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Saturday, May 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

BCS on track to do its usual

It’s not a matter of if or when, but who.

The Bowl Championship Series is going to do it again, and this time there is a possibility that the damage might extend to multiple schools.

That “it” I’m referring to is the snubbing of yet another deserving team at the end of the college football season.

That “it” is what left the undefeated 2004 Auburn Tigers out of the national championship picture, and it’s what forced the 2003 LSU team to split what should have been an outright national championship with the USC Trojans.

So who is going to be the annual victim of unquestionably the most flawed system in sports today?

Should Boise State finish unbeaten and miss the title game, they could argue their undefeated record and their win against the possible PAC 10 champion Oregon Ducks validates their championship bid.

If Alabama and Florida, who are both 9-0, win out, the two will battle for an undefeated season at the Georgia Dome in the 2009 SEC Championship Game. The loser would claim they deserved a spot in Pasadena for playing at the highest level of competition each week, and losing only to the other team playing for the national championship.

In other words, it will be the same controversial – and now annual – argument fans must listen to at the conclusion of each college football season.

The problem with the BCS isn’t necessarily who is left out, but why a team is left out. Unlike the 64-team field of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the BCS doesn’t give each deserving team a chance to play for the crystal football.

Fans of teams on the bubble that didn’t make it into March Madness might have their complaints, but programs legitimately competing for a trip to the Final Four in a respective year are represented.

The bottom line regarding the BCS is that – albeit vague and general – it doesn’t make sense.

Why should the college football world allow computer calculations to ultimately decide who will contend for a trip to the BCS National Championship Game in January?

Before the cries for an absurdly long playoff system begin, let’s face it –a 64-team football playoff isn’t possible. Even a 32-team field isn’t realistic.

With the increasing violent and physical nature of today’s football game, playing two or three games a week in a large playoff system would simply fail to place teams in games at full strength, and more importantly, might pose as a health risk.

That’s not to say all of the aspects of the BCS should be thrown out the window.

Take the system’s standings, for example. Why not use the current BCS rankings to rank teams from 1 to 16, and use it as the basis for a 16-team playoff?

Starting at the beginning of December, a 16-team field could crown a champion around the same time the BCS does.

Teams legitimately deserving and possessing the ability to compete for the collegiate football championship would be included, along with the Cinderellas common on the hardwood.

While no system will ever completely silence critics and solve every problem present with college football’s postseason, there has to be change.

The BCS is more about money and finance than competition. If it weren’t, why would a mediocre, 2-loss Notre Dame team with one of the largest fan bases and highest revenue possibilities almost always make a major bowl instead of a one-loss Oregon, as was the case in 2005?

It’s a question the BCS Selection Committee and conference athletic directors must ask themselves, with the game’s integrity in mind.

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