Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Every Game Matters, Except When It Doesn't

Last night we witnessed the end of the college football season with a dud of a game, not that it should have really surprised anyone because the first game was not all that exciting either. I am sure that, as predicted, last night's ratings will be the lowest ever. In fact I don't know a single person who was really looking forward to last night's game.

I don't mind games that are 7-3 as long as they were well played, but last night's game was not. LSU looked lost from the beginning with weak and ineffective play calling. It was certainly not the same LSU team we watched all year long. The Rose Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl were both far superior games, and not simply because they involved some offense. But, maybe that's because LSU had thirty-five days off between their last game. Alabama had more than forty days, and they too certainly did not rise up to their level of play.

What other sport would allow its teams to take more than a month off between the last game played and the championship game. Can you imagine if this happened in the NBA, NFL or MLB, or even in college basketball or baseball? People would say how ridiculous it was, but yet every year we do this in college football, and the time is getting even longer.

One of the reasons the BCS says they couldn't have a playoff is because it would take too long and go on too long, but we already have the championship game not taking place until the middle of January. The second reason is that if they started earlier that it would interfere with finals. But I was watching the volleyball championships during finals week so what is the difference?

Finally, this match-up was ridiculous from the start. We have now crowned a champion that not only did not win their conference championship but didn't even play in the game because they lost to LSU when it is supposed to matter, in the regular season. One of the great things about college football is that every game is supposed to matter and to mean something, that is even what the BCS pushes.

But clearly that's not the case, because Alabama lost to LSU and then beat LSU and they are now "champions." As far as I'm concerned they are simply both now 1-1 and should be co-champions, or even better let's admit that this game should have never been played at all. I would much rather have seen LSU play Oklahoma State, who I think should have a part of the title, or to see Alabama play Oklahoma State now.

Instead what we ended up with was a final game that few people outside of LSU and Alabama wanted to see and it lived up to every low expectation that we had of it. The pairing of this match-up, and the way it was decided, was as ridiculous as if the MLB had said, "we would much rather see the Yankee play the Rangers in the ALCS and so it doesn't matter that the Tigers beat the Yankees, we are just going to make it work for us, and if you don't like it that's just tough."

We would not tolerate this in any other sport and yet this is what happens every year with the BCS. This season showed yet once again how broken the BCS is and how it needs to be replaced by something else. Every game in the regular season is supposed to count, except when they don't, just ask LSU.

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