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Why the Bcs Is Flawed

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WHY THE BCS SYSTEM HAS TO BE CHANGED There are many controversies in the world of college athletics, such as the idea of paying athletes and unethical recruiting. However the most discussed problem is the Bowl Championship Series, or BCS for short. The BCS is a way of deciding a national champion in college football. Teams are ranked one through twenty-five, with the top two teams appearing in the championship game. There are five BCS bowl games in total; the Sugar, Fiesta, Rose, Orange, and the National Championship. The Bowl Championship Series take many factors into account in determining the rankings of teams. The most important factors are wins and losses, followed by strength of opponents. This is why teams from weaker conferences, like Boise State, who have comparable records to the top teams are left out of the National Championship game. Boise State is from the Mountain West Conference, which is considered to be one of the weakest in all of division one. This team routinely goes undefeated or suffers one loss, but is passed over by teams from stronger conferences. Boise State usually dominates the other teams in its conference, however their victories are seen as that impressive because of the level of competition that they face. This is part of the argument against the BCS system, that it does not give teams from lesser conferences an equal opportunity to win the national title. `One would think that having an undefeated record would be enough to earn a trip to the National championship game. However there have been several instances when a team has not lost a single game For example Utah in 2008 won every single game they played and were still left out of the championship game. In his column in ESPN magazine Life of Reilly,writer Rick Reilly described the situation perfectly, “Sure, BCS blowhards will hand you schlock about how the college football season is like a playoff, how it's an elimination tournament every week. Really? Well, how come Florida and Oklahoma weren't eliminated with their losses? Utah ran the table, beat everybody set in front of them, including Ala-damn-bama in no less than the Sugar Bowl, and gets the bagel.”
(Life of Reilly) Beating the fourth ranked Alabama Crimson Tide further proved that Utah belonged in the National Championship. Utah is not the first undefeated team from a lesser conference that was excluded from the national championship game, and certainly will not be the last. Boise State was within reach of the title game in 2010. They were ranked third late in the season and then lost an overtime game by three points to Nevada. They dropped to tenth and ended up missing out on a BCS bowl. Boise State was very deserving of a spot in the championship game because they had been dominating their opponents. Before they were defeated by Nevada, they had been beating their opponents by almost four touchdowns a game. TCU, who is also from a conference considered to be lesser, ended up 12-0 and defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. These are just two of the many examples of teams like TCU or Boise State that continue to prove they can compete with the better competition they face in BCS games. This problem has existed since the Bowl Championship series was created in 1998, replace the Bowl alliance. Once the BCS system was imposed, it gave an immediate advantage to schools from bigger conferences like the SEC or the Big-12. A team like Alabama is favored under the BCS system because they play what has become known as “BCS” schools. This means the schools that belong to conferences that have automatic qualifying bids into one of the four BCS bowls. For instance the one of the top teams from the SEC is guaranteed in the Orange Bowl. Each conference has a tie into a specific bowl game. Each conference receives a sizable portion of what the BCS makes. Last year the Bowl Championship Series grossed over $1.2 billion dollars. Money is one of the main factors that is stopping the move to a playoff system for college football. Those in charge of the BCS system are worried that they will not be able to make as much money in a playoff system. Utah President Michael Young in makes that clear in Reilly’s article: “In America, quality usually wins, not conspiracy. And there's a reason people usually enter into a conspiracy. It's money. You make money doing it. And those that are in on the conspiracy want to stay in and keep everybody else out."
(Life of Reilly)
The BCS system is run by money the money that games like the Orange and Sugar bowls make. The leaders of each conference aren’t sure if they are willing to risk losing the profitable current system. Simply put, greed is running college football. The best way to improve college football would be by going to an playoff system. Many believe that a playoff system would solve the controversy. The best way to correct the BCS system would be instituting a single elimination ten team playoff system, this would eliminate controversy among the lesser conferences and give each of these teams an equal shot at the national title. The six “BCS” conferences would each get an automatic bid, being that each conference winner gets an automatic playoff spot. The final four spots would go the next four highest ranked teams in the Coach’s poll. There would then be two play in games for the number four seed in each playoff bracket. Giving each This would be a fairer way of determining who gets to play for the national championship. The conferences could then divide up the profits based on how many teams in these games and which conference has the championship winning team. Most of the time if a non-BCS team is undefeated it would be ranked in the top ten of the Coaches poll. Some would argue that this forces a team like Boise State or TCU to go undefeated. However a one loss team is usually ranked in the top twenty, so there a chance that they could still get in, depending on their wins and losses. As it was previously mentioned, Boise State finished with one loss in 2010 and finished ranked seventh in the final poll. Under the proposed playoff system this would place them in one of the two play-in games. Teams would end up playing about fourteen or fifteen games in a season, which is longer than the current twelve or thirteen game seasons. It would be necessary for each playoff game to be played every Saturday because it takes a few days to recover from games. Games could be played at each one of the four BCS bowl stadiums. The championship game could rotate between each four of the sites. In Division IAA1 there is a playoff system that is comparable to the one being proposed, except it is composed of sixteen teams not ten. This is viewed as a fair way to determine a champion of Division 1AA. Another tournament that is viewed as extremely successful is in college basketball. This is one of the most viewed and exciting events in all of sports. Single game elimination would make college football much more exciting and intense. Each game would have similar viewing numbers as NFL playoff games. Especially if advertisements are incorporated, the revenue that this system could produce would be astronomical. Electing to go to a playoff system would help even the competitive balance in college football and give non-BCS teams a chance to win a championsip. As the system stands now, only the “power six” conferences have a shot to win a championship. There have been hints of change recently as rumors of a four team playoff system have began to surface:

Also in the mix is Tulane University's president Scott Cowen who took it a step further and stated that a four-team playoff is among the possible changes. He was quoted by USA Today's Steve Wieberg saying he feels it's "better than 50-50 that there'll be a significant change in format."
(Bleacher Report.

Changes are expected to happen by 2013 at the latest. However nobody is sure how radical these changes will be, but everyone is sure that for the sake of college football this needs to happen.


Reilly , Rick. "No Question, Utah is the National Champion." Life Of Reilly. 01 2005: n. page. Print. Lyons, Andy. "Major BCS Changes Loom." Bleacher Report. 20 2 2012: n. page. Print.…...

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