The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowls used to be a prestigious honor for two great college football teams that normally wouldn’t play against each other to compete in a game. The bowls itself have been decorated in traditions going back to when they were first created. However, recently the selection of teams that go to certain bowl games has been corrupted, contributing to awful match ups between teams. This year is a prime example.
There are guidelines that the BCS bowl committee uses when determining the match ups. First of all the committee must honor all the contract agreements between the following conferences: Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and Southeastern conferences to play in a bowl game. There is a maximum of two teams per conference that are allowed to play in all the BCS bowl games. There are five total BCS bowls. The only way a team that’s not from one of these conferences can get an opportunity to play is if they are ranked in the top 16 of the BCS point standings which is a point system determined by a combination of The Harris Interactive College Football Poll, USA Today Coaches Poll and computer rankings, and if their BCS ranking is higher than one of the champions of a conference that automatically get a bid.
This year a team, Northern Illinois, was given the chance to participate in a BCS bowl game. Northern Illinois is a team from the Mid-American Conference and got a non-automatic qualification bid. The only reason they are able to play was because they were higher up in the BCS rankings than the Big East Conference Champion: Louisville. Since they were ranked higher, the BCS committee doesn’t have to honor their agreement with the Big East and thus Northern Illinois was given an opportunity. So they will be replacing Louisville in the Orange Bowl against a good Florida State team. Northern Illinois got such a high ranking because they played lousy competition and won by a large margin. They only lost to one team: Iowa, a mediocre Big Ten team. Due to the rule that only two teams from each major conference can play in a BCS bowl game, good teams like Oklahoma won’t be playing in a BCS bowl because the bowl selection committee thought that Louisville should at least get a chance to play in different BCS bowl since they did end up winning the Big East Conference. This isn’t fair to Oklahoma because Oklahoma had a much tougher schedule than any of these teams, losing to only the number one and five ranked team in the nation. Northern Illinois lost to Iowa who finished with a record of four wins and eight loses. This is truly unjust and unfair.
Allowing only two teams from every major conference is what’s corrupting the BCS bowls. No one wants to see one conference dominate the bowl games, but having only two teams leaves out good teams. Not all the conferences are equal talent wise in college football there are some that have clearly better teams. The South Eastern Conference (SEC) has much better teams the conferences like the Big East and Big Ten. SEC teams like Georgia and South Carolina could have easily of won the Big Ten conference. Their talent far surpasses them. However, instead of one of these teams playing, Big Ten team like Wisconsin who finished eight and five will play in the BCS bowl game. The Rose Bowl against a far more talented Stanford team that will probably end up blowing them out. No one likes watching blow outs. The purpose of the bowls is giving good teams that normally wouldn’t play each other a chance to play. So why would someone want to put a restriction on how many teams from a conference can play? If the best teams in the nation are only in a few conferences, why shouldn’t they be allowed to play? No one wants to see one conference have a team play in each bowl game, but there comes a point when the truly best teams should play each other.
This system has too many flaws in it. It really is leaving out some of the best teams in the nation and allowing teams like Northern Illinois to get blown out. The BCS committee really needs to revise how they choose who gets to play in BCS bowl games if they want to restore honor back to the bowls.