When it comes to the Bowl Championship Series (or at least the inevitable death of the stupid thing) I, like any right-thinking person without a direct rooting interest, have become a situational anarchist.
The more profoundly screwed up, controversial and embarrassing the college football championship system gets, the better.
Only something completely ridiculous can spur a storming of the castle, a rebellion by the television folks or the SEC deciding to stand up for its self-interests. The BCS does a terrible job of determining a champion. It's designed not to serve the players, coaches or fans, just the corporate coffers favored by the commissioner of the Big Ten.
But while the BCS shares many similarities with the cockroach, it can be killed. A nuclear winter would do it, and after Kentucky beat Louisiana State in triple overtime and Oregon State stunned Cal, well, let's just say the missiles are in the air.
Boston College vs. South Florida in the BCS title game, anyone? How about either of them against an Ohio State team with exactly zero quality wins?
Think that might do it?
There isn't frost on the pumpkin yet, and the college football season is a befuddled mess that won't get any clearer when the first BCS standings get released on Sunday (4 p.m. ET).
Ohio State (7-0) might wind up No. 1, but the Buckeyes have beaten exactly no good teams. And due to their cupcake nonconference slate and the horrific state of the Big Ten, they won't have to beat anyone really good to waltz into the BCS title game with an unblemished record.
The Bucks' toughest game the rest of the way? Try Michigan. (Don't laugh).
Of course, do you like BC (7-0), which played an equally weak nonleague slate and comes from the Atlantic Coast Conference, aka SEC Lite?
How about South Florida (7-0), which has the best resume (victories over West Virginia and Auburn) but has been playing football for all of 11 years and feels more like a mid-major in the Sweet Sixteen than a bona fide, believable title team.
Of course, that's just perception. And in this season we again have learned perception means nothing.
The problem is that perception, in the form of two popularity polls, still plays a critical role in determining how college football sets up its championship game matchup.
If there ever were a year crying for a playoff, this is it, when just about everyone already has lost and the gap between teams playing strong schedules and weak ones is so pronounced.
Consider Ohio State, which considered this a rebuilding year. Its nonconference schedule consisted of Youngstown State, Akron, last-place Washington and Kent State. Not surprisingly, the Buckeyes won them all.
It's not Ohio State's fault that everyone else lost and the Buckeyes now are the likely No. 1. But it doesn't change the fact that perhaps no team ever has reached the top of the polls this late in the season with a less impressive body of work.
It also isn't Ohio State's fault that the rest of its league has tanked the last few years – it's possible there won't be one other ranked Big Ten team this week.
But suddenly the Buckeyes are in the driver's seat and have a dream slate lined up in front of it.
But that's just the kind of schedule the BCS rewards. Play no one but win, and you've got a heck of a shot of making the title game as the rest of the country beats one another's brains in. The best route to the title game is to play in a mediocre to moderate league with no more than one or two other good teams.
That's the Big Ten, ACC and, to maybe a slightly lesser extent, the Big East.
None of which means that an unbeaten champion of those leagues are better than a one- or even two-loss team from the SEC, Pac-10 or perhaps even Big 12.
If Michigan is Ohio State's big challenge, what of the Wolverines' 32-point loss to Oregon (not to mention Appalachian State)? And if Virginia Tech is what passes for serious competition for BC in the ACC, how do you explain the Hokies' 41-point pasting at the hands of LSU?
But LSU now is playing catchup thanks to a wild loss in Lexington. This was surprising in the specific but not the general – the chance of the Tigers surviving the SEC meat grinder was unlikely.
For the second consecutive week, the SEC should have seven ranked teams. Seven! The Pac-10, meanwhile, had four of the top 14 teams last week.
This is your BCS, though. It punishes good leagues and rewards bad ones.
Former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer might have designed the original BCS, but in its current form, in this current landscape, it is killing his old conference. In a sport with such a disparity in schedule strength, a playoff is most needed, not least. Let 16 teams play it out, and you might wind up with all-SEC title games or three of the final four.
Every week isn't a playoff, as the apologists like to claim, when not everyone is playing playoff competition.
But until the SEC's current commissioner Mike Slive decides to stand up and fight for his teams, rather than following the Big Ten's lead in protecting a system perfect for the Big Ten, nothing is going to change.
One loss, to a ranked team, on the road, in triple overtime will send you reeling behind someone with no losses, but no challenges either. It's quite a system. It needs to go.
Let anarchy reign.
- Ohio State