Monday, November 10, 2008
Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.
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As much as it pains people to say it, the Bowl Championship Series does its job in college football.
The reality is that all the people who hate it - yearning instead for a playoff format and believing someone gets screwed by the present system every year - are out of luck.
Since the BCS has been around, there has been only one - possibly two - instances where there was good reason another team should have been playing in the National Championship game.
In 2004, Auburn finished 13-0 and was left out of the game that saw the University of Southern California beat Oklahoma, 55-19. The year before, Louisiana State University and Southern California split the championship.
Considering that in the 1990s, there were three split National Champions - in 1990, 1991 and 1997 - the BCS is doing its job.
Although a playoff system would be great, it simply won't happen.
Colleges make too much money during the bowl season. Coaches love the bowl season, and putting a playoff bracket out eventually would leave some deserving team out.
Coaches love it because it's a month more of practice if you make a bowl. If you're not USC, LSU, Texas or Florida, that can mean quite a bit in the grand scheme of things.
Just look at this year's No. 1 Alabama. The Crimson Tide were a 6-6 team last year who played in the Independence Bowl. Do you think that extra month of practice for young players helped coach Nick Saban any?
The BCS wouldn't catch so much flak if it weren't overanalyzed the minute the thing first comes out.
When it's unveiled halfway through the season, everyone gets in a tizzy. At that point, you usually have six or seven undefeated teams and three or four powerhouses in powerhouse conferences with powerhouse schedules that all have one loss. Add in some team from the Mountain West that's undefeated and Ohio State, who is undefeated but everybody knows rolls over in big games and plays in the highly overrated Big 10, and everyone is quick to criticize it.
The bottom line is, although college playoffs would be great and would bring a buzz to college football and probably make colleges tons of money, it's not going to happen.
The BCS works, and it will do so again and again and again.
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