Boclair: Wrong way

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 10:05pm

Let’s make this clear right off the bat: LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in college football this season.

There really is no question about it. Just look at the talent on their rosters, the well-rounded nature of their play and the way they dealt with expectations that were sky-high right from the outset.

If you have to pick any two to play for a championship, those are the ones you want.

And spare me the talk about Oklahoma State’s record against Top 25 teams versus Alabama’s. Pretty much every Big 12 team was overrated at the start, and many remained that way until their results finally spoke loudly enough (we’re looking at you, Oklahoma and Texas).

All in all, there’s no reason to think the BCS title game a week from now won’t be a classic.

The fact that the teams played during the regular season does not diminish the appeal or the impact of this contest. If anything, the first meeting did not settle the matter in any sort of definitive manner, which makes the rematch all the more worthwhile.

All of that being said, there’s no way that teams from the same conference — let alone the same division — should play for the championship under the current format.

This year’s “championship game” is just the latest piece of evidence that makes clear the framers and caretakers of the BCS have no vision, no perspective and no basis for their argument that the system works.

We’re supposed to believe that the BCS honors and upholds one of the grand traditions of college football. The Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl, after all, have been around since 1935. The Rose Bowl, “The grandaddy of them all,” dates back to 1902.

But is a system that gives us LSU against Alabama consistent with the tenets that led 
to the creation of bowl games more than a 
century ago? Really?

The primary idea behind bowls was to create contests that would not (and often could not) happen during the regular season in order to provide a little competitive perspective and a whole lot of bragging rights.

Think about it. The Big 10 and Pac 10 — basically a continent apart — send their best each year to Southern California just to find out what happens. The SEC’s best invites an uncommon opponent to New Orleans just for kicks. The Southwest Conference champion arrives in Dallas and sizes up an opponent from outside Texas. The Big 8 winner heads to Florida for some sort of memorable showdown.

Nothing about LSU playing Alabama meshes with that line of thinking.

These schools play each other every year. Heck, we already know when their next meeting will take place. It’s Nov. 3, 2012, in Baton Rouge — go ahead and mark it on your calendar, if you have not done so already.

Next Monday’s showdown offers none of the mystique of a bowl game. Neither team is bound for some exotic location where it otherwise would not go. There is no contrast in styles that begs for a showdown.

In short, it’s not a bowl game. In that 
regard the system failed.

It is a championship game, though, and that is the good news.

College football — Division I college football, at least — refuses to give us a playoff as 
a means to determine the best team. Instead, 
it relies on an approach that defies its core principles to generate a worthy champion.

It’s a joke. And a bad one, at that.

David Boclair is the senior writer/sports editor for 'The City Paper.' Follow him on Twitter, @BoclairSports.

4 Comments on this post:

By: rldavenport@com... on 1/4/12 at 8:39

And it will continue to be a colossal joke. The BCS has rendered has rendered every other bowl game (yes, even the Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta) irrelevant and almost meaningless. It's also a joke that the championship game is on Jan. 9. You notice that the BCS hierarchy has stopped arguing about football players missing class time as a reason not to have a playoff. It's all about greed and elitism.

By: BigPapa on 1/4/12 at 9:33

The only thing more corrupt than college basketball is college football. We all know they should have a small playoff but that won't happen because they are too worried about making the regular season irrelevant.

By: govskeptic on 1/4/12 at 10:00

The current seasonal championship still has more merit than the
Academy Awards. They are both all about press and print space
and our national priorities about the important things of life!

By: Dore4Life on 1/5/12 at 9:30

BigPapa, they should have playoffs no smaller than TSSAA. 32 teams. Trust me. the logistics work very well. So, that is not a legitimate obstacle that has been previously argued by the BCS supporters. However, the politics simply won't let it happen.

The article below mentions that the main reason (after basically acknowledging there would be a huge profit generated and possibly more than already generated) a mere 4 team playoff using the current bowl game structure (aka "plus-one") was immediately dismissed without a discussion by the Big 12 the next generation and the Pac-12 in 2008 is because they know it will inevitably continue to grow into a larger playoff. They realize already that they can't give an inch to the playoff idea without opening up "Pandora's box" and letting complete chaos ensue in December and January. They want to maintain a vice grip on who is allowed to have a legitimate chance and keep everyone else out.

As the article also alludes to though, they must not have too much of a problem seeing the SEC dominate the BCS like they have in recent years, if they still refuse to support playoffs.