We'll go all college football in this edition of The People's Voice. The Orange Bowl blowout and the BCS mess provided ample material.
However, allow me to respond to the many readers who couldn't understand why I didn't list Lance Armstrong's Tour de France as one of the memorable sports moments of 2004. As it says in the column, only events I personally witnessed were included. Since I am still in the holiday spirit I won't tell you to read more carefully before complaining next time.
Please continue to include your full name and town, to maximize your chances of being published here. My contributions appear in italics, as always.
Now on to The People's Voice...
THE ORANGE BOWL ("On the way up" January 4, 2005)
What a joke sports fans were treated to in the Orange Bowl. How many years in a row does Oklahoma get to take up space in a national championship game while a more deserving team has to watch them stink up the field?
Against USC the receivers couldn't stand up, Jason White didn't know which direction to throw the ball and the defense couldn't stop anything. For the second straight year, Oklahoma embarrassed themselves while a better team was robbed of a chance to show what they are made of.
Auburn and USC was the contest that should have been played. Oklahoma showed us last year they don't have what it takes to be champions, and no amount of Adrian Peterson can change that. Man, I hate the BCS.
When will the media stand up and be counted for what is right and fair? There should be a split national title. Until the media stands up and declares what is right and fair on the gridiron it will not change. Case in point, there should be a split title to Utah, USC and Auburn. Yes Utah!
So will you stand up and be counted, or will you vote USC No. 1? I am a West Coast guy but fair is fair, 2004 is a tri-title!
I don't believe the media should vote, name or have anything to do with the championship system. As much as I obviously hate the BCS, it is the system college football has chosen to select its champion. Southern California, and only Southern California, is the champion this year. Just as Louisiana State, and only Louisiana State, was the champion last year.
I have to say I found your column on SC a bit too much of a love-fest for Pete Carroll and his boys. As a fan of college football, I enjoy watching and reading about great teams, and SC is certainly a great team. But come on.
Perhaps their first weakness is thinking that there aren't any weaknesses. Sounds like an upset brewing to me.
USC makes a mockery of a 12-0 Oklahoma team to win for the 33rd time in 34 games and you want me to not write a glowing column? What do you want, a rip job?
Will USC's rout of the Sooners result in either less bashing of the Pac-10, or less hype of the Big 12?
The question shouldn't be whether USC football will dominate the future, but rather why hasn't USC dominated college sports the last 20 years?
Picture yourself as a talented high school senior athlete. You get a visit to USC and see Los Angeles with its beautiful weather, beautiful women and great night life. Factor in the national media coverage, alumni support and NFL draft history. Why would you sign up to play in Lincoln or Lubbock?
All I can figure is that since 1978, USC football coaches before Pete Carroll couldn't sell ice water to people in hell. Worse yet, USC basketball coaches couldn't give away free drinks on skid row.
Ditto for UCLA football.
THE BCS ("Unconcerned " November 22, 2004)
I could not agree more with your assessment of the politics behind the mess we call the BCS. Most people I know who love college football, including myself, love the Cinderella story. The idea that a Utah, Boise State or Louisville could get into the national championship game defies reason – which is precisely why we would love to see it. We love the underdog.
After that debacle on Tuesday night, I find it hard to believe that any of these teams couldn't have put up at least as strong an effort as OU did. The football bigwigs should learn from the basketball bigwigs. Gonzaga in the Final Four is why we love March Madness, even if Duke or UConn wins every year.
College Station, Texas
Generally speaking, a team outside of a power conference is going to struggle to compete against an elite team. But the creative offenses employed by Utah, Boise State and Louisville made me wonder whether this year may have been different. The fans and players were cheated of finding out because of money, control and a bunch of lying conference commissioners.
Like millions, I'm with you in your criticism of the BCS. However, to say Oklahoma was a "fraud" team in 2004 is unfair. Even the NFL, with a true playoff system, regularly sees blowout Super Bowls. Even the best can have bad days, and it seems the more important the game, the more pronounced the bad day becomes.
Fair enough. Upon further contemplation, Oklahoma is not, in fact, as much of a fraud as Ashlee Simpson.
Thanks Dan for saying what I and probably tens of thousands of others feel. College football is my favorite sport even in spite of the travesty of the BCS. Utah got totally shafted. They set that game up so that when Utah won against a No. 19 Pittsburgh it didn't mean diddley. Thus people claiming that Utah could be No. 1 don't have a great bowl win to back up the claim. They might as well not have even played it.
David J. Sheehe
Aren't we complaining to the wrong people about the BCS? Shouldn't we be complaining to the group which gives the BCS their authority? Wouldn't that be the NCAA?
The NCAA has nothing to do with the I-A football postseason. This is the core reason we are stuck with the BCS – BCS conference commissioners are loathe to yield any power. Thus no matter how much money a playoff would make – estimates are twice what the BCS generates – we are stuck with what we have.
If it's not broke don't fix it. We should embrace the arguments that are college football rankings ... and be glad that every game still matters, right out of the gates, in August and September.
Clinton Township, Mich.
I couldn't agree with you more. The BCS is farce and has been a farce since its inception. The powerbrokers of the BCS have ripped off us the fans long enough. They are either too arrogant or too stupid to see they are ruining NCAA Division I football.
It is insulting to the intelligence of football fans that they continue to "tweak" the "BCS system." How many more years are these morons going to be in control? The way to solve their BCS problem is so simple I could present to a group of fifth graders and they would come up with a better plan.
With all the trivial lawsuits flying around the system these days, would it be possible to seriously file a class action against the BCS (i.e. conflict of interest for not having playoffs or something to that effect that an attorney could come up with) and do you think it would have any wings?
Probably not, although considering there is public money (and public universities) involved, maybe. It would be fun to find out though. I do believe the elimination of the BCS is a hidden issue in the 2008 presidential election. Talk about your shared values.
So what is Kevin Weiberg's email address?
Fort Worth, Texas
A lot of readers asked the same question, but I am not organizing an email campaign. If you want to write the BCS commissioner on your own, his email is easily found on the Web.
Forgotten in the aftermath of the Trojans' wipeout of the Okies was how virtually everyone who watches college football so badly underestimated USC. In truth, very few so-called experts even had them winning the game, much less dominating another undefeated team.
New Orleans, La.
That most pundits, as well as the Vegas line, had Oklahoma as the favorite shows why human opinion has no place in a championship system.