A BCS Eulogy
By Joe Jenkins
Kickoff Countdown: Two Days
Editor's Note: This is the sixth in a seven-day series designed to sustain college football fans until North Carolina and South Carolina kick off the season Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. ET. We've looked at the best, underrated and worst statesfor producing FBS talent, reflected on our favorite tailgating memories, given you a printable schedule guide to the 2013 season, ranked every FBS starting quarterback and offered you conference-by-conference bold predictions. We'll also provide a comprehensive food guide for every school (Wednesday).
We’ve all come together to say goodbye to the BCS and I know what you’re thinking: That I’m just going to stand up here and tell you all about how horrendous the BCS was and how we’re all better off.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is not what grown-ups do.
You don’t speak badly of someone at their own funeral — especially when they’re still alive for a few more months.
By the way, everybody needs to make sure to pay the guy that had January 6, 2014, in the BCS death pool. Rules are rules and fair is fair.
Now where was I?
Ah, yes! No bashing at a funeral. That’s right. It’s just not nice, and you won’t read any of that here.
Instead, I’d like to take a few moments to talk about what was great about the old BCS and why I’m going to miss it.
The first thing we need to remember about the BCS is how much better it was than it’s predecessor, the Bowl Alliance and the Bowl Coalition, which weren’t even good enough to guarantee a No.1 versus No. 2 at the end of the year.
For those who don’t remember, prior to 1998, coaches and journalists voted for a national champion like some kind of American Idol contest with football teams instead of singers.
No, I’m serious. Not a joke. There wasn’t even a game. Really, stop laughing. That’s how it actually happened.
So, yeah, the BCS by comparison was a godsend.
And you have to give the BCS some credit. When it was faced with hard decisions, it stuck to its guns.
Remember back in 2004 when we had four undefeated teams going into bowl season (Auburn, Oklahoma, Utah and USC)? When the BCS picked two of ‘em just like he always did, and couldn’t give a rip what you or anybody else thought about it? He just left two undefeated teams out there at the end of the season, but only named one the champ … the nerve of this guy! Am I right?
Oh, man. That reminds me of the thing I’m going to miss most about our old buddy, the BCS: The constant talking and debating.
When selection day would come around, he’d throw out some outlandish match-ups and just walk out of the room! Well wasn’t it great when all we could do was sit around for a month or more to talk about and debate the match-ups?
Playing "Who Got Robbed" became an annual tradition; it's all thanks to you, buddy!
Really, it was genius marketing on your part, BCS. Hats off to you.
The one thing we always said about the BCS? "It got it right most of the time.”
And that’s really the standard that we should use to determine if we’re accurately crowning our champions, isn’t it?
Take baseball and hockey: They use that goofy “playoff system” that’s coming in to take our good buddy’s job next year. Last time I checked, Major League Baseball didn’t get around naming a champion in 1994; and the NHL didn’t do it in 2005.
Maybe these “playoffs” aren’t what they’re all cracked up to be, after all!
Really, who gets it right all the time? Besides the NFL. And college basketball. And all of the other divisions of college football.
That’s why we’re willing to forgive you for things like Oklahoma 13, Florida State 2 in 2001. Or that time you made Alabama and LSU play each other when they had literally just done it.
That last one only resulted in the least-watched championship game ever.
Bottom line: You got it right most of the time.
One last story before I get out of here, because I know the season is right around the corner.
There’s one thing the BCS gave us that no playoff anywhere will be able to duplicate: A perfectly executed hook-and-lateral by a team from a state known more for its potatoes than its football to send the Fiesta Bowl into overtime. Followed by a gamble of a two-point conversion and a win in overtime with a Statue of Liberty play that was a thing of beauty.
And a marriage proposal from the guy that scored the winner to a cheerleader right there on the field.
It’s a moment that helps a cynical guy like me realize that even with millions of dollars corrupting the sport, sometimes this is still just a game that’s played by kids who are having the time of their lives and living out their dreams.
And you provided an outlet for thousands of kids to do just that.
So yeah. I’m going to miss you, BCS. Not like a friend. People get to choose friends.
More like a family member. We get stuck with family.
But we sure did make the best out of it, didn’t we?