College Football: The BCS Does It Again

December 2nd, 2008

Unless you've had absolutely no access to any form of media (TV, radio, internet, newspaper, etc.), you know that yesterday's installment of the BCS standings placed Oklahoma ahead of Texas. With those two being tied along with Texas Tech atop the Big 12 South with 7-1 records that was the determining factor in sending the Sooners to take on Missouri in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday. But wait: didn't Texas beat Oklahoma 45-35 back on Ocotber 11th? Yes they did, so when you take that into consideration you may wonder what's up with the BCS and the Big 12's tiebreaker system.

On the tiebreaker, it went down to the fifth category, which was BCS ranking. Not like the ACC and SEC, who in this scenario use the standings to eliminate the third team and then go to head-to-head. But in fairness to those who decided this procedure in the Big 12, hindsight is 20/20 and you really don't foresee something like this happening. As for the BCS, both the human and computer elements once again proved themselves to be an absolute joke.

1. Harris Poll voters pull of an interesting switch in their ranking of the Sooners and Longhorns. Thanks to their 61-41 win at then-#12 Oklahoma State, Oklahoma went from nineteen points ahead of Texas to six points behind. Guess those who changed their minds feel that beating a 4-8 Texas A&M team at home by 40 is more impressive. How else can you explain this? If they wanted to emphasize Texas beating Oklahoma, why not keep Texas ahead of Oklahoma? The Longhorns were just forty-four points behind the Sooners immediately following their loss at Texas Tech, jumped back over Oklahoma the next week and stayed there for two more weeks before being jumped by Oklahoma. Of course OU had beaten Texas Tech to move back ahead of Texas, but where's the consistency? How is the BCS supposed to determine the two best teams if components of the system feature voters with, in some cases, hidden agendas?

2. The computers pushed Oklahoma ahead of Texas after this weekend, thanks to the Sooners' strength of schedule. But Alabama third and Utah fifth (ahead of Florida) in computer average? It's pretty obvious that the computers favor two forms of numbers being punched in: margin of victory and how many wins your opponents have. And for myself personally, the computers valuing strength of schedule is a little suspect when I look at Texas Tech's non-conference slate: Eastern Washington, Nevada, SMU and UMass. And yet they're fourth? The Big 12 South is the best grouping of teams in the country period, but even with those tough games there's something terribly wrong with that in my opinion.

But does this latest example of people and computers not knowing what they're doing mean that we're any closer to a playoff? No. Television rights for the BCS continue to fetch top dollar, with ESPN winning the rights beginning in 2011. And if there were a playoff, would the road to a national title be even tougher for schools in a non-BCS conference? Unless you go with a 16-team model in which every league champion earns a bid, it would be near impossible for a Utah or Boise State to throw their hat into the ring. But whatever the change could be in our lifetime, I only ask this: let it be more efficient and make more sense than what we have right now. This is absurd.

More Coaching Changes

- Tennessee named former USC assistant and Oakland Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin head coach today. One member of his staff will be father Monte, currently defensive coordinator for the Tamp Bay Buccaneers.

- New Mexico State fired Hal Mumme. Mumme, who went 3-9 in a season filled with injuries, leaves Las Cruces with a 11-38 record in four seasons at the school.

- Clemson officially removed the "interim" tag for head coach Dabo Swinney on Monday. Swinney, who took over for the removed Terry Bowden, went 4-2 in six games this season.

- Wyoming named Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Christiansen head coach on Monday. In his final seasons in Columbia, the Tigers offense featured a Heisman finalist in QB Chase Daniel, two outstanding tight ends in Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman, and an explosive threat in WR Jeremy Maclin.

- Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik made some changes to his coaching staff on Monday, demoting coordinators Robert McFarland (offense) and Wayne Bolt (defense). Both will remain on the staff, with McFarland coaching the offensive line and Bolt the linebackers. Quarterbacks coach Tony Petersen and secondary coach Shawn Raney weren't so lucky, with both being dismissed. The Cyclones went 2-10 (0-8 Big 12 North) this season.

- Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis and Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville will both have meetings with their atheltics directors within the next week to evaluate their seasons and most likely determine their job status. Both finished off subpar seasons with embarassing showings on Saturday, with the Irish racking up four first downs in a 38-3 loss at USC and Auburn not doing much better in a 36-0 loss at Alabama.