Even if the BCS isn’t a fair system, you at least expect it to be consistent. However, the mayhem of rivalry week suddenly means that Ohio State, who have gone 12-0 for a second consecutive season might be hurt by the prejudice against the Big Ten and the infatuation with the SEC, which will allow Missouri or Auburn, the surprising division champions in the conference, a ticket to the BCS national championship game, probably against Florida State.
Decisions like this shouldn’t be whimsical and coming out of the blue. The polls, the rankings, the standings, they should mean something. Ohio State can’t be above Auburn or Missouri for the entire season and without dropping a single game and then suddenly fall beneath them just because voters decide that all of a sudden it’s not enough to overcome an SEC team.
The BCS is over after this year, and we’ll get a playoff, with a committee, that might not be much better than what we have now. But after 16 years of many mistakes that came from the unholy union between coaches voting (who don’t watch most of the games they’re supposed to be voting on) and computers that sometimes make sense and sometimes have a mind of their own, this is one controversy that can be avoided if Ohio State are the team that makes the national championship game.
Voters don’t like Ohio State. They’re still punishing them for losing twice in a row after the 2006 and 2007 seasons, when the never ending reign haling from the SEC began. The Big Ten is being punished as well. Ohio State might not be in the strongest of conferences and didn’t schedule the best of non-conference teams. But neither did Auburn or Missouri, who do have plenty of wins over ranked teams, but got each of them with perfect timing.
When the playoffs are with us, AQ and non-AQ won’t mean anything. For now, it does, which means the Big Ten, like it or not, has an equal status to the SEC, which also means that an undefeated Big Ten team deserves to finish above one-loss teams from the SEC, which might not be the best conference in the nation anymore. It simply has more depth than before, but no longer a super-program to hide the faults and the bad ones.
All of the above means anything if Ohio State beat Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game, and if Florida State, the consensus number one team at the moment, beat Duke in the ACC title game. If not, we’re going to have the biggest mess we’ve ever seen in the BCS era, which usually means one or two bad choices.