A system in need of repair in college football’s BCS

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What a beautiful mess we have in college football’s BCS system with Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and the Oregon Ducks all falling as giant favorites last week.

For everyone who wants a playoff system, we can get a little taste of it Friday when No. 3 Arkansas (10-1) travels to Baton Rouge to play No. 1 LSU (11-0) in somewhat of a wild card match.

LSU is a 13½-point favorite for this game, which says a little something about Arkansas’ status as really being a true No. 3 team, but we’ll take it. The top three in the country could have a little we-beat-them and they-beat-us thing going on among themselves should the Razorbacks actually win.

Alabama’s only loss came to LSU in the Game-of-the-Year and Arkansas’ only loss came to the Crimson Tide. Should LSU lose, this thing could really get messy.

It’s hard to gauge how far the Tigers would fall with a loss, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them drop only to No. 2 because they have such a huge edge in the current rating over Arkansas (1.000 to 0.898).

And if Alabama loses as 21-point favorites to Auburn on Saturday, how far would they fall?

This would really be interesting if all three teams weren’t in the same division so we could get another playoff layer in the SEC championship, but they aren’t. They all come from the West and one will play Georgia for the SEC title Dec. 3, a day before the BCS pairings come out.

The most surprising part of the entire BCS equation that unfolded last week was Oklahoma State not being penalized as much as one would think about after a bad loss like they had Friday night.

Despite losing as a 27-point underdog to Iowa State, the Cowboys only dropped from second to fourth in the BCS poll. Should they “Cowboy-Up” and beat the Sooners next week, they might get enough support to jump into the SEC party if LSU loses either this week or next against Georgia.

While there is no playoff system, it will have to do. True, if we had a playoff, none of these “games-of the-year” would matter. But a problem with not having one is that the SEC can remain where they are in status based somewhat on reputation without having to prove themselves outside of their conference.

By doing so, they can take their chances in the title game against whoever it is, but they’re always going to get that opportunity. We saw LSU beat Oregon to kick off the season, which was impressive, but haven’t seen Alabama go out on a limb because they don’t have to.

If they stay in their own little world, they can schedule teams like Georgia Southern as tune-ups for Auburn, not be in harms way and let the poll machine take care of the rest.

As much as I’d love to see Stanford, Boise State or even Houston get a crack at it in a playoff against the heavyweights, it won’t happen anytime soon, so I’ll just enjoy my three-team playoff system beginning this week.

Still, I’ll be rooting for the most possible jumbled BCS mess, so Pig-Sooie and War Eagle!

Ohio State-Michigan

While other games may have more meaning in regards to the BCS equation, no game means more than Buckeyes-Wolverines.

I know, I’ve been watching of ESPN reruns of Roll Tide-War Eagle the last month too, but nothing tops Ohio State-Michigan, especially now with roles reversed.

Michigan has lost the last seven matchups, but there is no more Jim Tressel or cocky Buckeye swagger. It‘s hard to roll with swagger when you’re 6-5 overall and 3-4 in conference play. Plus, Ohio State just came off a loss at home to Penn State, one of the worst scoring teams in the Big-10 and emotionally mired in scandal.

The pressure in Saturday’s game is actually on Michigan now because they’re a 7½-point favorite and supposed to win. There’s no one in the Michigan locker room that knows what it’s like to beat Ohio State, and yet that’s what the players have had as an underlying goal from the time they signed to play.

Michigan is by far the better team, but I have a feeling that whatever Buckeye pride is still alive within each OSU player will come out fighting to keep their streak alive as salvation to their own tumultuous, scandal ridden season.

Sports Books Get By

With all the big upsets last week, you’d think the sports books cleaned up, but they didn’t. It was a marginal win for the books in last weekend’s college football games despite the favorites going only 20-37 with 18 of the underdogs winning outright.

The public was correctly on the side of quite a few underdogs and did well on the money-line in straight bets and parlays.

Kansas State (+9) was a popular choice at Texas and won. USC (+15) and Baylor (+15½) also slayed giants while Cal (+17½) played Stanford tough in a straight up loss.

It was a like a bizarro world for bookmakers because the public rarely jumps on underdogs, but for some reason, they saw clearly this week.


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