 teams, all of the them have a legitimate shot at being the national champion. I suspect it will be like March Madness, though, and the lower seeds may make some surprises but the winner will always be from among the favorites. There’s a reason they’re favorites.

    #46, there’s no reason the new tournament pie couldn’t be carved like the BCS pie, is there?

  49. Adam Greenwood on September 4, 2007 at 8:49 am

    #46, there’s no reason the new tournament pie couldn’t be carved like the BCS pie, is there?

    It would be difficult. If you have a tournament of a certain size, you can’t keep out the non-BCS schools. And if the non-BCS schools are in the tournament, if they win, they advance. And it will be pretty impossible to make the payouts from the tournament depend not on winning but on who is from a BCS conference and who isn’t.

  50. John Mansfield on September 4, 2007 at 9:52 am

    The number one consequence of a 16-team playoff would be:

    A championship game that the teams’ best players watch from the sidelines because they were injured in one of the three hard fought do-or-die games they played less than a month previous. It would be like the old Mint 400 off-road race where winning depended not a little on finishing. One year, a class winner lost 1st and 2nd gears about 20 miles from the finish. He still had reverse and that’s how he drove those final miles; he had quite a sore neck when he won. Some championship football teams would be completing the season without 1st or 2nd, and the fans would get to enjoy the spectacle of a final played in reverse. I hope no one’s neck gets too sore.

  51. It's Not Me on September 4, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Has anybody been able to point to a sport, other than college football, where one particular forum does not have a playoff while all of the others do?

  52. Matt Evans on September 4, 2007 at 11:27 am

    #49, the new BCS system includes 8 teams, so they’ve already figured out how to carve it that many ways. I’d be happy with an 8 team tournament.

    #50, under my scenario the teams in the championship would only play two more games than they play now, which would be about a 14% increase. While that increase would make season-ending injuries more likely, I don’t think it’s enough of a change to make a serious difference. Super Bowl teams play 3 more games than my proposal, and it’s not defined by injuries.

    #51, real sports don’t use judges, they use objective measures to determine their best. That’s why gymnastics, mogul skiing, figure skating and synchronized swimming aren’t real sports. They’re arts. Only college football tries to split the difference by determining game winners by objective measures and their champion by subjective judges. The powers of college football have decided to determine their champion like ballet and ballroom dancing. I wish they’d make college football a sport.

  53. Dan S. on September 4, 2007 at 11:37 am

    #52 – Could chess be considered a sport then? No judges, only objective measures to determine a winner. If so, then I must have been a jock in high school, instead of a nerd. (Where are those cheerleaders now I wonder?) : )

  54. Adam Greenwood on September 4, 2007 at 11:45 am

    the new BCS system includes 8 teams, so they’ve already figured out how to carve it there. I’d be happy with an 8 team tournament.

    So would I. But under the BCS system, with extraordinary effort a BSU can play in one of the top bowls but they still can’t compete for the championship. If you do an 8-team system, once the tournament starts the big schools can’t control the outcome. They have to wait to see what happens on the field like everyone else.

  55. BBELL on September 4, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Shorten the regular season by a game or two and then take the top 16 teams from whatever conference and have a playoff.

    It would be bigger then the NCAA bball tourney and as much fun.

  56. John Mansfield on September 4, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Instead of a tournament, just bust the BCS for anti-competitive collusion. Free the market to line up the teams that America most wants to see play with the bowl that most wants to pay to host that game.

  57. Bob on September 4, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    #56: Free Market?! NO! Mormons would have BYU in a bowl game no matter how ‘off’ they were that year. This is why Noter Dame is in one every year, because the Catholics want to see them. That’s why UCLA in is one..the Japanese are willing to pay to watch them. (just having fun)

  58. CS Eric on September 4, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    The BCS system exists to maximize the revenue of the BCS schools. Sure, the BCS system was “tweaked” to allow schools from non-BCS conferences to play one of the games. But it was clear when Utah was the BCS-buster that their opponent didn’t deserve to be on the same field as Utah. They were only in that BCS game because they were in a BCS conference. Last year’s BCS-buster, Boise State, got to play a better game and better team, but they were also clearly the better team that night.

    See the results last weekend? Many “experts” had Michigan in the hunt for the national title, and they couldn’t beat a team that would never be considered for a BCS bowl. Wyoming was clearly superior to Virginia–a BCS school. Yet Wyoming is rarely considered for any bowl game at all, let alone a BCS bowl. In the unlikely event that Wyoming and Virginia both win the rest of their games this season, it is more likely that Virginia plays on New Year’s Day than that Wyoming would be playing in a bowl that isn’t the week before Christmas.

  59. Adam Greenwood on September 4, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Many “experts” had Michigan in the hunt for the national title, and they couldn’t beat a team that would never be considered for a BCS bowl.

    In fact, a team that cannot be considered.

  60. Bob on September 4, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    #59: So who picks? The American fan..as in American Idol. Do you think the ACC is going to vote in a WAC school over in of their’s? Or will it be ‘Corp. Sponsors pick them? I am sure Doritos is Ok to push BYU into the final big bowl game. But, I am afraid Bud Lite, Coke, and Fruit of the Loom, might try something to keep them out.

  61. Matt Evans on September 4, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    #52. Sorry, Dan. Playing by objective rules is necessary for something to be a sport, but it’s not sufficient. Those cheerleaders may be smarter than we think. : )

    #53 “But under the BCS system, with extraordinary effort a BSU can play in one of the top bowls but they still can’t compete for the championship.”

    If a team from a non-BCS conference were the #1 or #2 team, they’d play for the championship even under the current system that favors the big conferences. We’ve never seen that because schedule strength is part of the BCS formula and Utah and Boise State play weaker opponents. Because I think schedule strength is a fair consideration, I don’t see it as evidence that the BCS system is designed to preclude a non-BCS conference champion, or that the unlikely possibility of a non-BCS conference champion is a factor in keeping the current bowl system as it is.

  62. Adam Greenwood on September 4, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Matt E.,
    the likelihood of a non-BCS team becoming the champ is greater under a play-off system. Similarly, once you go to a play-off, it will be harder to justify the exclusionary devices that are currently used (for one thing, if we go to a play-off, it will almost certainly be under NCAA aegis, which means that all NCAA D-1A schools would get a vote in deciding how it was done). In my opinion that is almost the entire reason for the resistance to a play-off.

  63. Scott Fife on September 4, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Under the current college football BCS /Bowl system, at the end of the season, half of the football teams that make the play-offs (bowl games), are winners. Under a “real” play-off system, such as basketball, ALL the teams are losers, except one. My vote is for the BCS.

  64. Bob on September 4, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    #63: I Like that! I’ve worked a lot in Boy’s Baseball, I would never tell a boy or a team the only way to be a winner, is to be the Champion. I’ve seen players do all their winning in one play, the one they never dreamed they could/would be made by them.

  65. Matt Evans on September 4, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    I think adults (and most kids, for that matter) are more interested in seeing how far they can go than in making it more likely they’ll end the season with a win. Think how little interest there would be in a reverse tournament — keep playing until your team wins. It would ensure every team but one ends on a winning note but there’s good reason no league does it. People want a challenge, a mountain to climb. That’s why stories always require protaganists to face obstacles.

  66. Ray on September 4, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    We live in a society that has a problem with winning – simply because it requires losing, as well. What they fail to realize is that it is just as important to learn to lose gracefully – to accept defeat with grace even after your best effort – as it is to learn to win gracefully – to accept victory with grace even after your not-so-best effort. There is a deep connection to how we view the Atonement in there, but most people never consider that aspect of “opposition in all things”.

    While I agree that there are plenty of areas where winning and losing shouldn’t matter, college level sports is not one of them. To equate early youth sports (developmental and confidence building) and college level sports (true, intense combat) in that regard . . . Not my conclusion – not at all.

  67. Bob on September 5, 2007 at 12:29 am

    I’ve known too many players, not to know they played for the love of the game or the challenge of personal improvement. They like to win, but more, they like to play. Why else would you go to a school that didn’t have a snowball’s chance to win it’s games?
    But you’ve got to also Hate to lose. Show me a happy loser, and I’ll show you a loser.

  68. Ray on September 5, 2007 at 12:57 am

    I started my career as a teacher – both in the classroom and on the fields of competition. Bottom line, as I bow out of this discussion: Individual achievement can be judged subjectively; team achievement should be determined objectively. No championship system that does not recognize that difference is legitimate, IMO.

  69. Ray on September 8, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Just to illustrate the complete absurdity and bias of the early season polls – that set the rankings non-BCS schools must overcome, Michigan began the season ranked #5 in the original polls. Not only did they lose to a 1-AA school the first week, they now are getting ripped apart by Oregon 32-7 just into the 3rd quarter. If that alone doesn’t prove an inherent bias and the need for a simple playoff system, I don’t know what does.

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