VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Fitting ending in cards for final BCS

The Bowl Championship Series is in its death throes, and few are mourning its passing.

Advertisement
Come next season, the path to the national championship will go through two playoff games, and a blue ribbon panel will pick the lucky participants. It's hardly a perfect system because invariably some worthy school will get left out, but it is a major step toward deciding the title mostly on the field instead of inside somebody's basement computer.

But while the BCS is going down, it may not be going quietly. With a group of undefeated teams jockeying for position, the 16th and last year of the bowl series may be the most controversial of all.

That's not good news for the schools that could be left out. But it could be poetic justice for a system that, while much maligned, seems to have done its job in protecting the college football franchise.

You may not like it, but you will watch. Especially this season when there are four unbeaten teams that can legitimately claim their right to a spot in the title game, and a fifth that comes awfully close.

Leaving a Boise State or Texas Christian out of the equation in other years was easy enough because of their size and schedule. But can a case really be made for Oregon or Florida State to be on the outside looking in this season? How about Ohio State, where Urban Meyer is deep into his second season and still hasn't lost a game?

And don't forget Baylor, which posts a lot of crazy numbers but none crazier than this: The Bears are outscoring opponents by an average of 48 points a game.

All very possible in a season where winning out only guarantees a spot in the title game for the two-time defending champions from Alabama.

''Our goal is to win the national championship, but we don't put that down,'' Meyer said this week. ''There's too many variables involved.''

Meyer's team will have to have a few of those variables break its way for Ohio State to move up from its current No. 4 spot in the BCS standings and make the Jan. 6 title game at the Rose Bowl. The same goes for Baylor, which is No. 6 but is just entering the tough part of its schedule.

Imagine, though, the outcry if Florida State runs the table and doesn't make the title game. The Seminoles are currently No. 2 in the BCS, but if Oregon beats Stanford this week the Ducks will almost surely reclaim the second spot they have held most of the season.

''We're just going to keep playing well and let people judge,'' Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. ''This is a heck of a football team here.''

That the BCS is inherently flawed is no secret. The combination of polls and computer rankings to determine the best teams in the country is nonsensical in so many ways that even those involved have trouble explaining how it operates. It had to be replaced not just because no one liked it, but because it had no credibility.

It seems only fitting that in its final season it has the potential to cause even more heartburn than usual.

Much could still change, of course, and make the BCS title game picks more clear-cut. That happened last year in the next-to-last weekend of the regular season when both Oregon and Kansas State fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, clearing a path for once-beaten Alabama to meet Notre Dame in the title game.

It might not take long to begin sorting things out for this season's title game. In what has to be the best Thursday night of college football ever, Oregon plays BCS No. 5 Stanford and Baylor (BCS No. 6) takes on Oklahoma (BCS No. 10). That's followed on Saturday with everyone's No. 1 Alabama playing at home against LSU, the No. 13 team in the BCS rankings.

Still, there's a very real possibility that the season will end with more than one unbeaten team for the first time since 2010. If it ends up with more than two, it will be a lot harder justifying how to keep those teams out than it was then brushing aside TCU in favor of Auburn and Oregon.

Fans will be howling, though it could still lead to some intriguing games. Imagine the traditional Rose Bowl conference pairing on New Year's Day between Oregon and Ohio State, followed five days later by Alabama and Florida State on the same field.

Could happen, with the winners then playing for the real national title.

Oh, wait. That's not until next season.

----

Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
DiNitto: Opening Line Report - Week 9
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 8
Dobish: Betting Recap - Week 8
News: Heisman Odds - Week 9
UCF staying focused, not looking ahead
Meyer seeking revenge against PSU
For Ok. State, defense never rests
Iowa State finally returns to Top 25
Florida looks for season-saving win
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA FB Hot Streaks
7-2 Saturday, 34-12 L6 Sat, +1,590
4-2 Sat, 11-4 L15, 64% +1,440 TY
17-5 L22 Guaranteed Plays
4-2 Saturday, 10-2 Win Streak
7-3 Saturday, 5-2 L7 Totals
11-3 L14 Picks, 7-2 L9 Guarantees
4 Wins in a Row, 7-3 G-Plays TY
16-6 L22 Picks, 23-9 L6 Saturdays
10-3 L6 Sat, 24-10 Run, 69% TY
10-2 L12 G-Plays, 10-5 L15 Picks
5-2 Saturday, 4-1 L5 Over/Unders
10-4 L14 Picks, 15-5 L4 Saturdays
7-3 G-Plays, 13-8 L2 Sat., +920 TY
6-1 Last 7 CFB Guarantees
14-7 L21 Selections, 3-1 G-Plays
2-0 Thursday, 6-2 G-Play Run
7-2 L9 Totals, 6-3 L9 Guarantees
5-2 L2 Saturdays, 9-4 L13 Picks
NCAA FB College Football Expert Picks
2017 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Vince Akins + 1590
Brian Edwards + 1440
Scott Pritchard + 1143
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 1439
Alex Smart + 670
KellyInVegas + 600
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 69 %
Vince Akins 64 %
Brian Edwards 64 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1133
Scott Pritchard + 518
Micah Roberts + 418
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Pritchard + 598
Pat Hawkins + 360
Brian Edwards + 250
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Marc Lawrence + 790
Mark Franco + 700
Joe Williams + 695
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership