February 6, 2012

You Think The BCS Is Bad? Look At The NFL!

     The National Football League just awarded its championship to a team with a 13-7 record.  Six teams (Packers, Saints, 49ers, Patriots, Steelers, Ravens) finished with a better winning percentage, even when you include their playoff losses.  Over the span of the 20 games they played, the almighty Giants scored 40 more points than their opponents, a stat in which 9 teams fared better over their entire schedule.  Despite their official championship, it's pretty clear that the Giants weren't the best team in the league this year.

     So where's the outrage?  Why aren't people like Woody Paige and Michael Wilbon complaining about the NFL's shamelessly forgiving playoff system?  Every year brings a wave of media people and random fans calling for the end of the BCS.  Yet the BCS has always provided a champion with one of the top 3 records in Division I-A.  I'd rather leave a 3rd place team out of the championship picture than let too many teams have a shot at it.  Winning a title shouldn't be about being above average for 16 games and then great for 4.  It should require high performance throughout the season, and the NFL playoffs need to change to reflect that.


  1. The whole point of a playoff is to bring parity. Everyone loves a Cinderella story and that's exactly what the Giants, and the NFL in general provided. Plus, the best teams ARE given the chance to play in the Super Bowl by playing against lower-seeded teams. The Packers, who went 15-1, lost to the Giants, and had the opportunity, which they wasted. The Patriots had a terrible defense, and didn't play many teams with a winning record anyways, but it doesn't matter. They got hot when they needed to, and that's what makes the NFL playoffs so magical, something numbers cannot predict.

  2. I love watching elaborate playoff systems as much as the next guy. Super Bowl 42 is one of my favorite sports moments ever. I always root for the bad team. But it doesn't really mean as much in a system that practically begs bad teams to win. Playoffs work because they provide a few extra games for all the randomness in the outcomes to sort itself out, but NFL teams are so evenly matched that having 11 playoff games actually messes things up. I don't want to see Cinderella 6-seeds every year; I want them to happen naturally, in a s ystem that's fair for everybody.