The 2011 College Football BCS Controversey – Much Ado About Nothing

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The BCS debate rages on

This season’s conference championship week is causing experts and fans alike to speculate about how this weekend’s games could change the face of college football. With the exception of the LSU fan base, college football fans everywhere are pulling for the Georgia Bulldogs to be giant killers when they face the mighty LSU Tigers Saturday afternoon.

The Bowl Championship Series is facing another round of what-if scenarios, and many college football followers are hoping that this is the year that the BCS wall begins to come tumbling down. While theoretical situations often make for a fun debate history has shown that very little is going to change in the whacky world of the BCS, regardless of who wins and loses on Saturday.

Big Red Goes Down

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Nebraska still played for the national title

2011 marks the ten year anniversary of former Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch winning the Heisman trophy. In 2001, Crouch led the undefeated and #1 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers into the Big 12 Championship Game to face off with the #14 Colorado Buffaloes. Colorado had two loses coming into the match-up, the first coming in week one against a non conference opponent. The Buffaloes were led by their star tailback Chris Brown, and they were determined to take down unbeaten Nebraska. Brown ran for six touchdowns in the game as Colorado stunned the Cornhuskers in a 62-36 upset. The Buffaloes were the Big 12 Champions in 2001.

As for Nebraska, they were left to wonder what hit them as their undefeated dream season was seemingly turned into a nightmare after the Blackshirts gave up 62 points in the conference championship. However, Big 12 runner-up Nebraska still played for the national championship because they only had one loss, and the BCS considered them to be the second best team in the country. The Cornhuskers would go on to lose in the national championship game to the Miami Hurricanes by a final score of 37-14.

History Repeats
The exact same scenario happened to another Big 12 team in 2003. The Oklahoma Sooners were ranked #1 and undefeated going into the Big 12 Title Game. The Sooners were being hailed as one of the best teams ever in college football history. (Sound familiar?)

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That's why they play the game.

Oklahoma got a reality check from the number 13 Kansas State Wildcats who came into the contest as a huge underdog. Darren Sproles and K-State lowered the boom on the Sooners in a 35-7 win. Oklahoma was still considered to be the second best team in the country, and they went on to get decimated by the USC Trojans 55-19 in the most lopsided title game in BCS history.

In a perfect world, a playoff system would be the satisfying conclusion that college football fanatcs have been asking for. However, since 1998, the Bowl Championship Series debate has become the centerpiece of big time college football. That fact will not change until at least 2013, when the television rights to the BCS National Championship game are up for grabs again. Rumors of the demise of the BCS have been greatly exaggerated. If the Tigers go undefeated and cap off their season with a national championship the argument for the Bowl Championship Series will be stronger than ever.