Saturday, November 19, 2011

Conference championship games are bad for the BCS

In the past, I've often wondered if the conference championship games are a no-win situation for the conferences and the BCS, and this year it could very well be the case.

As I wrote a bit ago, we could end up with no BCS AQ conference having a champion with less than 2-losses.  But there could be as many as 3 teams from those conference with just 1 loss.  This is primarily because of conference championship games.

In the SEC, we could have a 3-way tie in the SEC West with LSU/Alabama/Arkansas all at 10-1.  The bummer for the team that gets to go to the championship game is that by winning the tie-breaker, they are put in a no-win position of having to play another game and risk losing while the 2 other teams get to stand pat on their 1 loss and potentially back their way in to the BCS title game.  Without the championship game, the team that won the tie-breaker to get to play it would likely be in line to go the BCS title game already.

In the Pac-12, because USC is ineligible for the conference championship game, Oregon (or Stanford should Oregon lose to Oregon State) could be forced to play a so-so ASU or weak UCLA team, either of which could hurt them in the BCS computers.  Another no-win situation.

These are two of types of scenarios where having to play a championship game has more downside than upside.  Of course, winning convincingly against a good opponent in the title game has its upside too, but it is more common that a good team is expected to win and only has downside should they lose.