Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It has been long enough. In 2000, the
system known as the BCS decided that in the last week, Florida State jumped
over Miami (despite Miami beating the Seminoles that season), putting FSU in
the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma for the national title. Clearly a mistake,
but one I was willing to overlook and chalk up to simply a case of a flawed
system "working out the kinks." In 2001, the BCS declared that a team that
didn't even win its conference was worthy of a national title shot, when
Nebraska took on Miami in the Rose Bowl.
Call me an optimist. The BCS is the "law of the land" in college football and
I was willing to play along. I blame myself for turning the "other cheek," to
the travesty of 2000. Yes, I know that national title contenders fell to the
wayside in the final few weeks last year, but that is no excuse for what was
clearly a mistake in the Rose Bowl.
Well, it's 2002 and I'm fresh out of "cheeks" to be slapped by the BCS. It has
gone way beyond the BCS simply being flawed. It is clear, that it just doesn't
work. With the latest rankings, if the season were to end today, the Oklahoma
Sooners and Ohio State Buckeyes would play in the Fiesta Bowl for the national
Larry Coker and the Miami Hurricanes should not have to fight for a chance to defend their title.
Something is clearly rotten in the state of college football and I'll give you
three guesses (you will only need one) as to what it is.
I don't care who the Pythagorean theorem (otherwise known as the BCS) declares
are the combatants in Tempe this year for the Sears Trophy, it is simply
UNAMERICAN to keep the defending national champions out of the game, providing
the Hurricanes complete their second straight perfect season.
This week, Oklahoma jumped over the 'Canes in the national polls, after
already owning the top spot in the BCS rankings. Not trying to take anything
away from the Sooners (who I believe should play Miami in the Fiesta Bowl if
both teams are undefeated), but their 2002 campaign has only a few "quality"
victories, like Alabama (37-27), Texas (35-24) and Colorado (27-11). However,
routs of Tulsa (37-0), UTEP (68-0) and South Florida (31-14), not to mention a
scare against Missouri (31-24) have done little to exalt OU in my eyes.
Moving on to Ohio State. The Buckeyes are now sitting in the envious number
two spot in the BCS rankings. Their "big" wins have all come at home (Texas
Tech, Washington State and Penn State). They barely survived at Cincinnati
(23-19) and Wisconsin (19-14) and with three games left, OSU has just one more
"tough" game, although even that one (Michigan) will be played in Columbus.
Yes, the Big Ten and Big 12 are tougher conferences than the Big East, but it
can be argued that Miami has just as impressive victories on the season as the
other two. First, the Hurricanes completely destroyed rival Florida in
Gainesville (41-16) and then survived a slugfest with arch-nemesis Florida
State (28-27). The remainder of the schedule is certainly tougher than the
other two teams (Oklahoma and Ohio State) in front in the rankings. Miami
travels to Knoxville this weekend to take on Tennessee and then takes on
Pittsburgh and Syracuse (you can throw that game out as the Orangemen are
horrible this season), before closing out the regular season with a titanic
battle with Virginia Tech.
If all three teams finished undefeated, Miami, by virtue of their remaining
games, should have a case for a Fiesta Bowl spot. That being said, it should
not come down to the Hurricanes fighting to get into the game.
That spot should be reserved for the Hurricanes, who have won a mind-boggling
30 games in a row, heading into this weekend. Champions should be able to
defend their titles, providing they haven't slipped up along the way. The last
time I checked, there has been no such "slip ups" by the 'Canes of yet.
I'm a firm believer that "To be the man, you've got to beat the man."
The simple fact is that no one has done that in two-plus (almost three)