The computer system that is the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) has proved to us once and for all just how flawed the system really is. As of today, Texas Tech finds itself the #7 team in the BCS rankings, in a three-way tie for the top spot in the Big 12 South, they have 11 wins and one loss with their only loss coming from a 65-21 shellacking at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners Nov. 22, yet they will not be included in a BCS bowl game.
At the same time, the Texas Longhorns were leaped by the Sooners over the weekend in the BCS polls, thus missing out on the Big 12 Championship game even though the Longhorns defeated the Sooners 45-35 at a neutral site on Oct. 11. Texas will miss out on the championship game due to the bizarre structure of the conference’s tie-breaker system. The structure of a three-way tie in the Big 12 Conference is as follows (from the Big 12 website):
a). the records of the three teams will be compared against each other [in this case, all three teams have identical records of 11-1]
b). the records of the three teams will be compared within their division [Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech all have conference records of 7-1]
c). the records of the three teams will be compared against the next highest placed teams in order of finish (the 4, 5, and 6th place teams) [all comparisons are the same]
d). the records of the three teams will be compared against all common conference opponents [again, all comparisons are identical]
e). The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series Poll following the completion of Big 12 regular season conference play shall be the representative [Oklahoma is ranked #2, Texas is #3, and Texas Tech is #7, therefore Oklahoma becomes the representative]
Many comments have been made about how flawed the tie-breaker system is as well as the BCS, and I think this year those in favor of dumping the BCS system for a playoff system have more of a reason to argue their case.
Also, teamed up with President-Elect Barack Obama openly supporting a playoff system and stating he will do what he can to institute a playoff system, the BCS just might not be around much longer.
Onward from the BCS and the Big 12, I move east to the Big Ten.
Ohio State is the highest ranked team from the Big Ten, sitting at #10 in the BCS Poll, but they’re not even the Big Ten Champs. That in and of itself poses a huge predicament. Will the Buckeyes be #10 at the end of next week when the bowl selection happens? Probably not. The reason why? The Big Ten does not have a championship game like the SEC, ACC and the Big 12.
The Big Ten season ended after last week, therefore that gives two weeks for teams on the bubble of BCS games to surpass Ohio State because their season is over with the exception of a bowl game.
The solution: either add another team so there can be six teams in two divisions thus making it possible for a championship game, or get rid of a team so there is 10 teams instead of 11. The Big Ten could add a school like Notre Dame (because most Big Ten schools play them anyway), or any other Independent team. They could even try to lure someone away from another conference.
With regards to getting rid of a team, the Big Ten could let Northwestern go. Northwestern is the choice because they are said to be the “weaker” school, being the only private institution within the Big Ten. Many arguments can be made for either case; this is just what I have heard from a few sources.
Moving on, let’s stay in the same region but move a little closer to home.
Nobody could have thought Central Michigan would finish the last two weeks the way it did.
After losing a close game to Ball State on Nov. 19, the Chippewas needed a little help from their rival Western Michigan to have an attempt to become three-time Mid-American Conference champions. The Western Michigan Broncos let down the Chippewa faithful, losing to an over-powering Ball State team 45-22 on Nov. 25.
The Bronco loss ensured CMU will not be heading to its third-straight MAC Championship game. Then, on Nov. 28, the Chippewas fell apart, losing to a then 2-9 Eastern Michigan team, 56-52.
CMU’s season is not quite over yet, as they will be an at-large team for a bowl game with a final regular season record of eight wins, four losses. Now, as Oklahoma did to see if it was going to play in the Big 12 Championship, Central Michigan just has to wait to see if it plays in a bowl game the end of this month or early January.
The wait ends Sunday.