Maybe you had the same reaction I did when Mark Shurtleff, who happens to be the attorney general of the state of Utah, said he was considering suing the Bowl Championship Series because the University of Utah football team wasn't crowned national champion.



Shurtleff's contention is that the BCS is "patently unfair" because it favors certain schools and leagues over others. And of course he is right. The BCS is elitist, money-driven and favors the strong and the talented.

And since when was that news?

And since when were sports fair?

You learn that pretty much the first time someone — someone tall, like Shurtleff — blocks your jump shot. Or when the wind switches from a headwind to a tailwind at precisely the same moment the other guy hits his tee shot.

You go, "Hey, that isn't fair."

Few things in sports are, starting with DNA, moving on to where you live and how much money you have and going from there.

That's not to say there aren't honest attempts at leveling the playing field, as it were. Wrestling, for an example, tries to be fair by establishing weight classes, and boxing, too, although in boxing there are so many competing organizations that at any given time there are as many boxers wearing championship belts as there are ways to get knocked out.

You think they argue about who's No. 1 in college football? In boxing it's an eternal filibuster.

Not having a college football playoff is unfair, no doubt about it. (And please put me down — again — in favor of a playoff.) But having a playoff isn't totally fair, either. Just ask the 66th-ranked team when the national basketball tournament limits its national tournament to 65.

If the attorney general is serious about challenging inequities in college football through lawsuits, he might want to start by enjoining a system that rewards 18-, 19- and 20-year-old young men with a Blu-ray player for playing in the Sugar Bowl while their coaches get hundred-thousand-dollar bonuses and the schools they play for divvy up millions.

Or backing up a step further, he might want to look into representing football players who are forced to attend algebra and English classes as a prerequisite to playing on the team. Maybe they don't care for algebra and English, other than tospeak it. I mean, how fair is that?

But it's sports. It's not something to go to war over — or to court. One of the great things about fun and games is that in the end that's what it is — fun and games.

Better that the various leagues, conferences, federations, organizations, divisions and associations are left to sort it out the best they can from within.

As we learned when Salt Lake hosted the Olympics, when lawyers try to make it better, it only gets worse.

And before we relegate the college football topic du jour to an offseason of debate that should fuel sports talk-show radio from now until at least August, just how ironic is it that in the end, Utah was denied a national championship because of its neighbor down the street?

If BYU hadn't won a national championship in 1984 by exposing a loophole in the system that allowed it to wind up No. 1 in the polls with a perfect 13-0 record despite not playing a particularly strong schedule, the powers-that-be wouldn't have implemented the BCS and its attendant computerized rankings to close that strength-of-schedule loophole; and the 2008 Utes, with their not particularly strong schedule but unblemished 13-0 record, would no doubt have finished the season ranked No. 1 in the final polls.

So the Cougars managed to nail the Utes even in a year when they lost to them by 24.

Now that might justify a lawsuit.

Lee Benson's column runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Please send e-mail to