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Some thoughts on the BCS

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

Some thoughts on the B(C)S

Dave Price

One of these days I’m going to finally come around and realize that major college football needs a playoff system.

Just not yet. There really are no valid arguments against playoffs. No doubt, tremendous excitement would be generated from playoff games that would be held through the month of December and culminate somewhere around New Year’s Day.

It would be fun to see an undisputed national champion crowned. But would that be an improvement over the bowl games?

I have some questions, namely the criteria to determine, say, eight teams for a three-week playoff. Let’s take a look at the top eight teams in the BCS standings: Oklahoma, Louisiana State, Southern California, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, Florida State and Tennessee.

Would eight teams be enough to avoid controversy? Look at No. 10 Kansas State, a team that lost three times earlier this season, but finished strong and then dismantled Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game. Also, folks in the MAC could make a case for No. 11 Miami of Ohio being a legitimate national title contender.

I can remember when a team had to win its conference championship to receive an invitation to the NCAA basketball tournament. It wasn’t so long ago that the NCAA field was only 32 teams, either. The current 64-team format was only installed in 1985.

Would a playoff system be an improvement over the BCS system in place? I’m no fan of the BCS (get rid of those darn computers), yet I’m looking forward to the upcoming bowl games.

No. 1 on my list is USC and Michigan in the Rose Bowl. So what if the BCS doesn’t recognize this as a national championship game. It won’t show when these two teams play on New Year’s Day, especially since the Trojans regard this as the national championship game in their own backyard. Likewise, the Wolverines want to show the 31-27 loss at Oregon and the 30-27 loss at Iowa were only bumps in the road and that they are the best team.

This brings back memories when – aside from the big rivalries – there were four games college football fans looked forward to watching on television every year. You had the Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, and yes, the Big 10 and Pac 10 conference champions playing in the Rose Bowl.

At the same time, I’m looking forward to LSU and Oklahoma playing in the Sugar Bowl. This should be a great game, if for no other reason, because LSU is looking forward to playing for its first national championship since 1958. And, like USC, playing in its own backyard.

Are the folks excited in Louisiana? Arguably, Andrew Jackson wasn’t this excited when the Americans celebrated Victory Day at the Battle of New Orleans on Jan. 8, 1815. A friend in New Orleans told me in an email that entire sections of stores are covered in purple and gold – “You can’t turn around without seeing something else in those colors – or tiger tails on everything from scarfs to gas tank.”

Now, for the best part … “LSU is king of tailgating and you have never seen the things that will be cooked at these tailgaiting parties, i.e, roasting pigs, alligator, deer, duck, Andouille sausage, boudin and gumbo.”

Now we’re talking. Forget the BCS and the multi-billion dollar industry college football has become. Just give me food and a great game.

Dave Price is a sports writer for the Nevada Appeal. Contact him at dprice@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1220.