Dick Harmon: BCS debate tiring, but it's almost time to just play football
Sick and tired of the BCS debate? You are not alone. We've seen it politicized, lobbied, incorporated, debated, bashed, worshiped, almost sued, dissected, computerized, mocked, defended and somehow praised by a powerful aristocratic minority.
Polls show the majority of Americans, including the current U.S. president, dislike the current Bowl Championship Series and its method of determining a college football champion — allegedly, our champion, that is.
But today, here we are, ready to harness the jackass and get pulled along for who knows how long. Kickoff for the college football season is just over a month away.
A monopoly or illegal cartel, or whatever it may be, it is our ride this fall. As one college official put it to me this past week, perhaps it's time to just buckle down and do the one thing that speaks the loudest — have non-automatic qualifying leagues go out and beat those with automatic bids.
Just shut up and play.
What the non-elite need is another 2008 where Utah opened at the Big House and put down a struggling Michigan. What the outsiders need is a Wyoming beating a Tennessee. What the debate needs is another WAC or MWC team playing in the Fiesta or Sugar Bowl. And winning.
BYU's been fighting this debate for 25 years. They've had to defend 1984.
They were the reason we have the BCS.
They're the guys who stood 12-0 in 2001 and were told they were "released" from BCS bowl consideration.
BYU became the front for the mid-major complaints until Boise State and Utah came along. The Cougars were seen as the whiners, the complainers that the rules were not fair.
Now the baton has been taken up by others, namely Utah. And in 2004 and 2008, the Utes delivered big time.
BYU folks tell me it's been nice to have Utah come along, step up to the podium and take the lead in the argument. Well-deserved kudos goes to University of Utah President Michael Young, who has been an intelligent, articulate voice of reason in arguing the anti-BCS side. I doubt anyone could do a better job than this guy.
That his case has been met with high arrogance and a haughty dismissal is historically the reception from the BCS folks. Welcome to the table Dr. Young.
Nobody would like anything better than to topple the BCS tower. But it isn't happening anytime soon unless the Justice Department decides to take a peek at anti-trust allegations.
In the meantime, time is closing in on 2009. Time to do the talking on the field, not hearing rooms.
BYU opens the season with a perfect opportunity to make some noise, playing top-ranked Oklahoma from the Big 12 in Dallas. The Sooners will be ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the nation. The Cougars get another chance when they host Florida State later in September. Optimistically, BYU goes 1-1.
Here's the rest of the MWC-WAC versus BCS matchups this season: Air Force plays at Minnesota Sept. 9. I'd give the Falcons a 40 percent chance of beating this Big Ten team on the road. Doable but not a good bet.
Colorado State, fresh off a bowl victory, is on the rise. They'll take on Colorado the first week of September. Like AFA, I'd go with a 40 percent chance for the Rams to upend the Buffs.
So far, the MWC will go 1-2.
New Mexico, under a new regime, will play Texas A&M and Texas Tech on the road. I've got this 0-2.
San Diego State plays at UCLA Sept. 5. Despite Bruin woes, I'd have to give the nod to Rick Neuheisel and Norm Chow in Year 2.
TCU plays at Virginia and Clemson. While both are road games, I like the attitude Patterson has instilled in the Frogs. I'll go out on a limb and say they go 2-0 and elevate the MWC to 2-4 against BCS competition.
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