Considered Biased by Many, The BCS Remains Controversial

Considered Biased by Many, The BCS Remains Controversial

Michael Greulich

In 1998, the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was created as a way to match up the top 10 ranked BCS college football teams in five bowl games.  Not only was that the biggest turning point in college football history, it was the worst.  The BCS is the worst thing that has ever happened to college sports.

First of all, this is not first grade.  Nobody is going to hold your hand when you are on the field, and there can only be one winner.  One winner, many losers: welcome to the real world.  But for whatever reason back in 1998, they decided that it was a good idea to have not one, not two, but five winners.  The BCS is possibly the most subjective, profit-driven event in college sports.  Half of the time the best teams do not even make it into a game just because they lost at the beginning of the season.  In the last 6 seasons of Division I football, there have been more undefeated teams that have not gone on to become BCS champions than undefeated teams that have.  If a team loses once it is probably out of contention for the National Championship; lose twice and there is little chance the team will qualify for any BCS game. The BCS proponents claim that every game counts, but if a team loses the first two weeks there is nothing to play towards and there is no excitement to the games.

Also, the BCS human polls are far too subject to bias from the voters.  One third of the standings are based on how the coaches rank the other teams, and much of the time they do not get the chance to watch all of the games while preparing for their own games.  A playoff system would eliminate the controversy surrounding the voting process used by the BCS because more teams would get the chance to compete for a championship.  A playoff system would not eliminate the BCS rankings; it would stop the entire seasons of teams from being dependent on the rankings.  The rankings decide how a team’s season plays out and they leave no room for those captivating Cinderella stories that we have come to love every March.  And not only are the rankings unfair, the schedules have a tendency to be biased.  The BCS rewards the BCS teams that go undefeated, so schools try to change their scheduled games to ones against weaker opponents to protect their records. A playoff would remove the easy schedule and make the championship solely about performance.

The national champions of almost every other major college sports are determined by playoff systems. Even the 140 plus football teams of the NCAA’s FCS (formerly known as Division I-AA) compete in a 16-team tournament.  A playoff system would give each school the chance to earn an equal share of the revenue that is distributed to the 11 conferences in the FBS. The BCS conferences automatically qualify for BCS bowl games. FBS teams receive a smaller amount of the annual bowl revenue and since football earnings fund other sports, this disparity affects athletes in all sports.  Even Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, stated that “Any sensible person would say… that we should be creating a playoff system. I don’t know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this”.  The only reason that the BCS is still in place is strictly because of profit.  In this regard, the BCS is just another scandal; just another way to make money; just another hoax.  And just like how any other scandal is prohibited, the BCS should be done away with as well.