I'll Miss the BCS, and you should too.

Citrus's picture
November 21, 2013 at 5:45p
52 Comments

For years the BCS has been maligned, skewered, and lampooned. This year with 4 impressive teams undefeated, the BCS is receiving more criticism than ever. Nowhere is that more true than in the offices, speak easies, and cat houses of ol’ Columbus town where anti-BCS talk has hit a fever pitch. It’s unfair! It’s corrupt! It’s illogical!

However, I am going to miss the BCS. For starters, the Buckeyes have been one of (if not thee most) dominant programs throughout the BCS era. Most years the BCS was kind to our beloved Buckeyes. Hell, it may even work out for the Scarlet and Gray this year.  There are many other things about the BCS I will miss.

Every game matters. Sure, games will be important in a playoff. But in the BCS era, one little slip up and your championship chances may be toast. Each week is like a playoff. Each game has implications. One of the things that made The Game so great is that it offered a rival a chance to spoil NCG dreams. The sword of Damocles hangs over NCG dreams waiting to drop in the most unexpected ways. The lows are so low when it falls. Remember how crushed you were when TP became a turnover machine in that loss to Purdue? Or when he fumbled at Penn State? Or when Ryan Hamby dropped the sure touchdown vs. Texas? Our hearts broke, why? Because we knew! We knew the sword had fallen and our NCG hopes were on life support.

It isn’t just lows, man there are lots of highs. The BCS provides an emotional tie to games the Buckeyes aren’t playing. Sure, football is great to watch. But, football is far better when there is something on the line to root for. The BCS gives fans “skin in the game” even when it isn’t their team playing. Remember how fun it was to watch Stanford down the Ducks? Well in a playoff system that game matters far less. This weekend many of us will excitedly watch Baylor v. Oklahoma State. Maybe I watch that game anyway in a playoff scenario but it just isn’t the same.

Maybe the playoff will be fairer, maybe less corrupt, but damn! Damn! Its been fun since ’98. Here’s to ending the BCS era as a champion, GO BUCKEYES!

1998 Sugar Bowl Champions 



2002 National Champions 

2003 Fiesta Bowl Champions



2005 Fiesta Bowl Champions 

2009 Rose Bowl Champions 

2010 Sugar Bowl Champions 

2013 National Champions ??? TBD 
 

Comments

Citrus's picture

Not sure what is going on with the images. I have resized them over and over and it just wont take. 

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Trying deleting delete them. Save the post. Open a new edit window re-add the resized versions and save again.

Citrus's picture

Thanks, that worked. 

Oyster's picture

The internet does not like those pictures because one of those games did not happen.  You have basically divided by zero, I hope you are happy with yourself!

cinserious's picture

Syntax Error!

Gone ham, be back soon...

HandsOfSweed's picture

No, it's because those pics are slower than other pics. And also because those pics weren't in the same roll of film as any other good pics before being grossly and unfairly posted over other, far more deserving pics.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Yes, it is clearly that those are not SEC pics which is why they are much slower.  SEC pics are basically NFL pics just ask Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson and they will tell you as much...ha, what a load of crap! 
Go Bucks!! Crash the SEC string of Championships!!!

luckynewman13's picture

Upvote for posting something that may be unpopular. I honestly can say I have mixed feelings about the BCS because I don't think it gets enough credit for the things it got right. Before the BCS every game certainly mattered, but on a regional scale. If the old system was in place, not nearly as many people would have watched Oregon-Stanford this year on television, or 2007 WVU-Pitt, or the past two Alabama-A&M games. The BCS helped college football become truly national, the only threat to the NFL beast.
I believe the BCS took the greatest regular season in any sport and made it even better, more intense. But it was also put in place to solve college football's biggest weakness: the postseason. Unfortunately, it failed to do that. 

Citrus's picture

Also, more often than not, it gave us a pretty good champion. 

Haybucks's picture

But in the BCS era, one little slip up and your championship chances may be toast.

Unless you're from the SEC, Oregon or Stanford.

I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.
- Edward Gibbon
 

BucksfanXC's picture

The BCS was a step in the right direction, no doubt. It's better than what we had before when #1 would play in one bowl and #2 would play in another and both would win and we'd just vote. But my ideal is an 8 team playoff, home site first round games, second round in the bowls, NC game in the Rose Bowl. The 4 team playoff next year is another step closer to that.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Catch 5's picture

If we ever go to 8 teams, we will one day look back on the BCS and wish wet could go back.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

NCBuck1's picture

Why? What would make a playoff worse than voters and freaking computers totally controlling a teams fate? Perception would be thrown out the window and the teams would prove their worth on the field. Win 3 games and you're the champ. Seems reasonable to me.

Catch 5's picture

Because nowhere else in any sport does the regular season mean so much. As the author here says, so much rides on every game. We do have a playoff now, it is the regular season.
With a playoff that size, the goal of the season goes from winning all your games to making the playoffs. When that is the goal you will see teams sit starters late in the year if they have their position locked up, to avoid injury. Think about the games late in the year that would suffer because of that. Any come to mind that mean a lot to you now?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

BucksfanXC's picture

Late season games and the regular season would all still matter. Don't believe me? What 8 teams would go this year and how would we determine it? I think you take the top 4 right now, Bama FSU OSU and Baylor, then you start to argue about the selection process. Should it be only one team per conference or should it be straight top 8. Those 4 already mentioned make it under either way. So then do Oregon and Standford make it and thus your argument hold water or do you take NIU and Fresno over one of them?

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Catch 5's picture

When you can say - at this point in the season, with possibly 3 games remaining - that any team is already in your playoff, you make my point.  When it becomes possible for Alabama to rest in the Iron Bowl because it doesn't matter if they lose - or (in better years) when it doesn't matter if OSU beats Michigan in The Game in order to get to the next level, you make my point.  If you take all conference champions, once you have your division locked up, the rest doesn't matter (and neither does your OOC schedule).  College football as we know and love it will be a thing of the past - all for a few exciting games in December and Janurary.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

InvertMyVeer's picture

It won't be that much different. I highly doubt that there will be 2 and 3 loss teams in the top 4. I'm definitely looking forward to not having to root for teams like Stanford, LSU, OK St. or Auburn just for the sake of my Buckeyes.

Football is complicated...

BucksfanXC's picture

These games in November aren't very exciting now. I mean FSU v Idaho is riveting. 

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

wojodta's picture

I've always thought 4 teams was the best. I just don't think you should be able to win the title with multiple losses, even with a tough schedule. I'd hate for CFB to become like the NFL where after loss it's like oh well we got all season to turn it around. 8 teams is definitely far superior to 16 though. I pray the sport never goes to 16.

BullCityBuckeye's picture

Indeed, BucksFan.  In the pre-BCS days, it truly was a random treat to have the top two teams play each other in a bowl game at the end of the year.  Notably, conference champions were locked into certain bowls and there were no exceptions. You essentially needed the #1 or #2 team be an independent like Miami, FSU, PSU, ND, etc. to create a 1 vs. 2 a contest.

TMac's picture

We have done well in the BCS era, and I expect that to continue into the Playoff era. And I don't think any game will have any less meaning.  A loss may or may not have an affect on whether or not a team gets to the NCG. See Illinois 2007. The object will still be get the the Playoff and the way to get there as always will be to be B1G champions. 
The BCS is near the end, it was a good run, and hopefully we will make it a BUCKEYE FANtastic ending!

IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Too much money to be made for the playoff to be just 4 teams for long. My guess is it expands to 6 teams within 5 years. OSU stands a better shot at the NCG with the playoff than the BCS simply because it takes the decision making away from biased/jaded poll voters and pundits and at least gives it to some people who give a crap about integrity. Say what you will about the Arkansas AD but people like Tom Osborne, Barry Alvarez, Condi, and Archie Manning will be fair or at least attempt to be.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

USMC11917's picture

I agree whole heartedly with what you said. I've been making that point for a few years now, as often as my Sec co-workers have been trumpeting playoffs. I told them if there was a 16 team playoff that we'd be much more productive at work because there would be a lot less debate because the fire didn't rage as fierce. Debating is half the fun during football season. It is single handedly the biggest reason I find CFB superior in interest to the pros. The only thing I would like to have seen done differently is #1 vs. #2 and then #3 vs. #4 ect.....
The only thing I'd like to see change about the new playoff is #1-2 with Home games during the semi finals and a neutral Championship game not in the home State of either team in the Finals.

wojodta's picture

Yeah it boggles my mind why so many people want a 16 team playoff. Do they not realize it would totally ruin the sport? It has to just be casual fans that want a 16 team playoff. The diehards know better.

alust2013's picture

It all depends on the year. Sometimes the BCS was great, and others it got weird (Bama-LSU rematch) I'll take the playoffs over that. Not a vehement BCS hater, just mild disapproval. Also, they should play the title game in Denver every year so it's just as hard for both teams, or something that doesn't effectively give SEC teams home games for bowls.

...and Michigan still sucks.

Catch 5's picture

You get it! Bravo.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Hovenaut's picture

I welcome the coming changes, but this was a nice look back at a pretty successful era for the good guys.

Nice post, Citrus.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Jeeves's picture

BCS moved arguing over polls from the post season and moved it to a year round event. I hate everything about the BCS. Ohio State was successful during the BCS era because of great coaching and talented players not for anything the system did.  The BCS took away several opportunities for really good and great Ohio State teams to shine in the Rose Bowl against our rival conference's (the Pac 10/12 ) champion and ruined the New Year's Day tradition of a host of meaningful big bowl games played across the south and west coast many with national title implications. The BCS helped usher in the 24/7 college football analysts and poll gurus along with terminology such as "eye test" and "style points". Before the BCS I only wanted to throw a brick through my tv during the game, now I have that urge tuning in at 6 PM on any given weeknight as every mouth breathing attention whore is given a soapbox to generate twitter followers and blog hits with asinine commentary. Prior to the BCS I could watch games outside the Big Ten region and enjoy the nuances of the different atmospheres, styles of play and cultures exhibited from across this great nation without a worry about the outcome. Now its a constant comparison of conference perceived strength and anxiety over finding out if someone who lost to a team that OSU beat won by enough style points over a team who was Oregon's best road win that also passed the eye test on a Thursday night with Brent and Herbie in the booth. So good riddance to the BCS may it rot forever on the heap of horrible ideas that never should have been realized. Thanks for nothing (except for the 2003 National Title Game.)

Bolt's picture

This has always been my same sentiment and argument against a playoff. The difference between pro football and college football is every week is do or die in college. I'm much more invested week in and week out, especially when my team has a shot (or at least outside shot) at the NCG or at least a BCS bowl game. In the NFL, if my team loses a regular season game it's like meh, whatever...just better luck next week, I guess. With Ohio State, if we lose it wrecks my year as far as sports goes. The regular season is infinitely more exciting. 
All that being said, I actually am pretty excited about the 4 team playoff. This is the only way I would've accepted a playoff, as you start expanding to 8 and beyond and it just totally devalues the regular season. 4 teams still means you have to be a team that would be a NCG contender all season long, win big games, lose no more than 1 game, etc. It will still keep the value of the regular season but then we get the added excitement of having a Final Four type event to close the season. We still keep the bowls for all the teams that don't make the playoff. IMO keeping the bowls outside of the playoff is huge as well. Gives teams the ability to close the season on a high note and get some good cross conference match ups going on. 

Ethos's picture

I fail to understand how it is any different.  If you lose early in the season now, you have all season to improve your rankings to make it to "the game".  There have been NC games with 1 loss teams in the BCS system.  How is that any different then the playoff system?
However, you lose to a "purdue" or other team within your conference, you then reduce your chances, or even eliminate your chances, to make it to your conference championship game.  Thus ending your run for the NC.
Rankings will still come into play, so if you schedule a crappy OOC schedule, then your ranking will suffer just like it does now.  
There really isn't anything different.  Every game still counts, because if you lose a game, you automatically reduce your ranking and risk losing in the eyes of those that choose who goes.
Not only that, but who cares if someone loses a game, we all know how impossible it is to do what we are doing now in any given season, much less two in a row.  Both systems punish you for losing, and both system still offer the chance to make it even with that loss.

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

Bolt's picture

With a 4 team playoff, like I mentioned up above, I think it still maintains that every week is do or die importance to the regular season. If we moved to an 8 team playoff, now you're starting to get into the realm of whoever is ranked in the top 5 at the beginning of the season is going to be there in the playoffs. You're going to be having 2 loss teams in the equation and all Alabama would have to do every year is just hang around, make it into the playoffs and get hot because they're going to be ranked in the top 3 every year going into the season for the foreseeable future. A team that starts in the top 3 pretty much would have to lose at least 3 games to not finish in the top 8 because it's so much easier to recover from a loss when you start the season at the top, regardless of whether you deserve it or not, which is all based on perception and susceptible to heavy bias.
It also opens up even way more debate as to who deserves to make the playoffs when they open it up more. Right now they have to decide which of the top 3 or 4 teams is actually the top 2. There's going to be a lot more 1 and 2 and 3 loss teams arguing they should make an 8 or 16 team playoff than 0-1 loss teams arguing for the BCSNCG or 4 team playoff. A playoff will not at all erase controversy in college football like people seem to assume (not saying you are, but just people in genereal). A 4 team playoff still maintains keeping only the legit title contenders as part of the NCG chase at the end of the season.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

I imagine even if you go to an 8-team playoff, there are going to be slots set aside for conference champions regardless of ranking. There will only be a small number of slots for at-large teams. That will limit the number of arguments about "who belongs," as well as preserving the importance of regular season games -- and even increasing the importance of conference games. Think about it: wouldn't a system where winning your conference would GUARANTEE you a chance at playing for the national championship be preferable to the "wishin' and hopin'" we're doing as Buckeye fans right now?

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

Bolt's picture

I suppose, but that still opens you up to controversy in itself. I know this is disaster scenario but....a team could conceivably lose 4 or 5 games and make the playoffs, while say the almighty SEC could have like 5 teams ranked ahead of some fledgling team that stumbled into their conference title game and somehow manage to win it. Consider, for example...North Carolina is currently 5-5. They are only really one game back from Duke (and whatever tiebreakers they may have working for or against them with 6-4 Ga. Tech and 7-4 Va Tech) for the ACC Coastal division. They play Duke the last game of the season. The door is currently open for a team that's barely over .500 to make the playoff with an upset of FSU in the title game in that format over the 2nd place, 3rd place, 4th place teams in the SEC...all of which are probably much better and more deserving teams. Over Clemson and Boston College which are both probably better than anyone in the Coastal division. Imagine if we somehow managed to lose to MSU in the B1G title game. We'd still be ranked highly but MSU would get the spot from the B1G and then we're left to battle it out with the remaining teams from the SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12 and do a bunch of "wishin' and hopin'" that some committee chooses us for an at-large spot...all the while some 4 loss team from the ACC is sitting in the playoff...let alone whatever other teams manage to dick around in their division, make their conference title game, pull off an upset and displace another better and more deserving team.

Bolt's picture

What about a scenario where Nebraska (generic example) loses 4 games, one of which being a B1G crossover game with OSU in Lincoln in which OSU pummels them. Both teams manage to make the B1G title game where Nebraska wins a close controversial game. Ohio State is now 12-1 or 11-2 and Nebraska is now 9-4. Do they really deserve to play for the national championship because for some reason or another they beat OSU on a fluke even though adding to the controversy OSU would've beat them once head to head, and Nebraska has 3 other bad losses?

Buckeye Chuck's picture

Sure. That's the nature of a playoff. I expect scenarios like that will play out frequently, as they do now in every other sport that has a playoff. 
There's a reason every other sport ends its seasons that way, rather than having a bunch of fat old guys voting on who's number one: it's what most people prefer. It's how you get the 9-7 Giants winning a Super Bowl, and everyone accepting them as legitimate champions even if they weren't "the best."
 

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

Bolt's picture

But it's also what I like most about college football. You don't have garbage teams that have no business staking claim to best team in (insert league here) winning (insert trophy here). Other sports reward who gets hot at the end of the season. College football is the only sport that rewards perfection. The only sport that draws people to the edge of their seat from week 1 to the last game of the season. It's why college football fans are probably the most intensely passionate...you live and die by your team week by week. College basketball produces an exciting 4 weeks of sports. College football produces an exciting 4 months. College football is unique and that's one of the big things I love about it.

Oyster's picture

Riddle me this, OSU is the most perfect team in the nation right now, why aren't they being rewarded for their perfection?

Bolt's picture

Because there's 3 other "perfect" teams as well this year. There's also games left to be played and if we were indeed running a 4 team playoff, I think this would all be considered a perfect fit, no? 

Oyster's picture

So where does a perfect Boise St fit in this equation?  Let's pretend they are undefeated also, that makes 5.  Lets also pretend all 5 stay undefeated.  Who gets booted from the playoff? And why?

Bolt's picture

Supposing you've got a 16 team playoff. Instead of 5 teams posturing for 4 spots you're going to have 20-25 teams posturing for 16. Who gets booted from the playoff? And why? 
I never said there isn't controversy, my point is there's going to be controversy no matter what you do. Playoff proponents have some sort of ill conceived notion that a full on playoff will solve all controversy. I personally just prefer having college football be an exciting race from start to finish, not the final 1/4 of the season. The season is a sometimes forgiving form of a playoff in college football and I think a 4 team playoff still preserves that...once your start getting beyond that is when it gets devalued. These are my points. Not that the BCS is without flaw.

Oyster's picture

You answered my question with a question.  You mentioned above about certain teams from certain conferences that I took to mean the lower tier type teams.  Do only certain conferences get the nod in a 4 team playoff if more than 4 teams are perfect?  Those conferences that are deemed "worthy"?

Bolt's picture

I did so to prove a point because you seemed to be missing mine. Your question was trying to undermine an argument that the BCS is less flawed than a larger playoff...I wasn't trying to make that point and I illustrated that in my response. My point is that there is no perfect system; they all will have flaws. Moreover, I am all for a system that promotes excitement from day one if we're choosing from a pool full of flawed systems where someone's going to be pissed off because they feel "worthy" no matter what.
I wasn't going to debate a hypothetical with you on a point I wasn't trying to make. Yeah, I agree...there's flaws with this system and a 4 team playoff as well. 
Also, I'm not sure what you took from what I said above, but I'm pretty sure it's not a point I was trying to make either. I didn't bring conferences into this at all. Another commentor tried proposing alleviating controversy by making the playoff teams those who win their conferences and I explained why there is still controversy there...as with any system.

Oyster's picture

No, I am for every conference winner is in the playoff.  Win and you are in.  You did make a statement about garbage teams, which is why I added in the 5th team.  My guess is that if 5 teams were undefeated, Boise St would be considered the garbage team.  I hate the BCS where the human factor decides.  Let them decide on the field.  

Bolt's picture

I was mentioning scenarios in which a team that had proven all season long that they were an inferior team, even losing multiple games but, being in a bad but competitive conference division, they could lose 4 games in their conference, get smoked by every team they play from the other division, lose their nonconference games, make it to the conference championship and win a flukey/controversial game (possibly against a team they'd already lost to) and still make the playoff...meanwhile, teams that barely lost one game are left out of the playoff. Even if you're willing to live with this type of situation playing out, others (like myself) are not...therefore controversy.

Bolt's picture

I would, however be all for the caveat of saying you must be a conference champion to be one of the criteria in order to be considered eligible for the playoff...but not that all conference champs are automatically included in the playoff. In the latter system you could have teams that had "proven on the field" numerous times that they weren't very good but got lucky in one game and are now included over teams that proved all season long on the field they were superior but had one minor slip up and they're left out.

Oyster's picture

It's like politics, there are a couple of camps and people are very set in their convictions.  I like the playoff, I also think it should be expanded.  I agree with you that a team may sneak their way into the playoff, but in most cases they will be eliminated by the competition (that is why home field should be included in the early rounds).  But as to who is worthy, which many use as a factor to who should play, do you think Alabama should have played, and pretty much knew they were going to play in the NC a few years ago, as they sat home and watched the SEC Championship game?  I don't.

Bolt's picture

Yeah definitely. I can understand fully why people would prefer a playoff. I'm just voicing why I'm one of the minority that doesn't. Upvote for the banter, sir. Have a good weekend and go Bucks, it's punchout time for me!

Earle's picture

The BCS Era was great for Ohio State because we had great teams and a great coach.  That had nothing to do with the BCS system.
The Post-BCS Era will be great for Ohio State because we have a great coach and will have great teams, and a system that theoretically will allow the best teams to play for the National Championship.
I'll take my chances in a top four playoff vs. relying on media/computers to help pick a top two.

Italics are for emphasis.

Ethos's picture

exactly.  You only have to look at the bullshit form this year to say a playoff is a better option, but you can do the same throughout the entire BCS era.

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

BABuckeye's picture

BCS rewarded teams for their work all year long.  A Playoff rewards a team for their work the last few games.  I will miss the every-game-counts attribute of the BCS. I will also miss the more transparent ranking system of humans being tempered by computers. It is far from perfect but i dont see how 12 Angry Men and Condaleeza making decisions behind closed doors is more transparent.  
I recall USC fans claiming they were the best team at the end of the season and that's all that should count so they should get in the title game despite an early season loss.  My response was, well, then don't lose any game and maintain the hard work and focus throughout the entire season. I will miss that.  But I am ready for something different--a playoff. 
 

geoffrsc's picture

I agree with you. I thought that, until this year, the Bucks fared pretty well under the BCS.
But if we had a 4 team playoff this year you can bet that our friends in the media would be trying their best to ensure that we get jumped by 2 more teams and end up in the #5 spot.

Geraffi's picture

Great post. I don't see the playoff changing any of the conditions you stated above. Every game will still matter. One loss will still critically damage a teams chances of competing for a national championship. And the other major bowls will still be intriguing because they will still match the best teams.  The playoff is the right direction IMO.