By Shawn Muller-
(CBS) Ah… the Bowl Championship Series.
It’s such a great system we use to determine the “two best teams” in college football, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not like there is ever any type of controversy involved.
It is so cut-and-dry it’s scary.
Ok, so maybe I threw a bit of sarcasm in there (fine… it was all sarcasm), but honestly, how can anyone take the BCS seriously? It is such a screwed up way to determine a champion that it is downright laughable.
No wonder college football fans around the country call it the “Mythical National Championship”. It is 100 percent true. And this season further drives that line of thinking home than ever before.
Assuming LSU handles their business this weekend against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game, it is a no-brainer that they deserve a spot in the title game. The Tigers are undefeated and have been the most impressive team in college football. There is no doubt in my mind that the Tigers are one of the two-best teams in all the land, even if the Bulldogs pull off the upset.
But who deserves the chance to face the Tigers for a chance to hoist the crystal ball come January? Well, that is the million dollar question.
Many folks are saying that the Alabama Crimson Tide deserve a shot at revenge after losing to LSU in overtime earlier in the season. While I think Alabama is a very good team—possibly great—I have a hard time justifying Nick Saban & Co., getting that rematch with the Bayou Bengals. Why should they? LSU won the SEC West Division title by beating the Tide in Tuscaloosa. Why should they have to beat them again? No team in the nation—no matter how good people think they may be—deserves a shot at a national championship if they don’t even win a conference title. Sorry, but that is how it should be, since we are not having a playoff anytime soon. Ohio State and Michigan were the top-two teams in the nation back in 2006, when the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines by three points at the Horseshoe 41-38. SEC fans were complaining that Michigan didn’t deserve a shot at the re-match for the same reason they are now supporting LSU vs. Alabama II.
Double standard much?
So, which teams should actually have the right to move on to New Orleans, then?
Well, if you ask me, there are only three teams in the country that deserve a shot: Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, and the Houston Cougars.
The Hokies are 11-1 heading into the ACC championship game. Yes, I know the ACC is not the best of conferences this year, but they are in an automatic-qualifying conference, and their only loss on the season is to a then-top 10 Clemson Tigers squad. And guess what? Virginia Tech gets another crack at Clemson in the ACC title game. Imagine that!
Oklahoma State laid an egg against Iowa State for their only blemish, but, if they happen to defeat a top 10 Oklahoma Sooners team in Stillwater this weekend, they will capture the Big XII championship. Since the Big XII doesn’t have a conference title game, “Bedlam” is for all the marbles. The computers love the Cowboys—and the Big XII—so if the ‘Pokes finish with one loss, why are they not deserving of a shot at the Tigers of LSU over an Alabama squad that already lost to them?
The Houston Cougars are the only undefeated team left in the country outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Heisman Trophy candidate Case Keenum has had the Cougars firing on all cylinders all season long, but the knock on the Cougars will forever be, “they play in Conference USA”. They don’t play in an AQ conference, so are they really deserving of a shot at the crystal ball? I say; Why not? TCU finished the 2010 season undefeated and beat the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl as a non-AQ. Utah beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl a few seasons ago as a non-AQ. Boise State beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl as a non-AQ. Need I keep going? I say give Houston a shot. Non-AQ’s have proven that—not only can non-AQ compete with power conference champions—they can beat them on a rather regular basis.
So there you have it.
No Alabama, no Stanford, no Oregon.
No other teams. Period.
If we are not going to have a playoff, then let’s just say these weekends’ games involving Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, and Houston is the “audition” for a spot in the finals.
After all, that is really how it should be.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. 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” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24. Read more of his blogs here.