Posted: Wednesday January 4, 2012 4:17PM ; Updated: Wednesday January 4, 2012 4:17PM
Frank Deford
Frank Deford>VIEWPOINT

Bowl Championship Series is all in the name, nothing in the game

Story Highlights

The Bowl Championship Series is not a bowl, a championship nor a series

The championship format doesn't make sense for other sports, so why football?

BCS games can be considered a marriage arranged by computers and 'experts'

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LSU and Alabama will meet on the football field for the second time this season in an arranged national championship game.
LSU and Alabama will meet on the football field for the second time this season in an arranged national championship game.
Al Tielemans/SI

The Bowl Championship Series climaxes Monday with a game in New Orleans between Louisiana State and Alabama for the national bragging rights to Dixie. As there is a joke about the Holy Roman Empire, that it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire, so can the same be said about the Bowl Championship Series. It's not a bowl. It's a game played in the Superdome. It's not a championship -- just an exhibition -- because the teams have been appointed to show up without earning the right to challenge for the title. And it's not a series because no team plays more than once.

No wonder the BCS is so despised. Remember Diogenes -- the guy who browsed around with a lantern looking for just one honest man? Well, I am the Diogenes of the BCS, for armed with a bullhorn and a searchlight, I've traveled this great land of ours, desperately hoping to find just a single fan of the BCS. But, alas, I've found nary a one.

Still, we Americans continue, lobotomized, to accept the BCS as legitimate, when it's the goofiest competition this side of the Iowa caucuses and the People's Choice Awards. But ... but if we should just think about it for a moment and apply its arranged manipulations to other sports we could realize how unfair and imbecilic the Bowl Championship Series really is.

Consider:

If the BCS ran the Olympics, the track and field 100-meter final would be held in September, six or seven weeks after the scheduled heats. You see, that is consistent with the cuckoo BCS scheduling. LSU's last game was on December 3rd, Alabama's way back in November, 45 days ago. Nowhere else in sport is there such a pointless, bizarre interval.

If the BCS ran the NFL there would be no playoffs. Instead, a bunch of mysterious computers and some dubious experts -- many of whom have conflicts of interest -- would just declare which teams qualified for the Super Bowl ... then schedule the matchup forty-five days from now, of course.

If the BCS ran the World Series, tens of millions of dollars would still be made, and the leagues and the owners and the managers and everyone connected with the Series would be paid ... well everyone except for the players. But, you see, this is in keeping with the BCS rationale that players are actually much happier playing when they aren't burdened by making money. Of course, baseball boosters would slip some cash under the table to the major leaguers to make sure that amateurism remains pure.

If the BCS ran the World Cup, there would be no World Cup. Instead, there would just be a mind-numbing plethora of meaningless little soccer matches, international bowl games -- Demitasse Games -- played between disparate countries like Peru vs. Slovenia, scheduled at odd neutral sites like Sri Lanka.

I hope you enjoy watching the arranged marriage that the BCS is putting on Tuesday.

 
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