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Jordan Bean | Sacked

Bowl mania

Published: Monday, December 10, 2012

Updated: Monday, December 10, 2012 15:12

As an avid college football fan, this is both my favorite and least favorite season of the year.

One on hand, I love to see the cross−conference matchups. How will the constantly praised SEC match up against the rest of the country? How many points will be scored in the Fiesta Bowl, which pits two high flying offenses, Oregon and Kansas State, against each other? How will Johnny Manziel follow up his Heisman selection?

The only way to get the answer to all these questions is to sit down and watch, which is what I plan to be doing for a good part of my vacation.

On the other hand, as always, the BCS screwed up. It happens every year without fail. This time it entailed the selection of Northern Illinois into a BCS bowl.

Now I know what you may be thinking, Northern Illinois was guaranteed a spot, so how can I say that they don’t deserve to be there?

I can say this because I believe the system to be flawed.

Northern Illinois, the winner of the Mid−American Conference (MAC), was guaranteed a spot because they were ranked higher than 16 in the final BCS standings and finished above the winner of one of the six major conferences with automatic bids.

Don’t get me wrong, they had a very respectable 12−1 record. Their lone loss came to Iowa, who I might add finished last in the Legends Division of the Big Ten conference.

The most important reason that I believe they don’t belong is because they lacked a win against any quality opponent—and don’t try and tell me that their “upset” over Kent State in the MAC championship should be considered a noteworthy win.

Hypothetically, let’s think of what would happen if we were to insert Northern Illinois into Georgia’s schedule and vice versa. Georgia was left out of the BCS bowls because of another senseless rule which states that no more than two teams per conference are allowed to compete in BCS bowls.

I think it’s safe to say that Northern Illinois would not boast the same 12−1 record and BCS berth that they do now. In my opinion, they would most likely max out at three to four wins. I would go as far as to say Tennessee, who finished next to last in the SEC East, would have run the table with Northern Illinois’ schedule.

Strength of schedule is important and a team should not be penalized for competing at the highest level in the toughest conference. Georgia, in all facets of the game, is a better team than Northern Illinois. So is Oklahoma, who was also snubbed, but we’ll leave that argument for another time.

In reality, BCS bowls outside of the National Championship game mean little more than extra money for a school or a conference. Saying that it is an “Official BCS bowl game” can add some prestige to the game for recruiting purposes but essentially is useless. This argument, though, is based on a matter of principle.

The BCS should not advertise that they are the highest and most prestigious of bowls if they don’t put the best teams on the field competing against each other. They should throw out the all the meaningless rules and put the top ten teams on the field in the top five bowl games.

Luckily, this issue will not be a problem after the new system is implemented in a few short seasons. The BCS bowls will become rotating semi−final matchups for the eventual national championship game.

In the meantime, college football fans everywhere will be watching a subpar matchup in what should have been a primetime game between ACC champion Florida State and another top contender. Until this new system comes to be, BCS—you’re sacked.

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Jordan Bean is a freshman who has yet to declare a major. He can be reached at Jordan.Bean@tufts.edu.

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