BCS Changes: What Could Actually Be Done?

by Paul Grossinger
(Baltimore, MD)

Last week, I proposed the BCS add a rule where the top 5 teams would play one another (or at least a sample of one another) during the season. This proposal joined a number of highly unlikely changes that many of us-writers, commentators, fans-would like to see made to the failing BCS system. Indeed, even the President waded into the debate in favor of a playoff and was directly rebuffed; Norway may respect Obama’s speeches enough to reward him with the Nobel peace Prize but the BCS barely gave him a hearing.


Nonetheless, there are some changes that the BCS might endorse because they would fix some of the issues that plague the rankings system without restructuring it entirely. One of these, and the subject of this piece, is the idea of eliminating mandatory BCS bowl berths for particular conferences and, additionally, eliminating limits on how many teams in a conference may appear.

How would this be helpful? Well, when one looks at some of the issues the rankings faced last season, it is easy to notice how some of them would be rectified by these changes. For instance, because of the mandatory bowl requirements, the rankers were required to send the champions of both the Big East and Atlantic Coast Conference to the Orange Bowl. Looking at the December 2008 pre-bowl rankings, one notices that Cincinnati was ranked #12 and Virginia Tech, with its four losses, was barely in the poll at #21. Clearly, this was highly unfair to undefeated (12-0) #9 Boise State and 11-1 Texas Tech who both failed to make BCS bowl games. If both of my suggestions had been in place before, however, these problems would not have been present because the two champions would not have had mandatory BCS bids and would have been left out in favor of more deserving teams.

Importantly, while that example is last season’s news, the same sort issues are looking as though they might plague the BCS this year. The SEC, which already has three teams in the top 10 (and had three of the top four two weeks ago), looks to have this years’ version of Texas Tech in LSU if neither Florida nor Alabama falters. Furthermore, both TCU and Boise State look to have undefeated seasons barring a major flop and, as with last year, one of them will be left out if the current rules remain in place. It is obvious to viewers that changes need to be made, but it remains to be seen if the BCS will ultimately agree.

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Oct 16, 2009
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I agree but...
by: Mo Johnson

I agree, but problem is the 6 BCS conferences all want that guaranteed pay day -- at least one team in a BCS bowl. guaranteed 17 million or so payout...

hope they listen to you. much fairer and better for the game.

Thanks Paul, nice article.

Jan 04, 2010
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bcs
by: bynum

Simple, Playoff, Get rid of the bcs along with their crappy, unfair, voting system.

Oct 06, 2010
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MAKE ALL CONFERENCES HAVE PLAY OFFS AND PUT SOME OF THOSE TEAMS IN REAL CONFERENCES
by: Anonymous

I THINK THE ONLY WAY TO END THE PROB IS TO HAVE A PLAY OFFSYSTEM. LETS LOOK AT A COUPLE THINGS FIRST.
1.BOISE AND TCU PLAY ONE RANKED TEAM ALL YEAR.
2. NOT EVERY TEAM HAS CONFERENCE PLAY OFF LIKE SEC, YOU HAD NUMBER ONE AND TWO PLAY TO PUT ONE OR THE OTHER OUT FOR THE LAST 2 YRS, NOW THATS NOT FAIR IF YOU WANT TO GET TO THE BRASS TAX OF THINGS.
3. BREAK IT DOWN TO 4 OR FIVE CONFERENCES AND PUT PEOPLE LIKE BOISE AND TCU IN THE SEC AND IF THEY CAN CONTEND THEN THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO COMPLAIN. I'M GETTING SO TIRED OF PEOPLE MAKING THE COMPLAINT THAT THOSE 2 TEAMS ARE GETTING SHORTED OUT OF THE BCS GAMES, PLAY MORE THEN ONE RANKED TEAM A YR AND GET IN TO ONE OF THE 4 TOP CONFERNCES AND COMPETE

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