Colt McCoy: BCS roadkill

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 14, 2008



What's a guy gotta do to get a drink around here?
 
It's a constant lament of the CHFF crew, as we're often forced to wait endlessly at the bar while hot girls in tight skirts and low-cut blouses get served drinks long before we do.
 
It's also gotta be the lament of Texas quarterback and Heisman trophy runner-up Colt McCoy this year.
 
The Longhorns junior did virtually everything right in 2008: he led Texas in passing. He led Texas in rushing. He led Texas to an 11-1 record. He led Texas to a first-place tie in the tough Big 12 South. He led Texas to a 45-35 win over Oklahoma this year in their annual neutral-site battle at the Cotton Bowl.
 
Yet if not for 13/1,000th of a point on a system nobody can explain, nobody can justify and nobody can defend with a straight face, McCoy might be hitting the talk-show circuit today with his 25-pound trophy in tow while prepping for his showdown with Florida in the national title game on January 8.
 
Instead, it's Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford who won the Heisman and Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford will lead his team against Florida in the national title game on January 8 ... even though McCoy beat Bradford earlier this year. The Longhorns, meanwhile, battle Ohio State on January 5 in the consolation game called the Fiesta Bowl.
 
Bradford is certainly a deserving Heisman winner. Don't say we're saying otherwise.
 
He led the nation with 48 TD passes and a 186.3 passer rating (the NCAA uses a different formula than the NFL, one that creates bigger numbers for college QBs), and he led the Sooners to a NCAA-record 702 points this year.
 
We're not here today to criticize his selection as Heisman winner. In fact, the beauty of this year's Heisman race was that you could make a legitimate argument for all three finalists (Bradford, McCoy and Florida QB Tim Tebow). We would have accepted any one of them winning the award.
 
But Bradford's selection was buoyed by the archaic Bowl Championship Series that's a national joke. In fact, if you want a few laughs today, go to the BCS homepage, which offers up comical headlines such as "BCS has a strong lobby"; "BCS better than playoff" and "BCS system best for college football."
 
The truth, though, is that the BCS is not very good for anybody. In fact, almost every year it proves really bad for somebody, unnecessarily victimizing at least one team year after year after year – and 2008 was no exception.
 
This year, McCoy is the poster child of the stupidity of the BCS.
 
McCoy and the Longhorns should be duking it out in an eight-team playoff right now. Instead, he didn't even get a shot at his own conference title game this year – forced to watch it from home despite the fact that he beat BOTH teams that played for the Big 12 championship (Oklahoma and Missouri) by a combined 35 points.
 
And he missed out on that opportunity to play in the Big 12 championship game by the No. 5 tie-breaker in the conference rules: BCS standings.
 
Oklahoma was a micro-fraction ahead of Texas in the BCS standings – 0.935 for the Sooners and 0.922 for the Longhorns.
 
In other words, a difference 0.013 points – literally a micro-fraction – propelled Oklahoma into the Big 12 title game ahead of Texas, a team that beat the Sooners head-to-head on a neutral field back in October.
 
The Sooners – and Bradford – went on to a big 62-21 win over a out-manned 9-3 Missouri team in the conference championship. Bradford passed for 384 yards and 2 TDs to help spark the victory in front of a live national prime-time audience.
 
There's little doubt Texas would have won big, too. After all, the Longhorns had already whacked Missouri, 56-21, back in October, when the Tigers were still unbeaten, and just a week after the Longhorns had stuffed the undefeated Sooners, 45-35.
 
And with that second win of  the year over Missouri, Texas probably would have generated the points in the BCS system it needed to play for the national title – and McCoy, who truly had a great season, might have got the extra votes needed from a big primetime performance to push him over the top in one of the tightest Heisman races on record.
 
Instead, he got neither a shot at the conference title nor a shot at the national title. And he certainly doesn't have the Heisman this morning. Those 13/1,000th of a point on a system nobody can defend probaby made all the difference in the world.
 
Big-time college football has always been a little archaic. To its fans, that's actually one of the sport's charms.
 
But the creation of the BCS failed miserably to correct the problems it was created to solve. In fact, it's even worse than the old system of conference bowl tie-ins and at-large teams. At least that old system didn't purport to crown a legitimate national champion.
 
But the BCS does purport to crown a single champion, and every year it fails. So not only is it no better than the old system, it's clearly more hypocritical. We still have split national champions and we still have teams wondering why they didn't get a shot at No. 1. The system literally fails year after year.
 
And this year it failed the Longhorns and Colt McCoy more than anybody ... except maybe football fans.

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