Doug Robinson: Parity good for causing BCS woes

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 24 2007 12:30 a.m. MDT

Nothing makes sense in college football these days. Up is down, down is up. The haves and have-nots are indistinguishable, at least on the playing field. Traditional powers are trampled underfoot by strangers named South Florida, Appalachian State and Wofford.

Who are these guys?

Parity is driving college football purists crazy. The BCS czars must be pacing the floor.

Good.

Let's hope it continues.

Let's face it. Anything that makes life more difficult for the BCS and college football under the current regime is a good thing.

The more upsets, the better. The more losses by BCS schools, the better. The more that no one can make sense out of the rankings, the better. The more that the Top continues to be a game of musical chairs, the better.

Anything that will increase the pressure for a playoff system is good.

Parity is fine and fun for the National Football League, but it's a disaster in the college ranks. The NFL has playoffs to settle disputes; the college game has the BCS, which is hardly the same thing.

Parity is the enemy of the BCS. What are they going to do if the BCS schools continue to get tossed up and down the rankings? Invite Wofford to the party? The way the bowl system is structured, the BCS needs BCS schools to rule the game; they need clear rankings.

But they're not going to get it at this rate. The rankings game is a crapshoot now, computer or not, with BCS schools checking in and out of the Top 10.

This has been the craziest college football season in recent memory.

• Division I-AA school Appalachian State beat No. 5 Michigan at Michigan.

• Wofford — we think it's a college — beat Appalachian State. Wofford went on to beat Furman, The Citadel and mighty Gardner-Webb, but then lost to Elon, which is the name of a university in North Carolina and not a Star Wars character.

• Unranked Stanford beat No. 2 USC.

• Unranked Oregon State beat No. 2 Cal.

• South Florida, once thought to be a retirement community, climbed to No. 2 in the polls, having beaten Auburn (and Elon). Did you even know that South Florida was a college?

• Rutgers beat No. 2 South Florida, marking the third straight week the No. 2 team lost.

• Kentucky — the basketball school — beat No. 1 LSU.

• Notre Dame has won once in eight games (but is still featured on network TV every Saturday, front and center). If they hadn't exhumed him, George Gipp would have rolled in his grave.

• Connecticut is ranked ahead of Penn State.

• Even with a loss, South Florida ranks ahead of Florida, USC, Michigan and Georgia. Florida State is unranked; Hawaii is 17th.

• Half of the top 10-ranked teams lost in Week 5.

• Four of the top 10 teams lost in Week 6.

• The top two teams lost in Week 7.

The only way this thing could get better is if No. 1 Ohio State loses.

Every year the BCS system, such as it is, ignites a spirited debate about national champions and bowl matchups, but at this rate, there will have been nothing to match the controversy this thing could cook up at the end of the season.

If you can't rank teams without at least some measure of consensus, then you've got nothing but trouble and controversy when it comes time to match up the best teams in the BCS bowl games.

If ever there was a year that cried for a playoff system, it's this one. It's a mess. It's a BCS nightmare in the making. There are no clear favorites, no powerhouses. It's the worst thing that could happen to the BCS, but the best thing that could happen to college football.


E-mail: drob@desnews.com

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