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BCS Controversy Ahead: Who Will Alabama Play?

It happens every year. There will be someone complaining they’ve been left out of the BCS National Championship Game. At least now we have the promise of a four team playoff in a couple of years. Somebody will still be complaining about being left out, but at least they won’t be undefeated.

This season, Alabama is virtually assured of at least going into the SEC Championship Game unbeaten.  They have three games left, all at home. They are looking at catching a hot Georgia team in Atlanta in a month. That might be tricky.  Then there is Kansas State. The Wildcats are 9-0 with TCU, Baylor and Texas left. Those are three decent teams, but nobody they should lose to. Louisville is 9-0 with Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers left. Rutgers could have a shot at them. Notre Dame is 9-0 with Boston College, Wake Forest and USC left. Oregon is 9-0 with Cal, Stanford and Oregon State left. Stanford and Oregon sate are both ranked, so there is a chance they could lose a game. If they don’t they may have to face USC again in the PAC 12 title game. USC just hung 51 points on the Ducks so that could be a dangerous game too.

It’s a good thing Ohio State is  on probation, or they would be in the middle of this mess too. What are the odds that this list will pare down to two in three weeks? Even if there was a four-team playoff, there are five undefeated teams. What will happen the first year we end up with five or six unbeatens and only four make the playoffs? You say that will never happen? It could happen this year. So what’s the point? The point is there is no perfect college football playoff system that will make everybody happy.

Look at college basketball. There are now 68 teams going to the NCAA Tournament. And while I would not miss the tournament for the world. It is truly one of the greatest weekends in sports, that paring down to the Sweet Sixteen, we still have teams 69, 70, 71, etc. complaining that they should have gotten in. Some, including former Indiana coach Bob Knight, are advocating a 128 team field. You do that, you kill the NIT,the CBI and the CIT. While many would say that isn’t a big loss, many smaller schools love going to those tournaments. An ever expanding football playoff system will essentially kill off the bowls. And while many snobbish football fans claim the bowls are no big deal, most football fans watch them and thousands make trips to attend them. Killing them would be a shame, not to mention a hardship for the cities that host them and depend on those fans’ dollars pumping into their economy.

Back to this year. What happens if these five teams stay unbeaten? Who gets to the title game? Pencil Alabama in. They are the defending champs. They’ve won two of the last three. Their conference, the SEC, has won six in a row. How do you not put them in? So who do you pick for the other spot? Notre Dame would probably get the nod. Why? Because they are Notre Dame. Would they deserve it? No more than the others. But somebody has to go.  Pitt‘s kicker could have done the world a favor and made a 23 yarder last week to eliminate the Irish and at least shrunk down the list a bit.

We know Louisville and Kansas State will get left out unless both Notre Dame and Oregon both lose. They don’t have that sexy reputation. But in a four team playoff, both would have a chance. Well, maybe not Louisville. But how do you tell them they don’t when nobody has beaten them all year? So get ready for another BCS Controversy. It’s definitely on the way.

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