BCS repeats as champion of college football



Another Day, Another Dollar
Mar 1, 2002
The dreaded Ohio State pox was cured on Saturday. College football's regular season is all but over, so it's time once again to honor one of its finest performers.

The Bowl Championship Series?

The darned thing worked, though many would rather admit they like Barry Manilow than give the BCS any credit. Barring a freak Sooners or Trojans letdown, however, the title game will match Oklahoma and USC.

Yep, when all was said and said and written and written and eventually done, the BCS did what it was designed to do. We're being redundantly redundant because if critics had to eat all their words, America would sink.

I have no great love for the BCS or "Mandy." I just don't think either is the source of all evil in the universe.

BCS critics operate under the premise the system is supposed to eradicate all controversy and doubt. It never promised you a rose garden or bowl. The new flawed system was just supposed to improve on the old flawed system. But people inevitably judge it against what we all long for_a flawlessly fair system. As if one exists.

At this point, let's reflexively scream, "Playoff!" We might as well yell, "Free Drinks!" at a strip club. It ain't going to happen.

Besides, the NCAA basketball tournament isn't the perfect model it's revered to be. Teams still get shafted on selection day. Seeds and computerized RPIs are ripped.

People always think there's a better way, at least until they try one. Then they complain that it didn't solve problems that defy solution.

The BCS's goal is to match the two best teams at the end_repeat, end_of the season. Remember when that was often not the case? Remember 1984 when BYU clinched the title in the_snicker_Holiday Bowl?

People griped over sports writers and coaches deciding champions. Now they've spent the past month screaming that the polls should matter more because they had USC No. 2 over the Buckeyes.

Ripping the weekly BCS standings has become a national pastime, but it's like judging a baking contest before the cake is out of the oven. Look how all this year's angst played out.

TCU, which was supposed throw this year's little-school monkey wrench into the system_gone.

Ohio State, which had one loss despite scoring zero touchdowns all season_gone.

Critics attribute it to dumb luck, but that guardian angel comes around almost every year. FSU shouldn't have bumped Miami in the 2000 season, though the Seminoles were still favored to beat Oklahoma.

Against Miami the next year, Oregon would have been better cannon fodder than Nebraska. Such things are obvious now, but they were great debates then. What isn't arguable is that the BCS has provided a clear No. 1 vs. No. 2 finale in four of its six years.

Clear, of course, depends on who's looking. Third-ranked LSU probably sees plenty of flaws right now. And what if Oklahoma loses the Big 12 title game or USC stumbles against Oregon State? Imagine the yammering about whether the Sooners and the Trojans still deserve a shot more than LSU or suddenly mighty Michigan.

Humans will never agree on such matters, yet it's the BCS's fault for not settling them, either. There will always be an argument. And since we're not exactly arguing over war and peace, does it really matter?

Well, sort of. We couldn't have BCS Bash seasons without it. Just remember how they usually end.

Last season was Ohio State-Miami. This year it's Oklahoma-USC.

Neither would have happened without the BCS. Like Manilow, it must be doing something right. Just don't expect critics to ever sing that tune.


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