Monday, December 11th, 2017

Tostitos BCS National Championship Game

Published on January 9, 2011 by   ·   No Comments

bcs-national-championship-logoThe BCS National Championship Game has been in existence in the current format since the 2006-07 season. The format is that each year the national championship game is going to be hosted in 1 of 4 cities. These four cities are Miami (Orange Bowl), New Orleans (Sugar Bowl), Phoenix (Fiesta Bowl) and Pasadena, California (Rose Bowl).

Not only do the four BCS cities get to hold their traditional BCS game, but also the additional BCS National Championship Game. That means there have been 5 BCS games for the past 5 years. From 1999-2006, the National Championship Game was rotated and played in one of the four BCS games above.
One reason that the system changed was because there was a split national championship in 2003 (LSU and USC) that wasn’t supposed to happen. LSU won the “National Championship” but USC won in more impressive fashion in the Rose Bowl and won the AP’s vote for national champ.

national-championship-trophy

Bowl System History

Before that, things were tricky. It might not be the best system around, but the Bowl Championship Series was created for a reason. Before, there were several split national championship because the Coach’s Poll would determine it’s champion and the Associated Press might determine a different team was better and voted them number 1.

Before that, the Bowl Coalition was launched in 1992 in order to try and fix the arbitrary nature of how the national champ was crowned. It tried to match up the best teams, but the Rose Bowl always featured the Pac-10 vs Big-10 rivalry. This got in the way in 1997 when the best two teams, Michigan and Nebraska, couldn’t face each other in a bowl game and both won to stay undefeated. This caused what was supposed to be the last split national champion.

ncaa-football-championship-history

From early on in college football history until the Bowl Coalition, the national champion was strictly determined by the various polls. The reason that the four current BCS bowl games are what they are is because these were four of the five bowl games (Cotton Bowl) that the winner of the game could be the national champion.

Several important bowl games had been played between the number #1 and #2 ranked teams, especially in the 1980’s (examples – Penn State vs Miami, Alabama vs Penn State, Notre Dame vs Miami). But this was not always the case.

BCS System vs Playoff

Most people think that there should be some sort of playoff system instead of the BCS. If so, no one should think that more than 3 weeks of playoff is necessary. If it gets too long, you are going to be asking too much of the teams that get to the national championship.

If the bowl system was changed in favor of a playoff, I would favor taking the top 8 teams ranked (regardless of conference) in the BCS and matching them up against each other in a three-week mini playoff. If you can’t make the top 8, too bad; that means you probably lost 2 games and you don’t have room to complain.

Of course the other popular option is to go with the commonly referred to “plus one” model that has been often suggested. You can still rotate the National Championship site and just have the top four BCS teams face off against each other in two of the four BCS games. The winners of those games face each other.

You can play all the other bowl games that you want with either system shown above. Then, just give each playoff game its own bowl name. In the 8 team playoff model, the first round can be played at the four BCS cities and take their bowl names. Then just rotate between the cities for the semi-finals and national championship game.

Don’t tell me that you need the conference affiliations with their traditional bowl games because I’ve posted on 34 other bowl games and have told you how often the tie-ins change. Tradition is pretty much out the window once the BCS came along; what would it matter at this point if the Orange Bowl was played in Mid-December as a first-round playoff game. At least you wouldn’t have the college football season extended to January 10.

2011 BCS National Championship Game

ducks-vs-tigersNow that I’m done with my rant I guess I should talk about the game a little bit. The game will start tomorrow night, January 10, at 8:30PM ET. You can watch this game on ESPN and listen to the game on the radio on ESPN Radio. The game will be played in University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.

Both teams come into the game undefeated, but they have taken different paths to get there. Oregon had relatively little competition this year and blew out everyone they played (except for the California Bears cramps game) because of the high-octane 5 second play clock that they work use. They were the only team to beat Stanford and the red-hot duo of Andrew Luck and Jim Harbaugh.

Auburn took the path of greater resistance. The Tigers had to come back in many games this season to stay undefeated. The biggest of these was the 24-3 comeback on the road in the Iron Bowl against their rival Alabama. They are a team transformed since their early season struggles in the first 6 games of the season. And then of course there is the controversy surrounding Cameron Newton.

Previous Bowl Results

Last year, Alabama won the National Championship against Texas. The Longhorns had the misfortune of having their star QB Colt McCoy go out early in the first quarter.

2010-BCS-national-championship

Auburn missed its last bowl game only two seasons ago and have jumped onto the scene this year after narrowly beating Northwestern 38-35 in OT in last year’s Outback Bowl. Auburn has won 6 of their last 7 bowl games.

Oregon has been on the rise since 2007. The Ducks lost last year in the Rose Bowl to the Ohio State Buckeyes 26-17; but they won their previous two bowl matchups and scored more than 40 points in each of them.

BCS National Championship Game Breakdown

RecordsAuburn: 13-0; Oregon: 12-0
All Time Bowl RecordAuburn: 20-13-2; Oregon: 9-14
Key WinsAuburn: South Carolina 35-27, Arkansas 65-43, Alabama 28-27, South Carolina 56-17; Oregon: Stanford 52-31, USC 53-32, Washington 53-16

The SEC is without a doubt the better conference right now. The Pac-10 is top heavy with 2 great teams, then USC and the rest.

Points For/GameAuburn: 42.7; Oregon: 49.3
Points Against/GameAuburn: 24.5; Oregon: 18.4
Offensive Yards/GameAuburn: 497.5; Oregon: 535.5

Both team are very productive on the ground being 4th and 5th in the nation. Oregon is first in scoring and Auburn is right behind them at fourth.

Although the Ducks defense is statistically better than Auburn, I think that the Tigers have played better competition offensively. Neither defense is infallible, though, as they have both given up 30 points or more in several games this year.

Prediction

My gut feeling is to take the Oregon Ducks to win the title. I’m not going to pretend to know the winner at this point after getting so many close bowl games wrong.

The sportsbooks have Auburn listed as a two point favorite and an over/under of 74 points. Unless Oregon doesn’t play its ultra-upbeat tempo on offense, the over should hit. I don’t think either teams defense is going to be well equipped to stop the other teams offense. I’m going to take Oregon to win 43-39.

Highlights from Previous National Championship Games

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