It's become a near-certainty that LSU and Alabama will play for the national title in New Orleans. Let me decipher that -- a team that did not win its division, let alone conference, will have a claim to the championship.
I thought we fixed that after Chaos Theory put Nebraska in the big game in 2001, when Miami beat them like a tom-tom, after losing their division title to Colorado. Didn't they make a rule against that going forward?
I thought so, and spent about three weeks complaining about Crimson Tide title talk. No division runners-up in my title game, dadgummit! I don't care if they ARE the second-best team in the nation!
The problem is ... they are the second-best team. I played devil's advocate about No. 3 Oklahoma State -- their loss also came in overtime, on the road, less than 24 hours after the sad loss of the Cowboys' women's basketball coach and a top assistant in a plane crash. It's close ... but Okie State's loss came to five-win Iowa State. Alabama lost to the clear-cut No. 1, and didn't give up a touchdown in doing it.
|Hey fellas! How was your Christmas?|
I still say make the rule -- no team that doesn't win its division, let alone conference, can play for the national title. UNLESS ... the team they lost to is also in the top 2. I'm not crazy about a rematch, but I also like getting the best two teams over the course of a season, after the body of work is written, together in the title game.
I know someone is going to pipe up and scream, "Playoff!" That's not a complete sentence, and I'd like that guy (or gal) to finish that sentence, which ends with, "as long as Houston and Boise State are not involved." Because that's what you'd get this year, and have to accept that they'd have a say in who won the title, too.
Personally, I've always been a "Plus One" guy. It doesn't change the rest of the lineup of deity-forsaken bowl games. It adds one game while going no farther down the list than No. 4 (where I'm comfortable putting Stanford) to find your champion. After all, do you really think Virginia Tech has a claim to the national championship this year?
Tomorrow in an all-new episode of Phoul Balls: why we should leave Urban Meyer alone and let him get on with cleaning up that hot mess in Columbus.