What would you think of a BCS Title game between Missouri and West Virginia?
Personally, given the way this season has gone, I say "fine by me". However, my opinion isn't universal so I'm curious what you CFR readers think? This Chris Dufresne column is about where I am in terms of dealing with an unusual BCS title game matchup.
It's frustrating to see two teams with questionable non-conference loads slowly grind their way to the top, but it's not like both aren't highly respectable football clubs. I think maybe we've been a little spoiled by the USC/Texas type matchups where there's some clearly qualified teams playing all season like they're the best then showing it once more in the title game. Not every season is like that though.
Last year Ohio State and Florida were two very good football teams. I wouldn't say either was anywhere near an all-time club, a sure-fire runaway blockbuster. But that's football. Great teams don't come along every year. The same goes for this year. Certainly USC and LSU had that runaway potential, but neither ever got its act together. In the absence of a truly great team or even a reasonable approximation like what happened in 2006, we just have to wait this out and see who makes the best case at the end of the year.
I really don't know the alternative to this year if we don't want some combination of Missouri or West Virginia. USC and LSU have flubbed it up over and over. Ohio State is still marked with last year's Scarlet Letter after the Florida loss. Those two are about as good as anyone. Get mad not at the system but the handful of teams good enough to give us a more appealing title game that didn't get it done.
Speaking of teams that didn't get it done: USC coach Pete Carroll is on top of the world after his team's victory over Arizona State and is talking playoffs.
For six years, USC coach Pete Carroll said he never understood how the Bowl Championship Series worked . . . until now.
"It’s about who’s had the most attractive season rather than who had the best team," Carroll said. "It just dawned on me that’s how it works."
Carroll’s opinion might be influenced by the fact USC dismantled Arizona State, 44-24, on Thanksgiving and the Trojans appear to be hitting their stride, albeit 11 games into the season. He might have felt different after the Stanford game.
Carroll said he did not want his comments to be construed as sour grapes because USC is not going to play in the BCS title game. But he believes the Trojans would hold their own if college football held a playoff.
"I would love to be involved with a discussion of who is the best team in the country at the end of the season," Carroll said.
This isn't the NFL, coach. Narrowly sneaking by the majority of your easier games and building a fat win-loss record doesn't put you in the title game in college football. Ok, it did once recently (Ohio State 2002), but that team was a severe anomaly. USC may very well have the best football team in all the land right now, but you gotta prove it weeks one through thirteen, not just weeks twelve and thirteen.
Carroll may have had a gripe in 2002 when his team was in my mind the best in college football, but even then USC won its last eight games by healthy margins and looked completely unstoppable on both sides of the ball. Last weekend was the first time all year aside from the games against lowly Nebraska and Washington State that USC has even looked above average. That won't cut it.