Positive stories get lost in BCS mess

Positive stories get lost in BCS mess

Published Nov. 23, 2010 6:37 p.m. ET

I'm not a playoff guy. Frankly, I'm getting tired of hearing about it. As a confirmed college football junkie, I'm squarely in the bowls camp.

But this notion that the BCS system is the caretaker for the integrity and the magic of the college football regular season? Yeah, it's time for that argument to go.

Because what are we talking about this year? We're talking about numbers and formulas, again. We're talking about how evil the BCS is, again. We're spending way too much ink and newsprint (wait, make that bandwidth) on the chances of a non-automatic qualifier making it into a big game. That's all anybody wants to talk about. Again.

We're looking for yet another Deep Throat to tell us it was Auburn quarterback Cam Newton who really broke into the Watergate hotel.


The BCS is about preserving the integrity and magic of the regular season? Ha! The BCS is about the BCS. And with it, we're losing … the integrity and magic of the regular season.

In all this BCS mess, we've lost Stanford. Stanford! That is a crime. Stanford is one of the five best teams in the country. The Cardinal have one of the five best players in the country, quarterback Andrew Luck. They feature the best full-time two-way player in at least 24 years. In all likelihood, they feature the ONLY full-time two-way player in at least 24 years. (And how long was it before that?)

We're not talking about a corner who might run a few fly patterns here, but a guy who is in a collision every play. We're talking something we should be talking about.

You're looking for the most outstanding player in college football? Owen Marecic, the aforementioned Concrete Charlie, would be a good start. But we've lost track of Stanford, in all this BCS. That is a crime.

Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh has performed a resurrection, having installed a hard-hitting system that has old-school purists living a dream.

Speaking of which, somewhere, Woody Hayes is smiling. And not just because Ohio State alum Bo Pelini, Nebraska’s head coach, went Woody on the sideline at Texas A&M Saturday night.

You want 3 yards and a cloud of dust? Well, forget it, because Wisconsin is averaging 5.5 yards per rush. Few have run the Brontosaurus offense as well as the Badgers have this season. Now, this is Big Ten football. This is what you do when the wind blows and the sky turns dark and gray. This is the kind of stuff old men talk about around campfires, their eyes flashing as bright as the flames.

By God, it is beautiful stuff.

And it gets lost with the preoccupation with all things BCS.

College football has always been about No. 1, it's true. But it feels like it used to be about the rest of the country, too. Like the team that gave Wisconsin its only loss – Michigan State. The Spartans are having their best season since "Kill Bubba Kill." (You know, the guy from the Police Academy movies. Steve Guttenberg.)

There's magic in East Lansing this season.

But hey, Michigan State has one loss, too, right? What are the Spartans, 10th in the BCS?

The BCS isn't about preserving the regular season. The BCS is about the BCS (and alternately, everybody bitching about how bad the BCS is).

Yes, it keeps everybody talking, but sometimes I think it has us talking about all the wrong things.

In Oklahoma, for example, the Pokes are having a better season than the Sooners. In Texas, A&M is on a run and the Longhorns are on a slide. The rivalry games are this week.

But Oklahoma State and A&M may have picked the wrong era to make their moves. Instead, we chirp again about all things BCS. About what Newton may or may not have done. About how we can get a small school into a big game.

So much gets lost. And not just the positive stories, the feel-good stuff we should be talking about. One of the stories of the year in college football should be the death of Declan Sullivan at Notre Dame. That shouldn’t have been swept aside so easily. That page should have been harder to turn.

But that's just one more thing lost to obsession with the BCS.

You can argue about point totals, look for strength-of-schedule leapfrogging. Me? I'm watching Stanford and Wisconsin. Rooting for Michigan State.

The BCS is supposed to protect the regular season. I want the regular season protected from the BCS.