Fixing the BCS


I blogged back in November about adding the simple rule of only allowing conference champions play in the BCS title game. That would have remedied the situation we had this year where LSU is the official SEC champion and Alabama is the National Champion.

There are several issues with what happened. They are:

  • Who is the real SEC champion? We have an official champion, but I feel the conference now has a split title.
  • Is the SEC really the best conference? By not beating another conference in the championship game, that is a fair question.
  • If only conference champions can play, who should LSU have played?

People can argue that the BCS achieved its goal of matching number one versus number two. Of course, that isn’t the true goal. That is just the means to the real end, identifying the best team in the nation and having a true National Champion.

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Adding One More BCS Rule


Right now, there are two debates raging about the BCS. The first is about streamlining the BCS system and only worrying about a title game. I’m torn on that idea, but really don’t care enough either way to debate at this time. The other is this nonsense about an all-SEC National Title game.

Keeping in mind that being an Auburn grad, I am very pro-SEC , let’s look at the sheer idiocy of this concept.

When matching two teams from the same conference with each other, you aren’t creating anything unique for the bowls. In fact, you are re-hashing a debate that has theoretically been settled. One team is the conference champion, the other is not. Do we really need another game that will bring the title of the conference champion into play? This is even more ridiculous when talking about conferences with either a full round-robin schedule or a Conference Championship.

Which bring us to the other issue, How can you be the National Champion when you aren’t even your Conference Champion?

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The Best SEC Teams, 1996-2007


So, Doug Segrest of The Birmingham News decided to play a simulation tourney, the SoS Playoffs II, to determine the best SEC teams of the last 12 years. Setting the tournament up like a mini World Cup tournament, he structured it as follows:

  • Four groups of five teams each (20 teams total).
  • Each group plays a home-home set against each opponent for a total of 8 eight each.
  • The top two teams in each group advances to the quarterfinals.
  • From there it is single elimination to the finals with each game played at a “neutral” site.

Each game is run using the NCAA Football SimMatchup tool at WhatIfSports. It is a fun little device. He takes the first outcome and then captures the box scores. It only goes back to 1996 in stats, thus the limitation in this bit of entertainment.

As a little disclaimer, I started this post about halfway through the Quarterfinals, so I had no idea of the results when I started.

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Ranking College Football Winning Tradition


So, the SEC posted a All Time Final AP Football Poll. It is fairly entertaining and takes into all the AP polls since the beginning in 1936. Their methodology is pretty straightforward:

From 1936 to 1961 the wire service ranked 20 teams. From 1962 to 1967 only 10 teams were recognized. From 1968 to 1988 AP again resumed its Top 20 before expanding to 25 teams in 1989. Points were awarded based on a team’s finish in the final AP poll each year. Points were awarded on a 20-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis from 1936 to 1988, and a 25-24-23-22-21-20-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis 1989 to the present.

They gave out half points for ties which was also a good move. There is a flaw in their methodology though. If you were ranked before1989, you got an 5 points less than you would have if you had received an equivalent rating since then. This is unfair as teams shouldn’t be penalized for playing well before the AP voted for 25 teams. To be an accurate measure, being ranked number 1 in 1950 should weigh the same as 2007.

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