History of a failed system:

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 3, 2005


To the victors go the spoils. That's true in some cases. Not however in the case of Auburn University.

The Tigers finished the season unbeaten with a 12-0 record, but according to the voters of the BCS that was not good enough to earn a bid into the National Championship game.

A situation like this proves one thing – the BCS is a joke.

Five teams finished the regular season unbeaten: Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Auburn, Utah and Boise State.

Four of those teams are going to a BCS Bowl.

The Boise State Broncos, however, were completely shunned from the BCS system and instead are going to face Conference U.S.A. power Louisville in the Liberty Bowl.

The Bowl Championship Series was supposedly put in place so there would be a true national champion.

It has been in place since the late 90's and anyone with even the most minute knowledge of college football can count on one hand the number of times this thing has worked.

According to bcsfootball.org, the BCS was created by Roy Kramer of the Southeastern Conference.

It's kind of ironic.

The BCS was built primarily by the SEC and now it's an SEC school that is the latest victim of the flawed system.

For three years the system was perfect. It produced three national champions including the Tennessee Vols, who knocked off the Florida State Seminoles in 1998.

Florida State dismantled Michael Vick and the Virginia Tech Hokies in 1999 and then Oklahoma stunned the 'Noles 13-2 in the National Championship in 2000.

From that point the computer took control.

In 2001 it chose to put Miami in the National Championship game against Nebraska instead of against Oregon as the polls had indicated.

In 2002 it worked with Ohio State and Miami both finishing their seasons unbeaten.

In 2003, it didn't work with another SEC team taking the fall. Southern Cal and LSU became split-national champions. The Bayou Bengals were the "BCS National Champions" and the Trojans were the AP National Champions.

Just 12 months after that debacle, it still doesn't work.

It will continue to be dysfunctional as the playing field continues to level off, but there is a solution to this fungus on college football.

Division IA needs to get with the rest of the divisions in NCAA football and have a playoff for the national crown.

University presidents shoot the idea down because they are afraid that the "student-athletes" will miss too much class-time.

That's a joke. I've been to college. Football players miss class-time anyway. They don't need a playoff as an excuse to miss class.

The real reason is that the university presidents will miss the payout they get when their team goes to a bowl game.

I always thought that college football was about the love of the sport and the action on the field, but more and more the people in power are spending time letting the game be played in the polls and in the computers than on the field.

The BCS has become like Tiger Woods.

When Tiger burst onto the scene no one in the golf world could match him.

But now, all of a sudden, everyone has caught up.

The BCS was the perfect system to start out.

Now the conferences are beginning to be able to stand toe-to-toe with each other, making the Bowl Championship Series more and more of a nuisance than a necessity.

It's that simple.

Griffin Pritchard is the Sports Editor of the Greenville Advocate. He can be reached by email at griffin.pritchard@greenvilleadvocate.com or by phone at 382-3111 ext. 122.