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The BCS Championship Game, Playoffs and USC

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.

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Reader Comments (11)

Here's the thing that gets lost in all this "the BCS failed us again" crap: Missouri and West Virginia aren't just #1 & #2 in the BCS, they're #1 & #2 in the AP & Coach's polls as well. Some sportswriters need to quit bellyaching about who the BCS matches up - you can't cry and moan about the BCS rankings and then have the same #1 & #2 in the AP Poll. If you want a different matchup, prove it - put two other teams at the top of the AP poll. Otherwise, be happy that they'll at least be playing each other, since under the old system West Virginia & Missouri would be going to different bowl games.
November 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous
You're against a playoff because you say it dilutes the importance of regular season games?? I don't see how it's lessened the importance of 1-AA regular season games. I Have never really understood that argument?

Teams like USC, LSU, Florida, Arizona State,Georgia, and others who play legitmate schedules
would not be penalized because they don't play schedules like Ohio State and Kansas. Heck Hawaii may even end up in the BCS with a SOS of 142, what a joke.

You have whined on this blog for years about scheduling. This BCS system we have rewards you for playing a weak schedule. How can you blame a coach with his job on the line when he scedules weak OOC games? Just take a look at the Strength of Schedule of Kansas(90) and Ohio State(56). There's at least 20 teams that could be 10-1 with Kansas's schedule.

This is what you get with the BCS, It's a bonified mess.

Let it be settled on the field, it's the American way.
November 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDawgy
His quote, "It’s about who’s had the most attractive season rather than who had the best team" is spot-on. I don't think USC is the #1 or #2 team, but that is the best, most concise statement of how the BCS works I've seen yet.

And Anonymous, there's a couple things wrong with your argument. First, the coaches poll should have no credibility whatsoever because coaches don't have time to create accurate rankings, and if it's not coaches filling out the ballots, then it's a complete sham. Second, the writers who complain most about needing a playoff do have rankings that differ from the overall AP poll, but one person can't make that large of a difference. And third, yeah, the BCS is better than the Bowl Coalition/Alliance, but that's like saying a '98 Explorer is more safe than an Edsel. Neither is the best we could have, and both don't work.
November 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGatorDave
A national championship that is won on the field by players and coaches can be achieved! The polls that decide who gets to play for it are bogus.

For a look at a radical plan visit www.truenationalchampionship.com
November 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterScott
Why are you griping about Ohio State in 2002? So they had a couple of close calls against Purdue and Illinois late and Cincinnati early, but they did BASH the same Washington St team that beat Southern Cal that year and went to the Rose Bowl.
November 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSteve K
college football playoffs are the way to go ''''''
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbob kimmy
I Think That LSU Should Be Ranked Number1. Number 2 should Be Sooners. Number 3 should be West Virgia. Number 4 Should be Gergia. Number 5 should be Teaxs. Number 6 Should be Florida. Number 7 Should be Michigan. Number 8 Should be USC. Number 9 Missouri. Number 10 Should be Virgina Tech.
January 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJarett Neuman
I Think LSU Shuld be Number 1. Number 2 Should be USC. Number 3 Should be West Virgimia. Number 4 Should be Oklahoma. Number 5 Should be Gergia. Number 6 should be Texas. Number 7 Should be Flordia. Number 8 Should Michagan. Number 9 Ohio state. Number 10 should be Virgia Tech.
January 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJarett Neuman
College football must implement a college football system in order to maintain it's credibility. The bowl system is a greed driven system that undermines the hard work and dedication that players, coaches, and all others associated with college football that dedicate their lives in order to win.
March 27, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrho
College football must implement a college football playoff system in order to maintain it's credibility. The bowl system is a greed driven system that undermines the hard work and dedication that players, coaches, and all others associated with college football that dedicate their lives in order to win.
March 27, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrho
Same here I also think College football must implement a college football system and Its interesting considering the fact that Tennessee did not diserve to be in it.
October 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpenny stock to buy

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