BCS system not good thing for football

Michael Casagrande

Growing up a University of Louisville fan, last week’s announcement of the Cards’ new conference affiliation called for a celebration.

Now, after allowing the jubilation to subside, my good conscience has returned, and I had a revelation.

Starting in 2005-2006, the Cards will turn themselves over to the pigskin pimps of the Bowl Championship Series.

The move to the Big East is not totally wrong. With current Conference USA ties, the Cards begin each season with almost no hope of playing for a national championship, even if they manage to go undefeated.

Just ask fellow Conference USA member Tulane. In 1998, the Green Wave finished 12-0. After being bypassed by the BCS, Tulane settled for a New Year’s Eve date with Brigham Young University in frosty Memphis at the dreary Liberty Bowl.

The problem may lie not in the new conference, but in the BCS system itself.

If you do not belong to one of the chosen few conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big-12, Pac-10 or SEC) you would be hard pressed to get an equal opportunity for the NCAA title.

No, I will not stoop so low as referring to the BCS as the “Bull Crap System,” but the now-cliched acronym speaks the truth.

The Division I-A football system of crowning a national champion is unlike that of any of the other NCAA-sanctioned sports.

It is time the BCS fat cats take a look at how the little guys in Division I-AA do things.

At the conclusion of the regular season, 16 teams are chosen and thrown into a bracket. Sound familiar, hoop fans?

The I-AA playoffs bring the Cinderella stories of March Madness to the pre-Christmas Saturdays normally reserved for wall-to-wall shopping.

The 2002 Toppers would be exhibit A in my case to overthrow the BCS.

Western entered the playoffs as the No. 15 seed with three losses a year ago. Still, Western won games on the road against the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds before ambushing McNeese State in the national championship game.

All the willpower I could muster was not enough to keep “One Shining Moment” from creeping into my subconscious when Jack Harbaugh won his first national title in his last game.

All right, that may be stretching it a bit.

The BCS has no potential for a team to go on a winning streak after losing a few early season games.

BCS proponents claim the elimination of the traditional bowl games would put a damper on the tradition that defines college football.

And the tens of millions of dollars the BCS members share from the television contract have nothing to do with it.

If it was about tradition, the BCS would never have eliminated the traditional Big Ten/Pac-10 match-up in the “Granddaddy of them all” Rose Bowl.

In the end, Division I-A football will continue to drown in the BCS and a handful of dot-com bowls. The tradition of BCS money -grubbing will prevent the Cards from becoming what perceived little brother Western Kentucky became last December: a champion.

Michael Casagrande is a sophomore print journalism major from Louisville.

The opinions expressed in this commentary do not reflect the views of the Herald, Western or its administration.