Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Burn, baby, burn

The Associated Press just poured some gasoline on the Bowl Championship Series formula and struck a match.

Tired of the intense public scrutiny and vitriol directed at the voters in its college football poll, the AP lawyered up Tuesday and officially asked BCS organizers to stop using the poll as part of their formula to determine the participants in the national championship game. The media poll represented one-third of teams' BCS rankings, and its departure leaves a devastating hole in the formula that even 1,000 computers just can't fill.

A large majority of college football fans -- myself included -- despise the BCS, and the AP's cease-and-desist letter expressed concern that "any animosity toward BCS may get transferred to AP." The wire service never agreed to be part of the BCS, and with the formula's bad reputation at an all-time high in a year when an undefeated major-conference team got shut out of a title shot, AP officials correctly decided to dissociate from the BCS.

This is certainly bad news for the BCS, and anything that's bad for that jury-rigged travi-sham-mockery of a postseason system makes me happy. BCS officials are now suggesting the creation of a human selection committee to pick the teams for major bowls. That'll be great, at least until scorned fans of the No. 3 team begin to direct their unadulterated rage and accusations of bribery or regional bias toward the few people foolish enough to agree to serve on the committee.

We won't see a playoff anytime soon, but thanks to the AP's decision, at least we can bide our time by laughing as the latest incarnation of the BCS formula burns gloriously to the ground.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the AP departure leaves only the coaches's poll (where the votes are secret), and the collective computer polls (And who knows how they rank teams - Quality wins? Point differential? Total yardage?)

You're right about the possible selection committee - there's a good chance of bias or bribery, etc. And I'm afraid of ABC/ESPN or other networks seeping further into the selection process and picking only the matchups that will get the most viewers. Look at this year - if ABC/ESPN made the sole decision, would they have picked Auburn over USC or any California team? Methinks not.

And people are comparing this potential committee to the NCAA basketball tourney selection committee, but that committee doesn't have to worry about shafting your #3 team that might actually be better than your #2 team.

Without a somewhat-legit ranking system like the AP poll, we'll probably get a few more FUBAR championship games in the next few years. But hopefully that will somehow speed up the timetable to create some kind of tournament.

1:27 AM  

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