Once again, the NCAA college football season has devolved into an incomprehensible mess, and once again I’m celebrating like Charlie Weis at Old Country Buffet when a fresh pallet of fish is lowered onto the table.
The more the ignorant pollsters screw up the rankings, the more I like it.
Sooner or later, you see, the powers that be are going to be beaten over the head with two-by-fours of common sense and realize that their system is broken. That means university presidents and athletic directors will finally hear the clarion call for change and abandon the abomination that the current BCS has become. The Bowl Championship Series standings that are used to determine who plays for their mythical national championship came out yesterday, and the two teams at the top of the list are Ohio State and something called “South Florida,” with Boston College a close third.
Does this mean that the Buckeyes, the Eagles, and the whatever-they-ares from South Florida are the best teams in the nation? Maybe. If that nation is Bulgaria.
What it does mean, however, is that they’re undefeated. And that means everything…according to the slave computers and the idiot masters who program them.
Such a premium is placed on being unbeaten that schools from big-time conferences are not even bothering to schedule meaningful games outside of their leagues. Take Ohio State, for example. The Buckeyes are undefeated through seven games, and coming off a 48-3 hammering of a Mid-American Conference school that is Division I-A in name only. Ohio State ‘s rout of Kent State follows up its earlier beat-downs of in-state foes Akron and Youngstown State, setting the stage for a state-supremacy showdown with Division III champ Mount Union in November.
Okay, they don’t really have a D-III school on the schedule, but why not? They have played only one team that has been ranked in the Top 25 at any point in this entire season, and despite a cupcake schedule that may very well have been authored by Little Debbie herself, OSU is number one because they’ve yet to lose.
Likewise, unbeaten Boston College, an ACC school, has been “challenged” in the last four weeks by Army, Massachusetts, Bowling Green and the Notre Shame Frightening Irish. Does that embarrassingly easy schedule matter to the computers? Of course not.
South Florida, at least, as beaten a couple quality teams in Auburn and West Virginia, but to have them so far out in front of terrific one-loss teams like LSU, Florida, USC and Cal is ludicrous.
Take a close look at the Pac-10 Conference, where Southern Cal and Cal have both suffered upset losses in the last two weeks. The Trojans were a near-unanimous number one before the season began, and yes, the loss to 41-point underdog Stanford was humiliating, but does anyone really think that either OSU or South Florida has more talent than USC? Does anyone really think there are 13 teams better than the Trojans? They must…because that’s where they’re ranked in the current BCS standings.
Cal was off to its best start in overfive decades, and the one stumble this weekend against Oregon State is going to cost them — as it should. But what should be the price? A No. 10 ranking in the Harris poll and a No. 9 in the USA Today? Behind such teams as South Carolina, Kentucky , and the very same Oregon team the Golden Bears just beat by a touchdown on Sept. 29? How does that happen?
It happens because the Bears’ one loss occurred a couple weeks after those of Kentucky, South Carolina and Oklahoma, just to name a few. Seems that it’s not who you lose to, or how you lose … it’s all about when you lose. Take one on the chin early enough, and you’ll climb right back up the rankings as the other teams fall off. But if you lose one later in the season, well, tough luck. No chance of redemption for you.
There are still many games to be played in 2007, which means many more chances for the Buckeyes, Eagles, and South Floridian-thingies to come up short … and then it’ll be on for good. Nothing says major collegiate athletic chaos like a dozen or so one-loss teams all smashing their flat-screen computer monitors until they spit out numbers they like. Eight or nine teams all demanding a seat at the title game table — instead of a shot at one another in a playoff? Watch the computer geeks’ heads explode on their shoulders. Then we’ll really have some fun.
Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.