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Entries in BCS (3)


The Best Regular Season In Sports? Yeah, And?

Picture of Gary Patterson

One Great Season

I listened to Stewart Mandel's excellent podcast interview with BCS chief Bill Hancock the other day.

Hancock sounds like a reasonable man and portions of his argument do seem logical if not convincing. Unfortunately, the-rich-white-men-in-suits lawyerspeak and PR puffery prevent NCAA honchos from conceding that the current system is largely flawed. Money and logistics certainly are critical concerns here, but I wish there would be some admission from the establishment that sounds something like, "Yeah, it's definitely far from perfect."

Instead, we get a hat rack on which rests this fabulous party line: "College football has the best regular season in sports."

Honestly, I don't disagree with it one bit.

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Tuesday Notebook: Eugene, BCS and Sam Bradford

Columbia River

One Great Season

EUGENE, Oregon -- I made it.

After waking up Monday in Cincinnati, driving to Dayton, flying to Washington, D.C., flying to Phoenix, flying to Portland and crashing at a hotel there late last night, I drove down picturesque Interstate 5 this afternoon and arrived at my hotel at about 5 p.m. Pacific time.

I can tell the Canon 50D is going to be busier this week than my liver was last week. Great to see old friends in the Queen City, sure, but equally certain is how badly I need a break from all that fun, and signs point to such relief here in this sleepy pocket of the very scenic Pacific Northwest where I know exactly nobody.

Efforts to secure a credential for Saturday's USC at Oregon game have been shut down, but the investigation into a reasonably priced single ticket is pending. Not only will this game likely decide the PAC 10 champion, but it's Halloween and the fans at Autzen Stadium are notorious party people, so keep your eyes open for some good imagery this weekend.

Until then, it looks like I'll get some post-practice interviews Wednesday, but before I get that far, here are some other tidbits to consider this week:

Columbia River

+ Many are talking about how a USC win makes it a serious BCS National Championship game contender, but you know what? I'll say the same about the Trojans' opponent Saturday. Oregon is No. 10 in the BCS rankings, and beating Pete Carroll's highly ranked USC gang would shoot those Ducks squarely into the mix, and very deservedly so.

+ Wouldn't it be funny to see Oregon leapfrog ahead of Boise State in the BCS standings?

+ Iowa, Cincinnati, Boise State and TCU are the second-tier contenders for a spot in the BCS title game. Those entirely in control of their destiny include Florida, Alabama, Texas and most likely LSU and possibly USC. I think Florida or Alabama might actually need to lose twice for one of those second-tier squads to jump ahead. That means that heading into the last month of the season, no fewer than seven and maybe as many as nine losses are needed among the elite names currently among the Top 10 for, say, Iowa or Cincinnati to earn a trip to Pasadena. Such a feat would be just as dramatic than what happened down the stretch in 2007. But don't expect that scenario to materialize. I still think it's going to be Florida and Texas, though I'd prefer to watch Florida and USC.

Columbia River

+ Please stop with the second-guessing of Sam Bradford. Too often we hear the TV pretties talk about the importance of staying in school to get that education, if not to at least enjoy the college experience. Bradford did exactly that, and now Todd McShay, who I typically like, leads the pack of those repeatedly broadcasting the disappointing truths about millions of dollars lost. Tyler Hansbrough came back twice when experts thought he was ready for the next level, and the only reason people don't rip him is because he didn't get hurt. Don't go hindsight and blast a kid barely out of his teens for wanting more school. Bradford knows his decision to stay will cost him in the long run, but he'll still be a good NFL quarterback.


BCS Tweak Still Doesn't Get It Right

One Great Season

NEW YORK -- After driving down the field toward what would hopefully be a much-needed score, NCAA suits fumbled away an opportunity to take a key first step to fixing the postseason mess.

The BCS people have turned the Rose Bowl into the Stepdaddy Of 'Em All by announcing it will take a team from a non-BCS conference under certain scenarios from the 2010 season through the 2013 season.

Since 1947 until the late 1990s, the game was contracted to pair up the Big Ten and PAC 10 champions. And with the emergence of the BCS in 1998, the leagues have still sent their champions to that game unless one earns a spot in the national championship game.

Now, in such a case where the league champ plays for the BCS crown and misses the Rose Bowl, a team from a non-BCS league will fill that vacancy, according to The Associated Press.

I fully appreciate the move to include a team from a non-BCS school. I really do. I just don't get why the Rose Bowl is the guinea pig for the experiment. Non-BCS outfits from Hawaii and Utah earned spots in the Sugar Bowl each of the last two years, and Boise State won an exciting Fiesta Bowl over Oklahoma after the 2006 season.

The Rose Bowl is called the Grandaddy Of 'Em All for a reason. Sure the Fiesta Bowl offers the biggest payouts, but there is far more history and tradition in Pasadena than Miami, New Orleans or Glendale. Do we really want to tinker with it just so the TCU Horned Frogs can feel good about themselves one of these years?

Why not use the Sugar, Orange or Fiesta bowls for this project, or at the very least use a rotating system for the four years then re-evaluate after the contract expires?

Or, better yet, just add in the plus-one playoff already.