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Nuggets of Gold
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
By Adam Gold
Adam Gold is program director of the Triangle's "850 the Buzz" and host of "The G-spot with Adam Gold" mornings from 6-10 a.m.


Hung over after BCS cocktail

By Adam Gold
All rights reserved.

The 2007 college football season was widely thought to be the most exciting one in recent memory. But unlike 2004, when Southern Cal, Oklahoma and Auburn all finished the season 12-0, it was exciting for a different reason.

While the debate raged four seasons ago about which “perfect” teams were most deserving of playing for the title, this year’s controversy surrounded which teams with two losses deserved to take on the 11-1 Ohio State Buckeyes in the BCS National Championship Game.

Anyone but me need a drink?

In 2004, not only were the Trojans, Sooners and Tigers all unbeaten, but Utah, led by current Florida head coach Urban Meyer, also finished 11-0. In all that year, the four BCS games were contested by teams with a combined total of just 8 losses.

Taking that a step further, there were a total of eight teams in 2004 that finished the season with one loss or less.

2007 was obviously a different story. Only Hawaii enjoyed an unbeaten regular season, though it needed the 132nd-rated schedule in the country to do so.

Just in case you’re one to keep track of such things, keep in mind that there are only 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A), which means that a dozen teams from the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) were judged to have played more difficult opponents than the Warriors.

Ohio State won the Big Ten with a record of 11-1, the lone loss coming at the hands of Illinois — which still ended up in the Rose Bowl where the Illini got their lunch packed for them by USC.

Yet when discussions over which teams really belonged in that title game broke out, it was the Buckeyes that were looked upon with a more skeptical eye and not two-loss LSU. The other one-loss team, Kansas, was thought to be a BCS imposter from the beginning, based mostly on the fact that it didn’t play, let alone beat, a Top 25 team until the final game of the season, and in that one the Jayhawks were handled easily by Missouri.

Uh, better make it a double, bartender.

In 2004, the top 11 teams lost a grand total of 10 games prior to the bowl season while this year the 10 BCS teams combined to lose 17 times. That’s why 2007 was the roughest year yet for the people in charge of the current system.

The college season has always been in search of the unbeaten team to win the championship. Seven of the first nine BCS champs went undefeated for the year, and last season, 12-0 Ohio State was beaten by Florida for the title.

In all but one of the previous BCS years, one of the participants in the biggest game of the season came in unbeaten. This year, there were five teams with two losses that could have easily staked their claim to one of those spots.

Someone take my car keys, I don’t think I’m going to be able to drive myself home.

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise then that not only did the BCS Pooh-bahs float the idea of one game after the BCS games to decide the real national champion, a proposal most commonly referred to as a “Plus One” scenario.

But one of the schools that argued with the establishment even went so far as to propose an eight-team playoff that would start with the four BCS games. What amazes me is that this suggestion came without anyone pointing out that there are five BCS Bowls, not four. Just because it isn’t called the Chico’s Bail Bonds Bowl doesn’t mean we can ignore the two teams proud of their invitations.

Anyone have any Alka-Seltzer?

That proposal, drawn up by University of Georgia president Michael Adams, made it in front of the NCAA Division I board of directors this week — along with 46 other motions, including one that would protect scholarships for student-athletes that become pregnant — but the panel directed Adams to present his plan to the BCS presidential oversight committee for consideration.

Caught by surprise, were you?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has more influence over the BCS than the NCAA. Did Adams suddenly see the light and decide that now was the time for a playoff-like system? Or, did some big donor get in his ear and remind him that Georgia “was playing the best football in the country by the end of the season” and it was the Bulldogs' turn to whine about not being included?

Is it any shock that last year, when it appeared that Florida was going to get shafted in favor of Michigan, Florida President Bernie Machen raised the same “concerns?”

You know when these things are effective? When there isn’t the obvious presence of a self-serving agenda. When the squeaky wheel isn’t the one getting the grease, it’s a lot easier to stomach.

I’m not against exploring the topic, but if you’re going to broach that subject, let’s take everyone’s interests into account. Let’s make sure that we don’t remove opportunity from the little guys.

Should the planets align and Skip Holtz negotiates one of Terry Holland’s NFC East-style schedules undefeated, I would hate to have that door closed to the Pirates.

This was nothing more than a publicity grab by the top Bulldog, Adams. Shame on him. Though, if it’s any consolation, PETA also thinks that the Dogs were playing the best football by the end of the season.


01/16/2008 01:06:42 AM

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