One more year has passed, and one more season provides us with the BCS deciding college football’s championship fate. Another year, and once again the masses will be told we’re all wrong and that the computers and voters for the system are somehow right. It’s gotten so old that I’m not even sure it’s a question of right or wrong anymore. No, this has become a question on the credibility of those that run the sport.
This weekend’s football will have seemingly no bearing on the national championship picture. We're now likely all exposed to the fact that, no matter what, LSU and Alabama will face off in a rematch from earlier this season; a national championship will be on the line this time. I’m not opposed to a rematch. I’m sure it will be a good game. What I am opposed to is the idiocy that we’ve been told all year every game matters. That’s been the slogan, and yet it’s one that the BCS will once again go against in order to satisfy the money grab that goes with the system.
If the supposed goal of the BCS is to find the best team in college football, then the system is doing the exact opposite of what it should be. Maybe LSU and Alabama really are the best two teams in college football, but the last time I checked, LSU already beat Alabama at Alabama’s place. Maybe the BCS should change its slogan to, “Every game matters… unless you’re the SEC.”
The SEC is likely far and above the best conference in college football. Regardless of that fact, it doesn’t mean that the two best teams in all of college football reside in the SEC. We’ve been force-fed the idea that the collective efforts of teams such as Stanford, Oklahoma State, and until yesterday Houston have no meaning. Besides LSU, Houston was the only unbeaten team left, a moot point now that Houston was taken down by Southern Mississippi. Don’t misconstrue what I’m saying. I don’t actually think Houston was even a top-five team this year. With that said, football is a game that is based on matchups. Somehow, we were supposed to say that Houston is an inferior team to everyone else yet turn around and declare that LSU and Alabama should play one another again even though that matchup was decided in the most important fashion – on the field.
The only thing the SEC championship game has determined is how much BCS money the SEC will receive. A Georgia victory would likely haev given them a spot in a BCS bowl game. Let’s assume for a moment that somehow, a Georgia victory against LSU were to knock LSU out of the top two in the BCS rankings. I don’t think it would happen, but imagine the repercussions. LSU would have played in a conference championship game while Alabama sat at home. Alabama would then go on to play for a national championship over LSU, with the same number of losses as LSU (one), and with that loss having come at home against LSU. Alabama could conceivably win a bet in which it never even had to place any cash on the table to make. They’d have no risk, yet the potential for the entire reward. Yeah, that’s how flawed this system really is.
It’s become an old and tiresome argument, yet it’s one I find myself making every single year. The only people happy are those who have a rooting interest in one of the teams voted into the game, those who run the system, and in this case, supporters of the SEC. How ironic that the SEC supporters who groaned at the prospect of a Big Ten rematch between Ohio State and Michigan are now the same people pining for a rematch between LSU and Alabama. I’m not even sure ironic is a proper word for the situation; hypocritical comes to mind. After all, the BCS turns every last one of us into a hypocrite at some point in time.
The team that has been playing the best football of late, USC, is banned from playing in conference championship or bowl games for NCAA violations by Reggie Bush dating back more than half a decade. Bush is long gone, the punishments hurt him none. Even in giving up his Heisman, we all remember who won the award. Does the fact that Bush took “improper” benefits change that he was voted as the best college football player in 2005? I think not.
While the NCAA is busy policing student-athletes to the fullest extent, it allows a flawed system to determine football’s supposed champion, all in the name of money. A tiresome argument indeed – and yet each year brings a new set of circumstance for us to scratch our heads and wonder, “Why can’t we have a playoff again?” The sad truth is that it may never happen. We might have a better chance of walking on Mars before we see a legitimate champion in college football.