Annual BCS Rant

Even though I something of a Longhorn partisan, having spent four years at UT, I was kind of hoping they would lose and throw the BCS into complete turmoil. A loss would have put the voters in the uncomfortable position of having to either move TCU up into the #2 spot or jump Cincinnati over them (or Boise State over both).

As it is now, the BCS defenders will say, “Hey! It worked. Bama and Texas are clearly the two best teams in the country and they’re playing for the title!”. Nevermind that this supposition is anything but clear. I am not convinced that TCU, Boise State or Cincinnati couldn’t pull off a win again Alabama or Texas. Hell, I’m not convinced Georgia Tech, Oregon and Ohio State couldn’t do it. I do know that all eight of the conference champs have earned a shot at the title. They all deserve a chance to show what they can do on the field. The only reason Alabama and Texas are getting a chance and TCU or Ohio State aren’t is because the writers like Alabama and Texas, not because they necessarily showed that they were better teams.

This year will be a big test for the BCS’s integrity. Do they serve the big conferences or do they serve the game? There are two non-major teams that clearly deserve a bid for the BCS. Are they going to honor those deserving teams? Or will they give out an undeserved BCS spot to a second-tier squad like Virginia Tech or Oregon State? My money is on the latter. The BCS can always be relied on to make a dumb decision.

For what it’s worth, here would be my BCS picks, bold indicates decisions that are already pre-made.

National Title Game: Alabama vs. Texas
Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. TCU
Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. Iowa
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Cincinnati

However, I expect the BCS to tap Virginia Tech instead of Boise State. The rotation in which teams are picked lends itself to dumb decisions. But if I’m holding a BCS bid and I look back the greatest BCS game ever — Boise State’s upset of Oklahoma — I know which team I’d like to take.

Now the playoff system I have long advocated would put eight teams in January 1 bowls with rigid slots for the Big Ten, SEC, Pac Ten and ACC. The two “at large” teams would be mid-major champions. No loser second-place teams would have a shot at the title in my system. In that case you would get:

Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Boise State
Fiesta Bowl:Cincinnati vs. TCU
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Florida

With the winners playing three more games to determine the title. It doesn’t bow to the great conferences and TV gods, I’ll grant. But it’s fair.

Update: Amazingly, the BCS picked both Boise State and TCU, albeit in the same bowl. I’m very pleased – but not as please as I’d be if they had a crack at the champion.