Harris Poll Flub Increases BCS Skepticism
No matter what college football team someone follows, it’s likely that they have a bit of a bone to pick with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) selection system. Get ready to hear even more grumblings when a Harris Poll voter predicted that Penn State would face Alabama in the national championship.
That would be great – if the voter actually knew the Nittany Lions’ record.
I asked Harris poll voter Pat Quinn, the former Oklahoma State University sports information director, how he would vote OU and Texas if the Sooners won Saturday night.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Quinn said. “Doesn’t really matter. I think Alabama and Penn State will probably play for the national championship. They’re the only undefeated teams, aren’t they,” Quinn said.
Because the NCAA does not formally recognize a national champion for Division I football and there is no playoff system, the BCS – an assortment of polls and computer-calculated rankings – acts as a surrogate for selection.
Though the Harris Poll counts for one third of the BCS rankings, Quinn is merely one of 114 voters for the survey. But the fact that this “expert” was unaware of Penn State’s loss to Iowa in November is certainly troubling.
While some may stumble across the headline “Penn State to play for BCS Title” (as I did), and be wholly disappointed, they can take solace that, despite the faults of the selection system, Penn State has at least a guaranteed berth to the Rose Bowl.