Monday, December 01, 2008

More BCS Crazy Talk -- Or Not

This sums up a pretty valid point -- whether you are a Florida fan or not.

I spent a lot of tonight considering where my head has been at the last 48 hours. Part of the complicating factor is that my team is one of the contenders in the conversation.

Good problem to have, you might say. But I wonder how I would gauge things if I didn't have a dog in the fight. Take Oklahoma vs. Texas: I really don't have a personal stake in it; I simply fall on the side of Texas, for a lot of reasons highlighted over the past two days.

I also think that I'm not particularly biased in arguing that few outside of Austin or Norman want to see Oklahoma-Texas II. We didn't want to see Ohio St-Michigan II two years ago, and we don't want or need to see OU-UT II this season. The argument they are 1-2 in the country is sketchy, at best -- consider that they aren't 1-2 in any poll right now, nor have they been.

I am plenty biased in laying out scenarios as they relate to Florida. I don't think it's crazy for me to (a) root for Florida to beat Alabama; (b) honestly think that Florida will beat Alabama; or (c) prepare for the various scenarios in the event that Florida does beat Alabama, but somehow doesn't finish in the Top 2 -- an idea that the more I consider it, the more scary-likely it seems.

That said: There is arguing about the BCS that is fun, and then there is the arguing that is debilitating. I think we're quickly reaching that point -- at least for Texas fans, in part for Florida fans and most certainly for fans without a dog in the fight. It is wearying, and it's not even next weekend yet.

By the way, a 4-team playoff wouldn't solve anything this year. An 8-team playoff -- if you insist on including all 6 "BCS conference" champs -- wouldn't solve anything either. A 16-team playoff would get us closest to where we need to go, but that's a pipe dream.

Between the suspicion of voter fraud -- or, at the very least, benign negligence by voters -- and an apalling lack of transparency (and even more apalling lack of respect for fans) by the people running the BCS, the system is truly broken this year. The funny thing is that it isn't even as egregious as 2004 -- but even 4 years later, it's such a moment of hyper-intensity that we're living in, it feels worse. It's still pretty tough to top the crappy feeling of Auburn '04 fans; they enjoy a lifetime free pass of saying, to any other fan base: "Oh, STFU. You know NOTHING of BCS misery."

I'm going to really enjoy the hell out of the SEC title game this Saturday -- I have kind of had it in my head that if Florida loses that game, at least they had their shot... they controlled their own destiny. What frustrates me is that perhaps that isn't really the case.

"What if they lose?" isn't nearly as distressing as "What if they win, but don't make the Top 2?"

I'm sure I will work myself into a frenzy by Saturday night. And yet I can't even imagine what it must feel like to be a Texas fan. That's why I keep throwing out this "AP half of the title" scenario for the Longhorns; maybe I'm holding out for that consolation prize if it is Florida, and not Texas, that is iced out of the BCS title game.

So, in short, forgive me for the frenetic, frazzled posting on the subject. Not only do I root for the best for Florida, but I root for the best for college football -- this isn't one of the sport's finest moments. I hope we can all find ways to enjoy the next 5 weeks. At the very least, Alabama-Florida should be a great game worthy of "Game of the Year" status and national attention.

-- D.S.


Jon said...


I completely agree with your thoughts, especially about Auburn.

With that said, I'd like to be a voice as a die-hard Utah fan that before the season even begins almost half the D-I teams are disqualified for playing for the national championship for not being B_S schools.

One of the primary arguments should be that teams like Utah, Boise State, Ball State, BYU, TCU, Hawaii, etc. have ZERO chance at the title because there is no way in hell that the powers that be will ever let them in.

It is even more frustrating to hear every talking head refer to the injustice to Auburn when that year Auburn, Utah and Boise State were ALL undefeated. Why are the latter two automatically disqualified from the conversation? Utah was at #6 in the last B_S poll and could have played with anyone that year, including USC and Auburn.

Utah is again at #6 this year, along with a strong Boise State team at #9 yet all they are table scraps of fighting over inclusion into one of the 4 B_S games.

The fact that the little guys have zero chance at the title is infuriating and should be highlighted more often.

GoldManGold said...

*if I didn't have a dog in the fight.*
/bad newz kennel'd

BD said...

Best Article I have ever read about the stupidity of polls and the greatness of college football's imperfect-perfect system!