Monday, December 3, 2007

This is What the BCS Is For

Like it or hate it (and I am ambivalent), the BCS is designed to do exactly this. It is designed to decide who gets to the BCS National Championship Game between multiple teams with legitimate claims to it. It has done that, and we have benefited.

I won't pretend that we have a perfect claim to a shot at the national championship. We're the first two-loss team ever in it, and we lost to an unranked team late in the year. There's no question that we are not the 2005 USC team. But no one is this year. Not even Ohio State's claim to it is perfect (quick, name three good teams Ohio State beat). No one in history has backed into a title game more egregiously than Ohio State just did, by not playing for two consecutive weekends while moving up due to other teams' losses.

Heck, if we had stopped playing football the week before Thanksgiving, no one would be complaining about us getting in the game either.

I'm not saying Ohio State doesn't deserve to be in it, but if we're not the 2005 USC team, they're not the 2005 Texas team either. The computers ranked you a distant 3rd behind LSU and Virginia Tech, and the voters saved you, mainly because you failed to lose more than once.

And Georgia, you aren't the 2004 Auburn Tigers. You are not being screwed here. You're being passed over, but you're not being screwed. If you want to be crowned the best team in the country, you first have to be crowned the best team in the conference. It may not be a definitive rule, but the voters were pretty clear on this matter. Heck, even the computers didn't exactly love you, ranking you 4th overall.

I'm not saying Georgia is no good. I would not do that. I think Georgia is very good, and they aren't exactly wrong when they say that they finished the season as the strongest team in the conference. They didn't start that way though, and they weren't that way in mid-season when they got blown out by Tennessee. Tennessee beat them by 21, but I watched that game and they could have beaten them by more but they shut it down early because they knew it was in the bag.

Virginia Tech? They have a legitimate claim, as does Oklahoma and USC. But, this is what the BCS does. It decides between teams with legitimate claims according to a known set of rules. It chose us. USC would be sitting pretty if they hadn't lost to Stanford, and Oklahoma would be in if they hadn't lost to Colorado. Virginia Tech would be in it if they had even kept it close against us in September (I think).

I certainly think that whatever happens in this game, the legitimacy of this championship will be discussed for years to come. I don't have a problem with that. They don't call it the Mythical National Championship for nothing. And if it weren't for disputed national championships, what would Bama fans have to talk about?

I kid. I kid.

OK, bottom line. We won our conference. The voters made us a very strong 2nd place. The computers made us a very strong 2nd place. We're in. To the extent the whole thing is objective (computers), we passed. To the extent it's subjective (voters), we passed. No one beat more good teams. No one else won a conference as tough as ours. No one near the top played a schedule as strong as ours. We may not have dominated that schedule, and in other years we probably would not have made the championship game with our losses, but this is this year. It's not other years. We're in, and we deserve it. We have nothing to apologize for.


gerry dorsey said...

one of my biggest problems is that everyone seems to change their voting beliefs in the last week. why did lsu suddenly jump kansas, georgia, va tech, etc?? i'm doubting that performance in atlanta blew anyone's mind. and let the record show that i didn't think va tech should have been ahead of them in the first place, but they damn sure didn't do anything to get jumped. and how come osu takes the week off and moves up, yet kansas and uga plummet?? its like these clowns vote one way for weeks and weeks and then say "oh wait, this poll is for the bowls" and then vote a different way.

i'd like to say that although i hate lsu, i would have had to defend them a little bit if they had been left out. there was no real way to avoid a screw job this year. unless ohis state beats lsu it will only make things worse...and that ain't happenin'.

Poseur said...

OF COURSE they took the last poll more seriously. It's the one that mattered. All the other polls, essentially, are meaningless. There also should be no rule about not moving ahead of teams because they keep winning or whatever. It really should be based on who the voter believes is the best team. And it's easier to make a judgment call on the whole body of work... which can only be made at the end of the season.

All in all, LSU gets the nod because they have the best resume of a whole bunch of flawed teams. I'm happy we're in the title game and I do honeslty believe we have the best claim.

That said, the BCS sucks ass. And this season has pretty much exposed the lie that the "whole season is a playoff". At the end of the day, we are making a guess between five or six teams all with almost equal claims. The answer is easy: playoff.

gerry dorsey said...

"At the end of the day, we are making a guess between five or six teams all with almost equal claims."

pretty much sums the whole situation up.

Dublin Saab said...

Voters wanted to see OSU go up against the SEC champion for a second time. That's why LSU got in. If say OSU had been having a "normal" rebuilding year and lost 3 or 4 games and USC had not had an injury to Booty leading to their two losses then I would bet you'd be looking at USC vs. Oklahoma.

As it is you guys are in and have a god damned home game for the "Championship". Whatever.

Viva la Playoffs!

Tigers 27 - Buckeyes 21

Jeffrey Macloud said...

So you'd rather allow a team with two total let-down, egg-laying, slap-your-mother losses have a shot at getting lucky in some kind of playoff system?

Noone can seriously expect a 16 team playoff bracket like what SI has up right now. So what you've got is, at most, an 8 team bracket. That's a setup for an equally crappy system that you'll be b!tching about within two years because Hawaii will have played noone all year long, gone undefeated again, and take the place of an SEC team who could beat them by 3 touchdowns.

Bottom line: I don't think any system will be better than the BCS system and all it's flaws. I've heard tons of arguments for why the BCS system sucks but not one really doable alternative that doesn't have the same or a longer list of WTF!? problems with it.