Do the BCS rankings always put the best two teams in the national championship game?
I agree with the statement, because that is how a ranking system works. The teams are ranked on many different levels of performance, and the the two best rankings are put together. I feel this debate more comes from sore losers complaining that their team was not put into the championship, and thought the ranking was rigged.
The BCS rankings are an effective method of putting the two best teams in the national championship game. The rankings ensure that all of the qualities of both teams are weighed in order to ensure that the two teams are the best, and that the game will be an interesting one.
The American Football Coaches Association is contractually bound to vote the winner of this game as the BCS National Champion, which guarantees that team at least a share of the national championship.
In the history of the BCS championship game, half the time the number two ranked has defeated the number one ranked team. If the rankings are wrong 50% of the time between number 1 and number 2, then most likely the number 3 team could have beaten the number 2 team, 50% of the time. How can anyone objectively say that the BCS always puts the best two teams in the national championship game. The BCS? Does the stand for Beauty Contest Subjectivity. My book, "It's Possible!" explains how college football can have a national championship without the subjectivity of rankings.
There have been many years when many have been completely disgusted with at least one of the teams chosen to play in the championship game. BCS rankings are, at the best of times, seemingly arbitrary and sometimes seem to be completely biased. I think there should be some standards implemented to actually find the best teams to play in the championship game.
The number of losses in a BCS rating is important. At the end of each week when the totals are counted a point is added for each loss. Which is fair during the regular season, but during the championship games towards the end of the season is not fair. Just like this week with Georgia. Being ranked second in the SEC they played Bama for SEC title, but the game resulted in them losing and now they are ranked below florida for whom they beat weeks before. And now they are not high in the rankings from the championship play off game, resulting them to be in a lower bowl game than they should be.
I mean, if a smaller school is undefeated, that doesn't mean they are the best, but sometimes they are. The question said always, and always usually never happens. They should take the whole BCS rankings out and do a playoff system like the NFL. In NCAAB, there is a playoff/tournament. In the NBA, there are series playoffs. The bowl games are way different than NFL type of playoff setting. But no, the BCS have messed up on who is the best team and if the BCS is still there, it will mess up more.
The BCS system is based on a complex, poorly understood algorithm that ranks teams based on their performance during the year. However, this system often biases against certain programs. For example, a school from a smaller conference has a harder time making it to the national championship game because they are more likely to play weaker opponents during the year. Often schools in major conferences will refuse to play small conference powers (e.g. Boise State), making it impossible for these schools to face the opponents they need to prove their mettle. A playoff system would allow schools from smaller conferences to demonstrate definitively whether they are the best in the country.
Recent BCS history as shown, such as the 2007 Fiesta Bowl with the University of Oklahoma and Boise State University. Undefeated Boise State was left out of the BCS Title game in favor of a one-loss team (Florida Gators). Boise State finished the season as the only undefeated team in the entire country, yet they never had an opportunity to win the championship. This also happened in the 2002 Rose Bowl game, where the BCS placed the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the BCS Title game even though they had lost to Colorado. Both teams finished with one loss, and Colorado won their division over Nebraska, yet Nebraska was still put in the BCS title game over the Colorado Buffaloes.
The BCS allows teams in less competitive conferences (ex. Boise State) a better chance of getting to the big bowl games. Teams in competitive conferences like the SEC or Big 10 have a harder time making it through the season unscathed. In the end, we often get some undefeated, but unqualified team in a big bowl game against a much stronger opponent. Strength of schedule and strength of conference should have greater weight.
First, it highly favors schools from the BCS conferences like the Big 12, ACC, SEC, Big 10, PAC 10, and Big East. Because of this, teams from the "mid majors" are at a severe disadvantage. For a mid major team to make it to the championship game, there would have to be no other BCS school with one or fewer loses. A better system would include a playoff. In this case both BCS and non-BCS schools would be able to compete head to head (like in basketball) and the two best teams would meet in the championship game.
Just look at what happened to teams like Boise State and TCU. Just because they were not in a major BCS conference, and thus their schedule was not as tough as the BCS conference teams' were, they weren't allowed in. This is despite the fact that both of those teams proved they could beat some of the top teams, and at least easily hold their own against them.
It is really a shame but the BCS rating system is more about money and power now then it is football. Since many teams are not considered "rank able" or BCS teams then those teams find it very hard to compete for the national championship. If an non bcs team is to go undefeated throughout the year that does not necessarily mean they will be ranked. The BCS has other factors besides just wins. Strength of schedule and coaches voting have quite a bit to do with it too. These are variables that are opinion based and not statistical based. It has been an issue in the past for schools that are not as "desirable" to not make it into the rankings even with an undefeated season.
"Best" is a matter of opinion, and it can vary from person to person. Some people believe teams with the highest number of games won are the best; others believe that it should be decided by the highest scores achieved, the largest margin of victory, and so on. Given these factors, it's meaningless to say that the best teams are always on top since opinions will always differ.
Last year's BCS rankings had errors. The Western Illinois-Appalachian State BCS playoff game was missing in some of the data, so the 10/11 and 17/18 rankings were wrong. Luckily, it wasn't a top listing. For the Big East issue, they end up with an ACC schedule, where they win all the games. Then polling time comes around, and they get rated higher because they look undefeated. Last year's Sugar Bowl paired #5 Florida and #3 Cincinnati. Florida lost one game to #2 Alabama, and was the stronger team. Cincinnati only had one strong win, outside of its conference, early in the season, against Oregon State.
The BCS rankings have to follow some kind of an odd formula when they choose the two teams that will be playing at the national championship game. I am not even sure exactly how it works, but it is a decision that has to be made based on what division the teams are in, and not because they are the best teams.
I believe that the rankings are the best possible system, but there is no way to truly quantify "best". The rankings determine who has had the best season or who was best on a series of particular nights. However, every system is flawed. I believe that factoring more data or having more games would provide a better representation of the overall quality of the team.