Where’s Jim Mora Sr. when you need him?
What, you never thought you’d need Jim Mora Sr. again? Never needed him in the first place? Wrong. We need him now. After USC’s upset loss to Oregon State on Saturday, we need him.
You see, now that the best laid plans of the BCS have been thrown once again into utter chaos, we need someone with a shrill enough voice to grab a live microphone and shriek hysterically into it:
“Playoffs? You kiddin’ me?
For years I’ve been beating the college football playoff drum in print and on the air — all to no avail. And for years, specifically since the birth of the BCS, unworthy teams have been awarded spots in mythical national championship games, rendering seasons’ worth of effort for would-be champions insignificant.
But maybe this time, with a host of one-loss teams all fighting with unbeaten West Virginia to fill the
No. 3 spot in the BCS rankings vacated by the Trojans, someone will pay attention. If, of course, someone could summon the passion of Jim Sr. to repeat his infamous screech.
Make no mistake, the BCS geeks were praying for an easy road to Glendale, with an unbeaten USC squad facing the winner of Ohio State and Michigan, leaving a potentially undefeated West Virginia team justifiably dismissed by a weak schedule. But the Trojans’ loss in Corvallis has left the door wide open for as many as eight of the one-loss teams, not counting the loser of OSU-Michigan, to claim their spot in the title game.
The X-factor is still West Virginia, which was fourth in the BCS standings going into the weekend, and likely third heading into this week’s showdown with unbeaten Louisville. If they can run the table, the BCS crew will still try to argue that the two best teams in the land will meet in the title game. The problem is, is an unbeaten Mountaineer squad, which counts Marshall, Eastern Washington, East Carolina, Syracuse, and Connecticut among its seven wins thus far, really better than, say, once-beaten Texas? Especially since the Longhorns’ only blemish came early on against top-ranked Ohio State?
Is West Virginia more worthy of a shot at the title than one-loss Auburn, playing in the deadly SEC? Or Florida in the same conference? How would they fare against the once-beaten Bears of Cal, or against Notre Dame, whose only stumble was in Week 2 against the No. 2 Wolverines?
And of course, can anyone automatically disqualify the loser of the OSU-Michigan game from the title scene? The Buckeyes and Wolverines have been demonstrably better than anyone else this season, and the winner of their game will have earned a spot in the finale, but the parity among the next 10 or 12 teams in the nation this year just screams for a playoff … almost as loud as Jim Mora Sr. might.
Here’s hoping for a Louisville upset of West Virginia Thursday night, and a Rutgers win over the Cardinals a week later. That would leave only the OSU-Michigan survivor and Rutgers as the two unbeaten teams in the nation. Let’s see the BCS sell that one as a unified title match.
Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.