The advocates of the Bowl Championship Series' fraudulent way of doing business (and their willing accomplices in the Big 12) are apparently of the mind that there's no such thing as bad publicity.
Outrage and indignation are apparently easily interchangeable with praise and pleasure with these folks. It doesn't matter that the BCS and the Big 12 are being ripped from coast to coast over a failed system that relies on weird science, not the simplest math in all of sports (I beat you, therefore I am better than you) to decide their championships. It doesn't matter to these folks that everyone with a sense of fair play knows that Oklahoma has no business in the No. 2 slot in this week's BCS rankings, and by extension has earned an undeserved trip to this weekend's Big 12 championship game.
The BCS advocates are so lost in their well-rehearsed rhetoric of this indefensible "national championship" system that even when faced with the overwhelming evidence that it is greatly flawed, they continue to recite the same tired talking points: A true college postseason playoff will make people stop caring about the regular season.
It will destroy the bowl system.
No, it will enhance the bowl system.
Look how much everyone is talking about college football now. That's because of the BCS.
OK, they're right about that. People are talking, but they're saying nothing but bad things.
But before we get too far down the BCS road, let's deal with the Big 12 and how it wrongly arrived at putting Oklahoma in its championship game. Don't get me wrong, I happen to think that the once-beaten Sooners are scary good. They're probably the hottest team in America right now after scoring 60 or more points in their last four games and winning by an average margin of 34 points. But there's only one problem with OU being in Arrowhead Stadium this weekend instead of once-beaten Texas representing the Big 12 South in the conference championship game.
Texas beat Oklahoma.
But this is what happens when you place your faith in the BCS to deliver the credible goods. How in the world can the so-called best conference in football be comfortable with the outcome of this three-way tiebreaker that decided (wrongly, I might add) its South Division champion by the whims of the BCS rankings?
By virtue of the BCS rankings, Oklahoma edged out Texas and Texas Tech for the South title. This is a particularly curious circumstance that has left Texas sitting at home this week while two teams it beat by 10 (OU) and 25 points (the Longhorns smoked North Division champ Missouri 56-31) get to fight for the title Saturday night in Kansas City.
The Big 12's tiebreaking procedures need to be changed. A better solution would have been to use the tiebreakers that both the SEC and ACC use, which is to immediately eliminate the weakest link in the three-way tie by the lowest BCS ranking (goodbye Texas Tech). Or you could just use plain old common sense (any team that gets lit up by 44 points at any point in the season -- that would be you again, Red Raiders -- should have no earthly business in any national championship or conference championship conversation).
Either way, that would leave us with a two-way tie between Texas and OU, and all we have to do once again is refer back to the simplest math in sports.
Texas beat Oklahoma by 10 points on a neutral field.
On Thanksgiving night as the Longhorns were trouncing Texas A&M, many of the clever folks among the record crowd of 98,621 at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium carried subtle reminders that they thought would help sway the voters of the Harris and USA Today coaches polls. Everywhere you looked, fans held up "45-35" signs that were shown repeatedly during the nationally televised game.
"It's true," said Texas defensive tackle Roy Miller after the game. "We did beat them. I think the important thing the fans were doing was making sure that everybody remembered it. I don't know what the voters will do, but I hope they will take that into consideration."
Sorry, Roy, the voters and computers either can't read, can't count or don't know anything about the old "I beat you, therefore I am better than you" rule, because the coaches' poll had the Sooners ranked ahead of Texas (including two first-place votes), and three of the six computers used by the BCS had OU ranked first, two second and one fourth.
A week ago, Texas was the second-best team in the country according to the BCS and Oklahoma (did I mention that the Longhorns beat OU by 10 points on a neutral field?), was ranked third in the BCS standings, and at the time that sort of made sense. But by Sunday afternoon, after both had won their final regular-season games, suddenly OU was a superior team to Texas.
For weeks now, the Big 12 South winner has been holding a presumptive ticket to the so-called BCS "national championship" once it got through with the easy business of destroying Missouri in the conference championship (Dear Tigers, feel free to use this as bulletin board material if you'd like).
And if you ask me, based on the simplest sports math, the wrong team got its ticket punched. So once again, we're on the verge of picking a national champion the wrong way. It's computers and pollsters. It's politicking and subjectivity. This is sports, not a political campaign. We shouldn't be testing which way the wind blows in a national championship discussion except after a coin flip.
And just so you know, despite the harsh admonition of a faithful (and decidedly more touchy-feely) reader who scolded me for using "hate" to describe my feelings about the BCS' silly system, I still must say that I do hate the BCS down to its last confounding decimal point.
Hate is not too strong a word to describe how much acrimony I feel about this warped system. But if it will make you feel better, let's kick around a few less acrimonious verbs. We can go with abhor, detest, despise or revile. Does "loathe" work for you, or perhaps a pithy phrase like "a strong aversion" will do?
Nah, I'm definitely sticking with hate, and right now I suspect that most of the state of Texas is right there with me.