Archive for the College Football Category

Boycott the BCS Championship Game

Posted in College Football, Football with tags , , , , on December 19, 2007 by Patrick

I know, I know. You hate the BCS, too, right? You’ve hated it for years but how are you supposed to skip the most important game of the year? The 2003 Ohio State-Miami game was an undeniable classic and the USC-Texas matchup of 2005-2006 was the best game you’ve ever seen. What if the LSU-Ohio State game is on par with these legendary battles? What if you miss the unmissable? At some point you have to take a stand it starts this year: It’s the perfect season for a protest.

This year’s Allstate BCS National Championship is inherently flawed. It was a season in which no one was worthy of the national championship. The number 1 and 2 teams in the country lost on the final Saturday of the season, catapulting a two-loss LSU team into the championship game to face Ohio State. Prior to the final weekend, in which LSU beat Tennessee in the SEC championship, LSU was ranked seventh in the nation. But then the sky fell. Every team that could have made a reasonable argument to join Ohio State in the BCS Championship lost. You could even say that Ohio State doesn’t deserve to be there, since their best win of the season was a road victory over No. 21 Michigan. The same Michigan team that opened the season with a loss to Div. I-AA Appalachian State. Here’s to easy schedules.

No matter who wins the BCS Championship this season, a legitimate argument can still be made for another team. Hawaii was undefeated this year but, like Boise State the year before, will not play in the championship because of its weak schedule. Virginia Tech was ranked higher than LSU before the final Saturday, but was leapfrogged by LSU despite VT’s easy win over Boston College in the ACC Championship.

The kind of judgments aforementioned cannot be made accurately. Football is not meant to be a sport scored by judges, it is meant to be settled on the field. When you begin taking strength of schedule into account you are judging teams, in figure skating terms, by their schedule’s “degree of difficulty.” Such rating systems make sense for figure skating because two skaters can’t face off head to head. Football, obviously, is different.

College football teams are going to have diverse schedules and differing levels of difficulty by the nature of the sport. By virtue of the fact that there are 119 Division-I football teams, they can’t all have schedules of equal arduousness. Some schedules may appear to be more difficult than others, but to omit a team from national title contention based on geographic location–which governs conference membership, by-and-large–is discriminatory and unfair. This is not what collegiate athletics is supposed to be about.

Furthermore, when you make such judgments about conference strength, there is no way to be certain. Having institutionalized biases towards “BCS confrences” is flawed on face value. If teams from the five non-BCS conferences are practically ineligible for the championship, then how are they even considered Division-I teams?

College football is the only team sport in America that is blatantly willing to sacrifice the integrity of the sport for financial reasons. It has been the fortunate to have experienced seasons in which there was at least one dominate team worthy of wearing its tarnished crown.  This season, that is not the case.

With no teams able to distinguish themselves as deserving of #1 or #2 rankings, there has never been a season that cried out louder for a playoff. This is the moment to let the college football powers know that they can no longer undermine the game’s integrity and insult the intelligence of its fans. Boycott the BCS Championship Game on January 7 as a showing of your disapproval. And if it turns out that you missed the game of the century, there’s always ESPN Classic.