The buzz around campuses from Columbus to Tuscaloosa and all the way out to Eugene defines why football season captivates all as the summer days fade and leaves start to fall. The dark horses wait in the shadows for their opportunity to shine when the lights come on and teams in Ann Arbor, Columbia, SC and Athens, GA dream of playing spoiler.
Who will be this year’s Appalachian State? From which school will this year’s Johnny Manziel emerge? In what game will that Heisman moment come? We are headed into the 16th and final year of the BCS, a better result than leaving it up to the voters, but not a playoff, which is the next step.
Why we hate the BCS
Just ask the 2004-2005 Auburn Tigers, 2003 -2004 USC Trojans and 2001-2002 Oregon Ducks. Those are just the championship game “snubs”. The BCS only allows for the top two teams to play for the title. Right now, unless you are a fan of Bama or Ohio State, you are rolling your eyes when looking at the schedules of these two teams and nauseated at the thought of seeing these two media darlings matched up in January to play for that crystal football.
In the BCS era, only twice (Florida State in 1999 and USC in 2004) has a team gone wire to wire in the AP Poll. The BCS gets it almost right. The debate will always be there but while the BCS has produced some dud championship games (see USC vs. Oklahoma and Bama vs. Notre Dame) it has given us some things that we can say.
Why We LOVE about the BCS
Watching Vince Young will his team to victory in the Rose Bowl; this game lived up to the hype that preceded it (17 players from that game drafted that year). Another example is Miami vs. Ohio State in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl in a game that saw 37 of 43 starters from that night go on to be drafted (18 of them in the first round). And of course, we will all remember Boise State and the Statue of Liberty play to stun the Oklahoma Sooners.
We get to write about it and discuss amongst our co-workers, buddies, and family for six weeks from the first AP poll until the first BCS rankings come out. We like texting our rival friends from that school up north, ignore texts from any SEC friends and buckle up for the emotional rollercoaster that we will go on over the next few months.
Until an underdog turns college football on its head, all indications are that Bama and OSU are on a collision course for a meeting in January and many have them slated already.
If Johnny Football doesn’t step on the field, Alabama looks to be most challenged by LSU and a potential showdown with Georgia in the SEC Championship game. Ohio State will always have the team up north to contend with, but aside from that I’d be most worried about a well-coached Northwestern team getting OSU at home in early October with a senior QB.
As far as teams that could steal one of those spots? You can’t look past Georgia who was a few yards away from spoiling the party for Bama last year. Florida State and Clemson look to have big years and Oct 19th will decide a lot of their fate. I see Clemson taking the ACC this year getting FSU at home. Oregon in the Pac-12 and Oklahoma should run away with the Big 12.
However, by November many surprises are bound to happen and I could be looking for the delete button on this entire piece.
Next year we can discuss what four teams will be heading into bowl season atop the standings and how excited we are for a playoff. Those are going to be three special games with a lot of fantastic talent. For this year, pick your favorite and root them on. Football season is upon us!