First of all, let me start by saying I hate the B(C)S. I’ve talked about it a million times on the radio. I’ve written about it dozens of times as well.
We all know the system doesn’t work. Check that. Any sane, rational person knows it doesn’t work. The only reason it exists is because network executives continue to hand over millions of dollars for the right to air four or five games every year, of which only one matters.
But today, the day of the FedEx B(C)S National Championship Game between Florida and Oklahoma (I’m going with the Gators in case you are wondering), I will make this vow.
I will never again complain about the B(C)S.
I am not going to rip the system if they get it wrong (and they will). I am not going to lament the fact that college football is the only major sport in this country that doesn’t crown its champion in some sort of playoff. I will never again design a sixteen team playoff that will make everyone lots of money. No more.
I am done with all of that. Why? Well, the main reason is that a playoff is never going to happen. The College Presidents don’t want it. They’re making too much money with the current system. The networks will never let it happen. They’re making money too. If they weren’t ESPN would not have bought the rights to the television package once the deal with FOX expires. The B(C)S conferences will never allow it to happen. They are swimming in money because of the current system.
But that isn’t why I am never going to complain about the B(C)S again. Neither is the fact that none of the suits really care about what you and I want. No, I’m going to stop complaining because everyone else is complaining.
Let’s start with USC head coach Pete Carroll. Full disclosure here. I covered Pete when he coached the Jets in 1994. I worked with him for a season at One on One Sports/ Sporting News Radio.He is a damn good coach, and he’s a good man as well. He is not normally a complainer. But he’s been complaining for about five weeks now that his Trojans should have a shot at the National Championship. Well, under the current system, the Trojans might have been able to get to Miami even though they lost to Oregon State had they won the Pac 10 Championship Game. A game that doesn’t exist. Oklahoma and Florida were able to come back from losses during the regular season by winning their conference title games. So, If Carroll wants to complain to someone, then he should call the Pac 10.
Then, after dismantling a Penn State team that looked like it didn’t belong on the same field as the Trojans did, Carroll complained again, going so far as to say he thinks he has the best team in the country. Coach, you beat Penn State. A Big Ten team. Considering how pathetic the Big Ten did in the bowl season, it might be wise to keep your mouth shut.
Then there’s the complaining that Texas did. Mack Brown and the Longhorns might have had a right to complain after they failed to make the Big 12 Championship Game. At that time, Brown chose to take the high road. Then, after coming from behind to beat Ohio State in the FIesta Bowl Monday night, Brown complained about pretty much everything. Not going to the Big 12 title game, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the economy. you get my drift. Brown went so far as to say he’d vote the Longhorns Number One in the final Coaches Poll (not that his vote’s going to make any difference).
Brown’s just coming off like a baby with that one. Were the Longhons jobbed out of the Big 12 title game? That’s debatable. Yes, the beat Oklahoma, but they did lose to Texas tech. Just because you beat the Sooners in October doesn’t guarantee that you get a spot in your conference championship game. If the Longhorns would have taken care of business in Lubbock, then they’d be playing tonight in all likelihood.
And then there’s Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. He is now claiming the BCS is biased against Non BCS conferences. He says the system is unfair. He is even talking about a possible lawsuit.
Would Shurtleff have taken this step if the Utes hadn’t completed a 13-0 season by beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl? Hell no. He would have been as quiet as a church mouse. He’s only complaining because the Utes have had two undefeated seasons (and two BCS appearances in the last few years) with nothing more than a trophy (not the crystal football given to the BCS champions) to show for it.
To me, this move smells of pandering to his constituency. It’s a political move, pure and simple. Besides, didn’t the smaller conferences ban together a few years back and threaten a lawsuit? I believe they did, which is why we now have the fifth BCS game. The BCS added the game to shut the smaller schools up. And since then, we’ve seen Hawaii, Boise State, and Utah all crash the BCS party.
If Shurtleff wants the Utes to be in the title game, then maybe someone at the University of Utah ought to think about joining a BCS conference. This way their schedule would be tougher than it currently is. If the Utes do that and go through the season undefeated, they’ll get the recognition they deserve. And by the way, I didn’t see Shurtleff complaining when Boise State wasn’t awarded the championship after beating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl a couple of years ago.
I’m not saying that USC, Texas, or Shurtleff are necessarily wrong. I’m just saying that after eleven years of this, eleven years of complaining, eleven years of calling for a playoff, I’m tired. I’m done. I can’t do it anymore. I give up. I don’t like it. But I don’t see the point anymore.
Real change may be coming to Washington January 20th. But, it will never come to college football. And I’ve finally come to terms with that.