Well, the much ballyhooed BCS National Title game is upon us and its time for the age old question: should college football stick with the BCS to determine its national champ or adopt a playoff system similar to college basketball? I for one argue that they should adopt a playoff for a number of reasons, the main being that it will allow teams to settle this on the field rather than it being decided by a poll. I would also argue that the reason teams like Boise State and TCU are forced to play each other is monetary, but it's not for the monetary reason that mainstream sports journalists would argue they are excluded. Nevertheless, I believe this year the selection committee got the top two teams in the nation playing for the national championship, thus validating their system until at least the end of next season.
Before I go into the reasons why I feel the BCS correctly matched No. 1 vs No 2, I think it is important to look at why Boise State and TCU were chosen to play each other in their BCS game. Mainstream media would argue that Boise State and TCU are excluded from playing a big conference team because these teams don't travel well, thus bringing in less revenue than one of the major conferences. But I would argue there is another reason behind it: the teams in the BCS conferences don't want to share the BCS revenue with non-BCS schools. If either school knocked off a major conference school they would have to look at including mid majors as a regular part of the BCS, and they don't want to share that money with non-BCS schools. If you look at it this year, the BCS has two non BCS schools in the dance and that is without Notre Dame. The BCS selection committee paired BSU and TCU in the hopes that this will be the last year in a while that both these teams make the BCS. And in the event one of them makes the BCS in the future and knocks off a major conference school, the BCS can chalk it up as an one year abberration, thus reinforcing the validity of their system. The only flaw in that is that Boise State continues to win BCS games; sooner or later the BCS will have to seriously consider the possibiltiy of including mid major conferences in their tournament.
But I digress. On to the matter at hand, that the BCS got nos 1 and 2 right this year. There has been much discussion as to who is actually number 1 and who is number 2 this year and rightly so with five teams ending the season undefeated. Some would say Cincinnati had the biggest reason to be upset at the end of the season, with their schedule being almost as strong as
Texas. However, the blowout loss the Bearcats suffered at the hands of the Florida Gators all but eliminates any claim they wold have to the national championship game. But what about Boise State and TCU? Aren't they worthy opponents? To determine that, I would argue you have to look at two factors: their non-conference opponents' records vs. the records of the nonconference opponents of Alabama and Texas; and, the record of each team's respective conference in Bowl Games.
The first litmus test is the record of the non conference opponents each team played. I did some research and found that TCU's non conference opponents had the best record at 26-20. The next best team was Texas, whose non conference opponents had a record of .500 at 25-25. This would indicate that TCU should be playing Texas for the national title. Not so fast, my friend, as Lee Corso would say, because it has already been proven that Boise State is better than TCU this year in the Fiesta Bowl. So looking at the other two, Boise State slightly edged Alabama with a .480 opponent record to Bama's .460 record. Advantage, Boise State and Texas.
The next litmus test are the conference records in Bowl games. TCU has been eliminated, so its down to Alabama Texas, and Boise. Boise State's WAC conference has concluded the bowl season 2-2; the SEC is currently 5-4, and the Big 12 is 3-3. Given that these records do not show any dramatic reason why Boise State should be vaulted above either Texas or Alabama, I would conclude the BCS got it right this year. Now on to the game prediction.
My prediction for the game: pain. (Ha ha, just a little Rocky III humor for those who remember the reference) Seriously, I think it should be a great game. We have two coaches who have been there before and won it all before. The teams are ready. I believe Alabama wins in a game closer than most people think.