Justice, Alabama, and the BCS: Part 1

Written December 6th, 2011 by Eric

Objectivity, Balance, and Power. Two of these are not possessed by the BCS.

This is the first of a two part article on this year’s BCS problems.

When you think of justice it obviously brings to mind the concepts of the court of law, lady justice, and a jury of your peers. Rarely do people consider justice in college football. They may use words like “fair” and “just” or their antonyms freely, but never in any rigorous context.

What the last 48 hours should have demonstrated to college football fans is that the current bowl system is inherently unjust – meant in the strictest philosophical sense.

What is the definition of justice? Dictionary.com suggests (irritatingly as the fifth definition) “the administering of deserved punishment and reward”. This gets at the very heart of the matter.

The BCS as a system was designed to solve the age old problem of determining who is the college football national champion in any given year. Where in previous years the AP and Coaches polls – and a laundry list of other polls before that – occasionally chose different teams, the BCS was supposed to be the unifying consensus. That, of course, went out the window in early 2004 when the AP poll decided to vote USC #1 over LSU, the team that won the national championship game that year.

But the ludicrousness of the BCS doesn’t even begin there. It begins with the very concept of using a poll to determine anything of importance at all.

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