The Corporation says it’s USC, and it will be USC
The BCS, the college presidents, the NCAA, the Bowls, the TV companies – they are The Corporation. They run an inherently flawed, money-making machine, and there’s not much we can do to make them change their ways. There is something we can do to make them re-think things. Stop watching. Stop going. But we won’t do that. We will watch OSU-USC, because it will be a very good game. We will watch Michigan in the Rose Bowl, because we love Michigan. The Corporation will make a record haul, as it does almost every year. Some of us fans will feel satisfied, many of us won’t. But we’ll all come back again next season.
I guess I’m just a bit frustrated by the mantra that was repeated all day yesterday: “The experts say that if USC wins out, they will be #2 in the BCS.” I heard a lot of that, but I didn’t hear many reasons why. It’s funny how things change in just a week. Last week, we had all the talking heads discussing a Michigan-OSU rematch, with many in favor of one. This week? Out of sight, out of mind. USC had the stage, and we were yesterday’s news. As a member of "the ADD generation," I shouldn’t be surprised, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting a little. I still think Michigan is the 2nd-best team in the country, and that we would beat USC on a neutral field. But there’s no playoff, so we’ll never know.
Things might change one day, but it won’t be because the SEC gets left out of another BCS Championship Game, or because the College Gameday crew goes on a 45-minute tirade against the BCS. Things will change when The Corporation figures out how to make more money by having a playoff. Until then, enjoy (or don’t)!
Shifting gears – Some bowl predictions. Here’s how I expect things to go:
BCS Championship: OSU (BCS #1) vs. USC (BCS #2)
Rose Bowl: Michigan (BCS guaranteed at-large (Top 4 BCS)) vs. LSU (BCS at-large (possibly guaranteed if Florida loses))
Sugar Bowl: Florida/Arkansas winner (SEC Champion) vs. Notre Dame (BCS at-large)
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma/Nebraska winner (Big 12 Champion) vs. Boise State (BCS guaranteed at-large (Top 12 BCS from non-BCS conference))
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech/Wake Forest winner (ACC Champion) vs. Rutgers/Louisville/West Virginia (Big East Champion)
- Things might change if Florida loses to Arkansas. Then, would the BCS committee(s) select the “hot” team in the Top 5 (LSU), or the team that beat them, but is coming off of a loss (Florida)? It seems “fair” to take Florida, but we all know this system is anything but “fair.” LSU might even get a guaranteed BCS bid in this scenario, by finishing in the Top 4 of the BCS. Regardless, it is clear that the Big Ten gets 2 bids, the SEC gets 2 bids, and the other “majors” just get 1 each. Boise State crashes the party and makes the Fiesta Bowl committee cry, again. Remember that Pitt-Utah Fiesta Bowl after the 2004 season? This year’s version might be even less interesting.
- I don’t want a rematch against Notre Dame. Is there anything good that could come out of that? If we win by 1 point, 30 points, or somewhere in-between, people shrug their shoulders and say “meh.” If we lose, we look like a bunch of idiots. And a loss to ND would be possible. I mean, how motivated/interested do you think the Michigan players would be under those circumstances? Not very, I would imagine. Besides, is there anyone that wants to see that game?
- I think LSU should play in the Rose Bowl (sorry, Florida (if you lose, that is)). If USC beats UCLA, Michigan goes to the Rose Bowl (not guaranteed, but likely). LSU would be the ideal opponent. Les Miles is a former assistant to Bo Schembechler. Michigan and LSU have never met. And both teams would be ranked in the Top 5, making this clearly the “second best” BCS game this season. If USC loses to UCLA, USC goes to the Rose Bowl automatically (Pac-10 champion). A USC-LSU Rose Bowl would give LSU their shot at “revenge” for the 2003 season, where they had to split the National Championship with USC. A rematch of USC-ND would be almost as terrible as a Michigan-ND rematch. Put LSU in the Rose Bowl, and keep Notre Dame as far away as possible.