Bowl Championship Series chaos is before us with four 8-0 teams at the top of the latest standings, and college football is barreling toward the most controversial ending sinceOh, now I remember, last year.This week last year, LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Stanford stood 8-0, but the final decision came down to separating one-loss teams, the Crimson Tide and Cowboys, for the right to face undefeated LSU in the BCS National Championship Game.In the end, Alabamas regular-season loss to the Tigers was deemed stronger than Oklahoma States at Iowa State.This seasons sorting process would be more complicated if the four leaders Alabama, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oregon finish undefeated.But plenty of signs point that not happening, starting with history.Only once in the last decade has an undefeated team from a major conference not played for the national championship, and to this day fans of the 2004 Auburn Tigers cuss their fate. Not a season passes without the coach of that team, Tommy Tuberville of Texas Tech, getting asked about it, and the subject came up against this week.Also, the odds of the top four teams going 18-0 to finish the season, with Alabama and Oregon winning conference championship games, are 1 in 82 (1.22 percent), according to Paul Bessire, the Ohio-based authority of mathematically modeling and analyzing sports.Bessire simulates every game 50,000 times, feeding information into his Predictalator to reach his conclusions. He gives Alabama a 54.7 percent chance of remaining undefeated through the regular season. Others: Notre Dame at 39.8 percent, Kansas State 27.7 percent and Oregon 20.2 percent.Also, through eight weeks, Bessire has created a round-robin of the undefeated teams, including Ohio State and Louisville. But just using the four at the top, if they held their own four team tournament, the Predictalor has Bama going 3-0, Kansas State 2-1, Oregon 1-2 and Notre Dame 0-3. He also has K-State beating Florida State, Florida, Georgia and LSU based on his input. His website, predictionmachine.com is loaded with fun stuff.Not to Bessires extent, but college football has tried to become analytical in determining the national title game matchup. The BCS was created for that purpose, using computer rankings and balloting. It may not satisfy all fan bases in all years like Oklahoma States last season but it has been an earnest effort to get the ending right.The college football championship evolution continues after the 2014 regular season with a four-team playoff that likely will be based on a committee vote.It is the human element that has largely created the chaos and confusion in the BCS, and two-thirds of the way through this season the controversies are being anticipated. Like • Voters will be moved by the ghosts of Knute Rockne, the Gipper and the Four Horsemen and lift the Irish over Kansas State and Oregon in the final BCS standings if all are undefeated.Look, I love a good ghost story as much as the next guy, but the time for Notre Dame to make its big move in the polls came last week with the resounding victory at Oklahoma. The Irish improved in the Harris and USA Today coaches polls, from fifth to fourth. The Wildcats moved from fourth to third and the Ducks held firm at second.Thats two-thirds of the BCS component, and thats where the spirits can move things. It didnt happen last week, and with a remaining schedule that includes Pittsburgh, Boston College and Wake Forest (combined 10-14) before a finale against Southern California, its tough to see how the Irish can move past the other defeated teams with stronger finishing tasks.• Lets anticipate the top four running the table and start the clock on the four-team playoff two years ahead of schedule. Match Kansas State-Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl, Alabama-Notre Dame in the Sugar and have the winners face off in Miami a BCS title game to be played a couple of days later than scheduled. The BCS, after years of wearing mud, would be covered in glory for its flex scheduling.BCS executive director Bill Hancock smiled through his email response to this suggestion.Part of the fun of college football is speculating about such things, Hancock said before explaining how problematic it would be to alter the postseason course so late in the game with schedules for fan travel, television and stadiums locked in, not to mention contracts with the other bowls that might be losing a potential attractive matchup to accommodate a last-minute request.Besides, what are the odds of all four teams finishing undefeated anyway?About 1.2 percent by one analysts count.
Posted on Thu, Nov. 01, 2012 06:55 PMShare Email Print Order Reprints
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