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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.

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.

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