06 December 2011

Tuesday Football: Why I still can't oppose the rotten BCS

On the surface, this year's Bowl Championship Series selection has provided plenty of reasons to scrap the BCS:

The championship game itself: I'm so bitterly disappointed that Alabama and LSU will have a rematch, I plan on finding something else to watch one month hence, like a Squidbillies marathon.  You could point to Oklahoma State's loss at lowly Iowa State -- but then you'd have to forget that the OSU community had suffered a major tragedy that morning.  The Cowboys deserved extra credit for even showing up on the field in Ames, not scorn for losing.  Even with that loss, OSU outpointed Alabama in five of the seven computer polls.  No amount of honest voting should have overridden that.  Score another one for big money.

The Hokey Hokie Sugar Bowl:  What on Earth are Virginia Tech and Michigan doing in a BCS bowl game, much less the same one?  The BCS boys just invited a team that (a) lost the ACC final, 38-10, to overrated Clemson and (b) wasn't even as good as the Hokie squad that lost at (essentially) home to Boise State a year ago.

As for the Wolverines, I suppose that QB Denard Robinson deserved to play in a BCS bowl, and their case for BCS inclusion was stronger than VaTech's.  But Boise State (Kellen Moore) and Baylor (Robert Griffin III) could make the same argument, and either would have been more convincing than the Maize and Blue.

The excuse we're being given is that Virginia Tech and Michigan both bring lots of supporters.  The common buzz-phrase is "to travel well," but that's just yet more code for "these guys are richer" than the likes of BSU and Baylor.  Yep, big money wins again.

But why not playoffs?  So I've joined the thousands, if not millions, who've pointed out that big money has corrupted the BCS.  But as the case of Penn State is showing us, big money has corrputed the whole of college athletics, especially the Football Bowl Subdivision.  Playoffs for the FBS wouldn't solve that problem -- and I'm not convinced that they wouldn't exacerbate it.

A helpful miscue:  It's funny how, in fantasy football, something that looks like a mistake turns out to be a brilliant move.  Several weeks ago, I missed out on the chance to add Tampa Bay running back Earnest Graham to the Fluttering Horde.  With trepidation, I claimed Dallas rookie DeMarco Murray instead.

Boy, howdy, did that ever work.  On the same day Graham suffered a season-ending injury, Murray turned in a 253-yard, one-touchdown performance.  He hasn't sat on the Horde bench since.  With no downside remaining, I added Murray to the Ghost-Grey Cats the next week.

That mistake, missing out on Earnest Graham, has boosted both teams.  Now back from an injured foot, Ahmad Bradshaw rejoins the Horde's powerful rushing troika with Murray and Darren Sproles.  The Cats just lost Matt Forte, but because Murray's there to take his place alongside Arian Foster, they're likely to purr their way into the playoffs.

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