I admit I have wavered on the idea of whether or not a playoff system would be a better alternative to the current BCS scenario, but after Monday’s high-minded announcement that the BCS is stripping the University of Southern California of its 2004 national championship, it’s time to throw the BCS out the window. The BCS is a bunch of BS.
This ruling by the BCS, that a crowned national champion for the 2004 season is now vacant, comes after the NCAA actually handed the Trojans some serious penalties earlier this year when it had ruled running back Reggie Bush received extra benefits during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. For those benefits Bush received, the NCAA handed USC a two-year ban from postseason play and a loss of 30 scholarships over three seasons. These sanctions, most would agree, certainly hurt the Trojan football program for the time being. USC appealed those sanctions but was denied by the NCAA late last month.
Not surprisingly, the greedheads who rule the BCS decided that they would need to punish USC by taking away the Trojan’s 55-19 national championship win over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl as well as the team’s participation in the 2006 Rose Bowl, which it lost 41-38 to Texas.
“The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are showcase events for postseason football,” BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock told the Associated Press. “One of the best ways of ensuring that they remain so is for us to foster full compliance with NCAA rules. Accordingly, in keeping with the NCAA’s recent action, USC’s appearances are being vacated.”
With the wave of the hand by the BCS, like a Jedi mind trick, those games didn’t happen. They are gone into thin air. Everybody knew the BCS was going to do this after the NCAA denied USC’s appeal, but so what? Who cares? Does wiping those games off the record books really hurt USC? Hell no. They won the game, were crowned by the BCS at the time, celebrated and moved onto the next season. If I played for USC in that championship game and five or six years later, a bunch of rich people told me that because a teammate got a free car that game never really happened, I would laugh in their face. Who really cares? Wipe it from the record books. The victory was only sweet then. Now, it’s a very, very distant memory and it will remain a fond memory at that. If only the BCS could find away to suck past feelings of joy and excitement from USC’s coaches, players and fans, then they would be onto something. Otherwise, the BCS governing body’s decisions will always be questioned and won’t mean a whole lot.
It’s always been a vague system of crowning the national champion anyway. Anyone who watches a minimal amount of college football knows that the BCS rankings never really get it right. I guess my feeling is that listening to anyone representing the BCS is a waste of time.
I wonder how long it took BCS officials to actually make this big decision? How much time did they waste on this big decision that means absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, the BCS has a bigger problem on their hands with executives of its various bowls, including the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange bowls, spending money on personal wedding planning, Caribbean cruises and raunchy strippers. Those who make money within the inter-workings of college football are out of hand, and maybe it’s time to hit the reset button. It’s a huge hornet’s nest of a mess.
It would be naive to say that college football is only about producing great student athletes and not about money. Believe me, it’s all about the money. The BCS is all about the money. That’s why it’s funny to hear Mr. Hancock sound so high-minded when he said the BCS is all about upholding the NCAA’s rules when it crowns a national champion. The BCS will crown the national champion out of a game that makes the most money. It’s not about who’s the best in the nation. If it was, there would be a playoff with a champion crowned at the end. It’s that simple.
If a playoff system won’t work with college scholastic schedules, then let’s call it something else, and not arbitrarily crown a national champion. If three undefeated teams don’t have a chance to go up against each other, how can you pick a national champion?
I used to think a college playoff system would never ever be a reality, but as the BCS continues down it’s own path to destruction, I believe we are just a few years away from it becoming a reality. And when it does occur, the national championship game may not be the best matchup of the season, but at least we will know why the teams are there. And if the BCS must take a championship away from them years down the road, like USC, it may actually hurt because they are taking away something that was earned, not given.