There are two topics I've shied away from in the short time I've been writing this column: national sports and failure.
On a regular day, give me a local story with a big win, and I'm fine with it. After all, I've ticked off enough people already without shooting my mouth off in a sports column.
Ready, aim, fire.
College football's postseason is better than college basketball's postseason.
I know. Everybody hates the Bowl Championship Series. The BCS has been insulted and hated since it came into existence. On the other hand, the NCAA men's basketball tournament is a celebrated and loved event. It's an entire month of March Madness - where the little guy has a shot and the best teams survive.
Everybody "knows" the BCS is biased and unfair. Everybody also "knows" that a single-elimination tournament is the most objective and unbiased way to decide a champion, right?
After all, the end result of the NCAA Tournament is the best teams advance and the top two teams in the nation meet in the finals, right?
Wrong. Look at this year's Final Four: Florida, LSU, UCLA and, that's right, George Mason.
Which of those four are the two best college basketball teams in the nation? That's right, none of them. Is this really the best that college basketball has to offer? Please.
Realistically, I could make a strong case that not one of those teams are even in the top five in the nation.
Now, let's take a look at NCAA football. We all know it as the "flawed" BCS system. Well, that Bowl Championship Series does one thing right: it makes sure that the championship game features the two best teams in the nation. That's right, 2003-04 Auburn fans, I said the two best teams in the nation.
There's no doubt the two best teams in college football this past year were Southern Cal and Texas (and that's coming from an Ohio State fan). Take the top 16 teams in college football, throw them into a beloved "playoff system" and let's see who we get. Southern Cal and Texas playing for a national title? Maybe. Maybe not. In a single-elimination setting upsets happen. And because of one bad game, the nation's best teams would have their previous 10 great games wiped away. The regular season doesn't even matter.
Give me the BCS.
Still not convinced? Look at the NFL. I don't care how many Pittsburgh fans we have around here. You can't tell me the Steelers against the Seahawks was the best Super Bowl match-up this past season.
I can make a case for the Seahawks, but the Steelers? No way. Not with Indy, New England and even Denver.
The Steelers were not the best team (they didn't even win their division). They were the hottest team. The team that peaked at the right time. The team that beat the best teams on the one day they didn't play well.
In a single-elimination tournament, you don't have to be the best team. You simply have to be better than one team on one night. There's the flaw. Pittsburgh did it in the NFL, George Mason did it in the NCAA and, to get more personal, Wayne County did it in the boys Region 2-AAAA basketball tournament.
So bring on the BCS. I love the NCAA Tournament, but when it comes down to it, I'm much happier with Southern Cal vs. Texas than George Mason, Florida, UCLA and LSU.
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