Originally Posted by Roy Tucker
It needs to be determined on the playing field.
I know it really doesn't happen anymore, but it comforts me to know that if a George Mason or some other team in a lower-level conference somehow happened to possess the best college basketball team, they can win the NCAA Championship. That can't really happen in football.
The schedule-strength argument is persuasive, but it's also a self-perpetuating closed system. To pick a school at random out of the dozens, let's take Middle Tennessee State. If MTSU somehow came into a team that could spot the New England Patriots points on a neutral field, they still wouldn't get a chance to play for the BCS title game. "They didn't play anybody," the big schools would say. These are the same big schools that would stop returning MTSU's phone calls as soon as they started getting really good, and MTSU can't join their conference at will. So how exactly would MTSU get a big-boy schedule?
Over time, a school can pull itself upwards in the caste system. It just takes pace at glacial speed.