Arash Markazi
Thursday January 20th, 2005

The end of the college football regular season coincides with the end of the semester at many colleges, and that usually means partaking in the traditional class evaluations. I'm going to evaluate a course I studied for about 15 hours every Saturday this fall.

Professor: N.C. Doublay Course: College Football Section: 2004

Please answer whether you strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree with the statements below. Please explain your reasoning in the comments section underneath each statement.

AGREE : We all understand the BCS isn't perfect, but it's the best system we have. Under the old system USC, Oklahoma and Auburn would have gone to three different bowls and we would have more controversy than we do now. At least under this system we have a national championship game between the consensus top-two teams. While Auburn may have been shafted by not getting a chance to play for a national title, college football fans have been gifted with one of the most exciting national title games in recent history, at least on paper. It doesn't get much better than seeing the Trojans lead by Pete Carroll, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush going head-to-head against the Sooners lead by Bob Stoops, Jason White and Adrian Peterson. With all due respect to my friends in Auburn, this is the matchup that most college football fans want to see. By the way, can we please put to rest any ludicrous scenarios that have Auburn possibly winning a share of the national championship if the USC-Oklahoma game is close and Auburn blows out Virginia Tech? The USC-Oklahoma game should be close and the Auburn-Virginia Tech game should be a blow out if the Tigers come to play. That doesn't change anything, except for the fact that the Tigers will finish the season ranked second instead of third.

STRONGLY DISAGREE: Cal being knocked out of the Rose Bowl is the biggest injustice of the BCS this year. Yes, Auburn got snubbed, but that was at least explainable, and almost predictable as long as we don't have a playoff system. And, honestly, a trip to the Sugar Bowl as the undefeated SEC Champions isn't a terrible consolation prize. Cal? Try explaining to the Bears how they are headed to the Holiday Bowl against a 7-4 Texas Tech team after the season they had. The Bears dropped from fourth to fifth in the BCS standings despite going on the road and beating Southern Mississippi on the final Saturday of the season when Texas wasn't even playing, unless you count the mind games Longhorns coach Mack Brown was playing with poll voters on every media outlet he could get himself on.

Texas and Cal both finished the season with 10-1 records, but the Bears were consistently ranked fourth this season, and even finished fourth in both human polls. Their lone loss of the year was by six points to No. 1 USC at the Coliseum, where the Trojans have a 21-game home-winning streak. The Bears outplayed the USC and would have probably won on a neutral field. Texas? The Longhorns were shut out by the Sooners in dropping their fifth straight game to Oklahoma in Texas and should have lost to a 4-7 Kansas team.

I don't want to take anything away from Texas, it had a great season and deserves to go to a BCS bowl game as well, but Cal and its loyal fans were robbed of their first Rose Bowl trip in 46 years. One reason the Bears aren't playing Michigan in Pasadena on New Year's Day is the actions of some deplorable coaches who cowardly hide behind their nameless votes in the their poll. One coach rated Texas as high as No. 2, while two others ranked Cal as low as No. 8. Overall, 10 coaches bumped Texas ahead of Cal in their final polls. You think any of those coaches were friends of Brown, or even Brown himself? It's laughable acts like this that make the polls a joke and why we must often rely on the often-unreliable computers to decide who the best teams are.

DISAGREE: The moment the Big East lost Miami and Virginia Tech to the ACC, it should have also lost its automatic bid into a BCS bowl. The fact that an 8-3 Pittsburgh team can slide into the Fiesta Bowl over a more worthy team such as Texas or Cal is a joke. It's not the Panthers' fault, they're just playing by the rules and accepting what is being given to them, but the BCS committee should be embarrassed when they look at their Fiesta Bowl matchup. That bowl is certainly all that and a bag of Tostitos tortilla chips, huh? You have an undefeated mid-major in the Utah Utes, led by Florida's new coach Urban Meyer, against an above-average Pittsburgh squad.

DISAGREE: Peterson is certainly deserving of the Heisman, but the best player on the best team in the country this year is Reggie Bush. No player has meant more to his team's success than Bush. He is a threat to score every time he touches the ball and the Trojans would probably have at least two losses this season if it wasn't for Bush's big plays on offense and special teams. It can be argued that the same can be said of Peterson, but Bush wins my vote because he is also the most exciting player in the country. He may not have as many touches as Peterson, but Bush in the only player who makes you sit on the edge of your seat every time he has the ball. He has that Michael Vick-like quality that cannot be measured by statistics or quantified by how many carries or catches he has. His mere presence on the field has made USC the best team in the country and is a big reason why Leinart will probably be holding the hardware Saturday night.

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