Make It So!!!

By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: November 14, 2008

Bowl Championship Series CALIFORNIA — Two weeks ago, President-Elect Barack Obama stated on ESPN that he wasvery frustrated and tired of the Bowl Championship Series, the computer rankings of our American College football teams.

This astute Senator stated that it was time for an eight team playoff.

As the fictional Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship USS Enterprise would command his fellow officers. “MAKE IT SO”!

Picard’s orders were carried out to the fullest extent according to each officer’s capacity. The question is? Will the NCAA follow the newly elected President-Elect from Illinois request?

Baseball is currently experiencing the effects of the voice from the White House. In one of his State of the Union addresses, President George W. Bush made it clear that Major League Baseball needed to attend to the issue of steroids. The occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue threw down the gauntlet and Major League Baseball responded.

Two years later, MLB instituted an intensive and comprehensive drug program.

Baseball started weeding out the guilty parties. One wonders if anything would have taken place if President George W. Bush had not commented on professional baseball dilemma that cold January night.

It has been three years since the BCS committee added a spot for an at large position for smaller Mid-Major schools. This was done only after a small group of non-BCS schools threaten to leave the NCAA if nothing was resolved.

It is still not enough

Time has come to disband, demolish, destroy, and dismantle the BCS, mainly because the committee has consistently distorted the truth about winning the Division One Championship.

Winning should be the end result of excellent playing on the field, not conspired in the newsroom, the coaches offices, or on the computer. Why play a whole season if a machine going to determine the final results?

This hair-brained idea was conceived 20 years ago. This brainchild emerged after undefeated and untied Brigham Young University won the national title in the middle to late 70′s.

Some sports writers and sports enthusiasts commented that the Cougars had an easy schedule and did not deserve the title.

Teams in the big conferences started complaining. The adverse result was the big conferences gained control of the future BCS standings. Consequently Mid-Major schools have not won the national title since BYU’s victory.

The NCAA’s new hair-brained scam is a combination of a writer’s poll, a coach’s poll, and a new computer poll, thus the creation of the new BCS poll. This program is not working and never will because Division One schools and Mid-Major schools should play in separate championship bowl games.

At the turn of the 21st century, the computer poll gained more power over the coach’s poll and the writer’s poll. This was a big mistake because a machine does not factor in the human emotional elements.

This year another disaster is brewing and proves that the NCAA needs a playoff. The computer does not make mistakes. Oh, really?

Explain the two position drop in the BCS polls of USC and Oklahoma three weeks ago after the Trojans and Sooners demolished their opponents?

Currently Football Division One-A is the only college championship division decided without a playoff. Every college sport program in America has a playoff except Division One Football. The question is why?


The various sports networks are once again trying to sell this year’s product. It is difficult to buy because of this murky system. Especially when this system does not include all colleges and universities.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) are excluded while Mid-Majors in the west like Utah, BYU, San Jose State, Fresno State, Hawaii and Boise State and Boston College, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, and Rutgers in the east are seldom invited.

Until this is done, the BCS is perceived as a sham and a farce.

However the BCS in the last three years has made exceptions to this rule inviting Rutgers in the East, Hawaii and Boise State in the West, again this is still not enough.


How can a Division One team with a single lost be ranked 8th or 9th and not participate in the Championship game?

It could happen to Southern California this year. The Trojans could be bitten again by the BCS, if USC runs the table beating Cal, Notre Dame, and UCLA. They’ll be 11-1 and not play in the Championship game.

USC has a formidable schedule this year.

This year undefeated and united Boise State and Utah are currently ranked 7th and 9th in the BCS pools while undefeated and untied Ball State is ranked 14th. These three schools are Mid-Majors and only onewill get a bowl bid.

Is this fair or just?

The BCS uses the power ratings of each schools schedule then calculates the standings. How can a Mid-Major school ever be ranked higher than a Division One school when D-1 schools will not play Mid-Majors schools.

What an endless cycle.

Just ask the Wolverine football players at the University of Michigan how they felt after the Mid-Major Appalachian State beat them in Ann Arbor two years ago.

Michigan will never play Appalachian State again.

In 1975, Oklahoma State University beat my school Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. OSU scored 50 points by halftime. The Salukis never played the Cowboys again.

So this is why Mid-Majors and Division One schools do not play each other the results could be devastating to their football programs.

In 2003, the BCS denied USC a chance to play the championship game with the same record as Oklahoma and LSU. The following year undefeated and untied Auburn lost the chance to play as undefeated USC played undefeated Oklahoma for the championship.

This is why the BCS needs a playoff system. These incidents will continue to happen year after year if it is not corrected.

It is apparent the BCS selection committee also ignores (HBCU’s) Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Black League champions from (MEAC) Mid Eastern Athletic Conference, (SIAC) Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, (CIAA) Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and (SWAC) South West Athletic Conference have never played in a (BCS) Bowl game.

The undefeated Morgan State Bears of the 1970′s, the undefeated Howard Bison of the 1980′s, and the undefeated Hampton Pirates of the 1990′s never received a call from the BCS.

This year’s undefeated 10-0 Tuskegee Golden Tigers football team would give many BCS teams, “a run for their money”.

There will be 34 bowl games this year. That means 68 teams will play from December 20th until January 8th. The season is not over so this mistake could be rectified.


How difficult is it to schedule playoffs in Division One? Division 1-AA, now called Sub-Division, has been doing just that for over 20 years and nobody has complained.

Many Division One conferences and universities do not want this playoff because they fear that it will reduce their conference monies from bowl games.

Division One Universities and colleges can no longer use the excuse of final exams conflicting with a scholar-athlete education. Most schools are on winter break during these holiday bowl games.

The last two years it was 50 + days between the end of the regular college season and the championship game.

As they say in the NBA playoffs each spring, “win or go home”. Wake up, NCAA!!! This is another call for the BCS playoffs. Sports fans have lost tremendous interest in college football because of this 20-year conflict and the lack of Division One Football playoffs.

It’s imperative that this be resolved. Maybe that ESPN election eve interview with President Elect Obama will catapulted this progress. The BCS has three choices

1) create a bowl series for all Mid-Majors

2) include all universities and colleges in the current BCS

3) disband the BCS

Remember what Captain Jean-Luc Picard would say