Monday, December 08, 2008

What's wrong with the college football championship?

Some thoughts on the Bowl Championship series (BCS).

The current BCS makes no sense. This year the BCS championship game will be fought between Oklahoma (#1) and Florida (#2), which means that Texas (#3) will be a bridesmaid instead of a bride. But why is this the case, despite the fact that Texas beat Oklahoma earlier in the season (Truth: Oklahoma beat Texas Tech., who beat Texas in the last second).

There are three components that decide the BCS rankings: The Harris interactive poll, the USA Today coaches poll, and the average of six computer rankings. According to the computer rankings Oklahoma is #1, Texas #2 and Florida #3. Based on this alone, the championship game would be between Oklahoma and Texas, only when you add the much more subjective (and therefore subject to prejudice) polls to the mix do the rankings change. And the contestants in the championship game change. The only way to sort all this out would be to actually have the top eight (as the president-elect suggested) or 12 teams play it off against each other on the football field not in the poll-makers' minds.

One other controversial aspect of all this: Oklahoma's move from #2 to #1 in the rankings is a result of their beating #21 Missouri in Big 12 title game. The only reason that Oklahoma was in that game was because of an "obscure tie breaker." Had Texas been in that game (and won it) they would be in the BCS championship game.

(The college football championship is decided by a single game (Jan.8th) rather than championship series. I should also say that we are fans of Texas, where Ann went to school.)

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