The sanctity of the college football regular season is often referenced by those fighting against a playoff in college football. It is dropped solemnly into conversation, usually after a weekend where LSU plays Alabama, with pish-poshing that anybody wants to take this juicy football goodness away.
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The regular season is a playoff, or so goes the argument. Every weekend matters. Saturdays in November are magical.
It is also a big steaming lie. It is like sanctity of marriage arguments, sounding so convincing until a Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries marriage comes along and reveals the sanctimonious fraud.
This weekend is the Kardashian wedding of college football. It is for the money. It is almost unwatchable. And it proves there is no sanctity.
It is not about protecting the regular season. It is about protecting the power conferences. It is about not having to split the money up any more ways. It is why Friday’s news that the BCS is talking about dramatically jerry-rigging the system to no longer bother itself with all that non-championship game business should surprise nobody. Of course, they are thinking of doing away with automatic qualifiers. Too many non-AQ schools realigned themselves into the conversation. Nobody actually thought the power leagues were going to share money and access that easily, did they?
So I wanted to help y’all by setting up a playoff viewing guide for this very exciting weekend of college football for all anti-playoff people. Enjoy.
When in doubt assume sarcasm font engaged.
Citadel at No. 12 South Carolina
Y’all are making this too easy. The Citadel? Really? Absolutely a playoff ruins this game, takes away from what I am sure will be a raucous atmosphere before this crucial, must-win game to stay alive in the SEC championship picture.
Kansas at Texas A&M
This battle at first glance appears to be for absolutely nothing. Actually that is not true. The loser of this game gets to unwaveringly declare, "We hate our coach more." It is a close race. Jayhawks coach Turner Gill is the single worst in the country. But nobody underachieves like Aggies coach Mike Sherman. This game is all about what happens when really bad meets really disappointing.
Harvard at Yale
This is the most compelling of the early games, which is telling in and of itself. The pull is not the football but rather Yale quarterback Patrick Witt. He decided to forgo his interview with the Rhodes Trust board — as in Rhodes Scholarship — because it interfered with beating Harvard. Talk about things you will not hear during a Mississippi State broadcast.
Cincinnati and Rutgers
What I know about Big East football is that it is so bad that Houston has a chance to make a BCS bowl over the conference champion and Pitt and Syracuse are leaving for the ACC. This is, officially, the battle of teams Boise State will fly over like 25 states and beat mercilessly starting in 2012.
No. 16 Nebraska at No. 18 Michigan
The Cornhuskers left The Big 12 because they wanted to be treated with respect, to play in a good stable conference, to be surrounded by universities that care as much about academics as they do. Nobody actually believes that, do they? Nebraska left because they were sick of playing in the shadow of the Fighting Bevos from Austin. How is that working out for them? They recently lost to Northwestern. They are currently hard at work in Lincoln trying to figure out how this is Texas’ fault.
No. 17 Wisconsin at Illinois
It says a lot about your conference when almost all of your games are in the 11 a.m. slot — none of it good. Leaders and Legends? Try ESPN2 filler and Teams BCS Bowls Hope Not To Have To Take.
Georgia Southern at No. 3 Alabama
I am thinking of a word. That word is not sanctity.
Colorado State at No. 19 TCU
The Frogs have a decent chance at playing in The Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, maybe against a legit team like ‘Bama. This scenario requires TCU beating Colorado State and Houston losing one of its final three. If not, TCU likely goes to Shreveport, which is not even New Orleans Lite. This is the closest thing to a playoff in this awesome Saturday lineup.
Mississippi State at No. 6 Arkansas
Arkansas is playing in the one remaining game on the college football schedule that matters. This is not that game. The game is only important if the Razorbacks somehow lose and screw up the game against LSU that everybody cares about.
No. 7 Clemson at North Carolina State
Clemson is No. 7? Really? That is a quiet No. 7.
Texas Tech at Missouri
If the Tigers win, they are bowl eligible. This is not great news for Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel who has to forfeit any bowl bonus after being arrested for DWI this week. He is also suspended for this game. There is no truth to the rumor that Missouri considered punishing him by having him watch this Saturday slate.
SMU at No. 11 Houston
This is the best game on the docket for the simple fact it makes the BCS nervous. Houston is the only undefeated AQ-school left. It is the worst nightmare of the powers that be to have the Cougars in one of their big-time bowls.
No. 1 LSU at Ole Miss
Ole Miss has fired its head coach and suspended its running back and quarterback. LSU went into Alabama and won. Wonder who wins this game? Oh, the intrigue and excitement of regular-season playoff games in college football. Because who wants to see LSU-Oregon in a playoff, or LSU-‘Bama?
No. 5 Oklahoma at No. 22 Baylor
This is in prime time for the simple fact there is nothing else worth putting in prime time. It is the Sooners’ warm-up for Oklahoma State in a couple of weeks, a game that mattered a whole lot more before Friday.
USC at No. 4 Oregon
Oregon is another team that lost early in this single-elimination "playoff" and has a chance to play for a championship.
Cal at No. 9 Stanford
The Colts will be watching. So will a lot of other NFL teams. Everybody else stopped caring quite so much with Stanford’s loss last week.