The Big Lead has posted additional statistical analysis backing the claim that the Bowl Championship Series is falling far short of its stated goal "to match the two top-rated teams in a national championship game and to create exciting and competitive matchups between eight other highly regarded teams in four other games."
Max Wasserman, a student at Cornell, compared the margin of victory of every Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange bowls from the past 30 seasons, the last 10 of which have been under the BCS system. Outside of the Fiesta Bowl, the average margin of victory has increased by at least two points in the 10 years under the BCS.
Crappy games equal crappy TV ratings. No wonder there was a sharp decline in viewership of four of the five Bowl Championship Series games this past season.
The Rose Bowl had a 32-point margin of victory and saw a ratings drop of 20%. The Sugar, with a 31-point spread, dropped 25%. The BCS title game (spread of 14) dropped 17% and the Fiesta (20-point margin) dropped 8%. Only the Orange Bowl, a competitive game with a three-point spread, saw an increase in its rating at 6%.
Wasserman also compared the average margin of victory in the 10 BCS title games to the average from the past 30 I-AA title games. The BCS games averaged 14.5 points and the I-AA games 12.87.
Wasserman writes: "Just goes to show that if you want the best chance of having the truly best teams play for the championship, have a playoff. It’s better for everyone and everything. Except the Rose Bowl."
Thanks to Image of Sport.