Here is a guest column from my friend and co-blogger for Kicks Soccer blog, Alex Haueter. He’s quite knowledgable, and he approached me about a post National Championship Game post/column. So here are his words.
When Sam Bradford’s pass fell incomplete on fourth-and-four with about two-and-a-half minutes remaining in Thursday’s BCS National Championship Game, pens hit paper and fingers struck keyboards throughout the country as sports writers began an annual ritual.
The summary of a title game between two good teams?
Don’t be so naive.
Instead, American sportswriters have come to prefer bashing the BCS instead of writing about it. Even in the Associated Press’ summary of the game, the writer includes an obligatory reference to a college playoff system. Florida’s win got it the silverware, but fans of Texas, USC and Utah are hardly willing to acknowledge the Gators as national champions.
Do these other teams have an argument? Of course, they do. Utah did all that was asked of it, winning its games by an average of almost 20 points with an early season win at Michigan and victories over (at the time) 12th-ranked Texas Christian, 14th-ranked Brigham Young and fourth-ranked Alabama, a team that spent much of the season atop the polls. Texas was a missed tackle away from a perfect season, and beat Oklahoma on a neutral field by the same spread as Florida. USC’s stifling defense held its opposition to barely more than a touchdown per game, and probably would have done so against Penn State in the Rose Bowl had the game not been out of hand by halftime.
At the end of the season, the BCS is not the right way to find a national champion. Anything involving computers and algorithms that the average fan can’t understand isn’t. The system it replaced wasn’t perfect, either, but there was room for compromise through split national titles. Those, of course, caused plenty of debate, too. Remember the 1997 season? At the end of the year, Nebraska and Michigan shared the honor, despite the feeling of most pundits that the Cornhuskers would have easily handled the Wolverines had they played at year’s end. Continue reading