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Sooners, Wisconsin are victims of BCS system

by Jenni Carlson Published: October 24, 2011

Yeah, I think so, too.

There are some folks who believe that the win-or-you're-out pressure created by the BCS is what makes college football great.

Don't buy it.

Implement a playoff system, and teams aren't going to start blowing off games. They aren't going to start thinking its OK to lose. They aren't going to start mailing it in.

For starters, a team would still need a stout record to make it into an eight- or even 16-team playoff. But more than that, these coaches and players have pride in what they do. They want to win every time out. Whatever system is in place won't change that.

But what this current system does change is what they are playing for.

Before Saturday night, OU and Wisconsin were playing for a national championship.


The likely best case-scenario for both remains a BCS bowl — the Fiesta Bowl for the Sooners, the Rose for the Badgers — but more than a month before the end of the regular season, neither has much of a shot at a title.

To think, when the day dawned Saturday, these teams were contenders. Players had been preparing themselves for 50 or 51 weeks a year. Coaches had been working 18 or 20 hours a day in season. But they had one bad day, and their title dreams are pretty much over.

It's preposterous.

The NFL doesn't ask its title contenders for that kind of perfection during the regular season — and those grown men are paid professionals.

Yet in college football, amateur athletes, some as young as 18 and 19 years old, must win every time they step on the field if they want a legitimate shot at a title.

The whole thing is completely and totally ridiculous.

When this season is over, I'm sure a great team will be crowned as champion. All I know is, there are two extremely good football teams that no longer have a legitimate shot at that title after this past Saturday.

I feel bad for them.

More than that, I feel bad for college football.

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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