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Sooners, Wisconsin are victims of BCS system

by Jenni Carlson Published: October 24, 2011


Oklahoma and Wisconsin are extremely good football teams.

And after Saturday, neither has much of a shot anymore of playing for a national championship, much less winning one.

Will someone explain to me again why the BCS is law of the college football land?

On a day when the Sooners and Badgers had not-so-great performances and their opponents had oh-so-great ones, both teams suffered their first losses of the season. That dropped OU to No. 9 in the BCS rankings and Wisconsin to No. 15. Even though these are two of the best teams in the country, they now are all but out of the national title picture.

It's not even Halloween, fer cryin' out loud.

Is this any way to crown a champion?

College football is operating under a flawed system. The BCS places a premium on perfection. Win all your games, and you've got a great shot at playing for a title. Lose even one, and you're depending on other teams to help you climb back in the hunt.

So it is with OU and Wisconsin.

Both could still pop back into the national championship picture, though the Sooners have a much better chance than the Badgers. But still, in addition to winning out, the Sooners would probably need Alabama or LSU to lose twice, Stanford and Oregon to lose twice, and Clemson and Boise State to lose.

OU was a national-championship caliber team a couple days ago, but one loss — albeit a truly unexpected one — has rendered them outsiders.

That isn't right.

By the way, this isn't some knee-jerk reaction to a local squad losing its national title hopes. I railed on the BCS's perfection-or-bust approach a year ago before Boise State and Virginia Tech played on opening weekend. I argued that it would be impossible for anyone to go into the losing team's locker room after that game and convince them that their regular season hadn't been rendered meaningless.

The Hokies were the ones who fell short in that game.

Know what they did the following week?

Lost to James Madison.

Don't suppose losing their national title hopes had anything to do with it, do you?

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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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