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Who doesn't have an opinion about the BCS?

Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Every season, the BCS comes under scrutiny, as the formula for figuring out who plays for the national title reveals its flaws. This year is no different, as the most-recent BCS poll has caused people around the country to throw their arms up in disgust.

This week's rankings are a prime example of why there needs to be a change. Penn State was idle and remained at number three, despite top-ranked Texas losing. Texas Tech, which beat the Longhorns, made a huge jump in the standings, going from number seven to number two, setting up a scenario where Penn State could actually be on the outside looking in on the BCS title game, despite possible going undefeated and winning the Big Ten.

Other moves included Florida jumping from eighth to fifth and Texas falling just three spots to the fourth slot, all at the expense of Oklahoma and USC, which both won their games in impressive fashion. The Sooners fell two spots to number six, while the Trojans did the same, falling from five to seven.

Pete Carroll's squad fell two spots in the BCS ratings despite a 56-0 win this past week.
Prominent coaches around the country have chimed in on the subject, as USC's Pete Carroll, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Penn State's Joe Paterno all have given their thoughts on the controversial subject of late, considering they are the teams most affected by the newest rankings.

Carroll's Trojans won 56-0 this past week, their third shutout in the last four games, but fell two spots in the BCS ratings. Carroll may be at a loss in terms of understanding the system, but by no means was he at a loss for words about the subject itself.

"I don't think there's any explanation for it I can help you with. I don't understand how the thing works. I don't really know," Carroll stated.

"Maybe you guys will answer for it one of these days. Maybe you know and I don't. I'm sure you do. What is the criteria of the process? Is it to pick the team that has the best season, that has the season that you like the most and feel best about voting for? Or is it the best team at the end of the year, the team that would win a playoff system if you did have it?

"I don't really know what the design and the direction of the voting is pointed at. Because I think there's two different things. If you're trying to determine who would win out if you had a playoff system, that would likely be the playoff champion, or is it the team that you think had the most exciting year and you like the way it happened and all?

"I think there's a difference there. I think it's difficult to understand really what is behind everybody's choices. That's why I can't give it any concern because I don't know how it works. I don't know how the computer thing works. I don't get that part of it. I don't know how the computer knows how good another team is. I don't understand that. I don't know how they can evaluate who you're playing and stuff and all that."

The Oklahoma Sooners took care of business against Nebraska this past week, routing the Cornhuskers, 62-28. Stoops wasn't as vociferous in his displeasure with the status quo, but knows how the system works and the fact that it isn't always wins and losses that determine who plays for a national title, but often times how and when you win.

"I think that has been the case for quite a while now," Stoops remarked. "It's the style points of when you're playing, who you're playing and where you're playing. All of that matters. Some people take that into consideration."

One coach never at a loss for words is Paterno, the Hall of Famer who always seems a bit cantankerous when it comes to the BCS. When asked about Texas Tech jumping over his Nittany Lions this week in the BCS rankings, Paterno didn't have much to say on the subject itself.

"We've got to play Iowa," Paterno said flatly. "Iowa is a good football team. In fact, year in and year out, I think Iowa is as well-coached and has as tough kids as anybody that we play against. So, I haven't even thought about the other part of it. I can't do anything about the other part. The only thing my team and I can do anything about is Iowa."

He went on further to add, "I haven't got the slightest idea what the BCS is. Is it the BCS or the BSC? I don't know. They are going to do what they are going to do and it won't make any difference what I say or comment on. I'm telling you what I'm concerned about. I'm concerned about Iowa, period. I mean, you guys ask me 58 questions about something else, but I haven't got any opinion about what's going on. I watched the Texas-Texas Tech game. It was a great football game. It was a great football game and the Texas Tech kids did a great job, and I think they ought to be celebrating down there. Now, how that affects Penn State, you know, we've got to take care of our own (business)."

The BCS can, of course, get bailed out of its current situation, if top-ranked Alabama, Texas Tech or Penn State falter down the stretch, but that won't solve the problem. The system, in and of itself, just doesn't work.

Even President-Elect Barack Obama took time out of his busy schedule to weigh in on the subject, saying this past week that he thinks a playoff system is the way to go.

With the country heading in a new direction, maybe it's time the powers that be in college football follow suit.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Scott Haynes at shaynes@sportsnetwork.com.
Scott Haynes
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