There always seems to be controversy surrounding the BCS Championship Game, even though it tends to work out perfectly in most seasons. On the eve of another college football “Game of the Century”, media and fans are already talking about a possible rematch of Alabama and LSU. Some will argue that you should have to win your conference to play in the national title tilt, while others will say that they just want to see the country’s two best teams play in the final game. Florida and Florida State had a unique title rematch 1996, but that was pre-BCS and the Sunshine rivals are not in the same league. There was a huge uproar in 2001 when Nebraska played in the title game after not winning its own division of the Big 12. There was some talk of a rematch between Ohio State and Michigan in 2006, but the BCS got it right in inviting Florida over Michigan. It will be interesting to how the college football season and postseason plays out after the LSU and Alabama game.
Should two teams from the same conference be allowed to meet in the BCS Championship Game?
Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
Most definitely. The BCS is designed to pair the two best teams in the nation in the national championship game. If the two best teams — as determined by the BCS formula — are in the same league (or even the same division) then those two teams should play for the title, even if they have already met in the regular season. Should LSU (assuming it loses this weekend) be penalized because it plays in the same division as the No. 1 team, Alabama? Why should a one-loss LSU team, with that loss coming on the road to the No. 1 team in the nation, be excluded from playing for the national title if it has a better resume than a (hypothetical) one-loss Oklahoma State or (hypothetical) one-loss Stanford team? I understand the argument that a team should have to win its conference title to play for a national championship. I just don't agree with it. It's not the case in any other sport. Why should it be the case in college football?
The formula for determining the national title game participants in the Bowl Championship Series should be allowed to run its natural course — at least as long as the BCS system is able to fight off the angry mob calling for a college football playoff format. If two teams from the same conference end up as Nos. 1 and 2 in the final poll, so be it. There should be no rule preventing Alabama and LSU from playing each other again in a rematch, should the dominoes fall their way. The goal of the BCS is to pit the top two teams against each other every season. Plus, let's face it, conference expansion and the BCS are on a collision course; if they continue down this path, teams from the same conference will inevitably be paired in the national title game. But depending on who you ask, the odds of Alabama and LSU facing each other in a rematch would increase exponentially if a playoff were to be installed. Alabama and LSU are clearly the top two teams in the country — the real national championship kicks off in Tuscaloosa on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
Most media and fans are too busy griping about the BCS to realize its job is to put the two best teams in the country into the Championship Game. If the two best teams are from the same league, then I have no problem with a rematch. We’ll have to see how the LSU-Alabama game plays out, but it is possible that the loser of that contest could very well end up second-best in the country. If Stanford or Oklahoma State (or even Boise State?) finish undefeated, then it’s probably a moot point. But if it comes down to a one-loss contest for a championship spot between the Tigers/Tide loser, Cardinal, Cowboys, Oklahoma Sooners, Oregon Ducks or Nebraska Cornhuskers, then the SEC West team may have the best resume. Before criticizing the BCS, let the season play out. There are always tons of arguments in late October/early November that work themselves out within three or four weeks. In the meantime, enjoy a great SEC battle on Saturday night.
Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden)
Under the current BCS system - one that the anti-playoff proponents are so happy with - the only allowable answer is absolutely not. I philosophically cannot allow a team that does not even win its own league to play in a one-game National Championship situation. In any given year, there are roughly half a dozen teams at the end of the season that appear to be capable of competing in a national title game. Should all of those "competitors" be allowed to face one another in a true postseason, then I have no issue with two teams from the same league playing in the title game. For example, if Oklahoma, LSU, Nebraska and Clemson each finish with one loss while Alabama, Stanford and Boise State are unbeaten, we can all hypothesize about who and what we think would be the appropriate national title game. But they are, by definition, just guesses since none of them have actually played each other. In fact, in that scenario, the only thing we would actually know is that Alabama was better than LSU. So if LSU and Alabama both were to win two or three playoff games to face each other again in the title game, I would totally support a rematch. But under the current system, there is no way to definitively say which two teams are the best.