Georgia’s gettin’ upset!
This has been the most unpredictably ridiculous season of college football ever. If you would have asked me what the chances were that Pitt could knock off #2 West Virginia in Morgantown to keep them from getting to the BCS title game, I would have said maybe one in 100. But it happened. So, too, did #1 Missouri losing to Oklahoma to send the championship game picture into total chaos. Who deserves to play for it all? The question of “who is the best team?” has gone up on websites and radio shows throughout the country with no consensus answer. Ohio State is almost a lock to make it to New Orleans, but who will they face? Solid arguments can and have been made for Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU, USC, Virginia Tech and even Hawaii.
Some people argue that there’s no way Georgia should make it over LSU because the Bulldogs didn’t even win their division in the SEC, while LSU won the conference. But if that is valid logic, then why was Georgia ranked ahead of LSU to begin with? Why would that all of a sudden be a factor now that the national championship is at stake when it wasn’t last week when it seemed neither team would have a shot? Do poll voters only get serious about their selections for the very last poll of the season? If that’s the case, then human polls should be done away with. There should be some level of integrity in the process and moving a team down below another that just a week ago was though to be inferior does not display integrity.
Does college football need a playoff? No. Need is too strong a word. A playoff would certainly generate interest but to say that people aren’t interested now would be ignorant. As controversial as the BCS system might be, it DOES generate interest as well. If this were 1997 or earlier, none of these recent upsets would have generated the excitement about college football as they did because many teams would be locked into their bowls already. The BCS does create interest and excitement because of the national championship game. Period. Now whether that game always features the two best teams in the country is debatable, but the fact of the matter is that it’s never possible to say for absolute certain which team or teams are the best.
There is no perfect system. Even a playoff doesn’t necessarily determine the BEST team - just the team that happened to be playing the best (or getting the luckiest) at the time. In addition, a playoff WOULD diminish the relevance of the regular season, to a more or less significant degree depending on the number of teams in the playoff. There are always going to be arguments. If there is an eight-team playoff, then teams, fans, and critics are going to be arguing about who deserves to be in that 8th spot, just as they do now with the BCS.
But, back to this season, folks seem to be clamoring for LSU - AGAIN - to be the other team in the title game. I say LSU had their shot. They were ranked #1 earlier in the season, then lost. Then, they climbed back up to the top spot and lost again. Enough is enough. They have had their chances. If you want to give the spot to the team that is playing the best, right now, then it would be between Virginia Tech, Georgia and USC. Virginia Tech lost to LSU earlier in the season 48-7. No team that loses a game by 41 points to any opponent should be able to win the national title - end of discussion. USC lost at home to a very bad Stanford team that oddsmakers said they were supposed to beat by 41 points. They also lost to Oregon, who just wilted down the stretch and proved to be not nearly as good as previously thought. That leaves Georgia, my pick to play Ohio State in the BCS National Championship game. They have won their last 6 games - better than Ohio State, USC, Virginia Tech, LSU, Oklahoma or any other serious title contenders (save Hawaii) and have been playing great football as of late. It may not be the popular pick, but in this crazy, crazy season, it’s the right thing to do.