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Dependency dilemma

The tragic BCS is college football's version of Big Oil

Posted: Monday December 10, 2007 2:55PM; Updated: Monday December 10, 2007 3:46PM
Colt Brennan
With a playoff, Colt Brennan and Hawaii would actually be given a chance at the national title.

Imagine the drama if a three-loss Florida team had a shot to defend its national title, riding the skills of Heisman-winning touchdown machine Tim Tebow. Or if Colt Brennan could throw Hawaii to the Promised Land. Or if the Virginia Tech Hokies might continue their late season momentum and win a national title, providing a sense of collective joy to a school that's seen such tragedy.

But no. Instead we get something quite different. We get, in the words of my favorite local sports radio guy, "Ohio State and LSU. Two teams that have backed their way into the BCS championship game." Ah, the majesty of college football: the only sport where after a year of drama two teams can back into a championship game.

Yes, it's December, time for holiday wreaths, hot cider and blood-curdling whines by fans from coast to coast about the BCS, easily on the Mount Rushmore of hated abbreviations, along with DMV, IRS, and FBI.

There are many aggravating factors in college football: the fact that players don't see a dime for their labors, the scholarships that get pulled after injury, the Byzantine rules of the NCAA, or that Nick Saban will be making $32 million. Many people of good conscience find themselves on different sides of the above issues. Yet the one question that seems to unite all factions is the BCS -- a lightning rod in an endless winter of discontent.

The reason for this is quite basic: the BCS fails the test of sport, finance and most basic logic. A college football playoff system would crown a true and just champion, as well as set record ratings and raise scads of money. A team's blood, sweat, and tears wouldn't ride on preseason polls, computers and surly coaches letting equipment managers fill out their rankings. A season's efforts wouldn't implode because a team loses late instead of early.

Fans, players and prominent coaches like Auburn's Tommy Tuberville and South Carolina's Steve Spurrier, among, others want a playoff system, but it still doesn't happen. It's time to move away from anger and to start understanding why.

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