College football no longer makes sense to me.
As I was driving home from Willard Saturday night, alternating between listening to No. 1 Missouri blow the Big 12 championship and my satellite radio listening to No. 2 West Virginia choke against Pittsburgh, I came to the realization that Ohio State was going to be rewarded for sitting around doing nothing for two weeks and that Missouri was going to be penalized not necessarily for losing but for **when they lost.
I actually got sort of depressed about that.
And all weekend long, I took in the following (In order of the BCS standings, just to make it easier to sort out).
1) Ohio State was thought to have played itself out of a shot at the national title when it lost to Illinois three weeks ago. Now it's suddenly No. 1 in all the polls and in the BCS Championship Game. Whaaaaaaaa?
2) Louisiana State was redeemed by getting a chance to play in the SEC Championship Game a week after losing to Arkansas. Had it lost again, there was no way we'd be talking about the Tigers, who would have three losses. People like to point to the fact that both their losses were in triple overtime. Fifteen years ago, those games would have been ties and 10-0-2 would have probably looked a lot better than 10-2.
If overtime didn't exist, there would probably be LESS debate over this match-up. This is how strange college football is!
3) Some people thought Virginia Tech had a chance of moving over LSU, even though the Tigers whipped the Hokies early in the season. I'm still wondering how I didn't notice that the Hokies were moving back up so fast.
4) Oklahoma gets the Fiesta Bowl. Okay, that works. This may be the only team in the top five I don't have a problem with.
5) Georgia's head coach was on TV Sunday night. He was claiming that they were denied a chance by a "rule that hasn't been written" to be in the BCS title game. And I'd like to tell him that he's right. I like to call it the "Nebraska Rule." Remember the 2002 Rose Bowl? It was the 2001 season's BCS championship game and it matched up Big East champion Miami, which was No. 1 in the BCS against Nebraska, champion of nothing, not even it's own division in the Big 12, yet No. 2 in the BCS.
Final score: Miami 37, Nebraska 14. And as a bonus, Pac-10 champ Oregon crushed Colorado 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl. This was the same Colorado team that denied Nebraska the Big 12 North title by beating the Cornhuskers....62-36!
Oregon was No. 2 in the AP and USA Today polls that year but the computers loved Nebraska and no one had programmed "didn't make league championship game" in the their formulas.
So, yes, Georgia, there is an unwritten rule. England's constitution is unwritten, too, but it's still the law of the land. And you're still going to the Sugar Bowl, where you ought to trounce Hawaii, which had trouble with Washington last Saturday. So pipe down, already.
6) Missouri, poor Missouri. Completely hosed over by the system. Runner-up in the Big 12 but Kansas has only one loss and three teams from one conference can't compete in the BCS. The Orange Bowl, faced with the choice between you and Kansas, chose the Jayhawks. But you're playing on national television on New Year's Day….at 10:30 a.m. Remember when the Cotton Bowl was a big game?
Yeah, no one else does, either.
7) USC. Apparently, the Trojans are still being punished for their loss to Stanford, which came seven weeks ago. Yeah, they lost to Oregon but that was when the Ducks were still good and it was on the road. How was Ohio State's home loss to Illinois -- the supposed nail in the coffin for the Buckeyes -- forgiven so much easier than USC's loss to Stanford, which has since been redeemed by road wins at Cal and Arizona State on consecutive weeks.
8) Kansas. Come on Jayhawk fans, you feel torn don't you? Yeah, you're in the Orange Bowl and so is…
9) West Virginia. And you both backed into the BCS. Kansas lost to the only good team it played and West Virginia was lucky to have already clinched the Big East when it played as ugly as its yellow alternate uniforms last weekend. If they hadn't routed UConn two weeks ago, the Huskies would be here instead. The same UConn that didn't have football 10 years ago.
10) Hawaii could make a case for the national championship because there's precedent. If you remember Brigham Young in 1984, you'll know what I mean. No. 1 BYU was the only unbeaten team that year but it was locked into the Holiday Bowl as the Western Athletic Conference champion. Low payout and a bad date prevented the Holiday Bowl from finding any top team at all that would play the Cougars. Many schools claimed the bogus "It's during final exams" card (the same final exams that they would have skipped to go to a higher-paying game for) and Brigham Young had to settle for Michigan, which was 6-5.
BYU won the game and the voters gave it the national championship simply because it had done what it was supposed to do: Win the Holiday Bowl and finish undefeated.
Hawaii has played the weakest schedule of all the schools in the BCS. But it's here. And somebody has given it a No. 1 vote this week in the AP, USA Today and Harris polls.
If Hawaii upsets Georgia, how many No. 1 votes will it get?
But this is the system we have. We're stuck with it. But we don't have to like it.