NCCA makes teams run up score

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 27, 1999

I think it’s kind of amusing that the NCAA&160;has its officials penalize players for excessive celebration, yet the same organization encourages teams to run up the score.

That’s the only way I can describe the Bowl Championship Series.

Right now Florida State has a lock on first place as it should with the Seminoles unbeaten.

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Virginia Tech is holding onto second place over Nebraska.

Florida State was off this weekend, while Virginia Tech and Nebraska jumped out ahead of their opponents Friday, knowing they had to have impressive outings.

The Hokies ended up defeating Boston College 38-14.

Nebraska beat Colorado 33-30 in overtime, not the kind of outing the Cornhuskers needed. Winning the game isn’t good enough.

The Cornhuskers will face Texas Saturday in the Big 12 championship game and need at least a three-touchdown win for any hope of leap-frogging the Hokies.

If the matchup between Florida State and Virginia Tech holds — the final Bowl Championship Series standings are released Dec. 5 — it will mark the first national title showdown between perfect teams ranked 1-2 since 1995, when Nebraska beat Florida in the ’96 Fiesta Bowl.

The Hokies have definitely not played the schedule of a Florida, Alabama, Tennessee or Florida State. It is easier to get up for three or four games during the year and then putting it on cruise control against somebody like James Madison or Pittsburgh.

Then again, when Nebraska played for the national championship under Bob Devaney years ago, the Cornhuskers had to usually get fired up to play Oklahoma and sometimes Colorado, and otherwise they schedule was a breeze.

In Virginia Tech’s defense, Alabama-Birmingham may have seemed like a gimmee when the Hokies opened up against them, but they have certainly proved to be tougher than expected.

It will be interesting to see what Nebraska’s overtime game will do in the BCS.

Entering the Thanksgiving weekend, Virginia Tech led Nebraska by .63 points in the BCS standings. The margin is sure to increase on Monday because Tech beat a Top 25 team by 24 points, and the Huskers beat an unranked team by three points in OT. In the world of the BCS, margin of victory counts, meaning the results will affect both team’s strength of schedule and might influence computer ratings.

One way teams can bolster their computer numbers is through margin of victory. So the teams could be helped by running up the score.

How is that for sportsmanship?

The BCS standings are based on several factors, including computer ratings and strength of schedule. Florida State-Virginia Tech can’t officially be sealed until the final numbers are in and BCS coordinator Roy Kramer announces the results next Sunday about 3 p.m.

My perfect scenario is for Nebraska to wipe out Texas and move ahead of the Hokies.

That would put Nebraska against Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.

Virginia Tech would then likely play Tennessee.

Now, Nebraska upsets Florida State in the NCAA-proclaimed national championship game.

But Virginia Tech beats Tennesee by 10 or more to finish unbeaten.

Throw in Wisconsin and Florida winning to really make it interesting.

What a way to start a new century. Then again, the bowl system has long been outdated.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at