Monday, December 5, 2011

Washington Post column: BCS gives us a nighmare schedule instead of a dream tournament

Here's my newest column for The Washington Post, on the miserable bowl lineup ----

Sunday night, I had a dream:

Now that was a thrilling Selection Sunday.
Oh sure, everyone knew that LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Stanford were going to be the top four seeds in the NCAA tournament but no one had any idea how the last four spots would play out and there were plenty of surprises when the field was unveiled.
Boise State was seeded fifth, setting up a quarterfinal against Stanford that might come down to who has the ball last with Andrew Luck and Kellen Moore, the two most decorated college quarterbacks of recent years, going head-to-head. Wisconsin got the sixth seed after beating Michigan State to win the Big Ten title and will open against Oklahoma State. But the last two spots were real surprises: Baylor jumped from not even being on the bubble into the seventh slot after crushing Texas — who says the tournament takes away the meaning of the regular season? — and TCU, which looked like it was headed for the Las Vegas Bowl just a few weeks ago, got the coveted final spot and will open the tournament against LSU.
When the LSU-TCU matchup went on the board, one could hear the screams of pain and anger coming from Ann Arbor, Mich.; Manhattan, Kan.; and Fayetteville, Ark. There were barely whimpers from anyone in the ACC or the Big East. Those two leagues probably had their fate sealed when the committee voted against automatic bids for the tournament, meaning their three-loss champions will be headed for second tier bowls — which is where they clearly belong.
“When we set up the new system we said we wanted the eight best teams and, preferably, the teams playing the best football at the end of the season,” said committee chairman Gene Corrigan, the former ACC Commissioner who once helped invent the late, unlamented Bowl Championship Series. “This isn’t about what league you play in or how many tickets you might sell. This is about getting the best eight teams to play for a championship. Someone has to be disappointed, just like in the basketball tournament.” 
Click here for the rest of the column:  BCS gives us a nighmare schedule instead of a dream tournament

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Anonymous said...

John, can you just write something, anything, positive sometime in the next century - Woods, NCAA, Bowls, etc - its all getting so tiring. And overly repetitive. Hell, you used to at least throw in a complement on Navy or the Patriot League once in a while but now that Navy (and CBS) made you mad enough to quit you can't even do that.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the prior poster and agree with your article JF - if only anyone would listen. It will take a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

John: The Allstate CEO, Thomas J. Wilson, is a Michigan grad.

The Allstate Financial President and CEO, Matthew Winter, is also a Michigan grad.

Is there any wonder why Michigan was being touted as a lock for the Sugar Bowl the last few weeks even though they weren't high enough in the rankings until Sunday?

Rob Pollard said...

John, I also hate the BCS and want a playoff, but this is a terrible column.

You spend time going to bat for Baylor. Baylor?!? What exactly did they do that was so impressive (beyond their QB, who definitely is impressive, but I'm talking the team)? You give absolutely no justification, beyond them "crushing" a 7-5 Texas team. I think your wanting to be different got the better of you.

I mean, a team that went 9-3 (you make fun of two loss teams in the column, but three loss teams are apparently OK)? A team that lost to Kansas State, who you think should be left out?

I'm no K-State fan, but they went went 10-2 in the same conference as Baylor also, oh, BEAT Baylor this year. But that weirdly doesn't matter to you.

If the "selection committee" came back with Baylor, it would make the kvetching over Va Tech in the Sugar Bowl look like a tempest in a tea cup, and cause everyone to want to go back to the old bowl system, pre-BCS, which stunk in different ways.

Try harder next time. This was a weak, poorly researched effort, influenced by who knows what (that you saw RGIII on the highlights and thought he was exciting is my guess).

And oh, to the commenter suggesting a conspiracy b/c some Allstate executives are Michigan grads, let me make it simple for you: Michigan was ranked 13th, will bring big ratings and also many fans to the game & local hotels. If the Allstate CEO went to Ohio State, he'd still want Michigan (or Alabama or Notre Dame, etc) in his game if reasonably possible and a 10-2 Michigan team meant it eminently reasonable (I mean you can argue if a 10-2 Michigan is better than a 10-2 TCU or a 10-2 KSU to the cows come home - who knows? That's why we need a playoff; but I digress). That's all bowls care about. There is no conspiracy, besides perhaps a conspiracy of dunces overall.

Tim said...

Personally, I think its pretty funny that everyone is so up in arms over VT beating Boise, KSU, etc, for the Sugar Bowl slot and Michigan is rarely mentioned in the same, VT was ranked AHEAD of Michigan in the BCS yet they are the whipping boy of the wrong in the system. Hello selective hypocrisy!

Phil said...

John, your column is spot-on. Allowing obese old men in colored sport coats to select teams for their BCS bowl based on how many fannies a team can bring to their stadium is ridiculous. The BCS has a numbering system yet intentionally violates it for every matchup except #1 and #2. We desperately need a playoff system similar to every other NCAA sport (D-II and D-III football as well). I live in Kentucky and Louisville almost made a BCS Bowl game with a 7-5 record. Ridiculous! Little Butler never would have gotten to play in the last 2 national championship games if the NCAA had a subjective basketball selection similar to D-I football. Please! Let the championship be decided on the field...

Momus said...

A little off-topic, but did you happen to catch Peter King's reference, in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback column on, to the Army-Navy game being played at FEDEX this year, and King praising your boy Dan Snyder as the "driving force" behind this move!

Conspiracy Theory Alert...Is this another reason why you chose to jump ship on Navy football for this year?? Not only would you have to had to do a game from the stadium you love to hate, you might also have had to endure seeing the man you love to hate being "saluted" on the field for his efforts to bring the game to DC (more or less) for the first time in 111 years!!

Wynn said...

Just heard the tail end of your interview w/ some radio staion here in Michigan this am...always a pleasure. I really enjoyed the conversation about Dean Smith. Please write the book. I'm NOT a basketball fan per se, but I like good stories. Dean Smith is a great story! Thank you! Wynn Jones

Anonymous said...

Really??? The BCS sucks? Well, slap me in the head! John, you and others write and blab about this on radio all the time. While I agree, I am sick of hearing about it. I suppose if the repeated complaining gets it changed, that would be nice, but ain't gonna happen. Just tired of hearing about it. Arrrgh.

PeteWill said...


The only issue I have with this is the 3 games the two finalists would play at the end of the season and after the conference championship. Do you see the possibility that the regular season schedule would be reduced bu one game, or a wild card game for all teams be added after the 8 teams are selected? 15/16 game seasons seems a bit much.

Rik Ayrea said...

John, You are dead on with the "Ohio State shouldn't be shocked" column. Money clouds the issues in big time sports as well as politics. Keep up the good work.