David Teel has some interesting observations on the BCS fiasco.

[T]his [was an] unfathomable regular season (Oklahoma loses to Kansas State, which loses to Marshall, which loses to Troy State, which loses to Middle Tennessee State, which loses to Temple, which loses to Division I-AA Villanova), in which no team survived unbeaten and three teams with one defeat established themselves as a cut above.


So the Sugar Bowl should match USC and LSU? Yes and no.

Yes in a perfect sports world, where championships are determined by games. No in the fantasy world of Division I-A football, where championships are determined by polls, and shared titles are common.

Let’s be honest. Pitiful as it was against Kansas State, Oklahoma is mighty impressive. The Sooners dominated a quality schedule, hammering Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech (combined record 34-14) by a 37-point average. They placed six players on the Football Writers Association’s first-team All-America squad. They are, clearly, legitimate contenders.

And by matching Oklahoma-LSU in the Sugar Bowl, and USC-Michigan in the Rose Bowl, the BCS, quite inadvertently mind you, gives all three contenders a title chance. The coaches’ poll automatically crowns the LSU-Oklahoma winner; the media poll, under no such obligation, can anoint USC, if the Trojans defeat Michigan.

Yes, shared championships are as un-American as escargot for breakfast. And yes, they violate every natural law of sports. But college football, and the republic, survived previous split-decisions such as USC-Alabama in 1978, Colorado-Georgia Tech in `90, Miami-Washington in `91, and Michigan-Nebraska in `97.

The beauty is, split-decisions soon may be a bad memory. By rejecting the polls’ No. 1 team for the title game, an unthinkable first, the BCS may have put itself out of business.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. BigFire says:

    As an USC follower, I want BCS to die a quick and painful death ASAP.

  2. Carl says:

    I am with you 100% BigFire and I posted as such on my site.

    I am of the firm belief that the winner of the game between your team and my team wins the championship…It’s hard to defend my team’s cause excepting their late season excellence, but your team has a firm case for #1.

    BCS sucks and I cannot imagine saying that about a playoff system that included at least 8 teams but preferably 16. So what if these college (er professional) athletes have to play a couple more games? What class are they missing???

  3. James Joyner says:

    A 16-team playoff would be virtually out of the question, I’d think. That’d take four weeks. That’s an awful lot of football. And risk of injury to people who might be going pro. That’s a third of a college season. The only way that could happen would be to take a couple regular season games away–which would be a revenue drain for the 112 teams not playoff bound.

    A four team (semifinals and then final) or maybe even eight team (quarter-, semi-, then final) format might be sellable.

  4. James Joyner says:

    And I can’t see any non-playoff rationale for putting two-loss Michigan ahead of LSU or Oklahoma. Even in a weak year, the SEC is a mighty tough conference.

  5. Hogg says:

    USC, LSU, OU, and MICH. All quality teams. One solution. Add one more game. Please let them decide it on the field. How the hell can anyone possibly know who the better team is until they play one another. Hell, me and millions of other people thought OU would roll over K-state. When that game was over all those thought were just that, Thoughts. You never, never, never, know how the game of football is going to turn out, at any level.

    And please to all you USC and Michigan people.
    Quit your f@#king bitching. You can cry all the way to the Pope and it ain’t going to make a hill of crap difference. Crying about it isn’t going to make it better. Suck it up and maybe a better solution or renovated BSC can add an alternative we all can be at least comfortable with.