We all love the BCS, don’t we? Yes, the Bowl Championship Series is such a great thing. It clearly and concisely spells out who the greatest teams in football are each year. Case in point, let’s look at a scenario developing this year with two teams:
-Team A is 6-1. Its one loss came against a team that is also 6-1 and is ranked within the top 20 of the current BCS. The loss came in week two of the season, theoretically giving Team A plenty of time to climb up the polls by reeling off five straight wins. Two of the teams Team A has faced now have losing records, compared with five opponents with winning records. Combined, the record of Team A’s opponents is 25-25.
-Team B also is 6-1. Its one loss came against a team that is now 3-5 and not ranked in the BCS. Clearly a worse loss than Team A’s one loss. Team B’s loss came in week three of the season, theoretically giving Team B less time than Team A to climb back up the polls by winning four straight games. Three of the teams Team B has faced now have losing records, compared with four opponents with winning records. Combined, the record of Team B’s opponents is 25-25, the same as that of Team A’s opponents.
So which team is which, and more importantly, which team is ranked higher in the current BCS standings? You’d probably guess it would be Team A. After all, Team A’s one loss was against a far tougher opponent, Team A has had more time to climb back up the polls after its loss and Team A has played more teams with winning records. And since both teams have played teams with a combined record that is equal, it should seem quite obvious that Team A would be ranked higher in the BCS standings, shouldn’t it?
Well, if you thought that, you’d be dead wrong. Team A is Oklahoma State, and it is ranked 14th in the BCS. Team B is USC, which is ranked fifth. Even more unbelievable, one of the computers has USC ranked seventh in its formula and doesn’t even have OSU in its top 25! How does that happen? How does a team that’s 6-1 and boasts four of its six wins over major conference opponents not even sniff the top 25 of any ranking?
Now I get that there are arguments for why USC should be fifth and OSU should be 14th, like how you can’t technically compare their opponents’ records on an even field because what if one team’s opponents have played tougher opponents than the other team’s opponents? But isn’t the fact that that is one of the arguments for putting USC so far ahead of OSU just plain crazy in and of itself?!
Like Bill Simmons would say: Ladies and gentlemen, your BCS system! It’s arbitrary, it favors traditional powers who annually start higher in the rankings, it is generally not understood by the teams and fans that it is supposed to serve, and of course, it’s two-thirds decided by people who may or may not even watch football games on a weekly basis. The answer, as always, is a playoff. The Thirsty Beagle prefers a 16-team bracket, with automatic entry granted to the top two teams in each of the six BCS conferences and four wild-card spots for the Boises, Utahs and TCUs of the world. Any chance that’ll happen sometime soon? Probably not. But guess what? You’re in my world now, grandma!
Here at The Thirsty Beagle, we don’t need no stinkin’ Bowl Championship Series. That’s because we’ve got our own BCS: The Beer Championship Series! By the end of the week, I’ll unveil the 64-beer bracket. And next week, voting will open for the match-ups. You the reader will decide which beers survive and advance through the playoff. And like any good 64-competitor bracket, we’ve got regions: The International Region; the USA Region; the Europe Region; and the Oklahoma Region.
So stay tuned for the bracket-unveiling blog post and come back Monday to vote for Oklahoma’s favorite beer!