Alright, so I haven't posted in quite some time, but I felt I needed to say something as I have been watching this BCS selection show going on on ESPN right now. I decided that I had to write something down because I have just heard within the span of less than five minutes two of the stupidest and dare I say it, ill informed statements about the BCS that I have ever heard come out of the mouths of supposed experts.
The first was said by Brad Edwards in discussing the computer poll rankings. Now the big drama about all of this, as anyone who has been paying attention to college football would know, was who would end up finishing number two and play LSU in the BCS Championship. Well to keep this as short as possible, Alabama ended up finishing number two with a BCS rating of 0.942 with Oklahoma State finishing just behind in third at 0.933. As it turns out, Alabama finished at number two on both human polls (with OSU three on both polls), while OSU finished at number two on four of the six computer polls (with Alabama finishing number two on the remaining two). Now Edwards was asked about the numbers going into the final BCS ratings and said that the gap between the Alabama and OSU looked larger than it could if have been had OSU finished at two on five of six computer polls rather than just the four. And this makes sense since each team's best and worst computer rankings are discarded. (Had OSU finished at two on at least five computer polls, the rating would have been 0.9385 for Alabama and 0.9366 for OSU.) So everything is cool at this point. (Fantastic!) But then Edwards said something that was truly stunning. He said that if OSU had been two on five of the computer rankings, then the difference between Alabama and OSU could have come down to small little things on the field, implying, if not saying it outright, that a single score (touchdown, field goal) here or there that didn't influence that outcome of the games played, could have caused the separation in the ratings that would have been seen between the two teams. (At least this it what it seemed like he was saying.) This is absolutely absurd since the computer rankings eliminated margin of victory years ago for BCS consideration, and thus the only thing that could have changed the outcome in such a scenario would have been if more human pollsters had placed OSU over Alabama.
Now the second thing was said by Kirk Herbstreit. At one point, a little after Edwards had been discussing the above, Herbstreit was asked about the fact that the SEC had won the last five (I think) BCS championships and whether this helped Alabama to get into the championship game even though they had already played against, and lost to, LSU earlier during the season. Herbstreit started to argue that Alabama was hurt by being in the SEC since they had to play against LSU and were in the same division of the SEC as LSU. I believe he mentioned that at one time the SEC Western Division had the top three rated teams in the country at the same time (LSU, Alabama, Arkansas). Well all of this seems pretty reasonable so far... But then he said something along the line of this: Think about it this way; if Alabama was in the SEC East, and hadn't played LSU during the regular season, then we wouldn't be having this conversation, and Alabama would be playing LSU in the BCS Championship. Now the previous line is a paraphrasing of what he said, but that it pretty much the exact point that he was making. Now this is absolutely absurd, even more absurd than Edwards's statement. If Alabama was in the SEC East, had not played LSU during the regular season, and remained undefeated following the regular season, then they wouldn't face LSU in the BCS Championship, they would face them in the SEC Championship! And I don't care how great that game would have turned out, but there is absolutely no way, barring a situation in which there were no possible opponents for the winner that had fewer than three losses, that the pollsters would vote to have another neutral site game between the two teams five weeks later.
It is just maddening to me when people do not think their points all the way through to the logical conclusions.