So here we are again, another Thanksgiving week upon us, another college football season at the two-minute warning, another stunning, glorious performance to ponder.
But this has nothing to do with Jason White, Larry Fitzgerald or anyone else involved in the least-interesting Heisman Trophy race since the invention of the stiff arm. This is about the performance of the Bowl Championship Series, you know, the most maligned thing in college football, up to and including Chris Rix.
You might have read about the BCS, probably in a story that also featured smears like “idiotic,” “computer nerds” and, worst of all, “Jeff Sagarin.”
Well, folks, after all the head-shaking and fist-pounding, all the Ohio State leap-frogging and TCU Horned Frogging, all the calls for the BCS to be shipped to wherever it is they sent that guy who used to be Joe Paterno, the darn system is working out perfectly.
Defending the BCS is a little like defending tuberculosis. But, even if you despise everything about it, you have to admit that as bad ideas go this one does seem to get it right in the end. OK, maybe Miami was ripped off a few seasons ago, but that has been the exception.
With Ohio State’s loss, Oklahoma and USC are now one victory apiece from meeting as the consensus No. 1 and No. 2 teams in a controversy-free, debate-void Sugar Bowl.
TCU also was decent enough to lose, eliminating its bid to go undefeated and make ridiculous national-title noise.
Now, if LSU will just fall again, the BCS could look like the brainchild of Einstein himself, instead of the brainfart of some geek.
That’s assuming Boise State, one of the last one-loss teams, doesn’t protest, although there might be a rule prohibiting national championships to be awarded to teams that play on fields that are blue.
The BCS is still evil, understand, and should be forced to spend 24 hours in a locked phone booth with Lee Corso.
A playoff system is still where college football should be heading. (It sure wouldn’t be any fun to watch that surging Michigan team in a tournament, huh? And it would just stink if suddenly revived Florida had a chance to make a run.)
But if we’re stuck with the BCS and want to continue rightly ripping it, we must also acknowledge the fact the thing works just like the number-crunchers who invented it promised.
Even when The New York Times computer starts making up things as odd as anything ever made up by a New York Times writer, the final result is a bull’s-eye.
Once again, all the worries and complaining, the charges of software gone sour, are proving to be wasted energy. If we can’t trust something as exact as a computer, maybe we should go back to doing everything long hand.
So let’s tip our helmet today to the smartest dumb thing in sports, this awful, rotten, imperfectly perfect matchmaker.
The BCS again is the equal of Don King, minus the lawsuits and parking-lot fights.
We promise to not make any disparaging comments about the system for the rest of the season. Unless Oklahoma and USC lose, in which case the BCS should be downloaded straight to the devil.