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Stadium and Main: The BCS avoided another black eye last year

Monday, June 19, 2006

The BCS avoided another black eye last year

Ruining College Football Since 1998As I scanned through Phil Steele's college football preview magazine, I could have sworn I saw a typo. In his "should there be a playoff or not" article, he mentioned that Oregon finished #5 in the last BCS poll of the 2005 regular season. I thought to myself, "huh?" Then I remembered the whole drama about Notre Dame being selected as an at-large BCS pick over Oregon. And then I remembered that Oregon finished the regular season with just one loss - to "team of the century (or not)" USC.

Then I thought about this... What if Oregon hadn't played USC last year? They didn't play them in 2003 or 2004, so that idea wasn't too far-fetched. Oregon would have almost certainly been #3 in the BCS, and (more importantly) undefeated. Considering that Oregon had a weak schedule and really wasn't that good last year (see 17-14 Holiday Bowl loss to a mediocre Oklahoma team), this would have been pretty ridiculous. However, I'm kinda upset that it didn't happen, because I'm all for the implosion of the BCS.

This scenario reminds me of 2002, when the BCS big-shots were (in retrospect, at least) thanking Iowa State for somehow beating Iowa early on in the season. Otherwise, we would have had an undefeated Ohio State and an undefeated Iowa - both from the same conference. Iowa would probably have finished #3 in the BCS, although Iowa fans would certainly argue that they would/should have had a shot at #2 (for example, Iowa whooped Michigan, while OSU held on for a very close win (just like they did against, oh, 6 other teams!)).

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your position), this is less likely to happen in the future. The Pac-10 has announced that it will begin playing round-robin schedules this season (with some teams getting 5 conference home games, and others just 4). Will this mean less drama for the BCS fools? I hope not, but I'm afraid so.

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