Monday, October 15, 2007

What He Said

Great piece from Yahoo Sports national columnist Dan Weitzel today (H/T: Best of the SEC Blogs):
Consider Ohio State, which considered this a rebuilding year. Its nonconference schedule consisted of Youngstown State, Akron, last-place Washington and Kent State. Not surprisingly, the Buckeyes won them all.

It's not Ohio State's fault that everyone else lost and the Buckeyes now are the likely No. 1. But it doesn't change the fact that perhaps no team ever has reached the top of the polls this late in the season with a less impressive body of work.


But that's just the kind of schedule the BCS rewards. Play no one but win, and you've got a heck of a shot of making the title game as the rest of the country beats one another's brains in. The best route to the title game is to play in a mediocre to moderate league with no more than one or two other good teams.

That's the Big Ten, ACC and, to maybe a slightly lesser extent, the Big East.

None of which means that an unbeaten champion of those leagues are better than a one- or even two-loss team from the SEC, Pac-10 or perhaps even Big 12.


But LSU now is playing catchup thanks to a wild loss in Lexington. This was surprising in the specific but not the general – the chance of the Tigers surviving the SEC meat grinder was unlikely.

For the second consecutive week, the SEC should have seven ranked teams. Seven! The Pac-10, meanwhile, had four of the top 14 teams last week.

This is your BCS, though. It punishes good leagues and rewards bad ones.

Former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer might have designed the original BCS, but in its current form, in this current landscape, it is killing his old conference. In a sport with such a disparity in schedule strength, a playoff is most needed, not least. Let 16 teams play it out, and you might wind up with all-SEC title games or three of the final four.

Every week isn't a playoff, as the apologists like to claim, when not everyone is playing playoff competition.

But until the SEC's current commissioner Mike Slive decides to stand up and fight for his teams, rather than following the Big Ten's lead in protecting a system perfect for the Big Ten, nothing is going to change.

One loss, to a ranked team, on the road, in triple overtime will send you reeling behind someone with no losses, but no challenges either. It's quite a system. It needs to go.
Hear, hear. Read the whole thing.

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