Frantz: BCS contenders are nothing but pretenders

Do me a favor, will ya? Drag that dead horse over here for a minute. I’m not through beating it.

The season that should never have been has now come down to a game that should never be. That’s right — there should NOT be a B(C)S national championship game in college football next month. None.

Sure, kids, you can go ahead and play the bowl games if you want, but not a single one of them should be considered any more relevant than another. Play the games, let the losers cry and let the victors celebrate, but let not one of them extend index fingers skyward, for no team shall be declared No. 1 this year.

At the time of this writing, the micro-minds at the BCS haven’t yet announced which two team logos were stuck when they threw their darts at the board in selecting the participants for their “title” game, but it matters not. Ohio State and LSU? A sham. Oklahoma and Southern Cal? A mockery. In fact, every last team in the season ending “top ten” not named Hawaii would be an abomination in any sort of national championship game. Because not one of them deserves it.

Did you know that then-second-ranked West Virginia’s 13-9 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday was the eighth time this year that a No. 1 or No. 2 team lost to an unranked team? Unranked! And six of those top-ranked teams lost those games at home! The television highlight shows have been a comic gag reel that has only gotten funnier in the last month of the season, when every true championship contender should be peaking, playing its best ball of the season. Let’s examine those “contenders”:

» Ohio State, at 11-1 and the safest bet to finish in the two and play in the BCS championship farce, played a pathetically weak non-conference schedule to go along with a pathetically weak “power conference” this season, and still had a chance to seal a spot in the title game. So what did they do? They lost to unranked Illinois while ranked No. 1 in their second-to-last game of the year. They finished their season at No. 5, with roses clenched in their teeth, expecting a trip to Pasadena. Two weeks of inactivity later, they’re suddenly No. 1? Must have had some great weight-lifting sessions the last few days. Good enough to move from fifth to first.

» LSU is 11-2 and champs of the SEC after beating Tennessee Saturday. Pretty impressive credentials, right? Well, except for the fact that they choked away No. 1 rankings not once this year … but twice! Sorry, Tigers, but two strikes and you’re out.

» Big 12 champion Oklahoma? Sure, they just beat No. 1 Missouri by 21 points. Whoop-de-doo. That’s just two weeks after being ranked No. 4 and losing. To unranked Texas Tech.

» How about 11-2 Georgia? At least their losses were early, in Weeks 2 and 6, and they’ve won six straight by impressive margins, right? Sure, but Tennessee beat them by 21 and a team that doesn’t even win their conference should automatically be disqualified from playing for the national title.

» Virginia Tech, you say? Yes, they’re 11-2, and have won five straight games. But they also lost to LSU by 41 points. And if LSU doesn’t deserve a shot, which it doesn’t, then neither does the team it took behind the woodshed two months ago.

» Which leaves us with USC. The Trojans finished strong, and might be playing better than anyone in the last four weeks. But they lost to No. 5 Oregon when they had a chance to make a championship statement, and more importantly, they lost to Stanford. At home. Stanford, I say.

So there you have it. Rock-solid proof that not even one of the so-called contenders for the BCS championship deserve a spot in the final game. The only team that has actually earned a shot, the undefeated Warriors of Hawaii, isn’t even allowed in the championship conversation.

Soplay your bowl games if you must, kids, and have yourselves a ball. But come Jan. 8, you keep those index fingers pointed down. All of you. Because not one of you deserves to wave them.

Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at bfrantz@examiner.com.

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