Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Final week of regular college football season approaches

The Big Ten Conference finished play the weekend ahead of Thanksgiving.

The SEC saw teams like Georgia, LSU and South Carolina all go down to rivals in the final week of play, this past weekend. Oregon likely knocked Oregon State out of the Rose Bowl and the BCS. USC plays UCLA this week to determine the single team for the Pac 10 in the BCS this year.

The Big Ten will not likely send a team for the third straight year to the BCS title game, since Florida or Alabama from the SEC and a Big 12 school will likely play in the title game this year. However, the loss by Oregon State, will likely allow two Big Ten teams into BCS bowls, with Penn State in the Rose Bowl and Ohio State likely headed to the Fiesta Bowl.

For Iowa fans, two Big Ten teams in the BCS will likely allow Iowa to win a date in Tampa on January 1, 2009. Will it be a rematch with LSU of the 2004 Capital One Bowl? The Hawkeyes have finished strong in 2008 with five wins in their final six conference games. At 5-3 in the Big Ten, the Hawkeyes equalled their 2005 season mark, which also earned them a trip to Tampa.

In the 2009 BCS Title Game, the SEC will likely be represented by Florida, pending their win over Alabama in the SEC Title Game. Of course, the Crimson Tide will fill the slot, if they can remain undefeated with a win over the Gators, clearly their toughest test to date. On the flip side, the Big 12 is likely back in the title game, with Oklahoma the top candidate, if the defeat Missouri in the Big 12 Title Game. Texas is clearly the odd team out, but you can chalk that up to the Big 12 Conference, which sets the rules for how they determine a tie-breaker.

You ask me, I would take Texas over OU via head to head. Texas Tech would have been eliminated from my consideration based on two wins over FCS competition in the OOC games.

While many will cry for a 8 team or 16 team playoff for FBS. I'll suggest a return to the traditional bowl relationships and use the BCS simply for #1 vs. #2 in the final +1 BCS Championship Game. The argument I have with the Big 12 Conference is the BCS Poll is simply a device to get #1 vs. #2. It shouldn't be used for anything else and a Plus One system would be better for College Football, overall.

The argument for a playoff is enjoyable to watch among major college football fans. By the way, college football has a playoff system for Division I football. It is called the FCS and there are many conferences that play for the right to be among the 16 teams selected among Division I programs. The basketball playoff system involves basically every Division I conference, so if you want a playoff system... I suggest that your program consider the FCS for Division I programs.



Brad said...

I completely agree with your +1 solution. Go back to the traditional bowl tie-ins (Pac 10 vs Big Ten every year in the Rose Bowl, etc.) and after the bowl games are played, then match-up who is left at #1 and #2 in the BCS Standings and let them play 2 weeks after New Years Day.

As much as everyone whines and cries for a play-off, it just isn't going to happen anytime soon. Bowls bring in too much $$. The plus-one solution is feasible and would work better than the current system.

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