Bah! Humbug! BCS!

I mean, honestly. Ohio State again?

Along with every other rabid college football fan in the world, I sat up last night to watch the normally remarkable West Virginia Mountaineers implode during their rivalry game, losing their shot at the BCS championship to 4-7 (well, 5-7 now) Pittsburgh. It was a lot like the old insurance commercial where a butterfly sets off a car alarm and triggers a chain of events leading to the demolition of a building: first they missed an easy field goal, then they fumbled two or three times, then their star quarterback dislocated his thumb… I wanted to cry, and they’re not even my team.

Missouri lost, too, although at least losing to Oklahoma has a little more dignity. Lots of people lose to Oklahoma.

So this means it’s another year in which the champion of a mediocre conference like the Big Ten gets to sit at Number One like a squatter in a shack until they face a team from a conference that takes football seriously — SEC, Big 12, ACC, hell, even the Big East — and get stomped into the turf. No offense, OSU guys, but we’ve all seen you get beaten before, and we’re tired of it.

What would be nice is a game, a championship fight like the one between Texas and (also extremely overrated) Southern Cal two years ago, where both teams scrap over the lead the whole time and there’s a legitimate Football Hero at the end. Now that was fun. You had two teams, one from a genuinely competitive conference (I’ll take the PAC-10 seriously when they learn to play defense), both of them with perfect seasons and future NFL stars, fighting it out right down to the last few seconds. I went to work bleary-eyed the next day, but I was happy I’d watched the game.

Now it’s going to be a rerun of last year. Ohio State doesn’t have the recruiting ground of a southern or western team, lacks defensive and offensive speed, and got to be 11-1 by beating such powerhouses as Akron and Kent State and Youngstown and — ooh, wait for it — Northwestern. Wow. Whoever programs the “strength of schedule” part of the BCS computer must have been an OSU graduate, because my 9-3 Clemson Tigers played tougher opponents than this. OSU played Penn State and already-disgraced Michigan and got pounded by unranked (I think?) Illinois, and they get to sit at the top of the heap? Who the hell thinks this is a good idea?

Commentators, that’s who. It seems like, with the exception of loudmouthed Doug Flutie, every sportscaster on the air graduated from a Big Ten school. Well, congratulations, guys, for being the most telegenic in your field — and I like to look at Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard as much as the next female fan, so it’s not like I don’t get it — but it doesn’t mean your conference was any damn good.

My team plays in the ACC, which is just below the Big 12 as far as powerhouse teams go. I watch a lot of SEC ball, too, because I freely admit it’s the toughest conference, and it’s hard to beat watching the Auburn-LSU game, or Georgia-Florida, or even Tennessee-Alabama. Now those are some teams that should be among the best in the nation, but they’re consistently pushed out of the top spots by the same teams the computer and the talking heads favor: OSU, USC, Oklahoma, formerly Miami, formerly Notre Dame (thank God we won’t have to suffer those fools in the bowl games this year).

This is not only boring, it’s insulting. There are too many good programs out there for the championship to be handed to one of five or six teams every single year, just because the computer and the journalists are used to seeing those names. Sometimes the best team in the country is going to be LSU, guys. Or West Virginia. Or even Hawaii. The fans aren’t bored with college football, we’re bored with the way the same old teams have learned to game the system. The Big 10 and the PAC-10 haven’t legitimately produced a real champion who beat tough opponents all season since I was in high school — but they’ve produced a lot of people who vote in the polls, and I’ll bet twenty bucks the Big 10 produced whoever set up that ridiculous computer to think beating Purdue and Northwestern equals strength of schedule.

So we’ll see who gets to perform the ritual slaughter this year. One reason I resent this continued coronation of OSU is it forces me to cheer for whoever’s going to beat them, and that’s often a team I don’t like. I’m no fan of Florida, but last year I was stuck cheering them on, and this year it looks even worse: I’ll have to pull for the likes of Georgia or Oklahoma. That’s going to require a lot of alcohol. I’ll start stocking up tomorrow.


8 Responses to “Bah! Humbug! BCS!”

  1. pandemonic Says:

    Good luck with that. 🙂

  2. (laughing) I know, I know. I just can’t help myself.

  3. I don’t do football, so I’ll just say hi.

  4. Hi Shawn!
    Y’all will be free of my football stuff soon…

  5. jojovtx1800 Says:

    Well, if it’s any consequence, both Va teams will be in bowl games this year, Miami and Jacksonville.
    I do agree though, the ranking system is totally flawed.

  6. And you know, JoJo, Kansas won’t know what hit ’em, either. Those poor guys have no idea!

  7. Glen Dorsey is going to tackle the entire team at once.

  8. I sure hope so.

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