Chat with Brad Edwards
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, resident BCS expert Brad Edwards will drop by to chat about what the latest BCS standings mean to the nation's top teams going forward.
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More Brad Edwards: Chats
The Fiesta Bowl websites says both TCU and BSU will receive a little over 18 Million Dollars to play; however, I know non-AQ teams normally get a lot less than AQ teams. In the unique situation the Fiesta has this year, what are the real payouts?
Brad Edwards (3:11 PM)
The non-AQ setup is different, because all of those conferences pool their money together and share it. The way I understand the payouts, the non-AQ conferences will get roughly $19 million for the first team and about $4.5 million for the second team, which is almost exactly what the SEC and Big Ten get for having two teams in the BCS. The difference is that the approximately $23.5 million will be divided among five conferences, and the MWC and WAC will get a little more than the other leagues for supplying those two teams. What TCU and Boise State ultimately get from that share is up to the conferences themselves, but I'm guessing it will be in the range of $4 million each.
Do you think the Fiesta Bowl made a mistake passing on Iowa? I'm not sure a rematch of the 2008 Pointsettia Bowl sells that many tickets, even with both teams undefeated. Or maybe I'm just a bitter fan who feels cheated that we don't get to see TCU and Boise show their stuff against big name opponents.
Brad Edwards (3:18 PM)
I think most people would rather see each team play an opponent from a major conference, but the dilemma for the Fiesta in this case was that they didn't have a legitimate "David vs. Goliath" type of matchup available, since neither Iowa nor Georgia Tech is really a Goliath of college football. The Fiesta chose to create a match of undefeated teams instead, and while they would have loved to get a 3 vs. 4 matchup of Cincinnati and TCU, all of the bowls were concerned about ticket sales with Cincy along with the possibility that Brian Kelly might be the Notre Dame head coach come game time.
Bill C (NYC)
Brad, Given how where a team starts out the season in the human rankings has such a large impact on those rankings throughout the season lets look at what may be a recurring nightmare for the BCS folks. Boise State currently has only 5 Seniors on their roster (one starter.) If Boise State beats TCU in the Fiesta bowl, where should they be ranked pre season 2010 and what does that likely mean for the BCS busting argument next year (assuming strong teams from TCU, UTAH and BYU)?
Brad Edwards (3:22 PM)
Great question. I was just talking about this yesterday. If Boise State wins, given that almost every impact player is returning next season, the Broncos could very well be a top-10 team to start 2010, which would put them in position to make a legitimate run at the BCS title ... especially with non-conference games against both Virginia Tech and Oregon State. Of course, starting at No. 10 still wouldn't be good enough if two big-name programs that start in the top 5 both go undefeated, which is what happened this season.
David ((Hercules, CA))
When factoring in strength of schedule, how much of a hit it is for BCS to play I-AA teams? Considering SEC teams schedule 1-2 I-AA teams per year, it doesn't seem to effect their SOS too much. TCU's conference is (supposedly) weaker, but doesn't playing UNLV make a big difference over playing Chattanooga?
Brad Edwards (3:26 PM)
Without boring everyone with the details, let me just say that in most computers, playing a good FCS (I-AA) team is better than playing a bad FBS (I-A) team. But playing a bad FCS team will really hurt you.
Spencer F (Columbia, MO)
If Texas would have lost Saturday Night, would TCU have jumped into the Title game
Brad Edwards (3:29 PM)
Yes. I'm assuming the poll margins would've still come out pretty much the same between TCU and Cincinnati, but a Texas loss would've helped TCU in the computers more than Cincy. In my opinion, we were one second or one missed field goal away from having a Mountain West team play in the national title game.
Chris (Hattiesburg, MS)
I feel like the BSU vs. TCU Fiesta is a slap in the face to Non-AQ conference teams. This is based on the opinion that it keeps these teams from playing AQ conference teams and embarrassing the system. How do you feel about this issue?
Brad Edwards (3:32 PM)
I don't think it's a conspiracy to keep the little guys down. I believe the Fiesta just wanted to do something different and match a couple of undefeated teams outside of the national championship game, since there wasn't a traditional power available to create the kind of matchup we all love to watch (like Boise-Oklahoma or Utah-Alabama). I think the game will sell out, by the way. How it rates on TV will ultimately determine whether it was a mistake to put these teams against each other.
Big T (State College, PA)
Would you have rather seen Penn State in the Orange or Fiesta?
Brad Edwards (3:35 PM)
While I will never criticize each bowl's right to make a business decision, I'd always rather see the more deserving teams play in the biggest bowls, and Iowa was more deserving than Penn State this year. I don't think too many Penn State fans would argue that.
If you are the BCS, would you rather endure flack for a BSU-TCU match-up, or endure pressure to completely overhaul your system if TCU or BSU were to win?
Brad Edwards (3:41 PM)
Anyone who thinks the BCS orchestrated this matchup doesn't understand how the process works. This was the Fiesta Bowl's decision, and that bowl has been as big of a supporter of the non-AQ teams as any. Someone mentioned to me today that perhaps it would've done more to encourage change to the system if Texas would've lost and TCU had played for the national title. Maybe then, the power conferences would want to create a plus-one to make it more difficult for that to happen again. I don't buy it, but it's an interesting angle.
Mark (Altanta, GA)
First time the BCS has had the top 10 be the 10 teams in the 5 games (or the top 8 be the 8 teams in the 4 games prior to 2006). Pretty cool, huh?
Brad Edwards (3:44 PM)
One of the biggest sources of frustration among fans is that the "most deserving" teams don't always play in the BCS games. Well, this year, it's hard to argue that they didn't get the 10 most deserving teams. That part is pretty cool.
Am I right that a playoff system doesn't work because there is more of a chance that the best team has an off day and loses?
Brad Edwards (3:48 PM)
Unlike some other sports, I think it's hard to say who the best team really is in football, because so much of it comes down to matchups. If there was an 8-team playoff, I'm not sure there would be many results that could be considered genuine upsets. Look at this year. If we seeded based on the top 8 in the BCS Standings, would Ohio State beating Alabama be a huge upset (well, maybe, since Bama is from the SEC) or would Oregon beating Texas be all that surprising?
I still have not gotten a good explanation as to why Texas is higher in the polls than Cincinnati. Texas' best victory was over Oklahoma State, while Cincinnati had three victories over teams ranked better than Oklahoma State. That just does not make sense to me and it seems like these voters do their voting just based on name alone. Can you provide some sort of explanation?
Brad Edwards (3:53 PM)
Over the course of the history of the polls - certainly over the last 30 to 40 years - you will find very few examples (if any) of a team ranked in the preseason top 3 going undefeated and finishing behind a team that wasn't in the preseason top 20. Texas' starting point was well ahead of Cincy's, and it was pretty much over from the start, as long as Texas went undefeated. That said, do I think Texas could also win at Oregon State and Pitt? Yes. Do I think Texas would beat Cincinnati? Yes, but I do think it's unfair that undefeated teams with two quality road wins like Cincy and TCU both possess can be denied a chance to play for the title on the field. Something needs to change.
Cmon, Fiesta made a BIG mistake not having a BCS team. Don't you think whoever wins will always have to deal with "well, they didn't play a credible team"? Everyone wants to be politically correct here, but that's the truth.
Brad Edwards (3:56 PM)
What is the truth is that if TCU wins the Fiesta, the Mountain West will have the No. 2 team in the final AP poll for the second year in a row. What's also the truth is that 10 years from now, nobody will remember that it happened.
Trent (Dallas, TX)
Brad - let's be honest...isn't it about time to lose the "BCS Buster" name? I mean, TCU, Boise St., Utah, etc. would destroy 70% of BCS conference teams.
Brad Edwards (3:59 PM)
I'm not sure about the second part of it. Boise State didn't destroy Tulsa or Louisiana Tech. But the first part is true. The current system, with the fifth BCS game being added four years ago, is set up to almost guarantee that a non-AQ team gets into a BCS game. Nobody is busting down any barriers to get there.
After watching Texas struggle to beat an average A&M and an average Nebraska team, can you really say that they are better than TCU? You can't, can you?
Brad Edwards (4:03 PM)
I can't. But I can't say for sure that TCU is better than Texas either. I'd love to see them play. What I am pretty sure of is that if you put the A&M offense and Nebraska defense together as one team, they'd put a pretty good beating on the Horns. And they'd probably beat Alabama, too.
Brad Edwards (4:10 PM)
Thanks for the questions all season. Sorry it took so long getting the answers posted today. Had some other things going on at my desk that needed to be addressed. Here's one parting thought: I hear people say that the BCS didn't work because there are deserving undefeated teams that won't get a shot to play for the national title. While that's true, the BCS wasn't created to be a stepping stone to a playoff, and it wasn't created to solve the problem of having several undefeated teams. What it was created to do is exactly what it did this year. It took two teams that were considered the best by the system and placed them against each other in a championship game that wouldn't have taken place prior to the BCS. In the old days, Alabama would've gone to the Sugar Bowl, and Texas would've gone to the Cotton Bowl and had to pray that some lower-ranked team could beat Alabama. I really do feel bad for the other undefeated teams, that they don't get a shot to play for the national title, but at least Alabama has to beat the No. 2 team to be the national champion. That's what the BCS was created to do. Take care, everyone, and Happy Holidays!