Friday, January 9, 2009
ESPN's front page said something like "too much Tim Tebow and plenty of Percy Harvin..."; you don't need to hear the rest. Everyone knows that the game last night was supposed to crown us a champion. But did it? I, for one, don't think so.
As a fan of college football, and therefore a staunch opponent of the BCS, I was cheering for whatever would reflect badly on the system. Before the game that seemed like it would be a low scoring, say 24-14, win for Oklahoma, meaning Texas would have a good argument as the best in the land. However, once the game ended I realized that Texas wasn't the team I should be arguing for, it should be Utah.
The Utes beat a handfull of ranked teams this year, including three in the top ten, peaking with a pummeling of Alabama in their bowl game. This is the same Alabama team that Florida battled throughout the SEC Championship game. This is the same Alabama team that beat Ole Miss, who beat Texas Tech, who beat Texas, who beat Oklahoma...you get the idea. What do the Utes have to do?
They went and played Michigan at the Big House to start the year. Sure, that looks less than impressive now, but when they scheduled it, the appointment was downright ballsy. Then the Utes played Oregon State, another BCS conference team. Most years this wouldn't be a big deal, but the Beavers had beaten USC, a team that a lot of fans think would have won it all in a playoff format. The Utes then blazed through the Mountain West Conference, a league that would give the ACC or Big East a run for their money. During their run, Utah beat top-15 teams in TCU and BYU, en route to the beatdown of the Crimson Tide.
Who did Florida beat this year? What juggernaut did the Gators slay that gives them the right to claim the National Championship? The Gators played Hawaii, Miami, Citadel, and Florida State in their non-conference games, then had to deal with the likes of LSU, Georgia, Arkansas, and the rest of a down SEC. Florida earned the right to play Alabama in the SEC Championship, but was far less impressive than Utah against the Tide.
The other day I was watching a Best Damn Sports Show countdown of the top 50 sound bites in sports and one of them was the rant by Mike Gundy, head coach of Oklahoma State Football. The media made Gundy out to be a crazy man with a funny moment in press conference history. However, what I realized the other day, which is exactly what I thought at the time, was that Gundy was making an excellent point about the media's coverage of student-athletes. He was made out to look like a lunatic because that's what the media wanted.
Then, a few days ago, I was reading about the Utah Attorney General and his plan to sue the BCS for anti-trust violations. Just like Gundy before him, the AG was made to look like a fool in the media, because he was supposed to be dealing with more important matters. If this is your argument, you can honestly shove it (language edit). Of course, he should not mention this travesty, because he can only focus on one thing at a time. If he is looking into this, he will have absolutely no time left to deal with crime! In Utah. Oh no! The point is that Utah's AG, like Gundy, is not crazy and the system should be fixed. It's not just because it is a flawed system, it's because the system is about making money for a select few at the expense of millions.
About a decade ago, the NCAA adopted the BCS to give college football a definitive champion. Since then it has failed as much as it has succeeded and has lined the pockets of a lucky few while raping and pillaging the sports world. Of all the popular sports, college football is the only one that fails to crown a legitimate champion. Hell, I don't know of another sport that is worse, major or not; I'd rather have a French judge decide who the best team is. We're better off in the old system, that at least didn't pretend to provide a consensus. The only way the BCS works is when two teams separate themselves from the rest and that rarely happens.
The BCS and the NCAA ruined my college football postseason, and Utah's entire season, and for that they will never be forgiven. This should have been a crowning year for college football, with the likes of Texas, USC, Florida, Oklahoma, Utah, Penn State, and others in a tournament. It's time to settle the national championship on the field. The money grab for the conferences, schools, and bowls needs to stop.
Until it does, Utah was the team that went unbeaten this year. I have always like Florida, but the Gators lost this season and Utah did not. The Utes played a respectable schedule and just because they were snubbed by voters and formulas doesn't make them less deserving of a crystal football. So let's congratulate the "other" national champions, the Utah Utes!