College football is poised for one of the greatest stretch runs in recent memory. Every year since 2002 there has been at least two and as many as eight two-loss teams in the top twenty five at this point in the season, but entering this past weekend there were zero. With Missouri and Kansas losing there are now two two-loss teams in the top 25, but it’s hard to dispute that parody in college football has reached the tipping point (or what should be). The bowl season should be incredible (provided we don’t get the “We deserved a better bowl” attitude from too many teams) and it hopefully will grant many of the matchups that fans long for, but due to geography, scared athletic directors, or scheduling incompatibility have yet to occur.
All of these tremendous weeks, bowls, and at the end of it lays not a pot of gold, but a steaming pile. Looking ahead, what potential national championship matchup will appease the masses? Any game that involves Penn State will be discounted by SEC or Big XII fans (which ever gets left out). If any undefeated team gets left out (most likely Penn State), the critics will crow. A game that features USC, but neglects other one loss teams will be derided by everyone outside of Compton. Invariably, the question will be asked, “Did the BCS get it right?” This question is as biased as campaign advertisements, and with no clear cut criteria, how can it be accurately answered? When a team hoists the trophy on January 8th, they will not be undisputed and more than likely it will be based largely on the matchup they got in their final game. Matchups in the championship game playing a huge role are nothing new. Last year, if Missouri or West Virginia had won on the final weekend, we’d have had a different matchup and a different champion. But looking ahead, college football has never had as many teams that could stake a claim to the big game.
The college football mantra, “Every Game Matters,” will continue to haunt fans, as a late loss by any number of teams will rob their schools of a shot at the big game. Looking at USC, how many of the BCS top ten would be favored in a national championship game against Pete Carroll’s squad? Potential betting lines should not be used to pick a national championship game, but would anyone feel comfortable giving points to the Trojans? The two most likely candidates to be favored are Texas or Alabama, both schools which have tough remaining schedules as well as conference championships to contend with. A loss to Oregon State early in the season should not end the Trojans season, nor should it cost the fans an opportunity to see them compete for a national championship. With the current BCS top ten, there are no less than seven guaranteed losses left (not including conference championships). When these teams lose a single game it should not preclude them from the quest for a championship. “Every Game Matters” makes a great soundbyte, but as parody continues to prevail it will only continue to rob these schools and fans of the best matchups that college football has to offer.
Stepping off my soapbox, here’s a pocket composite schedule for the rest of the season for the BCS top 20 as well as a few teams of interest to me.
Final Note: Are they going to invite several candidates for the Heisman trophy or just award it to Colt McCoy now. Even if they don't end up in the national championship game, he's going to win it. Right?