To listen to the B(C)S officials tell it, this mess is exactly what they wanted. While the rest of the nation squirmed, awaiting last night’s announcement of the B(C)S title game participants like voters awaiting a presidential election recount, the B(C)S geeks laughed. They raised their little bubbling test tubes to one another like the mad scientists they are and toasted another apocalyptic assault on competitive sports. Then they went back to popping one another’s pimples, secure in the knowledge that they had successfully taken control of college football awayfrom the players and coaches who actually participate in football games.
These pocket-protecting, money-counting nerds think that all the debate and hand-wringing over which one-loss team would be anointed as the challenger in the Jan. 8 title fight is actually good for the game.
Even before USC trickled a certain shot at the championship game down their collective legs on Saturday, the B(C)S dorks were wrong. It was commonly accepted that the soft Trojans would match up with Ohio State if they could simply finish off UCLA on Saturday, and many felt that would eliminate all the controversy. In truth, though, all a Trojan appearance in Glendale would have confirmed is that two other deserving one-loss teams would have been screwed by the system instead of one.
It is an embarrassment to all of collegiate athletics that the final determination as to who plays for a national championship in a multi-billion dollar sport is left to a biased coaches’ poll, clueless writers in the Harris poll who can’t watch every college team play due to the constraints of simple geography, and a bunch of busted-down computers that must have been pulled from dumpster outside the Atari Corporation.
These computers, mind you, are the very same computers that actually ranked Rutgers ahead of Ohio State going into OSU’s game with Michigan!
And this is how the B(C)S has decided our title game matchup?
Regardless of what the computers spit out at us on Sunday, my money says the two best football teams in the nation, from beginning to end, have been Ohio State and Michigan. To place these two on opposite sidelines would be the correct thing to do in an incorrect system, computers and polls be damned. Those two teams simply provide college football fans with the best matchup possible.
Sure, they’ve played once already, but Michigan wasn’t looking for a "rematch" or a"do-over." They were looking for simple recognition as one of the top two teams in the nation, and judging by the nature of their one loss, compared to Florida’s 10-point loss at Auburn, they had a valid argument.
To best answer the question of which school was more deserving of the shot at Ohio State, just ask Buckeye fans. Ohio State supporters have been screaming for the Gators to get in, because they know OSU is three touchdowns better than Florida. They want nothing to do with Michigan, which went toe-to-toe with them in Columbus, and that alone tells us that Ohio State vs. Michigan is the best championship game college football could possibly provide this year. Michigan is the only team in the country with a shot at hanging with the loaded Buckeyes, which means, conference runner-up status and all, that they are the most deserving of a spot in Glendale.
It’s an atrocity to competitive athletics at every level that determining a championship participant has come down to "whose loss was most impressive" in the eyes of coaches and computer programmers, but perhaps having yet another deserving school railroaded out of a title shot will move us one step toward where we should have been all along: The NCAA Division 1-A Playoffs.
Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.