A bowl with meaning

College football championship should be more merit-based

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Unless you’re a rabid Alabama fan, the much-vaunted, much-awaited major college football championship game Monday night was a clunker on concrete blocks.

The Crimson Tide’s 21-0 shutout of conference rival Louisiana State University was hardly predictable – but then again, this is what can happen when you get “elected” to the national championship game, rather than playing your way in.

You can’t blame high-powered and third-ranked Oklahoma State University’s team from wondering what might have been.

“This is what the Bowl Championship Series wrought. A title game with a single touchdown,” wrote USA Today’s Steve Wieberg.

“I bet you there’ll be a lot of people wish they’d given us a shot to see a different kind of game,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “We’d have thrown it 50 times. You sure would like to have had a shot at it. ... It kind of hurts to watch it.”

Join the club, bub.

It’s time the NCAA, which governs college sports, took a hand. Every other sport ends with an unquestioned champion. This week, voters had to rubber-stamp Alabama’s big win. How silly is that? And how frustrating that, after years of hard work and dedication, so many of these young men are denied the opportunity to play their way to a championship.

The wizards of the Bowl Championship Series apparently are conferring behind the curtain to make the clubby bowl system more merit-based. We’ll see. The popular suggestion seems to be a “Plus One” play-in arrangement of some kind – a hybrid of arbitrary bowls and playoffs. If that’s a bridge to a full playoff system, so be it.

But lots of us crossed that bridge a long time ago.

Comments (17) Add comment
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Insider Information
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Insider Information 01/13/12 - 01:30 am
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LSU and Alabama tied 1-1. LSU

LSU and Alabama tied 1-1.

LSU had the better overall record, so it only makes sense that they are No. 1.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/13/12 - 06:01 am
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LSU didn't have a better

LSU didn't have a better record than AL.

But just use the SEC Championship game as the National Championship. Of course that wouldn't have worked out too well this year, would it?

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/13/12 - 08:15 am
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If Okie State hadn't lost to

If Okie State hadn't lost to team with a losing record during the regular season they would have had their chance. No one to blame but themselves.

Techfan
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Techfan 01/13/12 - 10:18 am
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To be factual, Ok State lost

To be factual, Ok State lost to Iowa State in overtime. Iowa State was 6-6 in the regular season, but did lose their bowl game to make them 6-7. Bama raccked up wins againt Kent State 5-6, North Texas 5-7, Fla. 7-6, Vandy 6-7, Ole Miss 2-10, Tenn. 5-7, Miss State 7-6, Auburn 8-5, Penn State 9-4, Arkansas 11-2, Ga Southern (FCS), and LSU. So they played 4 teams with a decent record, one being FCS Ga Southern, and earned a split with LSU. Yep, need a playoff.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/13/12 - 10:26 am
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If you assume that only

If you assume that only Division 1 conference champions get to be in the playoffs, how many teams would that be? How many games would it take to have a single-elimination tournament with that many teams? Having post season playoffs for college football seems absurd to me.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/13/12 - 10:45 am
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Again: If Okie State hadn't

Again: If Okie State hadn't lost to team with a losing record during the regular season they would have had their chance. No one to blame but themselves.

Insider Information
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Insider Information 01/13/12 - 10:53 am
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Riverman, LSU was 13-1 and

Riverman, LSU was 13-1 and Alabama was 12-1. LSU played a little extra game - and won - called the SEC Championship.

An overemphasis on the BCS Championship game is silly. In theory, if an unranked team, a win-less team, or Laney High School beat LSU in the championship, that team would be No. 1?

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/13/12 - 10:58 am
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II, "In theory, if an

II, "In theory, if an unranked team, a win-less team, or Laney High School beat LSU in the championship, that team would be No. 1?". That would never happen. You can't make the Championship game if you winless. Come on. How anyone who watched the absolutely pitiful (by any measurement) effort LSU put forth and then say they deserve to be #1, amazes me.

Insider Information
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Insider Information 01/13/12 - 11:29 am
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How can a team be national

How can a team be national champion, but not win its conference, much less its division?

Not only did LSU have a better record, compare their schedules. LSU beat two No. 2 teams and the No. 3 team, not to mention almost all of its games were against top 25 teams.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/13/12 - 11:38 am
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Then why play the BCS Champ

Then why play the BCS Champ game? Giggles?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/13/12 - 11:47 am
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Insider, you must not

Insider, you must not understand the program. It's the one who wins last who is the champion.

csrareader
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csrareader 01/13/12 - 01:59 pm
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There is no national champion

There is no national champion in major football, and never has been. Everything after conference championship games are simply exhibition games, nothing more. The polls are popularity contests... sort of like Miss Congeniality in a beauty contest. LSU is the SEC Champion, and Alabama is Miss Congeniality.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/13/12 - 02:02 pm
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Every source I can find has

Every source I can find has Alabama as the National Champs.

Insider Information
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Insider Information 01/13/12 - 03:05 pm
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The BCS is sort of like the

The BCS is sort of like the Electoral College.

More voters can cast ballots for you, but you can still lose the presidential election.

With the BCS, you can have a better record and not be "national champion."

Both are a mess.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/13/12 - 03:42 pm
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Insider, I am really trying

Insider, I am really trying to understand you POV. You don't recognize the Champ game and you don't like the voter's decision. Are you saying the team with the best record should be declared the National Champ? If so, we need to go back and award a couple yrs to Boise State. And going forward, the plan would be to drop out of your current conference and get yourself a very easy schedule.

Chip 'TheDixieDove' Shirley
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Chip 'TheDixieDove' Shirley 01/13/12 - 04:06 pm
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I'm pretty sure that having
Unpublished

I'm pretty sure that having two SEC teams in the big game will be enough to get us a 'plus one' by next season!

Chip 'TheDixieDove' Shirley
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Chip 'TheDixieDove' Shirley 01/13/12 - 04:14 pm
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-OSU coach Mike Gundy said.
Unpublished

-OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “We’d have thrown it 50 times. You sure would like to have had a shot at it. ... It kind of hurts to watch it.”-

This coach really cracks me up! He seems to miss the point that either the LSU or Bama defense would have shown him more future NFL players than he's seen all year combined on his puny schedule!

Yeah, they would have 'attempted' 50 passes, but had ten sacks 3 interceptions and maybe 12 completions for 125 yards!

Insider Information
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Insider Information 01/13/12 - 04:50 pm
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justthefacts, my point is

justthefacts, my point is that the BCS produces awkward results just like the Electoral College.

For instance, regardless of your political view, Al Gore had more votes than George Bush, but George Bush had more electoral votes.

Similarly, LSU had a better record than Alabama, but Alabama won the last game. (Keep in mind, that they were 1-1 head-to-head.)

The Boise State comparison isn't accurate because rankings take into account the strength of a team's record.

wtinney
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wtinney 01/14/12 - 10:29 pm
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Okay, let's have a mental

Okay, let's have a mental exercise here concerning Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State and Stanford.

First, LSU. LSU had an impressive record going into the BCS national championship bowl game. LSU was 13-0 including a November win over Alabama (9-6 score) and the conference championship game win over Georgia (42-10 - a thumping). The number of ranked teams they played (at the time they played them) was 8 out of those 13 (3 were in the top 3). After the BCS championship bowl, they were 13-1 having played 9 out of the 14 ranked, 4 out of 14 in the top 3). LSU pumelled their opponents all season long by two touchdowns or more except for Mississippi State and Alabama. LSU went undefeated in the regular season, won their conference championship, but lost the BCS championship bowl game.

Second, Alabama. Alabama had an impressive record going into the BCS championship bowl game at 11-1 with their only loss handed to them by LSU (6-9 score) on Nov. 5. In that game, Alabama missed four field goals with three of them coming within "easy kicking distance". They played 4 ranked teams and only 1 team ranked in the top 3 out of the 12 played before the BCS championship game. All wins came at two touchdown differences or more. In this case, Alabama dominated their opponents just as much as LSU did. Alabama did not play in the conference championship because Alabama and LSU are in the same division of the same conference therefore, Alabama had 1 week more in preparation time and 1 game less in chances of running down/hurting players. Alabama went into the BCS championship bowl game with one loss, not having to play a conference championship, and won the national championship in head to head competition with LSU with a 21-0 thumping.

Third, Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State had an impressive record going into their bowl game with Stanford which stood at 11-1. Where things start getting shaky is that Oklahoma State played only 4 ranked teams during the regular season, did not play a top 3 team at all, and were handed their only loss by Iowa State (an unranked team). Given this and given the Iowa State loss came so late in the season (Nov. 18), there was absolutely no way Oklahoma State could be considered the second best team to go up against LSU. This is true even though Oklahoma State blew out their competition except for Texas A&M (which, incidentally, is the highest ranked team they played at #8 all season - beating them only by 1 point [30-29]), No. 17 (at the time) Kansas State (52-45) and, of course, the ones they lost to, unranked Iowa State (31-37). This means half the ranked teams they played posed close games with Oklahoma State while both Alabama and LSU dominated most of the ranked teams they played - as well as played more that were higher ranked on average. Oklahoma State had a VERY weak case to even play LSU in the national championship game.

Fourth, Stanford. Stanford, after the regular season, had an impressive record going into their bowl game with Oklahoma State. A lot can be said about excitement and emotion that might have been different if they were picked to go up against LSU in the championship game. Still, the end result of the regular season speaks volumes as to why they were not picked. Stanford achieved 11-1 record during the regular season but did not win their division because Oregon (12-2) also had only one loss in conference play (8-1) but lost the head to head battle with Oregon 30-53 - a thumping. Stanford played only 4 ranked teams (3 of which were ranked between 20 and 25) and no top 3 teams. They did play Oregon when they were 6 and, as you know, lost that game horrifically. Technically, Stanford has a pretty weak resume. Then they lost their bowl game to Oklahoma State 38-41. If Stanford and Oklahoma State was a close bowl game, and it was, that says volumes to the fact that neither team really was in the class of Alabama and LSU, period.

There was no other choice but Alabama vs. LSU in the BCS national championship game. Alabama was the best choice and they thumped LSU 21 - 0. Nuff said, end of story!

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