What do you know? Another year in college football, another big mess created by the BCS.
Except this time around, the injustices wrought by the "system" on the bowl season are particularly off-putting from top to bottom.
These flubs, in particular, figure to fire up a whole new conversation about tweaking the BCS formula, if not scrapping the darn thing entirely in favor of a playoff.
Bama boxes OK State out of BCS title game
Folks around the country, from SEC country to TV punditry, have said Alabama deserves another shot at LSU for the crystal football, that the Crimson Tide are the second-best team in the country according to some mystical "eye test."
Conversely, Oklahoma State shouldn't get that opportunity because its lone loss came against Iowa State and it doesn't dominate with defense.
I know this is a crazy idea, but what if we looked at what these two teams actually accomplished during the season? Shall we?
Obviously, some of those rankings have changed, with Oklahoma dropping down and Mizzou dropping out, though everything else holds true. The Cowboys played a tougher schedule, picked up more wins against quality opponents and won the Big 12, which has arguably been the toughest conference in college football from top to bottom this season.
As for Nick Saban's squad, the highlight of its resume—other than wins over Arkansas and Penn State—is a home loss to the best team in the country.
Apparently, the voters didn't see this graphic or the 44-10 shellacking the Pokes laid on the Sooners in the Bedlam Game. Otherwise, they probably would've put OK State second in the polls and left little doubt about who should play for the BCS National Championship.
Instead, the Pokes will take on Stanford in a matchup of marquee quarterbacks, between Brandon Weeden and Andrew Luck, and hope LSU dismantles 'Bama to get the debate going again.
A Sugary scandal
Of course, Oklahoma State was hardly the only team the BCS jobbed out of a trip to New Orleans.
If anything, the pitting of Michigan against Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl is even more revealing of the seedy underbelly that still dictates the terms and conditions of participation in college football.
On the one hand are the Wolverines, who, like 'Bama, get to play at the Superdome despite sitting home on Championship Saturday. They likely spent the evening watching Michigan State go toe-to-toe with Wisconsin and fall just three points shy of winning the Big Ten title.
Apparently, the BCS's computers weren't paying attention, as the machines overruled the voters, who had the Spartans at No. 13 in both polls, and ultimately dragged Sparty down to No. 17 and, as a result, out of BCS at-large consideration.
This, despite the fact that Michigan State beat Michigan quite handily in the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy.
Even so, there were still at least two other teams in the at-large pool that are more deserving of spots in the Sugar Bowl than are Michigan and Virginia Tech.
Namely, No. 7 Boise State and No. 8 Kansas State. Kellen Moore and the Broncos went 11-1, pummeling Georgia at the Georgia Dome to kick it all off and, perhaps, came within a field goal of playing for the national title. Likewise, K-State, guided by Coach of the Year Bill Snyder, tallied quality wins against Baylor, Missouri and Texas and lost only to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Yet, both weren't offered invitations to the Big Easy, leaving non-AQs without a ticket to the dance and the Big 12 with just one representative.
And the ACC with two! Yes, two, despite the fact that one (Clemson) had lost three of its last four games coming into Saturday and that the other (Va. Tech) lost twice to the one by a combined score of 61-13.
And how many wins, pray tell, did the Hokies rack up against currently ranked opponents? As it happens, as many as you and I, my friend.
But, you know, Michigan and Virginia Tech are bigger names in college football, with more fans willing to drop money on tickets and hotel rooms and help line the already stuffed pockets of the BCS fat cats.
And we, the fans, are supposed to be okay with that, right?
And you thought the math that left Michigan State out of the BCS mix was fuzzy? Get a load of what happened to TCU.
The Horned Frogs were ranked 18th in the BCS after the second-to-last weekend of the season, with a reasonable chance to move up a couple spots and, therefore, into the Big Dance automatically as the champion of the Mountain West Conference.
Selection Sunday came around and TCU's numbers improved across the board, moving from 17th to 15th in both human polls and from 18th to 17th in the computers.
So, obviously, Gary Patterson's team inched its way into the Top 16 as a result...right?
Even just a little bit?
Which team got the worst deal from the BCS?
Nope. Instead, the BCS formula plunked the Frogs right back in the 18-hole, lodged behind five (count 'em) three-loss teams, despite being the first team to beat Boise State on the Smurf Turf since 2005 and suffering only a two-point defeat to Baylor and an overtime loss to SMU.
At least they won't have to put up with this sort of second-class citizenship next year when they move to the Big 12. Right, K-State and OK State?
Ultimately, it looks like we've got ourselves another snafu to conclude an incredible college football season, though this ending is arguably more messed up than anything we've yet seen from the BCS.
In other words, it's about time we tore it all down and tried something just a smidgen less byzantine.