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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Mel Kiper -- BOISE STATE vs. OKLAHOMA -- ESPN's TAKE


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All Chris Peterson has done in his first year is take Boise State to its first BCS game. As usual, offense is the key to the Broncos. QB Jared Zabransky just makes plays. The senior has 20 TD passes in 2006. RB Ian Johnson has the jets to hit the home run and brings outstanding balance to the offense. Left tackle Ryan Clady anchors a good offensive line. He will be tested by Oklahoma defensive end C.J. Ah You in what should be one of the game's top matchups.

The Sooners head to Glendale with lots of momentum. Despite losing QB Rhett Bomar before the seaon and Adrian Peterson to injury, OU rallied to win the Big 12. QB Paul Thompson deserves a great deal of credit. LB Rufus Alexander and the Sooners' defense have been dominant. OU has more talent, so Boise State will need Zabransky to make some big plays.
-- Mel Kiper

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Mel Kiper -- NOTRE DAME vs. LSU -- ESPN'S TAKE


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Notre Dame's defense remains its liability. DL Victor Abiamiri and safety Tom Zbikowski make plays, but the Irish don't have enough athletes on that side of the ball. The offense is a different story. Quarterback Brady Quinn is special. The senior is poised and unflappable in the pocket.

The ND offensive line has not played up to its potential, so he's had to. Quinn's chemistry with wide receiver Jeff Samardzija produces big plays, which the Irish will need to stay with LSU. The Tigers' dominant defensive line, anchored by Glenn Dorsey, will keep the pressure on Quinn. Safety LaRon Landry is an eraser in the secondary. With weapons like Early Doucet, LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell has the playmakers to hurt the Irish. Considering LSU's edge in team speed, the pressure will be on Quinn and Co. to score.
-- Mel Kiper

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Rod Gilmore -- USC vs. MICHIGAN -- ESPN'S TAKE


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It's a shame that neither team is happy to be in this historic bowl, the Grand Daddy of them all. But Michigan should get out of its funk quickly, because the Wolverines still have a shot at getting the AP national title -- just as the Trojans did in 2003 when they were left out of the BCS Championship Game.

If both teams show up mentally prepared to play, this could be a classic Rose Bowl matchup and the best of all the BCS games. The position matchups are better than in any other BCS game. For example, Chad Henne and John David Booty are about even at the quarterback spot. Michigan's running game has an edge with Mike Hart, but USC has the advantage in the passing game with receivers Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett.

But give Michigan the edge on defense with its eighth-rated total defense, which allows only 14.6 points per game. For this reason, give Michigan the edge in the game if the Wolverines get over the disappointment of not playing in the BCS Championship Game.
-- Rod Gilmore

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SEC- 2006 A Season-Ending Look At The SEC - ESPN


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A season-ending look at the SEC
By Chris Low
Special to ESPN.com

An Urban legend? Hardly.

Urban Meyer came to Florida a year ago anointed as one of the hottest young coaches in the country and with a track record of showing his best results in year No. 2 on the job.

He did it at Bowling Green. He did it at Utah, and now he's done it at Florida.

The Gators, fresh off their first SEC championship since 2000, are headed to the Arizona desert next month for a shot at the national championship against No. 1-ranked Ohio State.

"This coaching gig is overrated. It's the players," Meyer said soon after learning that the Gators (12-1, 8-1) had passed Michigan and moved up to No. 2 in the final BCS standings.

"It's a great tribute to coach [Ron] Zook and his staff, the Ray McDonalds, the Jarvis Mosses, the Chris Leaks running around and Jemalle Cornelius. Obviously, you can't get it done without some great players."

The feeling going into the season was that Florida was as good a bet as any to contend for the conference crown. But there was some uncertainty on the offensive line, and the jury was still out on how Meyer's spread option offense would cut it in a speed league like the SEC.

Some injuries up front made the Gators' line play even more of a concern, and they never found the kind of consistency offensively that Meyer was looking for.

But when it came to finding ways to win, nobody was better.

The defense was one of the best in the league, maybe the best when senior tackle Marcus Thomas was in the lineup. His season was cut short, though, because of multiple drug testing infractions.

Senior quarterback Leak came up with timely throws, and freshman quarterback Tim Tebow did the dirty work any time the Gators needed the tough yards. Around them, Dallas Baker, Percy Harvin, Andre Caldwell and Cornelius took turns making plays.

And when all else failed, defensive end Moss showed his hops by blocking a kick, or even two. Just ask South Carolina.

"Have we been perfect? No," said Meyer, whose Gators survived a league-high 110 penalties and overcame 24 turnovers by forcing 27 of their own. "Have we fought and scraped and blocked punts and played great defense? Yeah, we found ways to win."

From a pure talent standpoint, that crown belonged to LSU this season. The Tigers (10-2, 6-2) played their way into a BCS bowl game after shooting blanks offensively in their first two big games against Auburn and Florida. They scored a total of 13 points in those two losses, but ended the season with six straight wins.

The Tigers led the SEC in scoring offense, scoring defense, total offense and total defense. But they also led the league in schedule difficulty. Their four SEC road games were all against Top 10 teams -- Auburn, Arkansas, Florida and Tennessee.

Even if they defeat Notre Dame on Jan. 3 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl and get to 11 wins, there's sure to be a smattering of "What if?" in the Bayou. Some around the league felt this LSU team was even more talented than the one that shared the national championship in 2003 with Southern Cal.

"I still say LSU is as fine a football team as there is on film," said Meyer, whose Gators capitalized on breakdowns by the Tigers in the kicking game to win 23-10 on Oct. 7. "The day after that game, I thought we were a little bit better than I was giving us credit for because that was a two-touchdown win over a top-3, top-4, in my opinion, football team."

With Florida and LSU both going to BCS bowls, it's the first time since 2001 when Florida and LSU both went that the SEC has sent two teams to BCS bowls.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

CBS Sports' Gary Danielson On The BCS - Video


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This is a great conversation that should be seen, as both Gary Danielson and the two commentators make great points.

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Jim Litke of AP On Another BCS Conflict Of Interest


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Grab a torch and head for the BCS castle
By JIM LITKE, AP Sports Columnist
December 4, 2006

College football fans are either lazy or dumb, or here's a comforting thought, both.

A sport whose postseason was a joke long before the Bowl Championship Series and its predecessors took over in 1992 has no more credibility and just as many conflicts of interest as ever. The national champion is still "mythical" as often as not, one or more deserving teams still get hosed just about every season and coaches with hefty contract bonuses for bowl appearances still vote for which team goes where.

About the only things that have changed during the BCS era is the amount of pseudo-science injected into the process, the size of the take, and the number of cronies and apologists who get a cut. Does that count as progress?

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive, who serves as BCS coordinator this season under a rotating power-sharing agreement between the big-money conferences, pointed out Sunday that attendance and ratings were up as well, and that regular-season games that once were largely regional affairs now generated national interest.

"I think the BCS had really made college football's regular season even more exciting than ever," Slive said Sunday, at the end of a ginned-up, half-hour special on Fox Sports, the BCS' newest TV partner and water-carrier.

"But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't continue to look at it to see if there isn't a different format that might serve the game better," he added, "and I look forward to that kind of dialogue."

Slive and his pals back at headquarters already know what that "different format" is -- and have from the beginning: a playoff of some sort -- and that might be the reason to dislike the BCS crowd most of all. They're going to buckle sooner rather than later, almost certainly before the current four-year deal with Fox has run its course, but not before enough of the angered citizenry gather outside the castle carrying torches. That's why the so-called "plus-one" game that debuts this season was tucked into the new TV deal.

Mad as some people are about Michigan being the recipient of this season's "life-isn't-fair" award, and despite polls that have shown nine out of 10 fans, most players and even coaches want a playoff, the movement still hasn't reached critical mass.

Incredibly, that didn't happen in 2001, either, when Oregon finished No. 2 in both polls but lost the computer battle; or in 2003, when it was a clearly superior Southern California team that got the short end of the tape; or in 2004, when undefeated Auburn was sent home with a consolation prize.

The rationale offered most often for letting the BCS continue to call the shots is that it makes the regular season a de facto playoff already and thus every weekend is meaningful. If that were true, what's the argument against crowning Ohio State the champion right now?

The only other Division I-A team to go through the season unbeaten was Boise State, but under the twisted logic that the BCS specializes in, the Broncos never really were in contention for a national title and aren't about to complain. It took the threat of legal action by a number of previously locked-out mid-major programs just to get a shot at any of the four top-dollar BCS bowls, and apparently that was hush money well spent.

The last piece of this year's puzzle will be available for public viewing Monday, when the votes in the final USA Today coaches poll are unveiled. It's been the object of much conjecture and plenty of shenanigans in the past, and we already know that Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, whose team handed Michigan it's only loss of the season -- by three points at Ohio Stadium -- chose to opt out.

And cited, of all things, a conflict of interest.

"After consultation with my director of athletics, Gene Smith, and based upon our unique position in the BCS standings, I believe it is only fair that we not participate (in) the final poll," Tressel said.

Funny that he didn't have a problem before this, or that he'd care either way, since his bonus -- reportedly $200,000 for reaching the championship game, plus a standing offer to renegotiate his contract -- is already locked up. Then again, that's the way the BCS makes a lot of people feel: conflicted.

Florida coach Urban Meyer, to take another example, has been talking loud and long about a playoff for some time. But that didn't stop him from lobbying relentlessly for BCS votes since Ohio State beat Michigan two weekends ago, because the Wolverines held onto the No. 2 spot until Sunday. And he resumed the call for a playoff -- right after Florida squeaked past Michigan by a hundredth of a point in the BCS standings.

"We're beyond the fact of do we need a playoff," Meyer said. "It's now, can we get one."

The short answer is yes. But the better question is why college football fans are willing to wait so long.

Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke@ap.org.

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BCS Apparent Conflict Of Interest Problem - Big 12 now SEC


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In my view, there's a problem with the BCS where a commissioner seems to be a coordinator right at the time one of their schools gets into the BCS National Championship Game.

For example, two years ago Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg was BCS coordinator at a time when the Texas Longhorns seemed to leapfrog Cal to be in the Rose Bowl against Michigan and Oklahoma played USC for the BCS Championship -- for those of you who don't know, both Texas and Oklahoma are in the Big 12. Then last year, Texas played USC for the National Championship.

The Cal controversy lead US Senator Barbara Boxer to write this letter to Mr. Weiberg:

December 10, 2004

Mr. Kevin L. Weiberg
Coordinator
Bowl Championship Series (BCS)

Dear Mr. Weiberg:

My constituents in California were extremely disappointed that the University of California at Berkeley failed to get a Rose Bowl bid.

It seems that every year, the Bowl Championship Series (BSC) disappoints many. Last year, it was the University of Southern California, and this year it was Cal and Auburn. But the problem is that people are not just disappointed, they are confused.

The Seattle Times editorialized on the subject under the title, "Cal was robbed." They closed the editorial writing, "Cal earned a trip to the Rose Bowl, and its victory was highjacked by an odd consortium few like or understand."

Your odd consortium, with secret votes and complex computer calculations, have left college football fans confused. As a self-regulating entity, the BCS system’s credibility depends on the trust of the participants and college football fans.

Football is the only major college sport where the national champion is not crowned on the field after a playoff of some sort. If you continue to reject a playoff system, then the system you use has to reach a higher standard and must be fully transparent.

First, why not make all of the polls public?

Second, if coaches or media from a given state decide to give their state an advantage in the Bowl selection process, then they should have to so state. That is the only way we will know if such an alliance of votes is part of the problem.

Third, the BCS should create an appeals mechanism for schools to utilize when the margin of difference in rankings is very small.

These are just three suggestions that should be part of a larger discussion.

The Senate Commerce Committee, on which I serve, has jurisdiction over interstate commerce and sports. The BCS system would fall under that jurisdiction. It would be very refreshing if this matter can be resolved in a way to satisfy everyone so that Congressional oversight will not be necessary.

Everyone knows that there are millions of dollars at stake, but for the fans, it’s about not only rewarding the best teams monetarily, but honoring the best teams based on objective criteria.

I would appreciate a full response to this letter.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator



Now, the new BCS coordinator is Mike Slive (below), who's the Commissioner for the SEC and right at the time when his Florida Gators are playing for the National Championship and seemed to have jumped over Michigan. Another action that has led to cries of foul with the BCS. But again, look at the pattern, the BCS Coordinator lately seems to be the commissioner of the conference with the team that won or was playing for the BCS Championship. For this to happen three straight years -- yep, three -- indicates a problem exists.



That's weird and a pattern that should be investigated by Congress in my view. I think the BCS coordinator is in a great position to work to lobby for people in his or her conference to vote for the teams in that conference whereever possible. Thus, this kind of outcome.

It further taints the quality of the BCS system, and in my view gives but one more reason why we need a College Football playoff system.

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Mike Slive: BCS Coordinator and SEC Commissioner


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Mike Slive walks line between BCS and SEC

Ralph Russo / Associated Press

Posted: December 8, 2006

As Southeastern Conference commissioner, Mike Slive's job is to be an advocate for his members at bowl time. He believes being Bowl Championship Series coordinator does not change that.
The SEC is in prime position to get two teams in the BCS when the pairings are released Sunday. The winner of the SEC championship game between Arkansas and Florida on Saturday receives an automatic bid. LSU was fifth in the last BCS standings, right behind Florida, and will be in the mix for an at-large berth in one of the five big-money bowls.
Slive said all commissioners have a responsibility to promote their teams to bowl officials.

"As commissioners, we talk with bowls about our teams, and we talk about how good we

"As commissioners, we talk with bowls about our teams, and we talk about how good we think they are and we know they are," Slive said Wednesday during a teleconference. "We talk about the fan base. I talk about the fact in the SEC that we had ... over 6.8 million people to our games this past year, and we just wanted to make sure that everyone knows all there is to know about the Southeastern Conference."

The SEC champ will play in the Sugar Bowl, unless Florida can catch some breaks and reach the national title game. LSU could be looking at a Rose Bowl bid.

"I think you advocate as a commissioner, and as a BCS coordinator, my roles is to make sure that the system works properly, fairly and equitably," Slive said.

Slive reiterated he's open to discuss changes in the current BCS systems, including the plus-one model which would set the championship game after the big four bowl games are played.

In the current system, the top two teams after the regular season meet in the BCS championship game.

For the first time this season five BCS games will be played instead of four. The championship game will be played on Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz., about a week after the Fiesta, Sugar, Rose and Orange bowls are played.

Slive also said that the BCS should not influence a conference's decision whether to play a league championship game. Of the original six BCS conferences, the SEC, Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference play title games, adding an extra difficult game to their schedules. The Pac-10, Big Ten and Big East do not.

"One of the premises of the BCS is that every conference has the right to figure out how it wants to determine its champion," he said. "We (in the SEC) enjoy a championship game and we can't dictate to any other league that they have to have a championship game. So we have to put together our priorities and obviously we would love to win the national championship, but we certainly value and hold highly our (championship) game."

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BCS Coordinator Mike Slive's Teleconference - December 4th 2006


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Transcript from BCS Coordinator Mike Slive's teleconference

5 days ago

Transcript from BCS Coordinator Mike Slive's teleconference after the BCS Selections were made:

THE MODERATOR: In the Tostito's Fiesta Bowl, No. 1 Oklahoma versus No. 8 Boise State; in the FedEx Orange Bowl, No. 14 Wake Forest versus No. 6 Louisville; in the Nokia Sugar Bowl, LSU versus No. 11 Notre Dame; and the Rose Bowl presented by City, No. 3 Michigan versus No. 5 Southern California; and in the National Championship game, No. 1 Ohio State versus No. 2 Florida. All the games excluding the Rose Bowl will be televised by FOX. The Rose Bowl will be televised by ABC.

MIKE SLIVE: Thank you all for joining the call. I think as we talked about on the call earlier in the week, we've had one of the better football seasons, one of the most exciting football seasons in recent memory and it continued right up through last night's triple overtime game between West Virginia and Rutgers that that settled the automatic selections. We're past the time of speculation and let me open it up to questions.


Q. Do you feel like coming out of, this the controversy over shadows the system? It seems to be all that anybody is talking about and if that's the case, what are your thoughts on that, in terms of whether the system is working or not?

MIKE SLIVE: That's a good question. I think what we've got is, as I say, a really exciting regular season that the BCS actually enhanced by making so many games important, not only in the regions in which they were played, but nationally; so that college football attendance with ratings and with the expanded regional to national games gave us a great season.

And then now the next part is, here we are here, and we have many deserving teams. And so what I have said from last January, and I think there are many people on that this call who have heard me say this over and over again; that we need to continue over the next few years to look at the post season to be sure that it works the way in which we want it to work.

I think the regular season has been enhanced so the where is the magic point where you maintain the quality of the regular season as it currently exists, and yet at the same time maybe provide more opportunity for deserving teams.


Q. How can you justify the Harris Poll as being a proponent of the BCS, given so many of the ballots were inconsistent? In the ballots released just a couple of minutes ago, one pollster had Florida ranked No. 1 and another still had USC in the Top 3 even after they lost to UCLA. Is there any change that could possibly ensure more accurate ratings in the future?

MIKE SLIVE: Thank you for the question. The Harris Poll was put together with 113 or 114 different pollsters put together consistent with acceptable polling principles. I think most of all, it's been interesting over the last two years, the Harris Poll has really tracked the other polls. Obviously each pollster has his or her own view, and in the final analysis, it's the composite of all the pollsters and not necessarily any individual pollster.

So you know, right now, there isn't any plan to make a change in the BCS standings. And now having said that, we will review every component of the BCS each year. We'll sit down in several meetings and look at the standings and we'll look at every aspect of what we do based on the continuing experience that we have.


Q. Another polling question. Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel decided not to vote in the final poll. I guess you can look at that from either side, but any thoughts or concerns for a coach that voted all season long and then the last, probably the most important vote of the season, decided to refuse himself?

MIKE SLIVE: That's a good question. But I do understand, I think he found himself in a very unique situation; that his vote may or may not have had an impact on a team he could play and he decided not to vote. I can respect that view. And we obviously in the BCS take the coach's poll as it comes to us, so there really isn't much more that I can say about it.


Q. You mentioned earlier about definitely wanting to take a review year after year, and you also mentioned specifically that the regular season is made more important by all of this. In that light, I'm curious, will there be a look, is there any sort of movement at, A, making only conference champions eligible for the National Championship; and B, to put in some sort of bylaw that would bar regular season rematches from taking place during the post season?

MIKE SLIVE: Matter of fact we had a long talk about this in the last call. Right with the BCS standings the way they are currently constructed, we have up to this point not put any conditions or caveats on the game, particularly the 1 2 game with the idea that you treat the polls with integrity and not have sort of an asterisk saying, well, if you happen to be No. 2 or No. 1 and you were not the champion, you couldn't play.

The same philosophy applies to the question of a rematch. We have had some rematches in the past. There is a provision in the selection process that provides the commissioners the opportunity at the end of the process to look at the pairings. And one of the areas to look at is if there is a rematch, whether that ought to be changed.

Up to now, the commissioners have to the elected to make changes. There was one I think a couple of years ago with Florida State and Miami. And I didn't anticipate even if there was going to be a rematch, I didn't anticipate that there would be a change. But we will sit down and look at that each year.

One of the things that the commissioners have not wanted to do was try to impact how a conference puts together its season and determines its champion, which raises of course another question of some leagues have championship games and some don't. I think it was the idea to respect the polls and not try to create a way in which it would dictate to leagues how to crown their champion.


Q. Do you have any misgivings at all at the possibility that perhaps some of the voters might have gone with Florida because they didn't want a rematch, or thought America didn't want a rematch, as opposed to simply weighing Michigan on its merits versus Florida?

MIKE SLIVE: One of the things that's hard to do and one of the things I try not to do is to put myself into somebody else's head.

You know, we're talking about a lot of voters here. We're talking something like 200 different voters. I really have no way of knowing what motivates an individual voter how to you know, to cast his or her vote. I've heard a lot of discussion about that. I've heard a lot of speculation about why somebody might vote one way and not another, but I really have no way of knowing.


Q. You said it's important to treat the polls with integrity and seems to me the Coaches Poll is rife with conflicts, a lot of coaches have clauses in their contracts guaranteeing certain money for appearances and where the national champion has to come from, and they don't have to show their votes until the final vote is released; do you have any problem with any of that?

MIKE SLIVE: I don't know how old the Coaches Poll is, but it's been with us for a very, very long time. I think it has public acceptance. You know, I think the AP Poll has been with us a very long time; has public acceptance.


Q. You mean had been with you

MIKE SLIVE: Well, as a member of the public, I'm talking about. Although it's now part of the BCS, it's still a poll that I think has a lot of credibility with the public, is my point. I think it's fair for us to assume the coaches will vote honestly and forthrightly. That's all we can assume. The option is to


Q. Well, they are also, obligated, aren't they, to vote in the final poll for whoever wins the BCS Championship Game?

MIKE SLIVE: That's a decision made by the American Football Coaches Association. I think that we will know how the coaches vote the votes of the coaches in the final poll will be made public. And it's the final poll, really, when you think about it, it's the final poll that counts. There are a lot of other polls that keep us all interested, but it's the poll that determines what we're talking about here today and we will be able to, see all of us, how each coach voted, and then you can draw your own conclusions as to whether or not you thought that coach voted appropriately.


Q. I understand that Coach Tressel was in a unique situation, but you have no trouble with him abstaining in his vote then?

MIKE SLIVE: I said I understood it. I respect him and I understood it; that's what I said.


Q. Will that be a continued part of the poll? Will coaches have the opportunity to opt out as

MIKE SLIVE: I think that's something that we'll sit down and talk with Grant Teaff, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, as we move forward.


Q. I wanted to go back to a question, in general what people are trying to figure out is with people if what does motivate a voter; do you think it's okay to be thinking of the rematch or not the rematch in terms of how they do the vote? Would it trouble you to say, I don't want to see the rematch as opposed to if they were No. 2?

MIKE SLIVE: I don't want to try to put myself in somebody else's place. I mean, there can be a whole lot of reasons why people vote, and to pick one out it and try to focus in on one particular principle is something that it's just difficult to do.

The point is that the voters had the freedom to vote for any reason that they deem appropriate. You know, some of them we may like and some of them we may not like. But some of them we may agree with and some we may not but that's the system that's in place.


Q. It's a little bit of a softball question, but considering last year's Rose Bowl and what generally happens year in and year out, do you feel like you want to say to people who have problems with this system: What more do you want? I mean, you have two great teams every year. There's never a Cinderella team that gets to the game; these teams are all worthy teams.

MIKE SLIVE: You know, I've thought about that a lot because there are moments like last year where there just is no issue and everybody's on board.

But notwithstanding that, even when I spoke to the football writers way back in Pasadena before the game last year, I felt that it was it was still an appropriate time to continue to look at the BCS system, to look at whether or not that we could maintain all that we have and still determine there's so many good teams and like this year with Michigan and Florida, that maybe we ought to take a look at opening it up some.

Now, that doesn't mean that controversy will not follow. There is in any system that we've looked at or that we're beginning to look at or think about, really will have advantages and disadvantages, and it all depends on how it plays out in any given year.

I for one would like us to continue to look critically at what we have now and think about whether or not this might be a way to open it up some without going to what everybody calls I talked about the dreaded word, playoff, in the last call; but something in a plus one for example, is one such model, although it, too, is fraught with difficulty.


Q. What do you think of having a team like Boise State in the first year you open it up?

MIKE SLIVE: I think it's great. I think that we've got a great team. It's a Cinderella team and they have earned it; they have made the criteria that we set forth and it's exciting. You know, they have played on the field and earned the slot and we're looking forward to watching them play.


Q. You made some comments during halftime in the game last night in the about the SEC playing for the national title, how do you feel about balancing the two hats, as you call them, and will you change anything with respect to next year?

MIKE SLIVE: I've talked a lot about this, and the reason that I think it's possible to wear two hats is the coordinator and as I said, the coordinator is aptly named; the coordinator is not the czar, not the commissioner, not the executive director and not the decision maker.

I sat in my office today waiting to see like other people decided about who is going to be in the games. I see at this point in time it is possible to do both, but I also think that it's something that we can continue to talk about. I think it's different than basketball where the folks on the basketball committee are, in fact, decision makers. You know, I don't talk to pollsters, I've never talked to the computer guy. So the role here is to coordinate and make sure that this system can run. Is.


Q. If you were given a mandate to make that one plus game happen, how soon do you think something like that could be put together? Is that a season two, seasons away?

MIKE SLIVE: Yeah, good question, my sense is and I know that my sense is, and I think in our league that the dialogue will begin sometime this spring.

You know, when you think about it, we have a four year agreement and this is the first of four years and these games are about on us. And normally, you start talking about the future before the end of the agreement, so we're probably talking about some dialogue and some consequence over the next two years.


Q. I was just wondering if you ever thought that maybe the Big 10, because of what's happened to Michigan, maybe should move their schedule back to where their season ends; with a conference championship game or not, whether their season ends like the Pac 10 does, in the hopes that maybe if their season ended right here on December 2 with an Ohio State and Michigan game, that even with a loss, they would still be No. 2.

MIKE SLIVE: Well, let me go back to what I said a little bit earlier because it's really important and your question does highlight an important part of our process and that is each conference, you know, has the right to determine how it wants to run its regular season and how it wants to determine its champion.

And so it really is not something that I would be involved in or really want to have an opinion about as a BCS coordinator. I usually get the question a little bit differently. I usually get the question about the championship games, and if everybody doesn't have the Championship Game, should everybody have the Championship Game; wouldn't that be fair. And then the answer to that question really is the same answer to the question that you asked.

THE MODERATOR: That will do it for tonight's teleconference.

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2006 College Football Rankings - Week 15 - ESPN


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Listed in order of team, it's record, and number of votes cast for it.

1. Ohio State (65) 12-0 1,625
2. Florida 12-1 1,529
3. Michigan 11-1 1,526
4. LSU 10-2 1,365
5. Louisville 11-1 1,333
6. Wisconsin 11-1 1,255
7. Oklahoma 11-2 1,232
8. USC 10-2 1,182
9. Boise State 12-0 1,097
10. Auburn 10-2 1,020
11. Notre Dame 10-2 939
12. Arkansas 10-3 867
13. West Virginia 10-2 865
14. Virginia Tech 10-2 798
15. Wake Forest 11-2 766
16. Rutgers 10-2 631
17. Tennessee 9-3 576
18. Texas 9-3 564
19. Brigham Young 10-2 436
20. California 9-3 390
21. Texas A&M 9-3 379
22. Nebraska 9-4 193
23. Boston College 9-3 179
24. Oregon State 9-4 112
25. TCU 10-2 80

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Lloyd Carr Wants To Move Beyond BCS Controvery - Detroit Free Press


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Michigan's Carr says it's time to move beyond the BCS controversy
By Mark Snyder

Detroit Free Press

(MCT)

DETROIT - Lloyd Carr, who met with the media Friday, promised it would be the last time he would talk about the Bowl Championship Series controversy.

"The thing we must do here is we have to move on with this," he said about the formula that sent Florida to the BCS title game against Ohio State over Michigan last Sunday.

If Carr really has made his final statement after almost a week of discussion, it's clear where he stands entering U-M's Jan. 1 Rose Bowl game against Southern California. Missing out on the title game disappointed him.

"Going back in my experience here at Michigan, 27 years, certainly from a strictly football standpoint, it was certainly one of the two most disappointing days I've had," he said, with the other likely the last-second "timekeeper" loss at MSU in 2001. "And certainly for this team_which is more important - it was a tremendous disappointment."

Carr's biggest problem is not with the system, but with the components. He wishes the Associated Press poll was still part of the BCS formula; the coaches poll and the Harris poll can be filled with biases.

But, Carr said, polls can't be eliminated and will have to be involved when the BCS system is, according to him, inevitably expanded to some playoff format.

The Big Ten's decision to end its schedule before Thanksgiving didn't concern Carr.

"We have, in the Big Ten Conference, a team that will be playing in the championship game," he said. "So I don't think the schedule hurt the Big Ten Conference with getting a team. The problem was getting two."

NOTEBOOK: Carr said he has met with each senior and NFL draft-eligible junior but declined to cite the players' personal decisions.

He also said quarterback Chad Henne is coming back. Tailback Mike Hart said in an ESPN.com chat this week that he's returning. The other juniors in question are likely offensive tackle Jake Long and defensive tackle Alan Branch . ...

The Wolverines will practice four times before leaving for California after final exams Dec. 22. They'll resume practicing in California from Dec. 23-25, take a break on the 26th and treat Dec. 27-31 like a typical game week. ...

Recruits enrolling in January will no longer be allowed to practice with the Rose Bowl team, as Kevin Grady did two years ago. But Michigan is inquiring about the possibility that Marques Slocum, a defensive tackle enrolled in school but not yet part of the team, could be allowed. ...

Carr expects his entire team to be healthy enough to play in the Rose Bowl. U-M has sold out its entire allotment of 26,000 tickets for the game.

---

© 2006, Detroit Free Press.

Visit the Freep, the World Wide Web site of the Detroit Free Press, at http://www.freep.com.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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ESPN's Dan Revsine Wants A Kind-Of BCS-Like, BCS


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This is according to Student Body Right blog , which orginally spotted the article. I must say, I too disagree with Dan on this. The last thing we need is to replace the BCS with what will be another ...BCS.

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons Get BCS Bowl Berth - AP


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Another non-traditional power gets into the BCS mix.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons enjoy celebration of BCS berth

By Aaron Beard
Associated Press

CHUCK BURTON/Associated Press
Wake Forest cornerback Riley Swanson and the No. 15 Demon Deacons will face No. 5 Louisville on Jan. 2 in the Orange Bowl at Miami.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Riley Swanson just won't take off the ballcap that proclaims Wake Forest's stunning Atlantic Coast Conference championship. The Demon Deacons' cornerback isn't shedding his wide smile, either.

"It's just incredible," he said. "I can't believe we did it."

After weeks of always turning their attention to the next game, Swanson and the No. 15 Demon Deacons are finally getting the chance to enjoy the amazing run that will end with a trip to the Orange Bowl to face No. 5 Louisville on Jan. 2. Until then, the players are finishing exams and getting some time off to rest and heal before preparing for the Cardinals.

Along the way, they're just savoring all the attention that comes with reaching a BCS game.

"I would say I've been better," coach Jim Grobe said with a smile, "but I don't know when."

The Demon Deacons (11-2) are coming off a 9-6 win over Georgia Tech that clinched the school's second ACC championship and first since 1970. That capped a regular season that included a shutout win at Florida State, a road win over Maryland to earn a division title and the first sweep of in-state rivals Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State in 19 years.

Not bad for a program that had just six bowl appearances and had never won more than eight games in its past 104 years of football.

"It really hadn't set in because we'd been in that normal routine, week after week after every victory going, 'OK, that was a win. Let's get ready for another,"' senior defensive tackle Jamil Smith said. "This week, I don't think it's set in for me yet, but it's coming slowly."

It's just part of a successful fall sports season for the school, which also won ACC championships in men's soccer and field hockey. The field hockey team reached the NCAA tournament finals, while the men's soccer team reached the national semifinals. But football's rise seems to have elicited the most passionate response at the small, private university with an enrollment of just more than 4,000 undergraduates.

It's clear these are special days here. The players fondly recall what it was like to return to campus after the ACC title game and see a few hundred fans waiting to greet them.

Days later, toilet paper still dangled from the trees lining the quad in front of the school's Wait Chapel. It also hung in trees lining the Demon Deacons' practice field and the football offices, the remnants of a weekend party that celebrated the stunning climb from league basement dweller to champion and Orange Bowl participant.

Of course, you won't have much trouble finding oranges just about anywhere on campus - including a Wake Forest football helmet filled with the fruit in the lobby of athletics director Ron Wellman's office.

Then there was the unusual sight of seeing the customary bright orange blazer of an Orange Bowl committee member attending Wake Forest's weekly football news conference earlier this week - a sight that would have been unfathomable just a few months ago.

"It's the Cinderella story," said Larry Wahl, Orange Bowl committee member. "It's the school that has never been to a BCS bowl game, the little engine that could, I guess.

"From what I've seen here and what I've heard, it seems like everybody in town is going."

The celebration hasn't been confined to campus. Swanson and safety Josh Gattis even were recognized during a church service in Winston-Salem the day after beating the Yellow Jackets.

"Toward the end they said, 'We have some ACC champs in the building,"' Swanson said with a smile.

It's something that these Demon Deacons won't get tired of hearing any time soon.

"There are a lot of championship hats walking around our office right now," Grobe said. "And what's fun is we're able to enjoy it a little bit right now. ... Now it's nice to catch our breath a little bit and see what we've done."

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

BCS A Cartel? - Tulane President Says BCS Is A Cartel - ESPN


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July 22, 2003 - ESPN.com

Non-BCS schools to work for postseason access
ESPN - Associated Press

The major college football schools left outside the Bowl Championship Series united Tuesday in an effort to get access to the lucrative postseason and reduce the requirements to belong in Division I-A.

Tulane president Scott Cowen convened a teleconference of 44 presidents from non-BCS schools and created a Presidential Coalition for Athletic Reform. The goals of the coalition are to improve access for all teams to postseason football, reduce the financial requirements for remaining in Division I-A and raise academic requirements in college athletics.

The presidents accepted an invitation to meet with representatives of the BCS on Sept. 8 in Chicago but said they were prepared to press the issue even further.

"We believe that the Bowl Championship Series is anticompetitive and has characteristics of a cartel," Cowen said.

"Tulane met last year with antitrust lawyers. I don't think it's productive for higher education and universities to sue each other. But with such an important issue, we can't rule out any options now."

Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg, whose conference is part of the BCS, said the system does not violate antitrust violations.

The two major issues are the new Division I-A requirements, which go into effect in August 2004, and the postseason. The major conferences ruled out an NFL-style playoff system on Monday.

Cowen said it was not "appropriate" to rule out any options before the meeting and pushed for a playoff system that would include all of Division I-A. The BCS includes the champions of the Pac-10, the Big 12, the Big Ten, the Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East, who all get automatic bids, plus two at-large teams.

The goal of the system is to pit the top two teams in a championship game. Notre Dame, an independent, is the only school outside those six conferences to play in a BCS bowl in the first five years of the system.

"We simply want access like we have in all other sports," Cowen said. "We want a level playing field. There's not a level playing field in college football. We're not looking for some handout. We're looking for access."

Teams from non-BCS conferences are guaranteed a bid to one of the four major bowl games only if they are ranked in the top six. In 1998, Tulane went undefeated but could only play in the Liberty Bowl because it was ranked 11th in the BCS standings.

But in the 20 years before the BCS started, only one school other than Notre Dame that is not currently in those six conferences played in one of the series' four bowls.

The BCS has paid out more than $80 million to the major conferences each year, compared with about $8 million to the schools from the other five conferences.

"Let's not ask about them giving money to us," said Bill Greiner, the president of Buffalo. "They want to drive people out of competition at the Division I-A level unless we come up to some standard they decide to set in terms of expenditures and attendance. That is plain flat-out wrong."

The increased requirements for Division I-A will require schools to sponsor 16 varsity teams instead of 14; to average 15,000 paid attendance per game; and to give at least 200 total athletic scholarships or pay $4 million in scholarships.

Weiberg said the BCS shouldn't be blamed for the changes.

"The I-A membership requirements were voted on by the NCAA membership," Weiberg said. "They were not designed by the Bowl Championship Series schools. An NCAA subcommittee created these standards."

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BCS Busters Website - BCSBusters.com


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I just found this website called BCSBusters, and you can see it with a click on the title of this post. Here's what it's about:

BCSBusters.com was created to raise national awareness of the BCS' shortcomings, as well as to demand a playoff system be put in place to determine the national champion. The web site hosts an open forum for fans to collaborate and form a playoff system that everyone can agree with. With your interest and participation, we can change the entire post season!

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Lloyd Carr: There Are Flaws In The (BCS) System


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Michigan coach disappointed in BCS title-game snub

Posted: Monday December 4, 2006 12:30AM; Updated: Monday December 4, 2006 12:30AM

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Lloyd Carr is going to let people read between the lines.

Sunday night, the Michigan coach wouldn't directly say that his Wolverines should be headed to the BCS national championship game. But he wasn't making it hard to guess how he felt.

"I don't think there is any question that there are flaws in the system," Carr said on a Rose Bowl teleconference. "I hope that, in the future, we can have a system where all of the answers are decided on the field."

Michigan entered the weekend ranked No. 3 and helpless to do anything but watch, having finished its regular season with a 42-39 loss to top-ranked Ohio State on Nov. 18.

The Wolverines got what they appeared to need when No. 2 USC lost to UCLA, but, as it turned out, that wasn't enough to get Michigan a rematch with its archrival. Instead, the team will be facing USC in Pasadena, Calif., while Ohio State plays Florida, which jumped from fourth to second after beating Arkansas in the SEC title game.

"My statement is that I don't think they would have moved ahead of us if USC had won their game," Carr said of the Gators. "I don't know what the voters were thinking -- you'd have to ask them -- but I don't think there's any question that if USC wins, we remain No. 3."

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel chose to abstain in this weekend's coaches poll instead of helping decide which team he would face in the title game. It was a move that Carr would only touch on briefly.

"I thought it was real slick," said Carr, who also said he could not see any situation where he would give up his vote.

Carr was careful to say all the right things about Michigan's third trip to the Rose Bowl in the last four years.

"The Rose Bowl is not a consolation -- it is the greatest tradition in college football," he said. "I've always felt that there's no better experience for a college football player than to play in the Rose Bowl."

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said he voted Michigan No. 2 on his ballot.

"I didn't play Florida. I played Michigan, I played them at home and they beat us soundly. I thought from my end it was a fairly easy decision," Weis said.

Carr said that a traditional Big Ten vs. Pac-10 matchup in the Rose Bowl is even more appropriate this year after the Nov. 17 death of his mentor, Bo Schembechler.

"Coach John Robinson spoke at coach Schembechler's memorial, and he talked about the tradition of USC and Michigan," Carr said. "We have great respect for USC, for the Rose Bowl and for that tradition."

The Wolverines will be looking for their first postseason victory since beating Florida 38-30 in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, 2003. Michigan lost to USC and Texas in the next two Rose Bowls before dropping a 32-28 decision to Nebraska in last season's Alamo Bowl.

"We'd like to win one of these," Carr said. "We've done some great things to get to the Rose Bowl, but now we need to win one."

They'll be facing a USC team that was hoping for a fourth-straight shot at a national title and a coach who understands Carr's frustration. The Trojans won the 2003 AP national title despite being left out of the BCS championship game.

"I completely understand what coach Carr is having to deal with under the BCS system and the challenge he faces," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "I respect him for the way he is handling it."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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BCS Dumb Obsession With Finding #2 - Slate


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Who's #2?The BCS' dumb obsession with finding America's second-best college football team.
By Chris Suellentrop - Slate

Updated Monday, Dec. 4, 2006, at 6:49 PM ET

The annual outrage over college football's Bowl Championship Series shows that sports journalists are even more attached to preconceived narratives than political pundits are. When the BCS gets something right, as it did by pairing Florida against Ohio State in this year's national championship game, everyone still recites the talismanic phrase: "The BCS doesn't work."

Of course, it's true that the BCS doesn't work. It discriminates against teams that don't hail from the six major conferences. It's biased in favor of teams that were highly ranked based only on preseason expectations. And it has ruined the traditional bowl season by, for example, sending the Big 12 champion to the Fiesta Bowl rather than to the Orange Bowl.

But this year's debate over the merits of the BCS has exposed a more basic flaw, the faulty premise that underlies the entire system. The BCS was created in 1998 with the stated goal of pitting the nation's top two football teams against each other in a championship game. Michigan partisans, then, are outraged that their team isn't getting another chance to take on Ohio State. The Wolverines are the second-best team in the country, they say. Shouldn't that guarantee them a spot in the title game?

No. The fact that the Wolverines are probably the second-best team in the country doesn't mean they've earned the right to play in the national championship game. In fact, it means the exact opposite: Michigan's No. 2 status is why they shouldn't be playing for the title.

Playoff systems are designed to determine, in a fair manner, which is the single best team in a particular sport. Their purpose is not to pit the two finest teams against each other in a season-ending game. The Yankees and Red Sox do not play annually in the World Series. The Indianapolis Colts will never be given a chance to play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. When the two best college basketball teams in the country face off, as they routinely do, in a Final Four semifinal or even in the round of eight, does anyone think that the loser deserves a rematch?

Take this example: Does anyone think the Seattle Seahawks were the No. 2 team in the NFL last year? No. Likewise, will anyone think the NFC champion who makes it to this year's Super Bowl is the second-best team in football? Of course not. Will the best team in the NFL still win the Super Bowl? Yes. Even if it's an NFC team!

Unlike TV commentators and sports columnists, the college-football voters understand, at least implicitly, that the season-long playoff that is the college football season should determine the single best team, not the best two teams. That's why the voters in the Harris poll and coaches' poll have consistently voted against a Michigan-Ohio State rematch. The voters cast their ballots for "not-Michigan" when they voted for USC, and they've cast their ballots for "not-Michigan" by voting for Florida.

Do we know if Florida is the second-best team in the country? Of course not. Here's what we do know: Michigan is not the best. How do we know that? By the traditional criterion: They scored fewer points in a football game than Ohio State did. The only team that has the "right" to play in the BCS championship game is the best team, Ohio State. And the only teams that should be scratched without question are teams that have already been determined to be "not the best," like Michigan.
On Sunday, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr had the gall to declare, "I hope that, in the future, we can have a system where all of the answers are decided on the field" and, "We need to get away from anything that's not decided by the players themselves." I'm fairly certain that Carr's players were involved in Michigan's 42-39 defeat at the hands of Ohio State and that it was played on a field. (If not, sports journalists have a real scandal on their hands.)

"Divining the difference between 11-1 Michigan and 12-1 Florida is truly an impossible task," wrote ESPN.com's Pat Forde. Fair enough, but there's no need to divine the difference between Michigan and Florida. The gridiron has already divined the relevant question: the difference between Michigan and Ohio State.

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Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany Supports BCS System


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Delany: BCS system works

Big Ten commissioner supports set-up, but feels bad for Michigan
Wednesday, December 06, 2006

BY JOHN HEUSER
News Sports Reporter

Two days after the University of Michigan football team was dumped from national title game contention in favor of Florida, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany voiced support for the Bowl Championship Series system, but also expressed regret for the Wolverines' plight.

"We had a great football season, and we had some great football teams,'' he said Tuesday. "Personally I was disappointed that Michigan did not have an opportunity to play for the national championship.

"We have a system, and the system worked out. I've seen other disappointed teams from other conferences. This is not the first time it's happened.''

The frustration is still fresh for the Wolverines, however, who entered the final weekend of the season ranked third by the BCS. When No. 2 Southern California lost to UCLA, Michigan held out hope for a title game invitation to play No. 1 Ohio State. Instead, the berth went to Florida, which jumped ahead of Michigan in the standings after winning the Southeastern Conference championship.

Delany admitted that things might have been different if the Big Ten had played games the past two weeks. In keeping with Big Ten tradition, league action ended Nov. 18, the weekend before Thanksgiving.

"Typically, if everyone's playing and winning, the status quo (in the rankings) holds,'' he said.

Delany said he expected the end-of-play date to be discussed in the off-season, but he didn't sound sure that any action would be taken. Michigan coach Lloyd Carr has been an advocate of the current system because it allows players to spend Thanksgiving with their families and provides more study time at the end of the semester.

The commissioner made his comments at the end of a teleconference to announce Mark Silverman as president of the fledgling Big Ten Network. The network, which will televise classic and current league sports as well as original conference-affiliated programming, is scheduled to launch next August.

John Heuser can be reached at jheuser@annarbornews.com or 734-994-6816.

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Bowl Championship Series - Time For Another Congressional Hearing On The BCS


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This happened last fall; I think it's time for another Congressional hearing on the BCS. There's a mistake each year and someone's always left out. A playoff system should be litterally forced on the NCAA.

Congress to look into 'deeply flawed' BCS system - Dec 2005
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Calling the Bowl Championship Series "deeply flawed," the chairman of a congressional committee has called a hearing on the controversial system used to determine college football's national champion.

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, charged with regulating America's sports industry, announced Friday it will conduct a hearing on the BCS next week, after this season's bowl matchups are determined.

"College football is not just an exhilarating sport, but a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore," said committee Chairman Joe Barton, a Texas Republican. Barton's panel is separate from the House Government Reform panel that tackled steroids in baseball.

The committee announcement called the hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday, a "comprehensive review" of the BCS and postseason college football.

"Too often college football ends in sniping and controversy, rather than winners and losers," Barton said. "The current system of determining who's No. 1 appears deeply flawed."

Barton said he does not have legislation in mind to force a change, but said he hopes congressional hearings will spur discussion and improvements. It won't be the first time Congress has looked at the BCS. In 2003, the Senate probed whether the system was unfairly tilted against smaller schools.

NCAA Division I-A football does not have a playoff. The Bowl Championship Series was established in 1998 to determine a national champion using the traditional bowl system and a mix of computer and human polls to set up a championship game.

Because of the controversy surrounding the bowl selection process last season, The Associated Press told BCS officials to stop using its writers polls in its formula.

The committee invited testimony from Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg, the current chairman of the BCS.

"If members of the subcommittee have ideas on how the college football postseason can be improved, we welcome that input," Weiberg said.

"The current structure is designed to match the No. 1 and 2 ranked teams, identified through a ranking system, in a bowl game. It is an extension of the bowl system and a method to determine a national champion through the bowls," Weiberg said. "It has paired teams in bowl games that would not have been possible under the bowl arrangements existing before its creation."

Along with the acclaim of a national champion, the BCS also created a financial windfall with tens of millions of dollars at stake for teams and conferences who participate.

But it has seldom been without controversy.

For example, Southeastern Conference champion Auburn was undefeated in 2004 but was shut out of the BCS title game, which matched USC against Oklahoma. Utah also finished the season undefeated but could not play for the title.

The Jan. 4 Rose Bowl is the site of this year's BCS championship game. Other games with BCS ties are the Orange, Sugar and Fiesta bowls, with a rotating schedule for hosting the championship matchup.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

BCS - Florida Over Michigan By A Hair, Will Play Ohio State - ESPN


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We will see how this plays out. As I think about it, Florida has the speed to keep up with Ohio State, so while the people in the East may not like it, it may be the best matchup after all. As for Michigan, it gets to play USC, and so now must beat the Trojans and hope for an Ohio State loss to clam that the BCS was a mess to begin with.

Updated: Dec. 4, 2006, 8:00 AM ET
Gators win right to face Buckeyes in BCS title game
Associated Press

Florida beat Michigan on Sunday in the only game that mattered.

The Gators, who lobbied hard for this victory, were picked to play No. 1 Ohio State for college football's national championship, ending any chance for the Wolverines to get the rematch they so desired and thought they deserved.

The Gators had a BCS average of .944, and the Wolverines were just behind at .934. The teams were tied in the computer ratings, but Florida had a 38-point lead in the Harris poll and a 26-point advantage in the coaches' poll.

All these factors were sure to set off renewed calls to scrap the BCS and go to a playoff. Count Florida coach Urban Meyer as supporter of that plan.

"We're beyond the fact of do we need a playoff," he said. "It's now, can we get one."

Of course, Southern California could have made things simpler by beating UCLA on Saturday. Instead, the second-ranked Trojans were upset 13-9, dropping in the standings and clearing the way for Florida (12-1) or Michigan (11-1).

The Gators leapfrogged idle Michigan by winning the Southeastern Conference championship game, 38-28, over Arkansas.

"It's well deserved, and I'm proud of it," Meyer said of the Gators' selection.

The BCS Championship Game is Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz.

Michigan's consolation prize is a Rose Bowl bid to play USC (10-2), a classic Big Ten vs. Pac-10 matchup of teams left to wonder what could have been.

"I don't think they [Florida] would have moved ahead of us if USC would have won the game," said Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.

In other bowls:

• Big 12 champion Oklahoma will meet unbeaten Boise State in the Tostitos Fiesta on Jan. 1.

• Big East champion Louisville will play ACC champion Wake Forest in the FedEx Orange on Jan. 2.

• LSU will take Florida's spot in the Allstate Sugar and play Notre Dame on Jan. 3.

When the Wolverines ended their regular season with a 42-39 loss to the Buckeyes two weeks ago, they talked about getting another swing at their Big Ten rivals.


Teams ranked in BCS Top 2
to lose final regular-season game
Year Team Lost to
2006 No. 2 USC UCLA
2006 No. 2 Michigan No. 1 Ohio State
2003 No. 1 Oklahoma No. 15 Kansas State
2003 No. 2 Ohio State No. 9 Michigan
2001 No. 2 Tennessee LSU
2001 No. 2 Florida No. 6 Tennessee
2001 No. 1 Nebraska No. 15 Colorado
1998 No. 2 UCLA Miami
While Michigan was left to wait and hope, the other contenders still had games to play.

As Florida padded its resume, second-year coach Meyer became very vocal about getting a chance to play Ohio State, especially when it appeared the Gators would be left out.

He called for a playoff and suggested the BCS should be imploded if the SEC champ again was left out of the championship game -- the way undefeated Auburn was in 2004.

In the end, he said he didn't think voicing his opinions about the BCS helped push his team into the title game.

"It's an imperfect system," Meyer said Sunday. "If you want a true national championship, the only way to do it is on the field.

Carr agreed: "I hope one day we have a system where all the issues are decided on the field."

But Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, however, isn't so sure about a playoff system.

"With a 12-game season, it would be next to impossible to have a 16-team playoff," he said Sunday. "We'll continually improve the system. As you look at it over the past few years, it has gotten better and better."

It's always something with the BCS. The system was created to make sure No. 1 and No. 2 played in the final game of the season, but rarely has there been a title game everybody agreed upon. If it's not too many unbeaten teams, which was the case in '04 when USC beat Oklahoma for the title, it's not enough, which has usually been the case. Last year, when USC and Texas were the only undefeateds, was an abberation.

"What we've got is an extremely exciting regular season that the BCS actually enhanced by making so many games important not only in the region that they were played but nationally," said Mike Slive, BCS coordinator and SEC commissioner. "The next part is here we are with many deserving teams.

"We need to continue over the next few years to look at the postseason to make sure it works the way we want it to work."

Slive repeatedly has said he's willing to discuss changes, including the so-called plus-one model, which would have the championship matchup set after the big four bowl games are played.

This year, the BCS worked out for the Gators, who can focus on winning their second national championship. The first came in 1996, when Steve Spurrier's Gators beat Florida State in the Sugar Bowl -- a rematch, coincidentally, of a November regular-season game won by the Seminoles.

Michigan had hoped for a similar scenario, but Carr chose not to publicly pitch for his team.

It's unclear whether that would have helped or whether Meyer swayed some poll voters. Maybe when faced with the possibility of a Michigan-Ohio State rematch, the voters, like Meyer, cringed.

At least one coach, who voted for Michigan, said the possibility of a rematch didn't influence his vote.

"I don't think coaches are, quite frankly, the best people to vote on that poll," said Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, who had Michigan No. 2 and Florida No. 3. "But I take it very seriously. I know it's important, because we're dealing with people's lives."

Tressel decided not to get involved at all. He has a vote in the coaches poll but abstained.

"We felt it was somewhat of a conflict of interest," Tressel said.

Tressel said he didn't feel right putting Ohio State in the middle of the decision of who the Buckeyes are supposed to play for the national title.

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, a member of the coaches' poll, said there was no scenario in which he would choose not to vote. On Tressel's abstention, Carr said: "I thought it was real slick."

Meyer could empathize with Tressel.

"I made a decision a year ago when I was asked to vote, not to vote for this very reason," he said.

Instead of the 104th meeting between the Wolverines and the Buckeyes, Florida and Ohio State will play for the first time ever.

The Buckeyes have won four national titles, including the 2002 title under Tressel. Ohio State upset Miami 31-24 in an overtime classic at the Fiesta Bowl.

Last year, Ohio State beat Notre Dame 34-20 in the Fiesta Bowl, giving the country a taste of what was to come this season.

The Buckeyes have been No. 1 since the preseason. Led by Heisman Trophy front-runner Troy Smith, they've run roughshod over their competition. Only Michigan and Illinois stayed within 17 points of Ohio State.

Senior quarterback Smith capped his season with four touchdown passes against the Wolverines. He finished with 30 TD passes and five interceptions.

Florida, meanwhile, seemed to struggle almost every week. The Gators won at Tennessee by one in September, and none of their last five victories over I-A teams have been by more than 10 points.

The Gators relied on their defense, a unit ranked 10th nationally in yards allowed and sixth in scoring.

Florida's senior quarterback, Chris Leak, entered the season as a Heisman contender but ended up sharing the job with freshman sensation Tim Tebow.

Tebow's tough running has complemented Leak's passing, but unlike the explosive Buckeyes, Florida's offense has had its ups and downs. The Gators' only loss came Oct. 18 at Auburn, a 27-17 setback that was a four-point game until the Tigers scored on the final play.

"They have a great football team," Tressel said. "When you can win the SEC championship, you're a great football team."

The Gators are back in the BCS for the first time since Spurrier left after the 2002 Orange Bowl, but Boise State (12-0), Louisville (11-1) and Wake Forest (11-2) will make their BCS debuts. Oklahoma (10-2) is a BCS veteran, making its fifth appearance since the 2000 season.

Boise State from the Western Athletic Conference is the second team from outside the original six BCS conferences to play in the big-money bowl games. Meyer's Utah team was the first in 2004.

Notre Dame (10-2) is making its second straight BCS appearance under coach Charlie Weis. The Fighting Irish will be trying to snap an eight-game bowl losing streak against LSU (10-2).

The Tigers were set to make their first Rose Bowl presented by Citi appearance, but USC's loss has them playing in their home state. The Sugar Bowl returns to New Orleans this season after being temporarily relocated to Atlanta last season because of Hurricane Katrina.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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ESPN's Pat Forde On BCS Selection Probems - ESPN.com


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ESPN's Forde is totally correct here. The BCS is a mess once again. This time, Michigan's fans get screwed.

Updated: Dec. 4, 2006, 12:36 AM ET
Whining, politics, voting reversals part of BCS system

By Pat Forde
ESPN.com
Archive

The voters have spoken. Between Gator chomps, here's what they said:

Never mind.

Never mind what we did the last couple of weeks, voting Michigan ahead of Florida. We've changed our minds because, hey, we can.

Because the rematch thing suddenly became too real. Because when Urban Meyer politicks, we listen. Because we thought it was time to throw the embittered SEC a bone after stonewalling Auburn's national title bid two years ago.

We thought the Wolverines were better than Florida back in November -- and even though Michigan hasn't played a down of football since Nov. 18, we've decided that we don't think so anymore. We were dazzled by the Gators' work since that date: a seven-point victory over Florida State and a 10-point win over Arkansas. And we decided that Ohio State-Michigan was not in need of a sequel.

That's our story and we're sticking to it. Now if you'll excuse us, we'd like to put our fake nose and glasses back on and return to anonymity. These publicized ballots make us more accountable than we'd prefer. Goodbye.


Biggest BCS Winners

1. Florida. Obviously.

2. The SEC. Having its champion relegated to third wheel in a two-team party for the second time in three years would have been more than the members of the nation's most powerful and passionate league could handle.

3. Boise State. More inclusive rules allowed the Broncos to make their first-ever BCS game and give the WAC its first BCS player.

4. Wake Forest and Louisville. Both earned their first-ever BCS bids, and one of them will walk away from the Orange Bowl with its first-ever BCS bowl victory.

5. Notre Dame. Nice to be coveted by the Sugar Bowl less than a week after being housed by 20 by USC.

6. The Rose Bowl. No, it didn't get the freshness of an LSU invasion, but it got a throwback matchup of Michigan and USC. That will fit with the tradition of the game.

Once again, Florida and the ballot box have made for a wildly controversial combination. Six years ago it was hanging chads. This year the voters are hanging Chad (Henne) out to dry outside the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game.
Some system, huh? You've got to love a sport that reduces its championship to a politicized popularity contest/guessing game.

I really don't have a problem with a Florida-Ohio State title game. In fact, I prefer it to Ohio State-Michigan -- prefer to see a battle of conference champs, and prefer not to put the Buckeyes in double jeopardy against a team they've already beaten.


But I don't like the way it came about.

On Nov. 26, the Wolverines led the Gators by 86 points in the Harris Poll and 30 points in the USA Today poll. By Sunday morning there had been a 154-point reversal in the Harris poll and a 56-point swing in the USA Today poll.

That was shocking. If you were already predisposed to voting Michigan ahead of Florida, I didn't see enough in that game to merit that kind of turnaround. We certainly didn't see anything from Michigan to merit a demotion, given the fact that the Wolverines weren't playing.

Which makes me suspect that habitual slot voters massaged their ballots simply to block a rematch -- something they should have considered the previous two weeks, it seems.

Or perhaps they simply liked the sound of Meyer's insistent voice, as he lobbied like nobody since Mack Brown groveled Texas into the Rose Bowl two years ago. If we've learned one lesson from recent BCS history, it's this: Whiners win. And that will only breed more whining in the future.


Biggest BCS Losers
1. Michigan. Obviously.
2. Rutgers. A single dropped pass in the end zone plummeted the Scarlet Knights from the Orange Bowl to the Texas Bowl, which is on the NFL Network, which is available in approximately 13 households. That's harsh.

3. The Big Ten. Florida's power play prevented Jim Delany's league from having Glendale all to itself.

4. Miami. The Hurricanes get to cap their ugliest season in some time with a trip to balmy Boise to play Nevada, which figures to be approximately 1,000 percent more motivated.

5. LSU fans. Nice to have a virtual home game in New Orleans, but their zest to gobble up Rose Bowl tickets showed how much they were looking forward to their first experience in the Grandaddy of 'Em All.

6. Alabama. Second SEC team in the BCS means the Crimson Tide have to play in the Independence Bowl. I'm guessing coach-less 'Bama would not have minded in the slightest sitting out this postseason.

(Harris Poll voter Jim Walden was apparently so smitten by Meyer's pitch that he became the only voter on the planet to put Florida No. 1, ahead of Ohio State. Walden also voted Oklahoma fourth, Boise State fifth, Wake Forest seventh and LSU 11th. Makes me wonder whether we were watching the same sport all fall.)
Here's something else we learned this weekend: When the going gets tough, voting is optional. Buckeyes boss Jim Tressel flat refused to vote in the final USA Today coaches' poll and got away with it.

Tress was OK with voting every other week of the year. But now it's time to cast the final ballot -- which, coincidentally, will be made public -- he suddenly bails out?

Nice precedent there. How many coaches made a mental note of that maneuver and will try to employ it next year? What if 10 coaches decide that propriety demands an abstention on the critical (and public) final ballot?

Tressel will say he didn't want to influence the outcome of a vote that decided who his team will face for the title. But if he voted in August, September, October and November, he damn well ought to vote in December, too.

Of course, in a rational world the polls would be little more than curiosities, and the championship would be decided on the field. As Meyer himself said on ESPN Sunday night, the voters are "asked to do a job you can't do."

Divining the difference between 11-1 Michigan and 12-1 Florida is truly an impossible task -- though at least the voters were spared from splitting hairs in triplicate when USC spit the bit against UCLA.

The only way to know for sure is, of course, a playoff. But if you call a Division I-A university president today, you'll probably get the following ramble: "academic concerns … length of season … maintain integrity of the regular season … Meineke Car Care … MPC Computers … once-in-a-lifetime experience … this is a recording. …"

"Next year's going to be the same thing," Meyer said Sunday night.

Please, Urban, don't go ruining 2007 already.

Pat Forde is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at ESPN4D@aol.com.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

UCLA's Bruce Davis Tells ESPN's Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit They're Wrong


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This is a video of the now famous rant UCLA's Bruce Davis aimed at ESPN's Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit after UCLA beat USC Saturday:

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UCLA Beats USC: Video Of Celebration After The End Of The Game


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Here's a cool video of the end of the UCLA / USC game, where UCLA upset the heavily-favored Trojans:

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BCS System Upset - UCLA Beats USC - Video Implications For Michigan and Florida


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As I predicted, UCLA did beat USC yesterday and knocked the Trojans out of the running for the BCS title.

Here's one video discussion of the implications of this development on Michigan and Florida:

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cold Pizza on ESPN - BCS Video Review On Monday, November 27, 2006


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Cold Pizza's BCS panel talks about the impact of Notre Dame's loss to USC on the BCS picture.

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Hineygate Post-Game Party - Ohio State Over Michigan 42-39


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This is a brief video of the rockin crowd at Hineygate after Ohio State's win over Michigan.

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UCLA v. USC | Reasons For Cheering For UCLA


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SBX Video's gives reasons to cheer for UCLA over USC:

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Monday, November 20, 2006

BCS Standings - November 19, 2006 - ESPN


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BCS Standings - November 19, 2006
BCS Explanation | About the BCS | Past Winners
WEEK 1 | WEEK 2 | WEEK 3 | WEEK 4 | WEEK 5 | WEEK 6


Harris Poll USA Today Computer Rankings BCS
TEAM RK PTS % RK PTS % A&H RB CM KM JS PW % COMP AVG BCS AVG PRVS
1 Ohio State 1 2850 1.0000 1 1575 1.0000 25 25 25 25 25 25 1.000 1 1.0000 1
2 Michigan 3 2600 .9123 3 1428 .9067 24 24 23 24 24 24 .960 2 .9263 2
3 USC 2 2621 .9196 2 1444 .9168 23 23 24 23 23 23 .920 3 .9188 3
4 Florida 4 2531 .8881 4 1407 .8933 22 22 22 22 19 21 .870 4 .8838 4
5 Notre Dame 5 2347 .8235 6 1285 .8159 19 20 20 20 22 22 .820 5 .8198 5
6 Arkansas 6 2345 .8228 5 1302 .8267 21 16 16 21 21 19 .770 7 .8065 7
7 West Virginia 7 2051 .7196 7 1151 .7308 18 18 19 16 13 18 .700 9 .7168 8
8 Wisconsin 9 1888 .6625 9 1053 .6686 13 21 17 18 20 16 .710 8 .6803 9
9 Louisville 10 1857 .6516 11 944 .5994 20 19 21 19 17 20 .780 6 .6770 10
10 LSU 8 1889 .6628 8 1081 .6863 16 15 13 15 14 14 .580 11 .6431 11
11 Boise State 12 1609 .5646 12 862 .5473 14 14 15 14 18 15 .580 12 .5640 12
12 Auburn 13 1449 .5084 13 825 .5238 15 9 14 17 16 12 .570 13 .5341 14
13 Texas 11 1731 .6074 10 994 .6311 9 11 10 5 6 13 .360 15 .5328 13
14 Rutgers 15 1270 .4456 16 641 .4070 17 13 18 12 12 17 .590 10 .4809 6
15 Oklahoma 14 1404 .4926 14 795 .5048 11 12 8 3 3 5 .270 20 .4225 17
16 Georgia Tech 16 1157 .4060 15 655 .4159 6 10 7 9 9 11 .350 16 .3906 18
17 Virginia Tech 17 1049 .3681 17 561 .3562 8 17 9 10 8 8 .350 17 .3581 21
18 Boston College 18 927 .3253 18 540 .3429 7 6 11 8 7 9 .310 19 .3260 20
19 California 23 512 .1796 22 265 .1683 12 5 12 13 15 10 .470 14 .2726 15
20 Tennessee 19 675 .2368 21 326 .2070 10 7 6 11 10 6 .330 18 .2579 22
21 Wake Forest 20 605 .2123 20 343 .2178 5 8 5 4 0 2 .160 22 .1967 16
22 Nebraska 22 520 .1825 19 353 .2241 3 1 2 0 0 0 .030 NR .1455 23
23 Brigham Young 21 565 .1982 23 256 .1625 1 0 4 0 0 1 .020 NR .1269 25
24 Clemson 24 215 .0754 24 174 .1105 4 0 3 1 2 3 .090 23 .0920 NR
25 Penn State 30 10 .0035 T-31 2 .0013 2 4 0 6 11 7 .190 21 .0649 NR

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Zennie is also a game developer, having started Sports Business Simulations, and created a baseball sim called The Oakland Baseball Simworld and the XFL Simworld.  They grew out of his background and experience in urban planning; as Economic Adviser to the Mayor of Oakland, a time when Zennie also headed an effort to bring the 2005 Super Bowl to Oakland (Jacksonville won). 

With Zennie.tv, and Zennie62Media Zennie has interviewed some of the most popular celebrities and relevant politicians of our day.

Contact him for consulting in social media, as a TV show guest on the social issues of the day, for vlogging, and for game development.



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