The BCS is Unfair to the SEC (and others too)
LSU's convincing win over Ohio State in college football's 2008 BCS Championship Game (played on Jan 7, 2008) was a textbook example of how the BCS system is unfair to the SEC.
How's that you say?
Well, because the BCS system discriminates against teams (and conferences) that play tough college football schedules. And, it clearly favors teams and conferences that play easy schedules.
This fact should be apparent to even the most casual college football fan. After all, it is the BCS system that resulted in the Ohio State Buckeye's playing in each of the past two Championship games.
And, not just playing in the game; the BCS ranked the Buckeye's #1 going into both of the Championship games. Yet, when the games were played, Ohio State was simply dominated by a combined score of 79-38 and the games were not as close as the scores indicated (read about last years NC game at 2006 BCS Championship Game.
Even Buckeye fans could see that their team simply didn't belong on the field. Each time, the Bucks was unprepared for the talent and intensity of the SEC Champ. They simply hadn't experienced the kind of football crucible that the SEC football champs they played had experienced.
[I just have to throw in here that Ohio State's futility against SEC football teams is nothing new and should not have been a surprise. After all, Ohio State is now 0-9 all-time versus the SEC in bowl games. Now that's an amazing stat!]
On the other hand, it took a genuine miracle for the teams that belonged, Florida last year; LSU this year, to qualify for the BCS Championship game. The miracle last year (2006) was UCLA's win over USC in the last week of the season, combined with Florida's leaping over Michigan in the final BCS poll.
This year (2007), the divine intervention came in the form of a stunning victory by the Pitt Panthers at West Virginia, on the last night of the regular season, to open the door for LSU.
In retrospect it is easy to see how overqualified LSU was in comparison to Ohio State. After all:
- LSU played (and beat) 4 teams that ended up in the Final AP Top-15; Ohio State played 0 (not a typo - zero).
- LSU had overcome adversity numerous times during its tough Southeastern Conference (SEC) schedule. The Tigers didn't flinch when Ohio State went up 10-0 early in the game. Reason: LSU had been behind by 10 points in games against SEC rivals Auburn, Alabama, and Florida - and come back to win them all! OSU hadn't experienced anything like that kind of adversity on the football field in 2007.
- SEC football is simply tougher than Big Ten football. In 2007, the SEC led all conferences with 9 bowl teams and 7 bowl wins (and all-time record). Including last year's bowl results, the SEC went 13-5 in bowl games (leading all conferences); the Big Ten went 5-10.
- The SEC ended up with 5 teams ranked in the AP final Top-15 [including both #1 LSU and #2 Georgia (amazing in itself)]; the Big Ten - 1 team in the top 15 -- (OSU).
- Each of the past two years the SEC led all conferences with 47-10 non-conference records (including bowl games). This past year, the Big Ten went 38-14 in non-conference games and 4 of those wins came courtesy of hapless Notre Dame.
- The SEC's Tim Tebow (Florida QB) was the first sophomore to ever win the Heisman Trophy. Yet, consider that his team finished 3rd in the East Division of the SEC!!
Hey, this is not meant as a knock on either Ohio State or the Big Ten. OSU's coach Jim Tressel is a class act and the Buckeye's certainly deserve much credit for bouncing back from last year's Championship game debacle and getting to the Big Game again.
And, the Big Ten is a great football conference - especially historically (see SEC vs Big Ten Football.
But, the truth is Ohio State didn't belong in either Championship game. Never should have been there.
So, what happened?
How could Ohio State be ranked by the BCS ahead of Florida (last year) and LSU (this year)?
The reason is simple. LSU lost two SEC games (Kentucky and Arkansas ) both in triple overtime! And, Florida lost a close game at Auburn last year. Those losses almost disqualified the Gators and Tigers. Absent the UCLA and Pitt miracles, they would have.
The heart of the problem is that the current BCS system favors teams (and conferences) that play weak schedules. Only two teams qualify for College Football's Championship game. If you play a tough schedule you are more likely to lose a game or two and thus not finish in the top two in the Nation. Conversely, if you play a weak schedule you are more likely to end up with the best record and get into the Championship game.
Ohio State cruised through its Big Ten Schedule with a combined 15-1 record over the past two years and finished each season ranked #1 in the final BCS poll. On the other hand, the SEC Champ has struggled each year, losing tough conference games. And, only divine intervention got them into the Championship Games.
It's not surprising that Big Ten officials (most recently the President of THE Ohio State University) have come out against a playoff system and SEC officials (most recently the President of the University of Georgia) have come out in favor of a playoff system.
But, polls show the general public, including most Big Ten fans want a college football playoff system. Most people understand intuitively that a playoff is the only way to fairly decide the National Championship - because it's the only way it will be decided on the field.
Let's end the BCS discrimination against the SEC and all college football teams that play tough schedules.
The time has come for a college football playoff system.
So, what do you think? Use the form below to let us know.
Further discussion of need for College Football playoff as well as specific proposals can be read at:
- BCS Controversy
- College Football Playoff
- What Do You Think of the BCS and
- Ohio State vs LSU BCS Controversy
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