Guess Who Likes the Ridiculous BCS Formula?
|January 18, 2012||Posted by JoshR under Geo-Analysis|
When it comes to the Bowl Championship Series, SportsNation seems to be of one mind. They don’t like it . This is a sentiment echoed widely across the country. There have been , there have been , and there’s even an academic literature on it .
It seems that a four-team playoff is the most likely replacement for the current system. But while such a playoff seems like the likely solution, the country is divided as to how the teams ought to be chosen. The two options on the table are a college basketball-style panel of judges, or a BCS-style formula that spits out the top ranked teams. The poll above shows that thirty-eight states across the country – a vast majority – support a human committee picking the top teams. But the eleven states that don’t (West Virginia is split 50-50), fit a very noticeable pattern.
All but three of the states are home to teams that are currently in the Southeastern Conference, the most dominant conference in college football. The BCS Champion has been from the SEC for the past six years , and this year two SEC teams faced off in the BCS Championship, with Alabama emerging victorious ( and few actually watching) . Clearly, the SEC and its fans see things as working well as they are.
Across the country, SportsNation chose a human committee over a BCS formula, 52%-48%. But the states with SEC teams went for a BCS formula, 61%-39%. These states know a good thing when they see one, and they have no interest in changing the status quo.
But what about the three states that favored the BCS formula yet don’t have teams in the SEC? The first two, Texas and Oklahoma, border the boundaries of the SEC, and presumably have a fair bit of spillover. In fact, with Texas A&M joining the SEC in July 2012 , Texas will join the southeastern monolith.
The third, Delaware, is a bit of a mystery. There are two possibilities. The first is that Delaware’s sample size of 95 was so small that even just a few passionate voters threw the vote the BCS’s way. The second is that Delaware is one of the nine states without a team in the FBS, and far and away the most southern of those nine. As such, they may have latched on to the winningest conference in recent memory, supporting the retention of the BCS formula alongside its more southern brethren. My guess is that it’s somewhere in between the two. Regardless, the eleven states that support retaining a BCS-style selection process find themselves in the minority, but they have their reasons.