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BCS Could Be In Hot Water If The 4th Ranked Team Is Left Out

As the category and the tag line above: 'Enhance your experience' can be taken in pretty much any direction. The last two have reflected on the BCS computers and last week was what was your preferred method to watch a game, either in person or on television. This weeks edition goes back to the BCS and how it could be improved, outside of a playoff, to make sure worthy teams are not left out. The BCS has tweaked the rules over the past decade to make sure things such as USC being ranked one in both polls but being left out of the title game, Oregon being left out of the BCS even though they were ranked in the top for and a similar scenario when Kansas State lost to Texas A&M and plummeted to the Alamo Bowl prior to the upset.

With USC, the BCS changed the computer formula to give more weight to the human polls and as for Oregon and Kansas State, the BCS made a rule that is referred to as the 'non-automatic automatic BCS bid.' This rule states that if a team (key phrase) from a BCS league is not a conference champion, but is third or fourth in the BCS standings they receive a BCS bid. That rule also is a loop hole for a third team to get into the BCS, even though the rule states only two teams are in per league. To get three teams is quite complicated, but it did almost happen a few years ago. The only way for that to actually happen would be for a league to have their conference champion be ranked outside of the top two, another team ranked in the third or fourth spot and not the conference champion and then for the other to be ranked second and not win the league. That is complicated, but is possible if things go right.

Currently, the non-automatic automatic is only granted to the six BCS leagues which could leave Boise State out of the BCS since as of today the automatic bid for the non-BCS schools is TCU. That means Boise State does not have to be taken even though they would be fourth in the BCS. That would put Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl or work out a deal to play a better opponent which could be the Las Vegas Bowl to play Utah. The BCS is obviously heavily favored to the schools from the BCS leagues since they bring in the most money compared to the leagues or schools not in a BCS league. The BCS wants those name schools in these bowl games which is why the non-automatic automatic bid was put in place, so that they would not have even more enemies of their crappy system that claims to crown an college football national champion.

Not including the benefit to non-BCS teams probably was an oversight, because how often would a non-BCS team be ranked third or fourth and not get the non-BCS automatic bid. The BCS probably should have included it anyways just to cover themselves even if they thought it would never happen. They also thought no team outside of the BCS leagues would ever be good enough to be ranked in the top six, but then Utah made it that high in the BCS in 2005. Then when government became involved the threshold was lowered to top 12 in part to that the champion of certain BCS leagues (looking at you Big East and now ACC) were not always ranked that high, but still receiver their automatic bid.

Even though the only purpose of the BCS is to put on a matchup of number one against number two, if Boise State or TCU get left out after being fourth in the country I can guarantee that Utah's Orrin Hatch and Mark Shurtleff will be in full force to challenge the BCS. The BCS is all about ticket sales and television eyeballs, so if Auburn makes the title game the Sugar Bowl gets to replace them and will pick LSU who currently is behind Boise State and TCU in the BCS standings.

Then the Sugar Bowl gets to pick again since they have the first pick and the choices will come between picking between Boise State/TCU, a second Big 10 team or Nebraska if they lose the Big XII title game. It is safe to assume that any Big 10 team, with the possible exception of Michigan State, are known to travel in big numbers which makes them more attractive and Nebraska is in the same boat.Then the Orange Bowl gets to pick after the Sugar Bowl and they will avoid the Big East champion like the plague and if all goes according to the rankings (a big IF) Virginia Tech will get that slot. The Orange Bowl has had bad ratings in the past five years and probably would want to avoid a matchup against Boise State. The Fiesta Bowl is taking the Big XII champion and the Big (L)East champion, which leaves only the Sugar or Orange taking Boise State or TCU.

We all know life is not fair, but last year Boise State was 6th and was selected for a BCS Bowl game, even though it was against fellow non-BCS team TCU. The rule to include a team that does not qualify automatically but is third or fourth should be extended to all leagues, BCS or non-BCS. The odds of this scenario happening are very slim, because for one Boise State will be joining the Mountain West and Utah is going to the Pac-12. The only other teams to pose threats to being that good are possibly BYU or Houston. The only snag could be if the Mountain West goes to an eight game conference schedule instead of a round robin once they are at 10 teams in 2012, and in a year when Boise State and TCU do not play each other.

If Boise State is left out of the BCS again while being undefeated it will be the third time since 2004 that they have been undefeated int he regular season, but were denied a BCS bid. Boise State is not like the Tulane who went undefeated or even the more recent Ball State team that were undefeated, up until their conference title game, and had no shot at making a BCS bowl. Boise State has been a dominate team for about a decade.

Omitting the fourth ranked is just bad business, because in logic (make your own joke about the BCS and logic) people would want to see the fourth ranked team ahead of the 10th ranked team. Plus, if Les Miles really feels his team should not be an underdog against any team then bring on the best possible opponent to face them in their own back yard, because playing any other team in the Sugar Bowl LSU would be the favorite.

Plus, it would be a better game and we may see what trick that Les Miles has under his hat to try to win this game.

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