Sports from the point view from the guy that holds the clipboard for the guy that holds the clipboard.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

BCS Defender: The Magical AP Poll!

We have our first victim.  The first person to think magically taking X number of teams in a tournament is better than what we have now.  In order to show you that this is not the case, I will treat his draw with the same fairness and attention to detail that haters treat the BCS.

From the Chronicles of Scott:

I took the liberty to whip up a quick and very basic eight-team bracket:
1 Alabama vs.

8 Ohio State
3 TCU vs.

6 Boise State
2 Texas vs.

7 Oregon
4 Cincinnati vs.

5 Florida

And his methodology:

It features the top 8 teams according to the last AP Poll. Apologies to Georgia Tech and Iowa, but you lose out. My plan only has room for eight teams. Better luck next year.

First Flaw:  The AP is Magically good and right, and never ever gets things wrong.  This fallacy exists solely because the AP withdrew the use of it's college football poll from the BCS equation.  This leads those who hate to think that someday the AP will ride in like a knight in shinning armor and save college football by choosing a different team #1 after the bowls.  Guys, this won't ever happen.  And not because of some media bias toward the BCS, but because the BCS sets it up to be impossible.  This year it won't happen because of the Cincy - Florida Sugar Bowl.  If Cincy wins that game there will be 3 undefeated teams, and the AP voters who dislike the BCS won;t be able to focus on the winner of the Boise St - TCU Fiesta Bowl.   If Florida wins, some Tim Tebow worshiping idiot will give them a first place vote.  And in any year the BCS game is the toughest match-up so the winner of that game cannot be ignored, even in spite.  No one would have beaten a tougher opponent than the winner of the BCS Championship Game.

Second Flaw:  Half of all people that hate the BCS, complain about the Polls, either computer or human depending upon what they think is wrong at that moment.  But somehow, the AP is Magically Delicious and is never ever wrong!  Guess what?  The difference between the AP top 8 and the BCS top 8 is that the rankings of TCU and Cincy are flipped.  If we expand to an 16 team field, there is only a 1 team difference and only 3 other schools are flipped around.  So between the BCS top 16 and the AP top 16 they each have one team in that the other does not.  IT'S MAGIC!  Never mind the other issue of complaining about polls then basing everything on a poll.  Winning a conference is irrelevant in this model and finishing in the Top 8 of the AP is the only goal.  This is worse than the BCS because their are seasons where their would be exactly ZERO teams in from non-BCS conferences AND years were there are BCS conferences left out.  Let's take a look back and see how this would have played out over the last 3 seasons.

2008: No Boise St.  Sure they missed out on the BCS too, but this is suppoosed to be more fair than the BCS, not just as unfair.  Oh and the BCS Top 8 had the same exact teams in it.  With 1 and 2 being the same 2 teams!

2007:  No Hawaii.  Wow, Hawaii at least got into the BCS.  In an 8 team AP only tournament they would not get a chance.  Wow, this is even less fair than the BCS!  Again same top 2 teams!  And agian, same exact field of 8.

2006:  Wow, the story of the 2006 College Football Season, Boise St, would be left out.  Again, less fair.  Again the same top 2, and only one glaring difference in the Top 8.  And who gets that one spot according to the All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Infaliible AP Poll?  Oklahoma.  Spot the Irony!  Proving my point that any playoff format will only serve to give more chances to the elite schools / conferences.

Third Flaw: Cincinatti.  How is this fair in any way you look at it?  They lost their Coach.  Playing them is an unfair advantage, one that would go to Florida.  Again, this is fair?  This is better?  You cannot stop the Coaching Carousel.  Unless you want the NCAA to have tampering rules, and keep teams from hiring coaches until the last game has been played?  Rules like NFL has.  Because without these rules, a playoff would lead to disaster.  This is a problem that has nothing to do with the BCS.   But one that will blow up in our face if we just blindly jump into a playoff without first looking at things rationally.

Fourth Flaw: Less teams.  I will stress the genius of the BCS again with respect to the 10 team field.  Any Fair Police argument for a tournament that includes a field smaller than 10 teams can be pounced upon by people like me, as less fair.  I know, more teams get a chance at winning it all, but the money is spread around less evenly, which means the proposed system is more difficult to get implemented.   And then there is the argument from the other direction, that no way should Oregon or Ohio St get a chance at a title.  They've already lost twice and the regular season needs to count for something.

I understand the desire for something simple and straightforward, but college football will never fit into that box.  I understand this and actually like it.    My goal for these articles is not get people to like the BCS, but to get people to think rationally about things, and to make them understand there are other issues with college football that a playoff would not fix.

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