Sunday, December 4, 2011
Around 9 p.m. Eastern Time this evening, we should receive the expected news that SEC Champion and #1 ranked LSU will face #2 Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game. Of course, the matchup will be viewed by many as anti-climactic, as the SEC rivals played already with LSU winning 9-6. Further, Alabama is not the only one loss team with an impressive resume, something head coach of #3 ranked Oklahoma State Mike Gundy, and his program's biggest supporter T. Boone Pickens will happily tell you.
The Cowboys, who clinched their first Big 12 title last night with an impressive 44-10 victory over Oklahoma took little time to celebrate their first BCS Bowl bid, before pleading their case to play in the title game. When speaking of Alabama, Gundy said, "They had their shot [at LSU], give us ours." Billionaire Pickens, like Gundy something of a grand standing, nauseating windbag himself, claimed the fix was in for the SEC, and even threatened to launch an investigation if OSU was kept out of the title game.
And if Pickens reads this blog, I'll happily advise him to get an early start on that investigation. The Cowboys aren't going to New Orleans on January 9th for the title game. While they've had an incredible season, losing only once to Iowa State in overtime, the question of who should face the Tigers in the title game is not a question at all.
See, the BCS, as currently constructed, seeks to match the top 2 teams in the National Championship game. And in this case, with each team having one loss, we're left to compare those losses. Alabama lost a nail biter to the wrecking machine that is #1 LSU, whereas OSU lost 37-31 in overtime to a 6-6 Iowa State team. Further, if we're comparing one loss teams, I'd make the argument that Stanford's one loss to Oregon is less of a resume blight than OSU's loss to Iowa State.
Of course, if college football truly had a fair system, this wouldn't even be a debate. The Cowboys would be entered in a playoff of some sort, and given their just shot against an Alabama, Stanford or LSU, who would also be in said playoff, something I've written about at length (link below). Sure, we'd have to listen to and hear more from Gundy and Pickens, but OSU would have the opportunity to prove things on the field, something I believe they've earned.
However, hamstrung by a lack of leadership, and the monetary confines of a silly bowl structure and billion dollar television contracts, college football does not seek to reward deserving teams with a proper playoff. Rather, computers and silly voter polls combine to calculate who plays for the title. In this case, a deserving team like Oklahoma State is kept out of the title picture, while the rest of us are treated to an anti-climactic rematch.
Still, when Alabama is announced this evening as LSU's opponent, it will be the correct decision. While one could argue LSU is simply in a class of its own, anyway, Alabama is the most deserving team under the system in place. Alabama plays in a more difficult league, and their one loss is much less of a resume blight than OSU's. Call it SEC domination, call it anti-climactic, but it is #1 versus #2, one thing the BCS has gotten correct through the years.
Of course, we'll have to listen to Gundy and Pickens moan and groan for the next month. They'll claim an SEC conspiracy, and media bias, but the simple facts don't support them. Alabama is the second best team. OSU has had a fabulous season, but under the current system, it wasn't good enough.
And most of all, that's what needs to change.