This year, the BCS got it right with Texas-Southern Cal championship

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 5, 2006


For years, many people, including yours truly, have railed against the Bowl Championship Series.

&#8220We need a playoff,” the calls came high and wide. &#8220How can you decide a national champion without a playoff?”.

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But for once, though, the BCS came up roses.

Vince Young’s dazzling display at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday night capped a Bowl Championship Series that saw three of four games decided by a a field goal each.

A true national champion was crowned and any semi-knowledgeable football fan who utters the words, &#8220Texas is not the best team in the country,” is either ignorant or did not see the game.

Think of this, though. Without the BCS system in place, there would have been no Texas-Southern Cal matchup. If the old system were in place, Southern Cal would have played Penn State in the Rose Bowl, thanks to a long marriage between the Pac 10 (USC) and Big Ten (Penn State). Texas would have been playing against someone else in some other bowl.

The Longhorns likely would have beaten their opponent and Southern Cal would have taken care of Penn State, leaving two teams undefeated, creating more of an argument than ever.

Instead, we had four BCS bowls with some of the most traditional teams. That led directly to four outstanding games.

How many gave West Virginia a shot at knocking off Georgia in the Sugar Bowl? Yet the Mountaineers ripped off a huge lead, then held on for the Sugar Bowl championship.

Penn State was a huge favorite over a then-8-4 Florida State team, yet had to go three overtimes to beat the Seminoles, 26-23.

And then there was Wednesday, a day that will go down in college football lore.

We had two Heisman Trophy winners in Southern Cal quarterback Matt Leinart and running back Reggie Bush. We had a star in Texas quarterback Vince Young, who walked off the field a legend. Around them, 41 teammates with boundless talent.

Young stole the show with his brilliant performance. He amassed 467 yards of total offense, scored three touchdowns and finished off the Trojans with an 8-yard touchdown run with seconds to play in the game.

As it ended near midnight – which two of the BCS games did on consecutive nights – Young danced on stage, whooped and grasped his Most Outstanding Player trophy.

Flash bulbs popped, the crowd stayed worked into a frenzy that lasted nearly four hours – and somewhere the BCS officials who usually take so much grief for a flawed system could sit back and relish the fact that this year worked as perfectly as one could have asked.

Many, including me, will continue to support a playoff system to decide a true national champion. If we had one this year, it likely would have been Texas and USC in the championship game anyway.

They were the best, and thanks to the BCS (boy that was hard to say) there is no argument about about that.