Terrible title game just what BCS needed
After all, we'd seen
Field Goal Fest the Game of the
Century back in November. And yes, it provided an overtime
and dominating SEC defense, but for the most part it was
Despite the BCS honks who claim that the regular season in college football is indeed a playoff system that weeds out the weak, we were subjected to another Crimson Tide-Bayou Bengals match for the crystal football trophy with the Dr. Pepper logo on it.
At least the first meeting between the teams was close.
Alabama got 5 field goals from a kicker who was sporting Richard Marx's hairdo and a late pile-on touchdown from Trent Richardson in a 21-0 whitewashing of LSU to claim their second BCS title in three years. LSU managed 92 yards of offense with a quarterback who looked like he had never played the position before and a normally bold coach who was afraid to make a change.
Couple that with Brent Musberger's incessant Honey Badger references and a horrific leg injury suffered by Alabama's C.J. Mosley, and this game was virtually unwatchable.
This was the 14th year of the BCS, which is supposed to ensure the two best teams play one game to determine a champion. So much criticism about the system's failure or inability to match up the two best teams has piled up over the years. The system really only works when there are two and only two undefeated teams from major conferences left standing at the end of the regular season. That doesn't happen often.
But the games that the BCS formula has spit out after their fancy computers do their thing have been terrible for the most part. In the fourteen-year history of the BCS, only thrice has the final game been memorable to the average college football fan -- Ohio State's controversial overtime win over Miami in 2003, Texas' upset of USC in 2006 and I'll even bend a little and include Auburn's victory over Oregon in 2011.
The rest? Blech! The first BCS title game between Tennessee and Florida State at the Fiesta Bowl in January of 1999 is one of the worst football games I've ever watched with my own two eyes. How about USC rolling over Oklahoma 55-19 in Miami in 2005? The most memorable moment of that game was Ashlee Simpson being booed for her halftime show performance. Or Florida's dominating victory over Ohio State in 2007 when the Buckeyes managed 82 yards?
Only twice in the BCS' history has the championship game been determined by less than 7 points. On the flip side, there have been blowouts of 27, 21, 23 and 36 points. The average margin of victory in the 14 BCS title games? A whopping 14.4 points. That's not what you'd expect when a computer is determining the two best teams to play for all the [fill in the blank with sponsor's product].
And despite Monday's game being billed as "The Game of the Century II", the fans know better. The television rating's for Alabama's win were the lowest for a championship game in the BCS era. People are tuning out the other manufactured BCS bowl matchups, too. The Orange Bowl featuring West Virginia and Clemson drew a 4.5 rating, the lowest rated bowl game of the BCS era.
Opponents of the BCS who are steadfast enough not to watch the seemingly endless parade of meaningless football exhibition games have long contended that if people don't watch, the BCS will go away and be replaced by a playoff system similar to the one that every other competitive sport on the face of the Earth employs to crown a champion.
That could be coming. Immediate reaction from Monday's debacle has spurred movement. Matt Hayes of Sporting News wrote the following Monday:
Years from now, this BCS National Championship Game won't be remembered so much for Alabama's utter domination of LSU as it will the beginning of radical change in college football. A national playoff is coming, everyone.
It's only a matter of what it looks like.
"It gets done," a high-ranking BCS official told Sporting News Monday evening.
Here's how: over the next six months, the leaders of the sport will meet at least four times to iron out a plan that protects the importance of the regular season—the one aspect BCS leaders believe separates the game from every other—while embracing a new frontier for the poll-driven sport.
The old saying goes "it's always darkest before the dawn". So I guess in a weird way, I should be thanking the BCS, LSU and Alabama for providing one dark, hard-to-watch football game.
It may just have been bad enough to spark a big change for the better.