After last night’s games, ESPN was quick to stir up angst towards the BCS system.
The SportsCenter and GameDay hosts kept asking “How terrible of a system do we have when, on the very last night of the CFB season, we don’t know who will be playing for the title?”
Listen up, my allergic-to-critical-thinking-ESPN-boneheads: It has nothing to do with the system. It has everything to do with nos. 1 and 2 going down in back-to-back weeks. Again:
If college football had a playoff, and the top two seeds went down, would you hear people complaining that the playoff system “needed to be fixed?” Of course not. So why is it the BCS’s fault when LSU, Kansas, Missouri, and West Virginia all lose within a span of eight days?
The truth? ESPN is pushing animosity towards the BCS because they can’t make more money off of it. Fox has the game, and the best ESPN can do is the Tostitos Pontiac Tampax BCS Selection Show sponsored in part by Joe Bob’s Tire and Lube (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET).
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: ESPN has become the MTV of the sports world. Programming, talking points, agenda items, etc. are all driven by (1) what makes the most money, and (2) the perception of what’s popular. The network’s once thoughtful commentary and analysis have turned into oft-repeated talking points and punditry.
Here’s an SAT analogy to make my point:
- ______ is to ESPN as Britney Spears is to MTV.
A. SEC Speed
B. Jeff Gordon
C. Tom Brady
D. Nelson Mandela
E. Three of the above
F. None of the above
Take another example: Earlier this week, when Les Miles said that his team was ‘technically undefeated, because LSU’s losses were in overtime,’ all halfway-intelligent people on the planet collectively rolled their eyes and said, “oh, BROTHER.” Right? We all agreed that such a statement required a, oh, shall we say, a certain disconnection from reality.
Yet ESPN thought that argument sounded just witty enough that most mouth breathing brain dead fans might admire it, and decided to parrot it for a nationwide audience on SportsCenter. They actually showed and discussed a screen graphic that had LSU’s season itemized in the following manner:
- LSU Tigers
Losses in OT: 2
Are you kidding me? They’ll insinuate that the Tigers had zero losses, just to get the SEC back in the title game? Pathetic.
But back to the BCS. Almost exactly one year ago, we published our “Wait to hate on the BCS” post:
“To me, all the BCS hatred seems a bit premature. I think fans should let the games play themselves out. Consider the following: What if Florida beats OSU? What if USC wins the Rose? What if UM wins the Rose, but needs a miracle (or just looks sloppy)? Any of the three outcomes would retroactively validate the BCS selections.”
In short, even though ESPN never admitted it, the BCS worked perfectly in 2006. It worked in 2005, too, when Vince Young beat the “best in hi$tory zomg !eleventy!11” USC Trojans.
In fact, in the decade of BCS selections, there has only been one season where the system clearly broke down: in 2004, when the system kept a deserving Auburn team out of the game.
But since then, the pollsters have taken it upon themselves to make sure that never happens again. They did it last year, by recognizing that Florida deserved a title shot & leapfrogging them over everyone else to #2. They’ll do the same thing this year, and once again choose a deserving team to match up against the Buckeyes.