O.K., so here it is my yearly rant on the waste of a postseason that is the college bowl system. My favorite analogy for what the college presidents try to feed the public is that they are really saying the telegraph is better than that new fangled telephone system, and that we need to honor the tradition and history of the telegraph and not get caught up in the excitement of the telephone. The trouble is that when something is just simply a better idea, it will usually win out in the end. I think we are a lot closer to the end than any of us might realize.
Let me start off by saying the obvious, I think it would be great to have a playoff, but I also think this year more than most you can see why it is necessary to help determine a true champion. Not since Auburn went unbeaten in a brutal SEC and got shut out of the BCS Championship game have we had what looks to be shaping up this year, and never before have coaches so openly lobbied for a playoff system.
It would seem that every Big 12 coach west of the Mississippi River has come out to support the idea. Mac Brown went as far as to say "That's why I don't like the BCS. If we had a playoff right now, would it not be great to have the top eight teams? There will be more than us and Oklahoma that will be left out if we both won." And it is in this shift of culture from the coaches that may help the fans finally get our wish.
A statement like the one from Brown was almost unthinkable five years ago. Coaches stayed to the party line, telling us how great it was for their kids to end the season with a well earned trip and the chance to play some meaningless football. Things change. The BCS is worth huge dollars these days, and people compete hard for a shot at it. When they are in their eyes kept from it unfairly, they start to blame the system.
Brown is also right that this year someone that deserves to be playing in that championship game will be left out. The winner of the SEC title game is probably in, so either Florida or Alabama will be one of the teams playing for the title. That leaves only one spot open, and I can make a strong case for at least four teams, and a good case for at least three more.
USC lost only once this year, and that was on the road at one of the toughest venues in college football, and they lost by less than a touchdown. They have impressive non conference wins against Ohio State and Virginia, and should hammer a mediocre but still over rated Notre Dame Squad this Saturday. They were all but penciled into the title game after that Ohio State romp, but alas memories are short in this BCS system.
The three headed monster that is the Big 12 South has the other three teams with a strong case to be in that title game. Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma played a round robin, and in a nightmare scenario for the BCS, they all went 1-1. Now if either Tech or Oklahoma loose this Saturday, they would fall off this list, but as of right now they are here. Texas beat up Oklahoma, and while the score was only a 10 point differential, the game was never really in doubt in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma romped all over Tech, and Tech beat Texas on a last second play in one of the best games of the year. You pick one cause I really can't, and I am not sure that these teams would not continue to spilt games over and over again. They are all pretty well balanced with each other.
As far as good cases, and I will probably get some heat for saying this but, Penn State, the loser of the SEC title game, and yes Utah all belong in the discussion. Penn State absolutely handled Oregon State, and their only loss was a one point road loss coming off of Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State in consecutive weeks. The loser in the SEC Title game is probably the second best team in the country, even if it is a two loss Florida team. And then there is Utah. Many will say I have lost my mind at this point, but hear me out. They are 12-0, and have beaten Michigan, Oregon State, and BYU. While I don't think that is enough to jump over the other teams on this list, it is enough to get them into the discussion. They are undefeated and untied, which used to count for a lot in the grand old days of the National Championship polls.
That is why college football needs a playoff. It would be fair, not just popular.