Local News
World News
Campus News
Police Beat


news Sports Opinions arts variety interact Wildcat On-Line QuickNav

Take the 'C' out of BCS

By Chris Jackson
Arizona Summer Wildcat
July 21, 1999
Send comments to:


Wildcat File Photo
Arizona Summer Wildcat

Chris Jackson

After last season's debacle involving Kansas State University, one would think the Bowl Championship Series would have rectified the problems.

In a nutshell, the BCS was so tied to the old bowl system it allowed teams like Florida and Syracuse, who had no right to be in a BCS game, to play in the Orange Bowl.

Syracuse, as the Big East champion, automatically qualified for a BCS bowl despite not finishing in the BCS top 10. Florida was the third place team in the SEC, but the Orange Bowl wanted a large crowd, which the Gators could provide.

But if you think the BCS solved this problem, get your head checked.

Instead, the BCS made only two changes:

"Any Division I-A team can qualify for selection in the BCS if they have won at least nine college football games during the most recently completed regular season (not to include wins in exempted games) and are ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS standings.

"Also, beginning with the 1999 season, each BCS conference is subject to review and possible loss of automatic selection by the BCS should the conference champion not have an average ranking of 12 or higher over a four-year period."

Got all that? The first part is basically saying it's okay for the BCS to take a 9-2 Florida team and slight a team like Kansas State or Arizona who were 11-1.

The second part says that if Syracuse and the Big East continue to stink for the next four years, as they have over the past four, then will the Big East lose its automatic bid to the BCS.

Isn't it great how money still talks?

The BCS is loath to spite any of the major conferences, and so the second part is just a way to make it look like the BCS is getting tough. Now, while the Big East has been bad, there's every chance that in one fluke year, a team like Miami or Syracuse could put together a great run. Then they could stink the next three and do it again, thereby continuing to avoid elimination.

As for the first part, it's merely the excuse the bowls will now use to continue to ignore the non-big money teams in favor of more regionally attractive games, or games that will guarantee a large TV audience. Teams like Florida and Notre Dame will benefit from this rule alteration, while teams like Arizona and Kansas State will continue to suffer.

Tulane went undefeated last year, and while it was against some sub-par competition, didn't the Green Wave at least deserve a shot at the BCS and a "real team?" Instead it got BYU in the Liberty Bowl.

Enough is enough. The BCS needs to say the top eight teams in its final standings, regardless of whether or not they fulfill all the conferences' automatic bids, go to the four BCS bowls.

That would determine the best teams in the country, not the flawed current system.

Ah, to heck with it. Let's just have the Wildcats win the Pac-10 title and avoid this debate entirely.