Outrage is cheap and plentiful, and like most cheap and plentiful things it is useless when you need to get something done. Any and all outrage over the BCS is functionally useless, and like a customer stuck bellowing at the mute face of an off-bank ATM charging you for the money you must have at that moment, you will take the fee for being a fan because you need the money far more than you can tolerate the lack of it. Go ahead and yell at it all you like -- it changes nothing, and might get you a misdemeanor charge when a passing cop sees you kicking the daylights out of a poor defenseless machine.â†µ
Sputter on if you like, but despicable as the BCS may be, it is a vast improvement over the old systems of determining a national champion. Remember that in the past -- from 1965 to 1967 -- the AP's national championship could in fact be awarded before the bowl season, meaning double the outrage when your appointed champion went down in flames in a bowl game. Before the half-sanity of the BCS there was voting, and voting alone, to determine the national championship, a process that due to bowl contracts meant the best teams playing each other was never even a possibility.â†µ
Under the existing system, that is at least a possibility, and that is an improvement from the previous regimes of crowning national champions. Also, if this seems familiar, it should, since panicking over the BCS leading into this year has only had one undeniably busted year: 2003, when USC and LSU split the title after Oklahoma snuck into the picture through the magic of some funky BCS math. A decade of the system has been good in producing fair matchups, even if the results in the games themselves have been erratic. (OSU/Miami? Classic. USC/Oklahoma? Classically gory.)â†µ
For the moment, hold the outrage. After the conference championship games, you should have a one-loss Big 12 team versus either an undefeated or one loss SEC team. USC may have a small case for being in the BCS Championship game, but their strength of schedule serves as a convenient enough counter to any claims they may make. (It's not their fault the Pac-10 went to the dogs this year, but still.) The same holds true for Penn State, whose schedule also puts them a few crucial paces behind a claim at the title. Contrary to what fellow TSBer Dan Shanoff says, it is not a playoff, but it will produce a quality matchup that, in retrospect, will look like the right call once the games are actually played and trophies hoisted skyward.â†µ
(Unless Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma this week and/or Texas loses to Texas A&M, and then you can set the drapes on fire, grab a gun and a bottle of liquor, and head to the hills, because this house is burning to the ground.)â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.