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Rob Rang
Draft Guru

Rob Rang

Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com and CBSSports.com

Reward the champion, not a media darling

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It isn't difficult to understand why the NCAA is so hesitant to change from their current BCS system. Rather than reward only one national champion, dozens of teams are rewarded for their successful seasons with bowl games, every singe week of the college football season matters, and of course the real reason -- the millions of dollars gained throughout the bowl season.

Until the NCAA is willing to devise a playoff system, however, college football will continue to be wracked with controversy. The seemingly perfect scenario for BCS proponents is occurring this year. Undefeated No. 1 Alabama playing undefeated No. 2 Texas. Winner, of course, takes all.

And yet, even if Alabama or Texas dominates the game, it will not take long for some to question the validity of their championship. Boise State, after all, is undefeated, as well.

And while I do not believe the Broncos could beat Alabama or Texas, to not give them a chance is wrong.

What can college football learn from the NFL?

They can adhere to the spirit of competition that has made sports such a valued aspect of life. They can crown a winner based on merit (like every other major sport) rather than hype.


By Rob Rang  |  January 6, 2010; 3:17 PM ET  | Category:  College Football , NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Mr. Rang is exactly right in one area but a little off in others. He nails the most important virtue of college football and today’s BCS system by saying: “every single week of the college football season matters.”
That’s right - shifting to a playoff would certainly diminish that season – just ask Indianapolis Colts fans how they felt when starters were pulled and their dream season ended. That is indeed a lesson we can take from the NFL; what works for the pros is not necessarily the best for college.
Suggesting a playoff is without controversy is also misguided. There are 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, so any playoff scenario would depend on polls of some sort to pick and seed teams. So it’s easy to see how many more teams with identical or similar records would be excluded from the playoff for what they would surely consider arbitrary reasons. They would argue for inclusion, and over time, more teams would demand berths.
Tomorrow’s game featuring Alabama and Texas will be the twelfth straight time the top two teams have faced each other in the postseason by BCS measurements, and nine times by the Associated Press measurements. Prior to the BCS, this happened only eight times in 56 years. This year in particular, nearly every poll – coaches, fans, BCS, etc – has these teams #1 and #2.
Tomorrow night’s champion will surely be a media darling, but not because of hype. Tomorrow night’s champion will be a media darling by earning the title through on-field achievements and the spirit of competition that Mr. Rang so rightfully values.

Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the BCS

Posted by: BillHancockBCS | January 6, 2010 6:28 PM

Bill, your comment is everything that is wrong with BCS thinking...

Posted by: surfdadbob | January 6, 2010 11:19 PM

"Tomorrow’s game featuring Alabama and Texas will be the twelfth straight time the top two teams have faced each other in the postseason by BCS measurements, and nine times by the Associated Press measurements."

Mr. Hancock,
So what makes you think Boise state is not one of the top two teams in the nation? They are undefeated for god's sake. What other sport can you finish undefeated and not have a chance to contend for the national title? Is that even right? Does every game really count in College football? I mean if you're a college team with 2 or more losses at the beggining of the season what are you playing for? Oh yea a bowl game were a team has to win 6 games to qualify for. I've had numerous people tell me the BCS post season system is the biggest joke out of all the major sports and it's hard to argue against that.

Every other sport you know exactly what a team must do in order to compete for a post season. Not college football where you can finish undefeated multiple times (Like Boise State has) and not have a sniff at the title. It's not even about whether or not I think Boise State would beat a Texas, Florida, or Alabama for a national title.....What has me and most people upset is the team does all it can do on the field and still doesn't get that opportunity and you act like you're fine with that Mr. Hancock if that really is you.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | January 7, 2010 1:36 PM

To me there's a fairly obvious solution. Any team undefeated gets to go to BCS bowl. Any undefeated team that wins a BCS bowl is declared a "national champion". No problem with an undefeated team not getting a shot. And if a team is from a lower ranked conference, they still get a shot at the "big boys" in the bowl game.

There's the issue of having shared national championships, but so what? It's happened in the past. And one of the rationales for the current system is that there isn't just one big winner but lots of winners at the end of the season. So have lots of winners at the end, and a couple big winners.

The reality for an undefeated team is that no one has proven they are better. That to me is the definition of a champion.

Posted by: waltmeier1 | January 7, 2010 3:05 PM

"Every single week of the college football season matters." That, of course, is why so many "powerhouses" schedule lots of ringers every season. It's easy to run up a great record when you get to pick so many of your own opponents. In a play-off, however, you're matched week after week against increasingly better and better opposition. The team that wins the playoffs has beat the best of the best. When, say, the top 3 ranked teams are all undefeated, can you really claim that the winner of the "championship" game between #1 and #2 was better than #3, when in fact neither team had to play against them? Of course you can't, which is why the results of the bowl system are usually at best controversial and, at worse, simply wrong.

Posted by: seismic-2 | January 7, 2010 5:52 PM

Boise State should create a harder schedule. The problem with the current system is that it attaches so much prestige to going undefeated. Losing 3 or 4 games in the SEC is the equivalent of going undefeated in the Big Sky conference. If you think Boise State should have a chance to play for the national title, so should about 20 other teams from major conferences. The only real travesty here is that they're ranked so high. They should legitimately be ranked somewhere around #15-20.

Posted by: admckay | January 7, 2010 6:42 PM

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