The final BCS standings were released last night and it will be a rematch in the BCS National Championship Game as #1 LSU plays #2 Alabama. #3 Oklahoma State fell just short in the final tally and now has to settle for a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. All around the country, college football fans are either happy the system selected two best teams... or infuriated with rage that the sport gave us a national championship rematch. And really, no matter whether you're in the pro-rematch or anti-rematch camp, the fact that there even is a debate about who belongs in the title game is the inherent failing of the BCS and the greatest insult to people who give a damn about college football.
I'm going to warn you now, I detest the BCS more than anything else in sports. Craig James might as well be Gandhi in comparison. The corruption, the inequality, the greed... everything about this putrid system is the antithesis to what sports should be about. I'll gladly listen to Pam Ward and Matt Millen announce every single game for the rest of time if it means we can get a real I-A playoff. The whole mystique around the BCS and college football is the regular season actually meaning something. You've heard it before from proponents of the current B*S system (henceforth, I refuse to dignify it with a "C" for the word "championship"). The regular season is the playoff. EVERY GAME COUNTS! Hell, that's even the official Twitter handle of the B*S. You can tweet them at @EveryGameCounts and ask them why that first Alabama/LSU game doesn't actually count.
It shouldn't be news to anyone that the B*S is a broken system. It is a pure cash grab by the major conferences, bowl games, and everyone involved in college football. There are no real excuses why there shouldn't be a playoff. Division I-AA has a playoff. Division II has a playoff. Division III has a playoff. In fact, Division III has a 32 team tournament. 32 teams! And we can't even get 8 in a I-A playoff?!? You don't think those kids from UW-Whitewater and Mount Union and Wabash don't have academics to deal with? They are the ones that actually have to work a 9-5 job and need those degrees coming out of college.
Come to think of it, most every sport known to humankind decides their champion through action that takes place in the theater of competition. Not by general banter. Not by computers. Not by ESPN analysts advocates that want to politick for a certain team or conference.
The fact that there isn't a playoff in I-A football is simply because of greed, money, and corruption. You saw it last year when suspended Ohio State players were allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl. You saw it this year when B*S bowls passed by higher-ranked teams in favor of schools they think will fill their stadiums and allow them to pocket more cash. That's why Michigan gets the payday of a B*S bowl instead of Michigan State, who won their B1G division, and hello, BEAT MICHIGAN EARLIER THIS SEASON! That's why Notre Dame has a seat at the table and Boise State doesn't. That's why all the non B*S schools are held out of the big games by the collusion of the bowls and the elite schools of the power conferences.
Money is also what ESPN's seedy role in college football realignment and their B*S advocacy is all about too. Their influence is a huge factor as well. The SEC has proven their worth time and again on the field. They've earned every benefit of the doubt, but the influence of ESPN and CBS certainly doesn't hurt. How much did it help Alabama that the leader carried the rematch conversation for the last month? In no other sport do the words of analysts actually influence and mean something tangible. Would you want to live in a world where Skip Bayless' unending love of Tim Tebow had an impact on the Broncos being selected to play in the NFL postseason. Horrifying, isn't it.
It's no way to determine a champion, but boy it makes everyone richer from universitiy presidents and athletic departments to television networks and the bowls themselves. Apparently, not even T. Boone Pickens himself has enough money to sway the level of corruption that runs deep with everyone sitting at the B*S table.
And let's not go down the road of saying a playoff would ruin college football. Does a playoff hurt the NFL regular season? Tell me what would you rather debate - whether or not LSU should play Oklahoma State or Alabama based on statistics and the dreaded "eye test" to determine the "two best teams" or would you rather talk about whether or not Wisconsin could win on the road at Oregon in a first round playoff game? How about Clemson looking for an upset at Alabama or Boise State getting a shot against LSU? I'd much rather debate about the games than have the debates decide the game.
But this season more than any other is the greatest failing of the B*S, and we've all fallen for it. We've fallen for it because fans and pundits everywhere are entrenched in the Alabama vs Oklahoma State debate and we just can't resist a good sports debate. (Why else do you think there are 4,286 PTI spinoffs?) Don't you see that's what the B*S wants??? They want us talking, debating, discussing. They want the air time. They want the Twitter convos. They want the endless hours of television coverage.
But in truth, nobody can say they know Alabama is better than Oklahoma State or vice versa. It's all guesswork. And I'm sorry, but the national championship of college football is too important to be decided by guesswork. And believe it or not, there were actually people on either side of the day trying to use tragedies like the Tuscaloosa tornado and the Oklahoma State plane crash as arguments for and against their choices. What kind of madness produces that kind of complete detachment from reality? It's just one of the many reasons why this is the worst year yet of the B*S system...