Miller is a sophomore radio-television producing major and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, the college football regular season is over, and the bowl games are set. The exciting 2011 season will officially end on Jan. 9 in New Orleans with a rematch of one of the most boring games of the season. It was no surprise; everyone tuned into this college football season expected a rematch after both Alabama and LSU won their final regular season games. Even an unexpected loss in the Southeastern Conference championship game to Georgia couldn’t have kept the Tigers out of the BCS National Championship game. But, when the final BCS rankings came through on Sunday night, it still stung to see Oklahoma State occupy the third spot, making it official that the Crimson Tide will get a chance to avenge its 9-6 overtime loss to LSU that happened in early November.
OK, these are still the two best teams in the country; I’m not going to sit here and argue that. But this national championship game just makes no sense. Let’s take a look at it from all the angles.
If the Crimson Tide were unable to take down the Tigers back on Nov. 5, why would it be able to in January? Both teams were coming off their bye weeks back then and had the same 1-2 rankings that they do now. Remember how overtime went down? Alabama got the ball first and was unable to put in any points from LSU’s 25-yard line. This isn’t the NFL, where LSU won the coin toss and three plays later kicked the game-winning field goal. Both teams get their shot no matter what, and Alabama blew its chance and gave the rest of the season (so we thought back then) to LSU in the first overtime. Did I mention this meeting took place in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and the national championship is in New Orleans?
Every time one of those fancy suited, ex-Division-I-football-player-turned-broadcaster utters that famous cliché, “Well, everyone wants to see the two best teams play for the title,” I cringe. They were also the two best teams the first time they met and managed to put 15 points on the scoreboard. I frankly don’t want to see it again. Why wouldn’t fans want to see someone else take a shot at undefeated LSU? Someone like Oklahoma State, that puts up almost 50 points a game, second in all of the FBS. Or someone like Stanford, with the leading Heisman candidate calling the plays, Andrew Luck. Or what about Oregon? Sure the Ducks and the Tigers have also already met this season, but when that game ended, there were 67 points on the board. And Oregon’s only other loss was on the road to a USC team that might’ve won the Pac-12, been ranked in the top five and been playing for a BCS bowl themselves if they weren’t on probation this season. Oh, and don’t let me forget, the Ducks actually won their conference title game, something that ‘Bama didn’t even qualify for. There are three other legitimate contenders that I’m sure the fans would rather see than this rematch of the two best teams.
Remember back in 2007, when Ohio State was in LSU’s position and everyone thought that Michigan would get its chance to face them in the title game? But then at the last second, Florida got into the national championship game because it was further apart, and that matchup was to raise more money not only in the city the game was played, but also across the nation in television ratings. I guess that logic doesn’t apply when we’re dealing with the almighty SEC. It would even be different if it was still this match-up, but played in, say, the Rose Bowl out in California. However, the game will be played in LSU’s backyard, and it’s not a far drive from those pesky ‘Bama fans.
Oooohhhhh, the BCS. What a head scratcher. How is it that Oklahoma State finished below Alabama in the BCS? What about the system’s silly little algorithm gave Alabama the upper hand? Sure its defense is only giving up 8.8 points per game, best in the FBS, but the Crimson Tide haven’t played a Big 12 offensive-minded team putting up 49.3 points a game. Oklahoma State was the outright Big 12 champion. The Big 12 is ranked higher in the computers than the SEC overall. Alabama didn’t even qualify to contend for the SEC title. That alone should be enough to overpower the Crimson Tide. Both teams have one loss. Sure, Alabama’s was to No. 1 ranked LSU and Oklahoma State’s was to an unranked Iowa State team, but lets dig a little deeper. Alabama’s loss came at home in single overtime. Oklahoma State’s came on the road on a short week, in double overtime. Oh, and two Oklahoma State women’s basketball coaches had died in a tragic plane crash the day before. Fast forward to this weekend. Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma 44-10 while Alabama is sitting on the couch. Case closed. I would love to see an Oklahoma State vs. LSU national championship game.
The what if’s…
OK, so LSU beats Alabama in another close (but boring) game, let’s say 13-10. It’s clear LSU deserves to be crowned champions, alone at 14-0. But what if Oklahoma State routes No. 4 Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl, 34-7? Or even vice versa? Would you be truly satisfied not seeing either of those teams get a shot to give the Tigers a loss? What about the truly dreaded outcome of an Alabama victory? Really? They’d be national champions? After coming out of the same conference that LSU won, having one less win than the Tigers, and each team having a loss to each other. Cue Vancouver Canucks riots; everyone would finally completely lose faith in the BCS.
I could think of plenty more reasons that this year’s national championship matchup is wrong, but I’d hate to lay out more reasons for them not to play this game than the amount of total points we will see on the scoreboard when this fantastic year of college football comes to a messy end in New Orleans.