When Florida leapfrogged Michigan in 2006 to walk into the BCS National Championship Game, it was proof the BCS system got things right, at least for Urban Meyer. Now, with his Buckeyes on the outside looking in, Meyer is trumpeting the flaws in the system. Unfortunately for Meyer and Ohio State, the outcome does not look to be favorable.
First and foremost, if you thought this was a stop to get on the "Urban Meyer is a Hypocrite" Express, just stop. That train does not service this station, so make alternate plans to fuel your finger-pointing, Meyer-loathing fire. Meyer's view on things has not wavered. He has not changed his approach to the system.
The fact is, Meyer, and every other coach in America, wants what is best for his team. In 2006, it was best for the system to push the Gators ahead of Michigan after winning the SEC Championship Game. In 2008, it was for Florida to jump Texas. For 2009, it would have been nice for the Gators if they got a rematch with Alabama.
Currently, as the situation looks even more dire than it did in 2006, Meyer is stumping for his team and against the system.
That's not the mark of a hypocrite. No, that's the mark of a football coach. Advocating for one's team is a universal policy. It's why coaches fight for their cornerback on pass-interference calls when the ball was uncatchable, but complain that a flag wasn't thrown when they think their receiver was held. It is about as consistent a policy as there is in sports.
I do believe as time wears on and you kind of sit back and look, that the only thing justifiable is to do that. I used to think it would be impossible to do, with all the stadiums, with selling tickets, with how would you do this. I believe there is enough firepower out there now that you could get that done. Don't ask me how to do it because I'm too busy. But I believe there's enough people out there to get that done.
That's Urban Meyer in 2006, talking to the Associated Press about the need for a playoff in college football. So, in 2013, when ESPN.com reports that Meyer is talking about the "flawed system" the coach is not altering course—he's picking up where he left off several years ago.
In fact, a look at Tom Hanson's 2004 column in the Marco Eagle, following Meyer's hiring at Florida, shows more of the same. He advocates for evaluating teams, a playoff and the best teams playing, regardless of conference.
In the SEC, he did not need the argument nearly as much. It was "win and you're in" for Meyer. Now, with Ohio State on the outside looking in and set to be ousted further from the top by a hot Baylor squad, it is certainly the time to pick up where he left off in 2006. After all, if he doesn't stand up for the Buckeyes and how they prove a case for change, much like he was poised to do at Florida, then who will?
The "sorry" here is not about Meyer being a hypocrite, because he is not. In fact, a look back at 2006, with a team in need of help, shows Meyer has maintained his message. He's a guy that wants a playoff, especially when that move would have benefited his team.
Sorry is not about hypocrisy and Meyer. Rather, it's about the system not being flawed. Sorry, but the system was not flawed when it put the Gators in the title game in 2006, and it is not flawed in 2013 with Alabama and Florida State projected to meet in Pasadena. The BCS has done its job, hurting feelings in the process.
Feelings that, as Meyer pointed out this week to the Associated Press, will continue to be hurt once the world gets the playoff it desires. Instead of the Nos. 3- and 4-ranked teams complaining, it will be Nos. 5 and 6 with the gripe about being the odd one out.
And you can bet, if Meyer's sitting at No. 5 in 2014, he will champion the flawed-system narrative that has already been started.