I’d love to congratulate this year’s college football National Champions… except that there’s a big problem. I’m not really sure who they are. I don’t mean to upset all the fans in the Gator Nation out there—nothing I write can cast a shadow on what Tim Tebow and the Gator defense were able to do to Oklahoma in the BS—I mean the BCS—Championship Game.
The fact remains that the UF Gators, along with Texas and Southern Cal, are one-loss teams. The Utah Utes ran the season and are the only Division I school with a 13-0 undefeated record. Their athletic conference (Mountain West), however, doesn’t measure up to BS—I mean BCS—standards.
Some argue that Utah didn’t play as tough a schedule as the other “contenders.” That’s pure BCS—I mean, well, you know. Utah defeated four ranked teams on their way to kicking Alabama’s Crimson Behind in the Sugar Bowl. Remember—this was the same Alabama team that was ranked number one for five weeks, went 12-0 in the regular season, and led the Gators until six minutes into the fourth quarter in the SEC Championship Game. Utah went up 21-0 against Alabama during their first three possessions and never looked back on their way to the Sugar Bowl victory. This was Utah’s eighth straight bowl victory, currently the nation’s longest bowl win streak. Utah also laid claim on the national championship four years ago, when then head coach Urban Meyer led his undefeated team to a victory over Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. Let’s not forget Boise State’s resounding victory over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl (and undefeated season) as further proof of how things can go really wrong with this “National Championship” stuff.
If there is an injustice here (and I believe that there is), it all started when the BS—I mean the BCS—took over college football from the NCAA. While there are 119 Division I schools in the NCAA, only 66 “qualify” for the BS—I mean the BCS (and they still call it a “national” championship). I’ll let other writers cast aspersions on the BCS conferences and how they get to keep all that lucrative network TV cash while the non-BCS conferences are left sucking air through a straw. Suffice it to say that some schools are doing well, and others… not so well. Something’s rotten in the hallowed halls of higher (football) learning, and when it comes to schools’ general fund donations, it’s as unfair as can possibly be.
BCS honchos can’t be happy with undefeated teams like Utah and Boise State who keep screwing thing up for the “real” and “legitimate” National Championship contenders. It’s just not pleasant when collegiate athletes like Utah quarterback Brian Johnson ask, “What else do we have to prove?” It’s also not pleasant when the incoming President (of the United States) states publicly that he wants a playoff system and he wants it yesterday. Still unpleasant are the upcoming anti-trust investigations the Utah attorney general will conduct on the BCS.
Although I’m certainly no sports expert, the solution is as plain as the nose on my face: trash the BCS and institute a playoff system. Play one fewer regular season game, if necessary. Take the top 16 teams, put them in eight bowl games (rotating from among the existing bowls). The next week, four bowl games, then two, and then finally a no-BS—I mean BCS—True National Champion.
I just hope that we all live long enough to see a real playoff system crown a legitimate national champion. Until then, congratulations to Utah, Florida, Texas, and Southern Cal, with emphasis on undefeated Utah. And join us next year to find out which non-BCS team will throw a spanner into the 2009-10 National Championship works.