Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

June 23, 2010

Chickens could manage the BCS more efficiently

Confessions of a Dislocated Texan

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Daily Democrat

Pauls Valley — I will with no regret admit that I am far from the biggest sports expert in this region dominated by athletic tradition. It is only in the past five years, perhaps decade that I have given more than a passing glance to who did what and how much rear they kicked since the first intense rivalry began.

If any sport holds my attention more than the other, it is professional baseball and in the form of clinging to the hope that the Texas Rangers will be more than the permanent home run smashing underdog. Yet, I find myself more and more hooked to my hometown Texas Tech Red Raiders (for some reason not quite as popular here in Oklahoma) and a growing interest in catching their college football games. Yet, the more I root for their success on the field, the more I notice how the system that honors the best of the best is increasingly a sham that could almost make a saint out of the federal government.

It is highly unlikely that there is any more perfect example of control freaks blinded by their obsessive compulsive nature than the Bowl Championship Series Conference. Despite all evidence pointing that the current system is broken (if it was ever a good idea in the first place) and is nothing more than an elitist money pot, those that control it ignore all common sense in order to hold their death grip.

It is this temper tantrum against change that continues to make college football the only sport to remain without a real playoff system. Now I’m not going to say I even pretend to understand every element of the current arrangement, but it appears that my own chickens could better lead the way than the nimrods who choose the who gets play for the championship. This is because even my dimwitted egg layers could see that there is more benefit in opening the field than just limiting themselves to the same bags of feed.

Those quick to defend the bowl system might say that the established pecking order makes sense because the most skilled teams already get a chance every year to be the top rooster. If that were so then why does it seem year after year that lesser known teams who go perfect in their season have to jump from hen house to hen house only to watch someone who choked to a bottom rung team (Though at least USC got caught for cheating the system) get the golden egg?

At least when it comes to the feather plucking that goes on in NCAA basketball, there is a chance that a team out in a place like rural Iowa can upset a powerhouse like Kansas in a run for the title. I'm not saying there needs to be as many games or even increase the season any more, but maybe one of these days it would be nice to settle it on a field and not based on a biased popularity vote. I know I don't have to convince everyone else in the fragile Big 12 that it's nice to see the Texas Longhorns have their over inflated ego popped every now and again.

I know it sounds like a long shot, but I think I have a way (thinking is the biggest hurdle here) to reach a compromise while not removing a single bowl game. The suggestion made by an acquaintance is to simply arrange a number of existing bowl games into a playoff format, using some for quarterfinals, semis and still keeping the championship bowl as the crowning glory.

The brackets would allow someone from each conference to play for the chance to advance and see who really deserves bragging rights. Again, follow me if you can pro-BCS people, this would actually mean more money because more people would care what the outcome is if you don't limit exposure. Until that day however, each season is nothing more than chicken scratch that insults your legacy and the people who love this sport so much.