FSU-Auburn title game will put BCS to rest for good - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

FSU-Auburn title game will put BCS to rest for good

Posted: Updated:

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — There will be a funeral amid the celebration after the BCS championship game on Monday night.

No. 1 Florida State or No. 2 Auburn will be the last team to hoist the $30,000 Waterford crystal football that goes to college football's champion and has become emblematic of the Bowl Championship Series. Then the BCS will be buried in the Rose Bowl after 16 years of revolutionizing the sport — and frustrating so many of its fans and participants.

"We wouldn't have a playoff if we didn't have the BCS," BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Saturday during media day for the championship game.

In the end, the BCS turned out to be not a destination for college football's postseason but part of its evolution.

Even one of its harshest critics concedes it did some good.

"It's better than what we had, but it should have lasted four years not 16," said Yahoo! Sports writer Dan Wetzel, who wrote the book "Death to the BCS."

The idea for the BCS came from former Southeastern Conference Commissioner Roy Kramer. The story goes that he jotted it down on a napkin. The goal was to take a bowl system that rarely matched the top two teams after the season and give it a structure that would produce 1 vs. 2 every season.

Before the BCS, there were 11 bowl games in college football history that matched the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in The Associated Press college football poll.

The BCS produced three such matchups in the first six seasons, and there was even a split championship in 2003, when Southern California finished No. 1 in the AP poll but didn't reach the BCS title game. LSU won that. Clearly that wasn't what the conference commissioners who ran the system had in mind. So they tinkered, often.

"I think some of the criticism came because of the tweaks early on that were made," Hancock said.

The LSU/USC controversy was followed a season later when the BCS' simple, fatal flaw was exposed. What happens when there are three worthy teams for a game built for two? Undefeated Auburn was the odd team out among perfect USC and Oklahoma. At that point many fans were in revolt and the BCS became an easy target for its detractors.

"It became cool to criticize it — which is unfortunate," Hancock said.

Maybe so, but it's not as if it was all unfair. And it was hard to buy some of the reasons commissioners such as Jim Delany of the Big Ten and Mike Slive of the Southeastern Conference were pushing to explain why a playoff just wasn't possible.

They cited the academic calendar, the charity work the bowls did, the soundness of the formula used to pick the teams, the negative ramifications a playoff would have on the regular season and scheduling, Wetzel said.

"They used so many excuses that were demonstrably untrue," he said. "It drove fans crazy because fans were not as dumb as the BCS wanted them do be."

Slive, motivated by what happened to Auburn, proposed a "plus-one" in 2008, which would have changed the BCS to a four-team playoff. It was shot down, but it was the beginning of the end.

Wetzel's book came out in 2010 and it challenged everything about the BCS from how it picked the teams to where the money went.

"Very few people understood the whole system," he said.

More and more the questioning of the BCS was coming from people who were ostensibly a part of the system.

"That's when I knew the thing was doomed," Wetzel said.

With momentum building for change, the last crack that made the BCS crumble came after the 2012 season, when the national championship game matched two SEC teams: Alabama vs. LSU in New Orleans.

The commissioners met a day after the game and started constructing a four-team playoff.

Hancock said the leap from the old bowl system to the BCS was far greater and more difficult than the move from BCS to playoff.

"The culture was already there," he said.

And now that the BCS is about to be laid to rest, as with any funeral, the last word should be something nice about the departed.

"Although it was heavily criticized and misunderstood," said Hancock, "the BCS did everything it was intended to do and then some."

___

Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP

  • UAB SportsMore>>

  • UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:12:02 GMT
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
  • UAB grants Chad Frazier release from scholarship

    UAB grants Chad Frazier release from scholarship

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:58:33 GMT
    UAB has granted All-Conference USA point guard Chad Frazier a release from his scholarship.More >>
    UAB has granted All-Conference USA point guard Chad Frazier a release from his scholarship.More >>
  • Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:58:02 GMT
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.More >>
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Birmingham police investigating shooting, one person injured

    Birmingham police investigating shooting, one person injured

    Thursday, August 21 2014 2:16 AM EDT2014-08-21 06:16:17 GMT
    Birmingham police are investigating a shooting in the Tom Brown Village.More >>
    Birmingham police are investigating a shooting in the Tom Brown Village.More >>
  • Jefferson County deputies hold bone marrow drive to help one of their own

    Jefferson County deputies hold bone marrow drive to help one of their own

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:03 AM EDT2014-08-21 04:03:36 GMT
    The Jefferson County's Sheriff's Office is seeking help for one of its own.  More >>
    The Jefferson County's Sheriff's Office is seeking help for one of its own.  More >>
  • TechBits: tech news (08.20.14)

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-08-21 02:30:56 GMT
    Microsoft may rename Internet Explorer. In a recent Reddit chat, Microsoft engineers say they've been in talks about revamping some of the company's products. They say it would be a way to shed old negative images of some of its software.Linux is trying to drive into the automotive technology market. At a recent automotive Linux conference, there were discussions of building a core system car companies could tailor to their own needs. It would go up against proprietary systems by companies li...More >>
    Microsoft may rename Internet Explorer. In a recent Reddit chat, Microsoft engineers say they've been in talks about revamping some of the company's products. They say it would be a way to shed old negative images of some of its software.Linux is trying to drive into the automotive technology market. At a recent automotive Linux conference, there were discussions of building a core system car companies could tailor to their own needs. It would go up against proprietary systems by companies li...More >>
  • WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:37 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:37:12 GMT
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
  • WATCH: Auburn's Gus Malzahn takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    WATCH: Auburn's Gus Malzahn takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:24 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:24:27 GMT
    Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Wednesday then called out PGA Tour pro Jason Dufner, who happens to be a huge Tigers football fan, and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.More >>
    Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Wednesday then called out PGA Tour pro Jason Dufner, who happens to be a huge Tigers football fan, and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
    More >>
  • EXCLUSIVE: Birmingham Mayor William Bell addresses criticism of international travel

    EXCLUSIVE: Birmingham Mayor William Bell addresses criticism of international travel

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:59 PM EDT2014-08-21 00:59:15 GMT
    For the first time in an exclusive interview with ABC 33/40, Birmingham Mayor William Bell addressed public criticism of his frequent international trips.More >>
    For the first time in an exclusive interview with ABC 33/40, Birmingham Mayor William Bell addressed public criticism of his frequent international trips.More >>
  • Birmingham Mayor confident in DNC pitch, admits hurdles

    Birmingham Mayor confident in DNC pitch, admits hurdles

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:22 PM EDT2014-08-20 23:22:25 GMT
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell is more confident than ever in the city's chances of landing the 2016 Democratic National Convention.In an interview with ABC 33/40 Wednesday, Bell said it's a matter of proving the city can handle the large-scale event. Some critics argue other cities vying for the convention have more viable transportation and venue options."We still have a lot of heavy competition in terms of Philadelphia and New York. We lack in some areas that is of interest to the DNC such ...More >>
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell is more confident than ever in the city's chances of landing the 2016 Democratic National Convention.In an interview with ABC 33/40 Wednesday, Bell said it's a matter of proving the city can handle the large-scale event. Some critics argue other cities vying for the convention have more viable transportation and venue options."We still have a lot of heavy competition in terms of Philadelphia and New York. We lack in some areas that is of interest to the DNC such ...More >>
  • Picture emerges of police officer in Ferguson shooting

    Picture emerges of police officer in Ferguson shooting

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:46 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:46:00 GMT
    A white police officer whose shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old ignited racial upheaval in a St. Louis suburb has been characterized as either an aggressor whose deadly gunfire constituted a daylight execution or a law enforcer wrongly maligned for just doing his job.More >>
    A white police officer whose shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old ignited racial upheaval in a St. Louis suburb has been characterized as either an aggressor whose deadly gunfire constituted a daylight execution or a law enforcer wrongly maligned for just doing his job.
    More >>