BCS Rankings: This Is the Perfect Year for the Plus-One Game

Eric Freeman, Jr.Contributor IIIDecember 4, 2011

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - JANUARY 07:  The coaches trophy is displayed during Media Day for the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn on January 7, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Anyone else have college football vertigo?

It's tough, this BCS business. Every year, a new controversy crops up, mostly due to the fact that in most years, the two teams worthiest to lock horns are usually playing someone else, flying in the face of conventional wisdom.

This year is no different.

Alabama and Oklahoma State both have legitimate cases as to why they should play LSU (the only team with no case to make at all, they've already made theirs). Stanford, Oregon, Boise State and Houston could all presumably make their case, too.

More than any other year, the rankings seem to be screaming for a Plus-One Game.

If you're unfamiliar, basically a Plus-One Game allows two teams who have beaten other teams in BCS Bowl games to face each other, so as to avoid any controversy about who is the true best team in the country.

The situation has called for a Plus-One Game a few times, most notably in 2003 when Oklahoma—who didn't win the Big 12 that year and were annihilated by Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game—was selected to face LSU in the BCS Championship Game in New Orleans.

Former LSU head coach Nick Saban would defeat the Sooners that night, but it wouldn't stop the AP from awarding co-championships to both LSU and Southern Cal, shut out of the title game despite handily winning the Pac-10 and defeating Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

Once again, the situation the very next year brought about controversy, as undefeated Auburn was shut out of the title game, featuring an undefeated Oklahoma (who did win the Big 12 that season) and Southern Cal (who would later vacate their victory under NCAA sanctions).

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville shakes Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer's hand after winning the 2005 Sugar Bowl.
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville shakes Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer's hand after winning the 2005 Sugar Bowl.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Plus-One Game would be a compromise between those in favor of the BCS system (where schools are awarded lavish payouts for participation) and those who would prefer a playoff system of anywhere from four to 10 teams, giving problems to advertisers looking to make the same amount from the NCAA.

With a Plus-One Game, no longer would the window be so razor thin that two teams are awarded the title game, while a couple of other teams with legitimate cases to make are shut out.

No better case than this year, with Alabama and Oklahoma State vying for the second spot in the national title game. While Alabama's one-loss was against the best team in the country in LSU (as opposed to Iowa State), OK State has more wins against Top 25 opponents and at least won the Big 12 Championship.

Alabama wasn't even the best team in its division, let alone the SEC Championship Game.

The two should be able to settle their differences on the field and compete for the opportunity to face LSU. Alabama would be able to make their case for a rematch, while Oklahoma State could challenge the theory about the SEC being the best conference in football (which, I might add, the SEC has proven for the past five years of national title games).

Tonight we'll find out who will definitely play, but depending on your side of the debate, you might be left in the cold.

Until the BCS can figure out how to get rid of any extra controversy around the National Championship, we're going to keep having situations and debates where half the country is thanking their lucky stars while the other is left to wonder "What if?"

Here's to your side, whichever it becomes tonight.