Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Give Me That Old Time Religion

As I write this, I'm listening to ESPN's "Around the Horn" in the background arguing about just who deserves to be the "national champion." Wasn't the wonderful BCS supposed to settle this for us when it was created 10 years ago. Instead the conference commissioners and college presidents gave us some half-assed excuse between the old bowl system and a playoff, and we ended up with the worst possible system of all.

So is the winner of the Oklahoma-Florida game, Texas, USC or Utah the "national champion?" They told us 10 years ago that it was the winner of the Oklahoma-Florida game. Why? What separates Oklahoma and Florida from the rest? Oh, that's right, they occupy the #1 and #2 slots. And that's all. That's it. That's the only difference. That, and the fact that Oklahoma lost to Texas, that Utah is undefeated with a win over a quality SEC opponent in the Sugar Bowl, and that USC just might have the "best" loss out of all the 1-loss teams considering it was on the road.

So, if we're not going to get an 8-team playoff anytime soon, why not just go back to the old bowl system? Remember when more than one bowl game mattered on New Year's Day, back before we started to pretend that only one game matters now. The Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton and Fiesta.

So why not the Big XII Champion Oklahoma tied into the Fiesta and the SEC Champion Florida tied into the Sugar? Make those top 2 teams play the toughest team possible. In other words, send the #3 Texas Longhorns to play the Gators. Send the #4 Alabama Crimson Tide (I know, I know...the Tide lost to Utah) to play the Sooners. If the Sooners win, they win it all. If they don't, then the Gators-Longhorns winner takes it. Give me that Old Time Religion when New Year's Day meant something.

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