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BCS Craziness (Part I)

As we continue to explore the depths of the beast that is the college football offseason, we've decided to take a look at just how crazy the BCS is getting.

For starters, the BCS has been making some screwy changes this year. Stewart Mandel breaks down the changes well in this article. Basically:

  • There will be 5 BCS games
  • The New Championship game will be entirely different from the 4 original BCS Bowl games. This still doesn't make sense to me, so here is how Stewart puts it:
In the past, the BCS championship game rotated annually among the Fiesta, Sugar, Orange and Rose bowls. Starting this season, the title game will be played after those four bowls but will continue to rotate among the same four cities. This year's championship will take place Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz., site of the new Arizona Cardinals stadium, to which the Fiesta Bowl is moving from its old site, Sun Devil Stadium. Following the 2007 season, the game will be played in New Orleans, home of the Sugar Bowl; the next season, in Fort Lauderdale (Orange Bowl); the next season, in Pasadena (Rose Bowl).

Yeah. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  • It will be easier for non-BCS schools to get berths. From Stewart:
In the past, teams from the Mountain West, MAC, WAC, Conference USA and Sun Belt had to finish in the top six of the BCS standings to be guaranteed a BCS bowl berth. The only such team to meet that standard over the past eight seasons was 11-0 Utah in 2004. Starting this season, a champion from one of those leagues, or an independent, can earn a guaranteed berth either by finishing in the top 12 or by finishing in the top 16 if one of the major-conference champions is ranked lower. If the new standard had been in place last season, 10-1 TCU would have earned an automatic berth because it finished 14th while ACC champion Florida State, at 8-4, was 22nd.
  • More teams can get at-large berths.
In the past, teams that did not gain an automatic BCS berth -- either by winning one of the six major-conference titles or by meeting other criteria for a guaranteed bid (a top four finish for major-conference teams, top six for others) -- were required to win at least nine games and finish in the top 12 of the BCS standings to be eligible for an at-large berth. Starting this season, teams that win at least nine games and finish in the top 14 will be eligible. Notre Dame, meanwhile, is guaranteed an at-large berth if it finishes in the top eight.

Lets repeat that last part: Notre Dame, meanwhile, is guaranteed an at-large berth if it finishes in the top eight. It's as if they've created a new conference: The Big-1. The only team in it? Notre Dame, baby. All Notre Dame has to do is win their conference is they're guaranteed a BCS Bowl and more national coverage than they deserve.

  • The 4 original bowls will be played on FOX, with the exception of the Rose Bowl.

But, Fox says their NFL games still take priority, so the dates of the Bowl games will be planned around their NFL regular season coverage. I don't know about you, but I'd take the Sugar Bowl (oops, pardon me, the Nokia Sugar Bowl) over Giants vs. 49ers any day of the week. Plus, they will use their NFL commentators, not the normal college ones.

Just imagine! Joe Buck calling college football!

Are you trying to tell me they kick off from the 35 in college football? I don't believe it!
  • To add to the madness, the games will be spaced farther apart. Rose Bowl on the 1st, Fiesta on the 1st, Orange on the 2nd, Sugar on the 3rd. And the mysterious unknown-named title game on the 8th, five days later.

We'll discuss the regular bowl games in another post. That's a whole different story.

Go Beavers!