As this college football season wraps up, I’m finding myself rooting for Texas . . . and USC . . . so basically I’m rooting for the only two unbeaten teams . . . to stay unbeaten. What??? I know, I know, parity is great for college sports, but this season is different and I’ll explain why.
A Rose Bowl between undefeated USC and undefeated Texas would be special not just because it would feature three Heisman candidates, but it’s one match up that the BCS just can’t screw up. Yes, if these two teams can stay unbeaten, we would finally get a true college football championship, one without constant second guessing in the weeks leading up to it. And if I let my mind wander, I can conveniently confuse the Big 12 with the Big 10, and what do you know, we’ve got a Rose Bowl that your grandpa would appreciate.
An even bigger incentive to root for these two teams is to imagine what’s going to happen if one . . . or (gulp) both of them lose in the next couple of weeks. Every team in the top ten will have a squad of commentators assigned to arguing their case to play in the #1 vs. #2 Bowl, and as a native Californian, I do not want to see my Rose Bowl made into an absolute mockery by pitting Miami against Penn State. Seriously, if either of these two teams lose, all chaos will break loose on the set of every single one of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” rip offs. There will be so many angles to cover, Mel Kiper Jr.’s head might explode. But the resounding sentiment that will echo across the nation, the same statement that gets made around the holidays more often than kids changing the words to Jingle Bells, will be: “The BCS sucks.”
And I’m certainly not one to disagree, I’m just sick of complaining about it, and even more sick of hearing others complain about it, and when it comes down to it, I just really want to see a true championship game. I should also add that the argument crossed my mind that if we really want the BCS to go, maybe what we need is more controversy. I considered this for a while, and then I remembered another NCAA gaffe that’s taken place recently: the outlawing of all those Native American mascots. About six or seven years ago, the use of these mascots seemed to be an issue that the public took genuine interest in, but the NCAA took no action on it, and pretty soon, no one really cared anymore. Then suddenly, when even those who were allegedly offended by these mascots had forgotten all about it, the NCAA took a swift and hard line stand on the issue. Maybe that’s what’ll happen with the BCS. Maybe if all of us just get used to the Bowl Championship Series, and stop talking about it, in another five years we’ll have the college football playoff we all deserve. (At this point, I’d even settle for the old bowl system, at least every bowl game mattered in its own little way back then.)
So go against your training as a good sports fan, and cross your fingers for none of the big upsets from here on out.