Because Congress is examining the inequities of the Bowl Championship Series, and because I'm all in favor of piling on, my theme today is "How to kick the BCS when it's down."
I won't go so far as to say the BCS is completely down, but it's wobbly. Any time the Congress of the United States starts snooping, trouble is sure to follow. In that light, let me add my two cents: Who granted the BCS conferences the deed to Planet Earth?
I don't like the BCS system because I don't like bullies. I haven't liked them since Doyle Beck kicked me in the pants for no good reason in the junior high cafeteria one fine midwinter day. When the tingling stopped, I decided I would oppose bullyism whenever possible. To borrow a line from "The Three Amigos": "Wherever there is injustice, you will find us. Wherever there is suffering, we'll be there. Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find . . . THE THREE AMIGOS!"
Not only is that an outstanding movie line, but a great anti-BCS line.
Even though I am but one amigo.
The impetus behind my current anti-BCS rant was the recent success of Mountain West Conference schools in non-conference games: Air Force 22, Northwestern 21; BYU 24, Georgia Tech 13; Colorado State 23, California 21; Utah 31, California 24; UNLV 23, Wisconsin 5.
Anyone else want to get smart with the MWC?
This doesn't mean the Mountain West Conference is the equal of the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, Atlantic Coast or Southeastern conferences. If Utah or BYU joined one of those conferences they would struggle playing strong opponents almost weekly. Until they started gaining the recruiting advantages those conferences have, life would be difficult.
My complaint is that the BCS is set up on a conference priority basis. If you belong to the right conference, you're in, if you don't, you're hoping for a miracle.
Why does Baylor, which lost to Alabama-Birmingham (24-19) this year, have a better chance to play for the national championship than Utah?
How come Oregon State, a 16-14 loser to Fresno State, is in the exclusive club but Colorado State isn't? Why does Syracuse, a 30-20 loser to Louisville, rate among the chosen few, yet BYU doesn't?
Why do bad teams from good conferences get to share in all that bowl money?
Because they have their conference membership cards, which is like saying because I have a Blockbuster card I should get into the Academy Awards.
This season has provided ample proof that just because you belong to a conference doesn't mean you deserve preferential treatment.
Cincinnati beat West Virginia, Louisiana Tech beat Michigan State, Miami (Ohio) beat Northwestern, Bowling Green beat Purdue and Northern Illinois beat Maryland.
I have no problem admitting, for example, the Big Ten is a better football conference than the MWC. But Northwestern is not better than BYU, Utah or Colorado State. Likewise, Kansas of the Big 12 isn't better than Air Force and Vanderbilt of the SEC isn't better than UNLV.
Is Air Force afraid to play Indiana or BYU fearful of Kentucky? Is Utah quaking at the thought of meeting Duke? Colorado State has shown for several years it isn't intimidated by Colorado.
Bad teams from good conferences have been getting a free ride.
Never mind they never actually do anything. They just cash their checks and move on. A MWC team could go 11-1 and not get a sniff at a BCS bowl, yet if Oregon State does the same thing, it might be playing for a national championship.
Mid-major conference teams are beating major conference teams on a fairly regular basis. Occasionally they even beat upper echelon teams.
That's proof enough that the BCS system is as phony as a bad toupee.
The BCS system needs to include the best teams from all the conferences, not all the teams from the best conferences. Better yet, it needs to become extinct and a national playoff should ensue. That way I can stop asking the obvious question: Who invited Rutgers?