The NFC won’t have a representative in the Super Bowl this year.
Instead, the AFC will play a championship, with the winner taking home both trophies.
Sure, the lowly NFC teams can play for their own trophy. But everyone will know it’s the second tier. It’s not “the real thing.”
Would anyone actually agree to that?
But, in the same sense, that’s what college football is doing to Boise St.
For the past two weeks, the Broncos have held the No. 2 spot in both polls.
But, in the only poll that matters — the BCS — they are on the outside looking in.
Here’s the kicker. Boise St. is undefeated.
Apparently, the competition they play isn’t good enough.
What would happen if that philosophy would be applied to other sports?
With Super Bowl favorites like the Vikings, Saints and Cowboys struggling,Â and the plain debacle that is the NFC West, the NFL playoffs would look a little different than they do now.
Let’s take the top eight teams, regardless of conference, and let them play for the Super Bowl.
After the Giant’s win on Monday night, the NFC has a mere four of the top 12 teams in the league. Well, since that means the NFC has teams with worse records, obviously those teams with four and five wins don’t mean too much.
The AFC has 54 wins this season, including an 0-for from Buffalo. The NFC has 50. By using the BCS formula, the NFC wins aren’t good enough. Sure, some NFC teams have beaten AFC teams, but that doesn’t seem to matter here.
Shoot, Boise St. beat Virginia Tech — which is 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the ACC — even Oregon St. — which defeated Arizona — but those aren’t “good enough” wins.
Let’s look at the baseball playoffs using the BCS formula.
Instead of taking the division winners and the wild card teams, lets handicap the divisions as well.
Â Divisions with “better” wins get more playoff teams.
For example, in the American League, the East division averaged 86.2 wins amongst the teams. The Central was at 79.8 and the West at 78.
In the National League, the East averaged 83.2 wins, the West 82 and the Central — thanks to the Pirates — 77.
So, by using the same concept, the NL East gets two teams, the Phillies and Braves. The West gets two teams, the Giants and the Padres.
Â The Reds, who actually qualified for the playoffs? Sorry, your 91 wins were comprised of too many victories against the Pirates, Cubs, Astros and Brewers — all teams with losing records.
In the AL, the East gets two, the Rays and Yankees. The Central gets two, the Twins and White Sox.
The West? None. Because you play in a division where only one team is above .500, you’re wins aren’t “good enough” either.
Of course, the Rangers won that division. And look, they are in the World Series.
Interesting concept. The best team plays in one of the worst divisions.
What would actually happen if this was real? Teams would jump ship. They wouldn’t want to play in a division with the Royals, Mariners or Pirates anymore. Instead, they would join “super divisions” made up of only the best teams.
Sound familiar? It should. That’s what’s happening to college football. Boise St. is jumping ship. The Pac 10 and Big 10 are expanding to become even more relevant in the college football landscape. And why not? The BCS forces teams like Boise St. to bigger and better conferences.
We all love an underdog. Who doesn’t love seeing an upset during March Madness, or get a little misty-eyed when watching “Rudy”? College football doesn’t let us root for the underdog.
Boise St. doesn’t deserve to be No. 1. I’ll admit that. But when they were No. 3, and Oklahoma — which previously held the top spot — falls, the Broncos should be No. 2. They shouldn’t have been jumped by Auburn.
Are the Tigers a good team? Yes, no doubt about it. Is Oregon (which lost to Boise St. a year ago) deserving of a No. 1 ranking? Possibly. The Pac 10 isn’t what it used to be, but they are beating up on teams like they don’t belong in the same league.
Sound familiar? It should. Boise St. is doing the same thing.
The Broncos have done everything asked of them in the past few years. They have done nothing but win, and win big. This year, they already have wins against Virginia Tech and Oregon St. A game with ranked Nevada awaits, but if something isn’t corrected soon, a one-loss team — like Alabama — could even overtake Boise.
Bottom line, the system in flawed.
My only hope is they find a long-term solution soon, something that gives every team a chance, just like the NFL or MLB playoffs.
But before that can happen, the Broncos need a chance.
They deserve it.