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BCS MESS

   by Larry Ness - 12/01/2004

BCS MESS

I use this title but it is actually a MISNOMER! College football is in its current 'state' because it refuses to create a playoff system. It is NOT the fault of the BCS that FIVE schools are likely to finish the 2004 season unbeaten. It is NOT the fault of the BCS that USC of the Pac-10, Oklahoma of the Big-12 and Auburn of the SEC will all likely finish at 12-0....

So many of the BCS critics last year blamed the computer ratings and this year the system was TWEAKED to give more power to the writers' and coaches' polls. So guess what? If the current BCS standings are representative of the final standings (and that's what is expected if USC, Oklahoma and Auburn all win on Saturday), the final BCS standings would send USC and Oklahoma to its title game. That's EXACTLY the same conclusion drawn by the two human polls, which BOTH have USC at No. 1 and Oklahoma at No.2 with Auburn left out at No.3!...

So why do I keep hearing that's it's the fault of the BCS? Kirk Herbstreit and Bob Davie of ESPN said the coaches should decide. Well they HAVE! The coaches' poll says USC and Oklahoma! Last year syndicated writer Mike Lupica continued to blame the computer geeks and said sportswriters like himself were better qualified to choose the nation's two-best teams. Well the writers' have spoken too and they also say USC and Oklahoma!...

So why all the controversy? Because the problem is basic. When three teams all go 12-0 in major conferences, there is no FAIR way to eliminate one, regardless of which system you use! OPINIONS should not determine a champion or in this case, the two teams that will play for the title! Since the BCS was put in charge of screwing up CFB seasons back in 1998, there has NEVER been more than TWO undefeated teams at the end of a regular season!...

Now maybe the BCS will luck-out and one of the "big three" will lose this Saturday, leaving us with just two 12-0 teams to play in the Orange Bowl. On the other hand, two of the three could lose and then the problem would become which one of FOUR one-loss teams would play the remaining unbeaten while the 11-0 Utah Utes scream, "What about us?"....

For those of you who like to think that things used to be better in the old days, chew on this. Turning the clock back to the days when conferences sent their champions to specific bowl games, the 2004 bowl season would look like this for the nation's five unbeaten teams....

No. 1 USC would host the Rose Bowl, No. 2 Oklahoma would host the Fiesta Bowl, No. 3 Auburn would host the Sugar Bowl, No. 6 Utah would play in the Liberty Bowl and No. 8 Boise State would host the MPC Computers Bowl. Now that's a lineup that would be GREAT for college football. Bring back the "Good Old Days"!...

WEEKEND OUTLOOK: The Trojans and Sooners seemingly control their own destinies. If they win, they will both likely go to the title game in the Orange Bowl. Auburn does NOT have that luxury. It is assumed that the Tigers will need a loss by either USC or Oklahoma (both are three-touchdown favorites!) to reach the title game....

As it stands now, California is expected to go to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1959. However, the Bears can't afford UCLA to upset USC. If that were to happen, USC would claim the Rose Bowl bid by virtue of its 23-17 win over Cal during the regular season. Assuming that doesn't happen, Cal (a three-TD favorite themselves!) must win Saturday night in Hattiesburg against Southern Miss. Cal may not need a blow-out win to remain at No. 4 in the BCS standings but No.5 Texas is close enough to them that the Bears may not be able to afford a three-point win either....

The Big East has become an embarrassment to the process this year, as that watered-down conference does not deserve an automatic bid for its conference champion in 2004. All the BCS would need now, is for Pittsburgh to lose at South Florida on Saturday morning. That would mean that the Big East representative in the BCS for 2004 would be either a 7-4 Pittsburgh team or a 6-5 Syracuse team....

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