Football should copy basketball’s Madness

By Majesh Abraham

The Bowl Championship Series is the baby of the major conference commissioners because it ensures that the flawed bowl system remains in place. If there was an actual playoff system, there wouldn’t be all the useless bowls that are played between average teams from the big conferences, which means less money for the conferences.

But how do you think the Big Ten commissioner feels today? Two Big Ten teams are No. 1 and No. 2 in the official BCS rankings, but there is little chance that No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan will meet in the BCS championship game in January.

Why? Because the Buckeyes and the Wolverines face off on Nov. 18 in Columbus, and this ensures that only one Big Ten team will have a chance to go undefeated. No. 3 USC, however, doesn’t have to face anyone remotely as tough as the Wolverines or Buckeyes on their schedule, and has a good chance to go undefeated, and end up in the title game.

Whoever loses the Ohio State-Michigan game might actually still be the 2nd best team in the country and should have the right to play in the title game, but with the BCS in place, the loser will never get that chance.

Do you think USC would be undefeated if they played in the Big Ten? Or what about if they were in the SEC, where great teams like Auburn, Florida, and Tennessee hardly have a chance at an undefeated season because of the top-notch competition they face week-in, week-out.

USC is good, but QB John David Booty is not even close to being as good as Matt Leinart was last year – a team that also featured Reggie Bush – and USC still lost in the BCS title game. Last year’s title game between Texas and USC was an anomaly in that the championship game was actually an exciting football game.

Only three out of the eight BCS Championship games since the inception of the BCS have been decided by a touchdown or less. In 2004, in a match-up of the two unbeatens that year, USC spanked Oklahoma 55-19, while undefeated Auburn, who was left out of the title game after a 13-0 season, crushed Virginia Tech in another BCS game.

How do you tell that year’s Auburn squad that they have no right to play in the championship game because a computer formula said so? Last I checked there is no formula known to man that can accurately predict a football game.

In 2003, the BCS game left out USC, who was ranked No. 1 in the AP poll, because the computer formula said so. Last I checked, computers cannot watch and analyze football games like the people who vote on the Associated Press poll are paid to do. The reporters might not always be right, but I would trust them over a computer any day.

But the powers that be will have none of it, they want to continue with the age-old formula of what seems like a never-ending slew of boring and un-competitive bowl games that drag on for a month.

Compare the football system to the basketball tournament. Every game during March Madness is nerve-wracking and filled with suspense.

The NCAA thinks they will lose money if they switch to a football playoff, but that playoff system will bring sponsorship deals and TV contracts in the billions just like March Madness. The NFL doesn’t lose money with their playoffs; the Super Bowl is the biggest single-day spectacle in the world next to the World Cup final.

Michigan is likely to lose to Ohio State and probably will not have a chance to play in the championship game.

Any Michigan loss puts a smile on face of a University of Illinois fan, but this loss will hurt Wolverine fans even more, as it will end their national championship hopes.

Well, maybe that computer isn’t so bad after all.

Majesh Abraham is a junior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected]