By John Witzke
What's all of that noise I hear? Yes, we've reached the point in the football calendar when sports fans are yelling and screaming about the alleged inequities of the Bowl Championship System system. This, of course, is always accompanied by cries for a Division I-A playoff and the assumption that it would cure all that's supposedly ailing the great sport of big-time college football.
Here's what the critics overlook. Nearly every season, things break just right for the BCS, and the two teams that should be playing in the title game end up doing so. In spite of all of the excitement, the proponents would rather air their frustrations than enjoy the great drama that is bred by the Greatest Regular Season in Sports.
Don't you think those critical missed field goals by Oklahoma State and Boise State would've been easier to make had a playoff spot been clinched? While we can feel pity for kickers succumbing to pressure, the "choke factor" is an evil imperative in sports, especially college football.
What makes 2011 unique compared to every other year of the BCS era (1998-present) is that everybody agrees that undefeated Louisiana State is the No. 1 team and deserving of a spot in the title game. The controversy came in determining who should challenge the Tigers on Jan. 9 in New Orleans.
Legitimate arguments can be heard coming from Stillwater and Tuscaloosa. Hundreds of columns have been written to decry the more "established" Crimson Tide receiving the nod by the slightest of margins.
My problem with the opposition to Alabama is that it has zero to do with people actually believing they're not the nation's second-best team. Rather it has everything to do with being vehemently opposed to a rematch, as if the universe is going explode if the two best teams face each other more than once in a season. It's easy to sympathize with the "let the other guys get their shot" mentality, but the majority on that side of the argument has to acknowledge that Alabama is the second-best team.
Let's compare the BCS to the NFL playoffs. The 1985 Chicago Bears had one blemish on their record, a defeat to Miami in one of the most memorable Monday Night games in the history of that series. Those of us a certain age can still see images of Mercury Morris, Nick Buoniconti and other members of the Dolphins’ undefeated 1972 team watching from luxury suites and saluting coach Don Shula for beating the Bears and protecting their legacy.
Everybody was hoping for a rematch in the Super Bowl, but the Dolphins' run ended with a loss to New England in the AFC title game. The Patriots were then blown out by the Bears, and one can only wish a system like the BCS would've been in place to give the public what it deserved — a Bears-Dolphins Super Bowl.
Funny, but a quarter century later, the outcry is against a rematch between LSU and Alabama.
The stated and intended goal of the BCS is to ensure that the two top-rated teams meet in its title game. Nowhere is there anything against a rematch. The most frustrating thing for the anti-BCS mob to acknowledge is that the system got it right.
I doubt this year will be the exception. Look for Andrew Luck and Stanford to pull away from the spurned Oklahoma State Cowboys and win a Fiesta Bowl shootout. That will be another indication that the BCS — once again — gave fans the best game they could ask for.
John is a lifelong diehard college football savant who claims to watch more games than any three Harris Interactive Poll voters combined. He once went on a ridiculous four-month Sports Jeopardy winning streak on the Ben Maller Radio Show and can passionately back up any of his hot sports opinions you choose to challenge him on. Follow him on twitter at @jihadistjohn.
Image courtesy of 30fps.