Go Oregon, stop BCS

By Observer editorial November 19, 2010 11:21 am
After the Oregon State Beavers won the NCAA baseball title, not just once but twice, Oregon residents began believing almost anything is possible. Who would have believed? Now the Oregon Ducks football team has won eight straight games and is on top of the BCS ratings. The high-flying Ducks are just three extremely difficult Pac-10 conference games away from playing for the national title. Coach Chip Kelly with his motto “Win the Day” has the Ducks prepared to go out on the field of battle and be the best they can be, one day at a time. All that said, the BCS has got to go and be replaced with a more equitable system, like a 16-team playoff. Then we would learn on the field who is the best team in the land. The BCS, if you’re not familiar, is based on two-thirds human element — the Harris Interactive College Football Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll — and one-third computer element. The computer rankings is an amalgamation of six computer polls all crunching numbers to determine college football’s darlings of the moment.

This year, with about a month to go in the regular season, four teams remain unbeaten: Oregon, Auburn, Texas Christian and Boise State. Texas Christian and Boise State may not have the most difficult schedules, but they are ripping through opponents with gusto. If all the teams remain unbeaten, Texas Christian and Boise State could be left playing for spilled milk.

We don’t mind computers. If a good formula is used, why not let the computer choose the best 16 teams for a playoff. Sure, some conference champions might be left out of the mix. But that’s OK. The best 16 teams would be playing, with the higher seed hosting games in the sweet 16, the elite eight and the final four. That would ensure home fans could continue to see their teams play without having to travel thousands of miles. Stadiums would be packed. Money would be made. And perhaps there would be a way to incorporate the bowl games into the mix.

Then the championship game could be played on a neutral field in the college version of the Super Bowl. If the 16-team playoffs started the first weekend of December, they could be completed by the end of the year.

Every other division in college football has postseason playoffs. They’ve worked fine for years. And they eliminate the travesties of justice that happen each year with the BCS. One year Utah went unbeaten and defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl yet still had to sit out the national championship game. One year Boise State beat Oklahoma in a bowl game, yet didn’t get to play for the national championship. The list of BCS screwups goes on and on.

Here’s hoping Oregon can Win the Day, every day between now and Jan. 10, and play for the national championship at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Here’s also hoping this is the last year for the BCS. Basketball has March Madness. The field of 64 is narrowed down, week by week, and sports fans everywhere tune in to the excitement. Football should have its December to Remember.