TCU athletics director Chris Del Conte told ESPN Tuesday he loves the system in place that put undefeated TCU at No. 2 in The Associated Press rankings after No. 1 Auburn defeated then-No. 2 Oregon 22-19 in the BCS National Championship 8212; at least until they get a system that is going to be absolutely perfect, Del Conte said.
I was unable to get in contact with head football coach Gary Patterson regarding TCU’s No. 2 AP ranking, but he has also reiterated to ESPN that he was content to live by the current system.
I don’t love the current system, and there will never be an absolutely perfect system in place, but I think there are other systems a lot closer to perfect that would still make gobs of cash for everyone.
Sure, celebrate a 13-0 season, celebrate a 21-19 Rose Bowl victory over then-No. 5 Wisconsin , even celebrate an upgrade to an automatic-qualifying conference 8212; but please don’t celebrate the system itself.
Don’t celebrate a system that breeds “Little Sisters of the Poor” comments from Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee. Don’t celebrate chants of “SEC! SEC! SEC!” at Southeastern Conference bowl games. Don’t celebrate the often baseless banter from the talking heads on national television that all but doomed TCU and No. 9 Boise State’s national title hopes before the Broncos lost to No. 11 Nevada or after No. 3 Oregon and Auburn finished the regular season undefeated.
In 2004, when the same Auburn Tigers were left out of the BCS National Championship after a perfect season, there was little celebration of the system in Auburn, Ala.
The BCS is everything wrong with college football.
In what sensible world does it make sense to determine who plays for a national championship based on polls and formulas rather than actually figuring it out on the field 8212; in a playoff? Speculate all you want in the Football Championship Subdivision, National Football League or NCAA basketball regular season, but it’s all played out on the field or hardwood in the postseason. Sure there are imperfections in selecting the field of playoff qualifiers in each league, but it’s a whole lot closer to perfect than the BCS.
Go ahead and defend the indefensible, but celebrate it?
TCU received three final first-place AP votes. It should have received all of them. Without a way to determine whether undefeated Auburn or TCU was better on the field, a split national championship should have been the only viable alternative 8212; that certainly isn’t unprecedented.
A plus-1 format would have solved this conundrum and left only one team undefeated as the national champion.
A playoff would have determined whether No. 7 Wisconsin might have actually been a game away from playing in the national championship, as opposed to playing in the BCS’ consolation game.
“How do you determine that in a playoff system when you take your numbers down to only 16?” Del Conte told ESPN. “I don’t worry about all that stuff because I can’t. What I’m saying is right now is it’s an imperfect system, but it’s a system I embrace because our student-athletes, our fan base 8212; the Purple Nation 8212; we’re Rose Bowl champions.”
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, which will employ a new 68-team format this year, has been lauded by some as the greatest tournament in all sports. If a 16-team playoff works in the FCS, a 16-team format can work in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Celebrate a perfect season. Celebrate a Rose Bowl victory. Celebrate the move to the Big East. But please, don’t celebrate the system.
Ryne Sulier is a senior journalism major from Plano.