The powers that be in the NCAA and Bowl Championship Series finally decided to do away with the BCS beginning in 2014. I’m pretty sure I speak for the vast majority of you when I say, “It’s about damn time!”
The BCS has been nothing short of an embarrassment since the term entered the college football landscape in 1998. We’ve seen teams play in the title game who hadn’t even won their conference. We’ve seen teams with two losses win the title and we’ve seen two teams from the same conference play in the title game when there were other options available.
The BCS will be no more after this college football season and will be replaced by a four-team playoff. The playoff is a monster step in the right direction, but there is still work to be done. The four teams will be selected by a ‘committee of experts’ which will be comprised of retired coaches and athletic directors amongst others.
One other thing I would like to see college football do is eliminate preseason rankings.
Why you may ask? Because they are by and large useless and the only positive from them is that they create talking points for fans and sports talk radio. Frankly, that’s a discussion that bores me to no end. Do you really care if Michigan is ranked 17th? Are you going to argue they should be higher or lower? What are you basing your argument on since they haven’t played a game yet?
I saw an argument on Twitter this week asking why Georgia was ranked ahead of South Carolina. The Gamecocks’ fan argued that because they whipped the Bulldogs 35-7 last year that they should be ranked ahead of them. The two teams ended up playing another 11 or 12 games last season but apparently we are only supposed to pay attention to that one result.
Georgia and South Carolina will play again this year and they will do so in the second week of the season. Common sense tells us that whoever wins that game will be ranked higher than the other when the new rankings come out. So again let me ask what do the preseason rankings really mean? Absolutely nothing.
The reason I want them abolished is simple. By eliminating preseason rankings you allow more teams to have chances to compete for national titles and ‘BCS Bowls.’ Only one time during the BCS era did a team come from outside the Top 20 to win the National Title. That was Auburn in 2010. Every other champion has come from the top 20 and up. In fact, five of the last six national champions have come from the top five.
Go back 33 years and you’ll find that 17 champions started the season in the top 20.
That Auburn championship season also helps prove my point because one other team did finish the season unbeaten and ranked number two in the final poll. That was TCU and started the season ranked number seven which was 15 spots higher than the Tigers. So how did Auburn and their opponent that year Oregon make the title game ahead of unbeaten TCU? Strength of schedule and ‘peer pressure’ were the two main culprits.
What made the final rankings completely contradict the pollsters in both the coaches’ poll and the media poll was the fact they both listed TCU as the final #2 and Oregon #3. The Ducks were unbeaten and lost to Auburn by three points. Suddenly that made TCU better than Oregon?
If the polls would wait until week seven or eight to come out, they would have a greater chance of getting things right at the end of the year. I guarantee there will be top ten and maybe even top five teams who do not even sniff the BCS because of early losses.
With college football moving in the right direction why not keep going? Ban the preseason polls and let the teams now more than ever figure out how good they are on the field and not on someone’s desktop.