I guess my beef bnb is that with the amount of complaints that are level directly at the BCS, you would think they screwed Okie State, and they did not.
The BCS is just the refinement of a system that has been in place for pretty much 80-100 years in college football, which is people pick who they think is the national champion. People picked Alabama and LSU as the two best teams because both the AP and Harris poll put them there, and the BCS made the move however many years ago (4 or 5?) that those two systems would be 2/3 of the scoring system, and by and large they control who plays.
And you can certainly say that system is a flawed and antiquated way of doing it, and you'd be right. But any system would be flawed, just some a little less than others. Because you have 350 Division I universities spread across this country that make money off their sports programs. And 120 of those 350 schools make enough money specifically off their football programs that basically fund their entire athletic programs if not their entire universities.
And you're right, it's all corrupt. And the reason why the playoffs work in the FCS (or Division I-AA) is that there isn't enough money involved for that corruption to happen. Now we're talking about the difference between ten of thousands and tens of millions of dollars. Cha-ching!
But guess what regardless of the system, it would be flawed in some way, and there would be some form of complaining. If you had a plus-1, then Oregon would be complaining because Stanford got in and they beat them. If you had a 6-team playoff, then Boise State would be complaining as a 1-loss team and both Arkansas and Oregon a 2-loss team got in. And if it was a 16-team playoff, I'm sure Georgia, Oklahoma, and Houston would all be finding something to complain about if they were left out in the cold. Why? Because it would still come down to people picking whatever teams that they thought were deserving of whatever honors/opportunities...
Now, I'm past defending the BCS. It's fairly indefensible. But i think it's overly villified for the problems that plague college football.
And in 10 years when we are likely to have the Super conferences and a playoff system among the premier 60-80 programs in Division I, we'll look back and be able to realize that the BCS was what was able to bring that about. Will we say that bridge was too long and too bumpy than it needed to be? Probably.
But it is so tiresome to keep hearing the "Oh, woe is me! We got screwed by the BCS!" every friggin year, where the BCS isn't screwing anybody.
And the silver lining that gets forgotten every December/January is that the current system means that the regular season matters. And you have two teams that have converging paths on their way to the national title that meet in October, November, and December. And one team wins and keeps their national title hopes alive, and the other team loses and they dreams die. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.
And that fact is vastly underappreciated? Why? Because Oklahoma State doesn't get to play in a game that they were almost certainly going to lose? Why should I feel sympathy for Okie State, when they just had to beat Iowa State, or Boise State that just has to beat TCU or Nevada, or USC when they lost to Oregon State, etc.
I'm supposed to feel sorry for these teams because they don't get to play for the national title because they lost to an inferior opponent earlier int he year?
Alabama outplayed LSU in that first game, and they lost because they shot themselves in the foot too many times. It really is no different than their game against Auburn last year. And now they get a 2nd shot at it? Because they deserve it? No. Because teams like Okie State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford, Boise State, Arkansas, etc. all blew their opportunities. What is so unfair about that? What is the great tragedy that I'm missing?
If the goal is to have the two best teams play for the national title, then nothing is wrong.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.