BYU's loss to Florida State last Saturday has highlighted, for me, the incredible injustice of the current BCS system.
Since they lost, BYU is now "out" when it comes to BCS consideration. At least that's what Mark May, Lou Holtz, Lee Corso and other media talking heads say. The new BCS-busters? Boise State, Houston and TCU. BYU and Utah have been tossed to the curb.
The formula is clear: Non-BCS team + one loss = no soup for you.
I hate the BCS for that reason. Every non-AQ team in the country is like a diseased dog fighting over one available token spot in the elite bowls. They fight and claw, and if they lose once they are done.
Rutgers, on the other hand, can lose 5 times and still waltz their way into the Fiesta Bowl if they win their conference (see: Pittsburgh, 2004).
Oh yeah--so can Duke. And Washington State. And myriad other infinitely crappy teams.
But being conference champs isn't enough for BYU. Or Utah, or Boise State or anyone else not in a BCS conference. We mutts have to be perfect. Not only that, but we have to hope all the other mutts stumble along the way.
So Boise State fans end up hating the Houston Cougars. No, there's no natural rivalry, they're just a couple of dogs who want that chicken bone.
I read an article this afternoon on ESPN that sums up my frustration nicely:
BYU had more pressure on it in the third week of the season than several teams have in the 12th. That’s because under the current BCS system, teams such as BYU, despite an impressive win over Oklahoma and a high ranking, still have to remain undefeated to earn something that is guaranteed to teams with less impressive résumés.
“It does put an awful lot of pressure and focus on them, and that’s one of the things that I think is illustrative of the injustice of the system is that they have to be flawless,” Mountain West deputy commissioner Bret Gilliland said prior to BYU’s loss to Florida State. “A team out of our league, or any of the nonautomatic qualifying conference, has to be flawless, has be perfect, can’t make a mistake. Unlike the AQs, they can stumble a couple times, two three, four losses, and they’re still going to have that automatic BCS berth at the end of the season. That, to me, is part of the whole dynamic that makes this a little bit more of a microscope maybe than is fair.”
BCS. Fun for the whole family.