Tonight, however, we cherish one-third of our remaining games as Texas does battle with Ohio State. We use the term "do battle" loosely, if Ohio State's recent performances in any game of a worthwhile nature is an indicator of what is about to happen in the Arizona desert. The Buckeye Band may play "Hang on Sloopy" but only because there isn't a song created entitled "Dear Sweet Jesus Please Make the Men in Burnt Orange Stop Ripping Our Anuses Apart With Their Football Excellence".
What this wind down also means is that on Friday morning, after the dust and coke have cleared from South Florida, we will have one fan base claiming to be national champions and at least 2 more totally and utterly flamingly pissed off.
As Orson at EDSBS points out, and we agree with, Utah has staked a viable claim to a portion of the national title with this little nugget-O-truth:
To be fair, Texas can lay their claim to another 1/4 (arbitrary) of the title should foot meet ass as I expect tonight in the Fiesta Bowl. And God help us all if Oklahoma should muster the sheer luck to beat Florida on Thursday. It is then, and only then, really, that Texas fans have a legitimate bitch with their lot in the whole football universe this season.
Award Utah a fourth of the national title. This is not 2004 Utah, a team that turned a fluffy schedule and a victory over a palsied Pitt team into an undefeated season. Utah beat 5 ranked teams and embarrassed the SEC West champion. They did not lose a game this season. They had a defense that dealt out harm to all they faced and boasted one of the more accurate quarterbacks in the nation. They beat people with spread-option tactics executed with wishbone brutality.
If you want more from a team, you’re either unreasonable, a total flaming asshole, or both. In lieu of a playoff, we have to resort to fractions, and to be fair: one fraction is just as good as another.
Head to head matchup results sound good and they fire up the fanbases. I will give you that it makes a much stronger argument than "Roll Tide, faggot!" or something else wittily crafted in the dark corners of the typical football fan's soul, but in all reality, all those arguments are equally worthless. Should Texas have played for the Big 12 title? Probably. But they didn't, and that really sucks, and that's too bad for Texas. Yes, I know they beat Oklahoma. Kentucky beat LSU in 2007, but no Kentucky fan was claiming a part of that title.
Football, much like life, is unfair at its most basic core principle. You'll hear people moan and groan about the BCS system and insist that a playoff is "more fair". Of course, this is completely untrue, as a playoff, by sheer nature, is unfair. Is it "fair" that a team can have one poor game and not win the title? What if, given the 2008 situation, a team like BYU, ranked 16th in the last BCS standings at 10-3 had 4 good games and won a title? Is that fair? I can promise you that the resounding sentiment from the 15 schools above them in the standings would be a loud "Fuck no."
So that leaves us with the choice of one shitty system (the current BCS situation) or changing gears to another shitty system (a playoff). For the teams that get screwed under the current system, there's an easy fix... don't lose. For fans, the media, or the blogosphere to sit back and bemoan the lack of inherent fairness in the BCS system is total buffoonery. It was never designed to be fair. It was designed as an imperfect fix to a situation that no perfect fix exists for. College football, by design, is subjective. And that, the fundamental nature of the sport we love, is the reason that a playoff is no better.
Complaining about the BCS not being fair is akin to bitching when the rainstorm outside didn't litter your front yard with gumdrops and half naked strippers. Why? Because that isn't what rainstorms are intended for. They bring rain. And your option is to accept that fact and move along without bitching about things totally outside your locus of control or you can stand on the lawn with your brass poles and your nipple pastys and hope things change. As for me? I'll take my BCS rainstorm and just thank whatever deity resides above me that I have this wonderful crazy obsessive sport to complain about in the first place.