Originally Posted by IslandRed
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.
I understand the George Mason argument in basketball but I think comparing hoops and football is apples and oranges. The odds of a George Mason winning it in hoops may be a million to one, but the odds of them winning it in football would be infinity-1 to one (if they even have a program). Let's not forget that basketball has more programs.
One more thing. These football games ARE settled on the field. That's what makes college football great and why every week is special. It's an ongoing playoff. Granted , you could say that in football only a 65 (BCS schools) of the 119 have a shot at the title, but that's what it is. If a program can evolve and make their way out of 1-AA and into a BCS conference after payinng their dues in the Sun Belt, WAC, or independent (see: UConn) then they have a better shot. And it's not out of the realm of possibility that one of those other 54 non-BCS conference schools has a shot. Boise State last year proved they could get close. The onus is on them, since they are not in a BCS conference, to schedule tougher games pre-conference. If Middle Tennessee State has their goal set on a NC, they need to schedule USC, OSU, Oklahoma, and other power BCS schools and beat them and then run away with their conference. I guarantee you if MTSU beat those schools and then went 8-0 in their conference, they would have a shot.
Getting back to the hoops argument, if we are going to argue that everyone should have a chance then maybe we should lobby for Findlay and Otterbein to have a chance to be a Cinderella in hoops (look what Findlay did to my Bucks last night - Ouch!), but we don't. Basketball has it's rules splitting up divisions and football does too. There just happens to be 300+ schools with a shot at winning it all in hoops and 65+ in football. But let's be honest, George Mason made it to the Final Four, but were still a longshot to win it all. And they were an 11-seed. So, realistically, there are only 40 or so programs of the 300 in hoops that legitimately have a shot. The same goes for football.