There Is No Cat

As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Hurl that spheroid down the field

Allen Barra in Salon doesn't like the BCS method of choosing a champion for college football because it takes all the fun about arguing for years afterward about who was really the champion out of the equation. King Kaufman, on the other hand, argues that the BCS is okay, because it preserves all the fun about arguing for years afterward about who was really the champion, or in other words, because it doesn't work. I think Kaufman is right; the BCS doesn't work. I've argued for years that the 1994 Penn State Nittany Lions should have been the national champions. They were the most dominant team college football had seen in 50 years. They were explosive, scoring in seconds on a whim. They absoluted cremated excellent teams like Ohio State, who they beat by something like 60 points that year. (60 points! Against Ohio State!) But the voters felt sorry for Tom Osborne, who hadn't won a national championship before, and because the Lions were Big Ten champs, they were obligated to play in the Rose Bowl against a Pac-10 team rather than getting to prove who was better on the field against Nebraska. In fact, that was the season that convinced the powers that be in college football to institute the BCS, a system that substitutes the biases of a few computer programmers for the biases of all the coaches and beat reporters around the country. And you know what? It's fun to argue that Penn State should have been the champion in 1994, because it's true and it's utterly meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

On the whole, I think the BCS is a good thing and should be kept around, because if there's anything more fun than arguing that your team should have been the champion but was robbed by the polls, it's arguing that your team should have been the champion but was robbed by faceless computers.

Posted at 6:55 AM

Comments

Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

I love the ambiguity of the current system. I think people who call for a tournament have no sense of fun. They are absolutists with no humor.

Posted by Lilbro at 8:36 PM, November 24, 2002 [Link]

Yeah, plus with the current system, you get to hear all the commentators who hate it bloviate about how it's all going to blow up this year, because there are still eight, or six, or four teams still undefeated. And every year they're wrong, but even if they weren't, it would still be more fun than a playoff. Besides, the one thing people who advocate a playoff system never define is how you decide who gets to be in the playoffs. No doubt it would be done with a combination of polls and computer rankings....

Posted by ralph at 8:29 AM, November 25, 2002 [Link]

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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