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Campus Quick Slants


Every year, it seems we find a new way to predict the demise of the Bowl Championship Series through some elaborate train wreck of parity, computer chaos and public outcry. At this point, you could argue our main rooting interest in the BCS stems from our constant desire to watch it self-destruct. In other words, the BCS system is college football's Britney Spears. It might not have a pink wig, two kids or a trampy image, but it's been just as questionable over the last decade with just as many pundits inventing new ways for it to run aground.

Now the dream ticket would be for a cataclysmic series of events to strike and ultimately bury this system upside-down with a few cloves of garlic. But I'm sorry to say the chances of that actually happening are as slim as Spears resurrecting her career. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet scenario that can ever kill the BCS. Period.

The BCS has survived for 10 seasons primarily because of its safety net of lucrative corporate sponsorships, healthy television ratings and a few irrational boneheads embedded in powerful positions within college athletics. Despite a steady diet of controversy and uproar nearly every season since its inception, the system has lived on with regular tweaks, modifications and re-justifications for its formula with each passing year. Fair or not, come hell or high water, that's the reality we've come to know. It's the money that means most, not the sanctity of the game.

So what makes anyone think that 2007 will be any different? Heaven knows we've seen plenty of complications before. What are a few more? Would it really make a difference if there were three unbeatens or 10? Would it really matter if the computer algorithm contained a hidden glitch? Would the powers-that-be even budge from their golf games if a million people marched on Washington in protest? Given the track record of the BCS and those that support it, I think you already know the answer.

My point is not that we should stop trying to overthrow the BCS -- good God, don't do that -- but rather that we should be realistic about what will eventually end it. For as fun as it is to cheer on doomsday circumstances, that won't get it done. The BCS will continue rationalizing itself through tiny revisions and bogus excuses about why the alternatives could never work. And our time and energy will continue to be wasted.

Instead, it might be more effective to demand independent thinking from those in charge of our colleges, conferences and championships. Let's demand the logic adds up before the money. Let's be more fair than frugal. And most of all, let's hit that baby one -- or a dozen! -- more times with the only thing that could possibly kill it: common sense.

How is it that Ohio State always slithers its way under the radar and into the national championship picture without anybody realizing it? Last season notwithstanding, the Buckeyes have developed an eerie reputation for sneaking their way into the equation when people stop paying attention. You just had to know that this team would eventually snake its way to the top with a schedule that currently features only one team in the BCS Top 25: Michigan (25).

A memo from the brass Fox: Please continue the upsets. Seriously.

With the prospect of a Colorado-Cleveland World Series and the outside chance of a South Florida-Boston College BCS Championship game, Fox could potentially be looking at two of the worst-rated championships in the history of sports. To offer some perspective, the heralded 2006 Rose Bowl between Texas and USC scored an astounding 21.7 rating. You have to wonder, if both scenarios were to occur, would the combined ratings of these two events come anywhere close to that number? My guess: No chance.

Surely, you've heard by now that Joe Paterno is old, cranky and will not tolerate poor driving. So, in honor of JoePa's "that's your problem" comeback, let's pick out one ironic turn of events every week and rub it in the face of a person, place or entity that deserves it most.

This week's winner is ESPN college football analyst Mark May -- an often inflammatory personality who can always find some way to hate on your favorite team.

Well, well, well ... this week was sweet revenge for any fan that watched Navy take down May's alma mater (Pittsburgh) in dramatic overtime fashion on a night when May was honored at halftime and served as ESPN's color commentator. May's evil nemesis couldn't have written a better, more disappointing script to get back at him for years of caustic criticism.

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So, Mr. May, while it's never fun to have your favorite team lose, what goes around comes around. Tell us -- how did last Thursday feel?

1. Better survivor show?Man vs. Wild / Survivorman

2. More underrated conference? Big 12 / Big East

3. Better video-game athlete? Andre Woodson (Kentucky) / Dennis Dixon (Oregon)

4. Easier coach to hate?Charlie Weis / Steve Spurrier

5. More abrasive to men?Dancing with the Stars / Dry shaving

6. More exhilarating?Storming the field / Storming the court

7. Better MTV show?The Hills / Life of Ryan

8. More ferocious bull dog? "Hairy Dawg" (Georgia) / "Handsome Dan" (Yale)

9. Most surprising BCS ranking?Arizona State (8) / Oregon (10)

10. Better scout?Mel Kiper Jr. / Todd McShay

After watching nearly all of baseball's postseason games on TBS, I'll go on record saying Frank TV is the most over-advertised television program in the history of over-advertised television programs. By game three of the Yankees-Indians series, I was having incubus attacks from Frank Caliendo commercials, and I'm not even kidding.

Ty Hildenbrandt writes Campus Quick Slants every Wednesday. E-mail Ty at with your comments, questions and random observations.