By Shawn Muller–
Congratulations to the Auburn Tigers on winning the BCS National Championship.
You definitely deserve to be the champions. Scratch that. No you don’t.
In fact, I believe that every time any person mentions the words Auburn and national champion together in the same sentence, an asterisk should be placed next to those words every time. I also believe that every time someone mentions the names Cameron Newton and Heisman Trophy winner together in the same sentence, the same steps need to be followed.
Watching the confetti rain down from the rafters upon the heads of the Auburn players and their head man in charge, Gene Chizik, made me remember why I think the NCAA is the most gutless organization in all of sports (I think the IOC and FIFA would have something to say about that). Why do I feel this way? Because only the NCAA would allow a member institution (Auburn University) and it’s football program to make a complete mockery of its governing rules without any type of penalization…but I digress.
How is it that major college football is the only sport in which the naming of a national champion occurs without an actual playoff system in place? Everyone outside of the NCAA understands that a playoff is not only preferable to the fans, but it is necessary to determine who the champion should be. The BCS system is an absolute joke (shocking new development I know)! Unfortunately, seeing the $$$ are all that the suits in Indianapolis are worried about, not common sense. I don’t care what Auburn’s BCS ranking was. I don’t care that Auburn is from the powerful South Eastern Conference. I still don’t consider them as the true national champion.
Because there is another undefeated team in the FBS that has just as much of a stake in claiming partial ownership of the crystal ball as the Auburn Tigers do.
I am speaking, of course, about the TCU Horned Frogs. TCU beat the Wisconsin Badger in the Rose Bowl on January 1st to complete their own blemish-free 2010 campaign at 13-0. I understand that TCU did not play in one of the “Big 6” automatic-qualifying conferences, which, makes it a little harder to get a gauge on just how good a non-AQ school actually is, but the Mountain West Conference (where TCU played) was probably better than both the ACC and the Big East this year. The Horned Frogs were as real as it gets this season. Their record was as real as it gets as well.
Many college football experts thought that the Badgers were the hottest team in college football heading into the Rose Bowl, and quite possibly, the nations best team. Yet, TCU took care of business against Wisconsin, winning 21-19. After watching the Tigers and the Ducks play probably the ugliest 60 minutes of football I have ever seen in the BCS Championship Game, there is no doubt in my mind that TCU could not only have hung with either of those teams, but they could probably have beaten them. And this is coming from a guy who absolutely despises non-AQ teams! Man, that was really hard for me to say!
Having the season end with two undefeated teams isn’t the only reason I cannot view Auburn as the undisputed kings of college football for the 2010 season. The fact that Auburn was allowed to play the entire regular season, along with the SEC and BCS title games, with a player that, for all intensive purposes, should have been ineligible (don’t kid yourself into thinking Cam Newton was an innocent little boy in all of this) to play football at all this season, just strikes the wrong nerve with me.
I am, like many college football fans across the country, still trying to figure out how, exactly, quarterback Cam Newton was even eligible to continue to play this season, let alone suit up at all this year. An NCAA “investigation” surrounding him and his leach of a father, Cecil Newton, uncovered a “play-for-pay” scheme while Cam was being recruited by Mississippi State University.
Here we have a father admitting that he was, in fact, seeking roughly $180,000 for his son to play for the Bulldogs. Here we have a kid that is on record as saying that he wanted to play for Mississippi State University, but the money was too good to pass up at Auburn. If Cecil Newton couldn’t get his son to play at Mississippi State for $180,000, just how much money do you think it took Auburn University to sway the elder Newton to get his son to sign with the Tigers? For a minute there, I thought the NCAA was not as spineless as I had initially thought. Just a few short weeks ago, Cam Newton had been ruled ineligible to play in the SEC Championship game by the NCAA after the initial investigation into these allegations were found to be true. Then I realized it was the NCAA is was thinking about, so of course, the very next day, Cam Newton was magically ruled eligible to play again. Anyone really think Auburn wins the SEC title, let alone, the *BCS National Championship without Cam Newton?
I didn’t think so.
Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of the Cam Newton saga, but when you see that the rules in place were so blatantly broken, and no one involved suffered any type of punishment, it is laughable at best. The NCAA felt that the younger Newton, along with Auburn University, had no idea Cecil Newton was soliciting his son’s services on the football field for monetary gain. Yeah…right. I am sure then, that if you believe the Newton situation, then you also believe former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, had no idea his parents house was paid for by an agent. You also probably believe that Pete Carroll and his USC coaching staff were not breaking any rules set forth by the NCAA, and neither the Bush family or the USC coaching staff had any knowledge that improprieties were taking place within the Trojan program.
It may be too early to tell regarding what will end up happening to Cam Newton and Auburn University down the line…but this entire NCAA football season will have a black mark on it just as the 2005 USC title season did with Reggie Bush. The problem is, however, that USC did not get into trouble until many years later. Auburn may not be in trouble right now, but I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of this story as the weeks and months begin to add up, but to me, the damage has already been done. TCU won’t get to play for the title on the field like they should, and the Oregon Ducks may have lost the “title” game to a team that probably should not have even been there.
So once again, congratulations Auburn University on winning the BCS “Championship.
You definitely deserve to be the champions. Scratch that. No you don’t. Well, at least not without these (*******) anyway.
Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.
Shawn Muller has lived in Chicago for 7 years. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and just recently received his certificate in radio broadcasting in October of 2010. Sports have always been a passion of Shawn’s. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, “Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24.