Oh yeah, the BCS works brilliantly.
With losses by the top two ranked teams on college football’s final Saturday, No. 3 Ohio State found itself backing into the national title game to face … well, somebody.
The system is so flawed it’s not even worth going through it. Everybody who knows anything about college football knows that the reasons for not having a playoff system — too many games, bowl system, academic priorities — are transparent and ludicrous.
Ohio State played the BCS for what it’s worth. The Buckeyes found the biggest loophole. Since the Big Ten (and the Pac 10, for that matter) doesn’t have a league championship game, a team like the Buckeyes can schedule a terrible nonconference slate — Akron, etc. — dominate an overrated league and get in with some help here and there.
But who to face the Bucks? It had to be LSU, which, despite two losses, had both of them come in overtime and won the best league in the country. It was the only logical choice — if logic even exists in this crazy season.
You couldn’t have had Georgia, though the Bulldogs were ranked fourth, ahead of LSU, in the penultimate BCS poll and may be the hottest team in the country, because the Dawgs didn’t even win their league title. Heck, Georgia didn’t even play for the SEC championship. That was Tennessee.
You couldn’t have had one-loss Kansas for the same reason. Virginia Tech was blown away by LSU earlier this season. Oklahoma has lost twice and came into Saturday night ranked ninth. Southern Cal lost as 40-point favorites to Stanford. Even with a backup quarterback, the Trojans should’ve beaten the Cardinal.
It’s a mess, and the arguments will dominate the airwaves for the next six weeks.
In the end, Ohio State and LSU will play for what will be billed as a national championship game. But in a season in which 13 top 5 teams lost to unranked opponents, there’s no telling which team is really the best in all the land.
And guess what? Nothing’s going to change as a result of the confusion. There’s too much money involved in the current system, and the BCS contracts are rock solid through 2011.
And one more thing. Parity in college football had been coming for a while. Now it’s here. This may be considered a wild season today, but with limits on scholarships, it could reflect some new norms a few years from now.
Welcome to college football, the only high-profile sport that crowns mythical champions.