Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wrapping Up the BCS

As long as we’re on the subject of football, I might as well share some thoughts on Monday night’s less than stellar BCS Championship Game.

And by “less than stellar,” what I’m really saying is “boy, that game really sucked.” If you ever needed proof positive that two great football teams don’t always make for a great football game, then I would present this game as Exhibit A (I suppose that Exhibit B would be about 2/3 of the Super Bowl games). This was the kind of game that makes me angry; I didn’t enjoy it at all.

When Alabama played LSU in November, I was rooting for Alabama. And that, even though it was a low-scoring game decided by field goal kicking, was a great game – tense, hard-hitting, extremely well-played on defense. But this time around I was rooting for LSU, mostly because I wasn’t looking forward to the controversy that would arise over how bad the BCS sucks if ‘Bama won. Besides, I do think that LSU was a truly great team. It’s not every team that blows out 3 BCS bowl champions over the course of a season, as well as some other outstanding (or at least bowl-bound) teams.

But man, did they stink up the joint on Monday night. For most of the game they looked truly awful on the offensive side of the ball, and while Alabama had a lot to do with that, they didn’t have everything to do with that. Stating the obvious, the quarterback play in particular was…shall we say…sub-par, as was the offense’s ability to make any adjustments that allowed the team to successfully do what great football teams do as a matter of course – move the ball, make first downs, and score touchdowns. A lot of that has to be laid on the coaching staff, particularly the decision (or non-decision, if you prefer) to leave Jordan Jefferson in at quarterback. Mind you, I’m not saying that Les Miles is a bad coach. You can’t do what he’s done at LSU if you’re a bad coach. But I will say without hesitation that Les Miles is not the coach that Nick Saban is. Not an insult; just one of those “it is what it is” things.

As for the BCS…dear God, please make it go away. Please, please please…let’s move to a “plus-one” format. And while we’re at it, let’s figure out some way to make the BCS games more interesting as a whole. Don’t get me wrong – you put a major bowl game on TV on a weeknight, and I’m going to watch it. But can we please do something to ensure that the best teams are in those games?

As for the coverage of the game, I found Brent Musberger highly annoying – and I had really grown to like him on the Saturday night games. He’s no Keith Jackson, but I thought he did a great job this season, and that he and Kirk Herbstreit made a great team. But on Monday night, it was as if he suddenly morphed into Dick Vitale. That works for Dick Vitale (well, sometimes), but it was just embarrassing to hear it coming from Musberger. Tone it down, dude!

Let’s see, do I have anything else to complain about? Oh yeah, the fact that USC’s return to postseason prominence (which I do expect will occur next year) may leave me in a position of having to root for them in next year’s BCS Championship Game. Because if it does come down to USC and a team from the SEC, which I think is a distinct (or at least realistic) possibility, you’d better believe that I’ll be rooting for USC.

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