Additional BCS games gives small conferences a shot

Updated: August 9, 2006, 11:42 AM ET
By Brad Edwards | Special to ESPN.com
It took eight years, but the Bowl Championship Series finally delivered the kind of season its creators had dreamed about.

Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden
Allen Kee/WireImage.com The BCS system may have its faults, but who can argue with last year's Paterno-Bowden matchup?
USC and Texas left no debate about who should play in the national championship game; Joe Paterno against Bobby Bowden and Ohio State versus Notre Dame provided two more made-for-TV matchups; and even the relocation of the Sugar Bowl to Atlanta (because of Hurricane Katrina) didn't pose a problem for ticket sales, thanks to the fans of Georgia and West Virginia. From bowl directors to advertisers to TV execs, everyone associated with the BCS was a winner last January.

But that might be as good as it ever gets. Starting this season, a fifth BCS game will be added to make the system more accessible to teams from the smaller Division I-A conferences -- a move that likely will dilute the overall quality of the BCS field. This almost guarantees that one major bowl game will feature a team ranked outside of the top 10, and the odds are in favor of there being a second.

• Analyzes college football and the CFB Playoff as part of ESPN's Stats & Information Group
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