BCS Title: We've Seen This Already
December 5, 2011

We knew it was coming. We were warned by all of the analysts and pundits. We were given advance notice, but that does not make it right. It doesn't matter what we think now, LSU will face Alabama in college football's championship game.

On Saturday afternoon, you heard it from CBS' Gary Danielson, and ABC's Todd Blackledge and Kirk Herbstreit, that no matter what happened, third-ranked Oklahoma State was not going to catch number two Alabama. I yelled (at the TV because I live alone), “What if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma 100-0?” That might have done it. As it turned out, the Cowboys had a 44-3 lead late in the game, and won 44-10, not enough to catch the idle Crimson Tide.

So for the first time in BCS history (1998), we have a title game between two teams that faced each other during the regular season. You may recall, it was one of the biggest-hyped games of the year (as it should have been), #1 vs. #2 in Tuscaloosa, and the game even went overtime. But alas, no one scored a touchdown and LSU won it 9-6.

Now when the two teams meet again on January 9 in New Orleans, I doubt you are going to see a repeat of that score, but as far as I'm concerned, that's not the point. There are 119 teams in the NCAA Division I Bowl Subdivision. That's plenty of matchups. Why do we have to get one that we have seen already? You could make a case that Alabama is better than Oklahoma State, but you can also make a case that they are not. Why not give fans a game they haven't seen before?

The BCS, as you may know, is made up of a combination of computer rankings and human polls. The computers (even though the formula they use is not publicly known) like Oklahoma State ahead of Alabama, but the humans (coaches and writers), like 'Bama better. And get this. Alabama head coach Nick Saban gets to vote in one of those polls, and ranked Oklahoma State fourth. Cowboys coach Mike Gundy isn't a voter. How fair are either of those things?

Boise State coach Chris Petersen (whose team was left out of a BCS Bowl game even though they were ranked ahead of Michigan and Virginia Tech) summed it up this way to reporters today; “Everybody is just very tired of the BCS. I think that's the bottom line. Everybody is frustrated. Everybody doesn't really know what to do anymore. It doesn't make sense to anybody. I don't think anybody is happy anywhere.” Petersen added, “It just seems like each year it's getting further and further away from anybody understanding what's going on.” Playoffs anyone?

Other stuff: UCLA, which for some reason was granted and accepted a bowl game despite a 6-7 record, will face equally undeserving 6-6 Illinois in the Fight Hunger Bowl December 31 in San Francisco. Fitting that both schools are charity cases...I just discovered a website called (their masthead features a Mount Rushmore-like photo of ESPN's Pam Ward, Craig James, Dick Vitale, and Fox's Tim McCarver). In it, they point out that ESPN Monday Night Football's onsite crew is not making the trip to Jacksonville for tonight's game, doing pregame, postgame, and halftime stuff in studio instead. It's only the second time this season the crew has not traveled to their weekly game, and the other time was also with Jacksonville hosting (Baltimore during the World Series). What's wrong with Jacksonville? I've been there. It's nice... Congratulations to the late Ron Santo, finally selected to baseball's Hall of Fame today by the veterans committee. Santo was a great player, but a horrible announcer. At least he wasn't given the Ford Frick award...Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona has joined ESPN, and will be in the Sunday Night Baseball booth with Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser. Francona replaces Bobby Valentine, who replaces Francona as Red Sox manager...Magic Johnson is forming a group to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers. If I had a couple mil lying around I'd jump in in a heartbeat—my favorite all-time athlete owning my all-time favorite team. If they win the bid, maybe I could at least hit Magic up for a job...After spending Sunday in Sebastopol visiting my cousin Gayle Cole and her art show and sale, I spent this afternoon in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. I didn't quite feel the sixties vibe I had hoped for, but that area feels much more like San Francisco than Fisherman's Wharf or Union Square.

Photo: Cartoon used without permission so I hope Mr. Anderson doesn't mind. No commercialism here, just thought it was pretty cool.

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