The new college football Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings are out. With USCs loss to Oregon State, we are closer to the train wreck that many have predicted since the BCS system was first implemented. That is, a situation in which multiple undefeated and one-loss teams (not just one, as was the case with Auburn a few seasons ago) can legitimately claim that they were unfairly excluded from the official national championship game. This will be true especially if undefeated West Virginia, now ranked #3, loses Thursday nights game against undefeated #5 Louisville. Even then, West Virginia will face tough games against Pittsburgh and Rutgers. And the computers, unlike the human voters, do not like the Mountaineers –- the machines have them #13.
College presidents, athletic directors, coaches, prominent alumni, the media and blogs like this one from Florida to Idaho –-well, maybe not Idaho –- will scream again about how unfair the system is, and how we need a playoff system to determine a true national champion. But that is a story for another day. The truth, of course, is the forces behind college football love the BCS precisely when it creates controversy. Controversy during the season means publicity –- and money. More than a playoff system, apparently.
That said, week in and week out, its hard to beat college football. Especially great rivalry games. Unless there is a major upset in the next two weeks –- and the USC loss is a reminder not to take things for granted – we do know one of the teams that will play for the national title. That will be the winner of the greatest rivalry game of them all. Even better than Duke-North Carolina in basketball. November 18, #2 Michigan at #1 Ohio State.
For you Boise State fans, keepers of this years flame for the smaller schools, you are still two spots (#14) away from an automatic bid to another BCS bowl game – with no shot at the national championship game, of course. I am afraid however that your final game at Nevada might end the dream.
A note on pro football: Mike Vick has been scary good the past two weeks. If this is a trend and not more fool’s gold; if he can stay healthy (a very big if); and if Atlanta can continue to use him creatively – the promised revolution in quarterbacking may finally be upon us.