Iowa State makes the Case for A BCS Playoff

A well deserved field storming
An emotional day for Oklahoma State ends in an upset on the gridiron. As a result, chaos is on the BCS horizon. You have LSU, who is the clear #1, and then Alabama, Oregon, and Oklahoma State all at one loss. Two of the teams (Oregon and Alabama) have lost to LSU, and (thanks to the Cowboys loss) still have a chance at the National Championship Game. Oklahoma St. appears to be out of the NCG picture. And, heaven forbid, if LSU was to lose at some point during the season? You leave the undefeated Huston Cougars as the only team without a loss in the FBS. In other words, the BCS’s worst nightmare. 

 The BCS is one of the most mocked organizations on the face of the earth. When CONGRESS is threatening to investigate you, you know thingsare bad. Hawaii, Boise State and TCU have all had undefeated regular seasons in the past few years. All of these teams have been robbed of a shot of the Crystal Ball Trophy. Hawaii was thrown up against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl following their undefeated regular season, they got crushed 41-10. Boise State has had two undefeated seasons, and got jobbed each time. Both times they got pushed into the Fiesta Bowl, the first time they upset the Oklahoma Sooners in 2007. In 2010, they faced (also) undefeated TCU, Boise State won that game as well. 
Outside of the 2009 regular season, and the 2010 Bowl Season, there have been Automatic Qualifier conference (conferences that are GUARENTEED a BCS Bowl bid) that have been snubbed when it comes to the national title game. The time is here, the time is now. Division 1a football needs a playoff, even if it’s just the top eight teams in the country. The problem, if you understand how the BCS works, in determining the top eight teams in the county is the weight that the computers place on the coach’s poll. 
The Coaches of college football have an incredible amount of sway over who competes for the BCS National Championship, and no I am not talking about how their teams compete on the field. In the preseason, the coaches fill out a poll. The Preseason poll (and the coach’s polls throughout the season) carries a lot of weight in the computers that help determine the BCS rankings. In the end all be all of college football, helps determine who plays in the NCG. Coaches are human and they have their biases. SEC coaches are more likely to vote for SEC teams than a MAC coach is. While a Pac-12 coach is more likely to vote for a Pac-12 team.
Want to fix the BCS? Take the coach’s poll out of the equation, and add a top eight playoff. You can still keep the bowls for those who don’t make it into the playoffs. The bowls and conferences can retain traditional tie-ins, and you determine a true national champion. That is what the BCS should be about. The BCS should not be stroking the SEC’s ego. 

A Moment that Transcends Sports

Rest In Peace

                Oklahoma State Woman’s Basketball woke-up this morning to tragic news. Their head coach, Kurt Budke, and one of their assistant coaches, Miranda Serna, had died in a plane crash. Only a couple of days after the Cowgirls had opened their season with a 96-60 win over Rice. Assistant Coach Jim Little will be taking over for Budke, as the interim head coach. I wish him, and the Cowgirls, the best of luck in overcoming this horrid tragedy. Their Saturday game versus Grambling State and their Sunday game versus Texas-Arlington have been canceled.
                For the Oklahoma State men’s and woman’s basketball, this is (unfortunately) not a new thing. In 2001 a Beechcraft King Air 200 carrying two men’s basketball players, four team officials, a radio play-by-play announcer, a radio engineer, the pilot and copilot crashed just outside of Boulder, Colorado. The NTSB cited mass power failure and pilot disorientation in that crash. After the 2001 crash Oklahoma State required that any aircraft carrying student-athletes undergo a careful inspection before each flight. However, that requirement did not extend to coaches or members of the Athletic Department. The aircraft involved in this morning’s crash was a single engine Piper PA-28 built in 1964. 
                Coach Budke arrived in Stillwater Oklahoma seven years ago. He brought a young and promising assistant coach with him, her name was Miranda Serna.  The Cowgirl team that he inherited was a total mess.  The Cowgirls finished winless in the Big-12 in Budke’s first season. Six years later, the Cowgirls were wrapping up the first top-ten finish in program history. 
Also aboard the aircraft were the pilot former Oklahoma State Senator Olin Branstetter and his wife Paula. My thoughts go out to their families.

An Open Letter to Larry Scott

Dear Mr. Scott,
I first off would like to thank you for rescuing the Pac-10 from the clutches of Tom Hansen. I would also like to thank you for expanding the conference (if not for adding Colorado my Cougs would be the worst team in the conference yet again), and that mega-awesome TV deal you signed. That being said I have a bone to pick with the Pac-12. It’s a problem that has been aroundthe entire 18 years I have been alive. It’s a problem that you yourselfadmitted needed to be fixed. That problem is the officiating.

Casey Locker has become a popular target for Pac-12 refs these days. Having been flagged for three unnecessary roughness penalties on hits that are like the one pictured above and even better? The one hit he should have been flagged on he wasn’t (this is the hit he delivered on a Stanford wide out Owusu during the homecoming game). About those three hits that Locker delivered that WERE flagged; 1) He lead with his hands and not his helmet, 2) he hit the wide receiver in the chest/shoulder pad area, 3) they all resulted in incomplete passes and an after the play penalty that cost that ended up in a first down for the opposing team.  
Locker is not the only Pac-12 player to be flagged for clean hits. Multiple times I have gone over highlight reels and watched as safeties laid good and CLEAN hits on wide receivers who have planted their feet and a flag is thrown for unnecessary roughness. I understand the need to protect the players and I would be fine with these penalties if they were called consistently throughout the conference. They are not; in those same reels I notice wide outs getting destroyed and no flags being thrown. If you want to protect the players, calling penalties consistently will help. Another thing to consider when trying to protect the players is that, this is football. Big hits are a part of the game, the players know this, the fans know this, and the officials SHOULD know this. When the wide receiver plants his feet and begins to run up-field he is fair game. That’s how I remember football being played, that’s how I believe football SHOULD be played (obviously leading with your helmet is a no-no). 
With that being said, I beg of you Mr. Scott. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE continue to make improvements to Pac-12 officiating. It is (and always has been) atrocious. You, and the conference, can do better. 
Sincerely,
 
Neil Vincent Roberts