By: Bruce Bullington, GreensboroSports.com staff writer
You might not realize it, what with all the talking heads on ESPN and on talk radio doing their typical hand-wringing, but hereâ€™s a news flash.
The BCS worked. Again.
This bowl season saw the complete exposure of the Big Ten, a conference with two allegedly-elite teams that many said should have been playing for the BCS title.
Part one of that fallacy was exposed on New Years Day. Michigan, who was supposed to put on some kind of statement about being left out of the national title game, was embarrassed by a USC team in the Rose Bowl that had supposedly slipped from its recent glory years. The 32-18 final score certainly didnâ€™t reflect how one-sided the game was.
The Big Ten did rally in lesser bowls as Penn State defeated Tennessee 20-10 in the Outback Bowl and Wisconsin edged out Arkansas 17-14 in the Capital One Bowl, but their champion was blown out 41-14 in the BCS title game by a Florida team that BCS opponents said didnâ€™t even belong in the game.
The common argument is that an eight or 16-team playoff would be appropriate. While this would certainly be exciting for any fan of college football, it would dilute the importance of the regular season.
Division 1-A (or, as itâ€™s been renamed, Division 1-Bowl subdivision) has the most importantregular season in all of major sports. Ever week is like a playoff game, with
every losspotentially eliminating teams from championship contention. By contrast, in the NFL, Kansas City lost in the opening week of the season to Cincinnati at home and was not eliminated from the title hunt until the first round of the playoffs. Did the Chiefs really deserve to play for the Super
In America, we are obsessed with the underdog. We loved George Masonâ€™s run to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament last spring, never mind that they didnâ€™t even finish first in their conference in the regular season and were far from one of the top four teams in the nation at the end of the season. The Pittsburgh Steelers wouldnâ€™t have even made the playoff ten years earlier, but they were given a chance to steal a Super Bowl and they took advantage of it.
Major college football is the only sport left that only recognizes excellence and doesnâ€™t allow mediocre teams another chance in winner-take-all, one-and-done crapshoots.
Hereâ€™s hoping they keep it that way.