It's true. Every year, we get so caught up worrying about complicated formulas and rankings that we fail to see the forest for the trees. Does the BCS have flaws? Of course. Does the BCS make any sense? Not really. Do people still watch? You bet.
Sounds just like professional wrestling. Ironically, the BCS operates in the same illogical fashion, knowing full well that people will always tune so long as intriguing storylines are played out on national television. Doesn't matter in the least if none of it adds up.
So if just for today, let's try on replica title belts, break out our big boots, and bodyslam our wrestling buddies ... all while matching this year's BCS teams to our favorite professional wrestlers.
While the Sooners might be more noted for their speed on defense and a timely defeat of Missouri, their calling card has been team attitude; just like Piper, they've carried chips on their shoulders all season long. Seriously, they're always angry. And likewise, Oklahoma has traditionally shown the same propensity to disappear and reappear from generation to generation.
Hulk Hogan once described The Ultimate Warrior as a "flat character." Is that not Georgia? Other than a wild touchdown celebration against Florida, the Dawgs have no real defining characteristics. Likewise, they continually fall short of being THE team to beat in college football, content on going 8-4, 9-3, or 10-2 every season.
Nobody knows a whole lot about Hawaii. The Warriors come from a faraway land. Their culture is different. Their style is exotic. Their accomplishments can't be translated. And they're downright mysterious to the Eastern Standard Time zone. Yet, they've still found a way to interfere with the BCS in the same way that Shango once stormed a title match between Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice.
Likeable and gimmicky, yet grossly unaccomplished, the Mountaineers have garnered much fanfare despite no actual accolades throughout their history. None. In fact, you could argue that West Virginia peaked during a failed title bid in 1988, the same year Duggan topped out by winning a Royal Rumble.
Has there been a bigger snake in college football this season? Calmly ... quietly ... the Buckeyes have slithered their way to the top of the polls -- not once, but twice -- and have now unhinged their jaws and swallowed up a spot in the BCS Championship. The only thing missing from Jim Tressel's neck is Damien, Roberts' giant Burmese python.
Though lacking the platinum hair or "Nature Boy" moniker, LSU has been impossible to kill and college football's ultimate opportunist in 2007, using plenty of risky eye pokes and testicular claws to scrape its way back into contention.
Though a model for consistency, both USC and the Undertaker took steps backward in 2007. The similarities are uncanny, as both were significantly hampered by injuries that cost each shots at their respective titles. Still, both are main-event worthy, strike the fear of God into hearts of opponents, and exude a spooky confidence when on the big stage.
The Illini is tough to root against, as was Snuka when he first burst onto the professional wrestling scene with his high-flying arsenal of moves. And just as Snuka was crushed by The Undertaker at WrestleMania 7, Illinois will get destroyed by USC (remember, they're The Undertaker) in the 2008 Rose Bowl.
No matter how hard you tried to rationalize Doink as a legitimate wrestler, he was still a clown. It was impossible to see past that. (You couldn't even take some of his wins seriously ... like that time he attacked Crush with a prosthetic arm.) That's been the rub against Kansas this season as well. At the end of the day, the Jayhawks are completely untested and unaccomplished and have never been taken seriously. But they've certainly been amusing.
Frankly, Virginia Tech is a bland team. There is no glitz or glamour -- the Hokies are just kind of there, miraculously third in the latest BCS rankings. But they are a smart team with sound fundamentals and wise tactics. And just like Blackman, no matter how much you try to talk up their plain attack, it's not exactly a ratings draw. Ho hum.
I think I'm at the point where I start getting the heebie jeebies anytime an Oklahoma State coach (past or present) holds a press conference. Between Mike Gundy's tirade earlier this season and Les Miles' continued rants throughout the year, I'm starting to wonder if the water in Stillwater, Oklahoma is laced with some combination of equine steroids and Red Bull.
Miles' latest overaggressive comments were aimed at ESPN's "false" reports that he would take over for Lloyd Carr in Ann Arbor in 2008. However, he has yet to definitively say no to the job. In a world that still offers slimy characters like Nick Saban $4 million per season, this is important to note. Trustworthiness among your favorite coaches, quite simply, is no longer trustworthy. And with talk being cheaper than ever, would anyone truly be surprised to see Miles manning Michigan after LSU's title shot in January? I wouldn't.
Speaking of bogus reports, Campus Quick Slants has learned that the Missouri Athletic Department has acquired a live tiger from the St. Louis Zoo and will set it free inside BCS headquarters at some point within the next week. Messages left for Missouri coach Gary Pinkel were not immediately returned.
Even if this were true, would anyone be opposed to it after what happened to Mizzou this weekend? Despite beating Kansas and being the top team in the country headed into the final week of the season, the Tigers were kicked to the curb by the Bad Common Sense committee in favor of the Jayhawks and relegated to the Cotton Bowl.
What I don't understand is how any analyst can get in front of a camera and say that the BCS system is "working."
... to the California Golden Bears, who slowly but surely worked their way to No. 2 in the polls before losing to Arizona State on Oct. 13 and subsequently vanishing into thin air. It's been quite astonishing, actually -- Cal lost six of its final seven games, symbolically capping a rollercoaster season with an unceremonious loss to Stanford. Congratulations, gentlemen, you've ... umm ... earned it?
Raise your hand if you think the esteemed crew of Big East referees tried to rig the "Backyard Brawl" between Pittsburgh and West Virginia on Saturday night. Anyone?
Now, it's fairly common for a few controversial calls to make a half of football more intriguing. But if you watched the game in its entirety, there is no conceivable way you went to bed without pondering whether the officiating crew was flipped by the Italian mafia -- they looked like those crooked refs that tried to screw over Herman Boone in Remember the Titans. After a slew of egregious mistakes in the second half -- including the worst holding call of the season, which negated a Pitt touchdown -- you couldn't help but wonder if Cousin Tony called in a few favors to the Big East.
1. More appealing upcoming movie?I Am Legend / Cloverfield
2. More likely to win Heisman? Darren McFadden / Tim Tebow
3. Bigger non-BCS mismatch? Michigan-Florida / Boise St.-East Carolina
4. More concerning Penn State salary? JoePa's / JayPa's
5. More over-publicized? Akon / T-Pain
6. Better Monopoly property? Baltic Avenue / Illinois Avenue
7. Better non-BCS match-up? Texas-Arizona St. / Wisconsin-Tennessee
8. More disappointing toy? Nintendo "Power Glove" / "Domino Rally"
9. Better television innovation? Skycam / Computer-generated first down line
10. Next national champion? Ohio St. / LSU
I'll say it: there are few events in sports more disappointing than the elusive "Million Dollar Throw" at college football games. There is nothing less satisfying to a fan. In recorded history, has anybody ever converted one of these?
Saturday night's Big 12 Championship Game added yet another chapter to a storied past of throwing failures. It's the same deal every year -- two tomato cans trot out there and nail a few passes from five yards, then move back, over-aim, and miss by a country mile. This year's contest seemed to have a little more potential, but in the end it was more of the same.
Quite honestly, the consistency with which sponsors like Dr. Pepper are able to find the worst arms in America for their competitions is simply mind-blowing. Wouldn't the law of averages eventually land a high school quarterback in the mix? Apparently not. Every year it seems we're stuck with a cross between the Mayor of Cincinnati and Chelcie Ross from Major League. Unbelievable.
Ty Hildenbrandt writes Campus Quick Slants every Wednesday. E-mail Ty at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, questions, and random observations.