Monday, December 03, 2007

The BCS Mess

After last weekend, it's understandable that nobody is happy about the upcoming college bowl season. Nearly everybody's got a gripe on some level and the call for a playoff (of some sort) is at an all time high. Will it matter by the time the games roll around? I doubt it. Nevertheless, a few thoughts:

We choked. No ifs ands or buts about it, WVU sucked royally Saturday night. Hopefully, by the time we take the field for the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma, Pat White will be healthy and in top form. Nonetheless, I hope that Rich Rodriguez takes the time between now and then to figure out a Plan B to use next time that run-based spread offense doesn't work. We spent too many games relying on White's legs to win games and once those were gone, we were toast.

Get over the "two best teams" conceit. Over and over again this weekend people were arguing - Georgia and USC fans, mostly - that the BCS title game match up should involve the "two best teams" in the country. Usually the argument went along the lines of "c'mon, do you think Ohio State is one of the two best teams in the country?" What those folks seems to (conveniently) overlook is that championship games rarely - if ever - match up the "two best teams." How many times as a top seed in the playoffs been knocked off before the final? Playoffs are about survival, not on-paper-superiority. Case in point - Euro 2004 - almost nobody, even their own fans, think that Greece was the best team in that tournament, yet they are the defending champions of Europe. If all the BCS matchup is about is putting the "two best teams" on the field together, the regular season essentially becomes an exhibition.

Whither Hawaii? The Warriors are the BCS nightmare team of the year: the undefeated mid-major team that wants to crash the big time party. At 12-0, they got dumped in the Sugar Bowl against 2-loss didn't even win their division in the SEC Georgia. Do they deserve a shot at the big game? This season, I say yes. I know, their schedule, particularly out of conference is weak (but, as I understand it, that's partially because Michigan State pulled out of a date and left Hawaii scrambling for replacements) and they didn't exactly blow everybody away (San Jose State and LaTech in OT? Yikes!). But they have one of the most potent offenses in the country and the WAC, when allowed into the BCS, has done well. And, in this of all years, when no major conference champion went undefeated and only one managed one loss, they have done what nobody else can and win all their games. If an undefeated WAC team doesn't get in this year, they never will. In which case, let's just cut the mid-majors off from I-A altogether.

Having said all that, I think the actual championship game is about the best matchup they could get (putting aside Hawaii's claim, of course). OSU is the only one-loss conference champion (sorry, Kansas). Of the two-loss conference champions (sorry, Georgia), WVU has two ugly losses, and one of VaTech's losses was to LSU, who beat them like a rented mule. Between LSU and Oklahoma I don't see much difference.


jedijawa said...

"Beat them like a rented mule." Nice metaphor!

Well said ... again. :-)

Buzzardbilly said...

Indeed, I was going to mention that one too.

I wonder if other couches will start wanting to end early too. That way their late-season losses will be more distant than the other teams' late season losses.

Anonymous said...

wow...does the author read the message boards much?

JDB said...

jj & bb - I can't take credit for that phrase. I can't remember from whom I lifted it, however.

Anon - No, I've never read those boards, but I'll have to check them out.