Part of the BCS’ brilliance is that it keeps college football at the center of the sports world for the better portion of three months, which is far longer than the NBA, college basketball and NHL can combine to do. But every year, the critics have a field day attacking the system. Last year, it was Barack Obama leading the charge. This year, a Political Action Committee against the BCS raised enough money to run a commercial just ahead of tonight’s championship game.
But what everyone, including our President and anyone foolish enough to donate money to Playoff PAC, seems to forget is that the system we all love to complain about has been right the majority of the time. In its first 11 years, you can really only find two years where it truly went wrong. In 2003, LSU and USC split the polls because the Trojans were left out of the BCS Title Game and in 2004, Auburn went undefeated but didn’t finish in the top 2 of the BCS ratings.
Think about it: Florida (2006) and Texas (2005) would never have won National Titles under the old system because they would have been given the opportunity to play the top ranked teams from those seasons (Ohio State and USC). In the past, the Buckeyes and the Trojans would have been contractually bound to the Rose Bowl and would have probably cruised to wins against inferior opponents. The system also worked in 2002, when Miami was the unanimous No. 1 team heading into to the BCS Title game, and lost to Ohio State.
What is it they say about the CIA? Their failures start wars while their success goes unnoticed. The same goes for the BCS. Over 80 percent of the time, the system has been right. If Obama were that good, we’d put him on Mt. Rushmore.
And this year is no different. With all due respect to Boise State, Alabama and Texas provide the most compelling matchup possible, which will draw great ratings and help expand the sport’s popularity. The Broncos and TCU couldn’t beat wrestling in the TV ratings Monday night and those who did tune in saw a boring, second rate football game.
The Broncos were better than every team on their schedule this season -- there’s no arguing that -- but stick them in any of the major conferences (even the ACC or Big East) and there is no chance that team goes undefeated. They aren’t big enough or deep enough to handle a BCS conference schedule and while they have been a nice story, no one can make the argument that they would have a chance again the Crimson Tide or the Longhorns.
Of course, as with anything else, there are flaws. But the system before it was much worse and there’s no guarantee that a playoff would put the top two teams from the regular season in the championship game. Look no further than college basketball to prove that.
Tonight we get two programs with a lot of history, the two best coaches in America, a Heisman winner on one side and a legendary college quarterback on the other. While no one would ever mistake either ‘Bama or Texas as one of the great college teams ever, both did manage to go undefeated in major conferences, including winning conference championship games.
In the end, the two best teams in the country this season will play for a National Championship, proving once again that for those like to play the percentages, the BCS clearly gives the best return.
Prediction: Alabama 27 - 17