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January 9, 2009
The Pres' Palouse Park Bench - BCS, The National Chumps
I know I would be preaching to the choir when I tell you all that the BCS is a broken system for determining a college football champion. For starters, the computer system is total bull since the computer spit out rankings based on information given to them and programs written by humans so their errors are human errors. Teams who blow out terrible squads (see USC at Washington State) are rewarded for running up the score in the spirit of bad sportsmanship. Playing in a major conference certainly helps your cause, as even I will acknowledge that the SEC is much tougher than Conference USA. But for the BCS to crown a true champion, the teams with the best teams with the best records in the BCS should be playing in this game. So no matter the outcome of the national championship between Florida and Oklahoma, the Park Bench has its very own national championship trophy to give away (note: trophy is out for engraving).
The Park Bench's National Football Championship will be going to the Utah Utes, the only team in the BCS to run the table, finishing the season a perfect 13-0. Along the away, the Utes beat the Sun Bowl champ Oregon State Beavers by a field goal, escaped against 12th ranked TCU by the same margin, trounced archrival and 14th ranked Brigham Young by doubling-up on them by the score of 48-24 and ran over 4th ranked Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in the Deep South. Regardless of the result of the Sugar Bowl, Utah's resume is a tough one to beat, especially since Florida and Oklahoma both lost to intra-conference opponents. So why exactly aren't the Park Bench's beloved Utes playing in the national championship game?
Well, first of all, no one would watch a game on such a grand stage with a little known Mountain West school in it. Let's face it, all the good bandwagon fans (there are good ones?) latch on to the big schools because they are the ones with the power and the name recognition. I can tell you the last time I saw someone wearing a Tim Tebow jersey; I can't remember when I saw someone wearing a Brian Johnson jersey. And admit it, you looked up who Mr. Johnson was because I did too.
Additionally, even though the BCS tries to tell us that they have no bias against teams in any conference, they are lying through their teeth considering not only did Utah miss its opportunity at the national championship this year but the same went for Boise State after their 2006 season. If the objective of the BCS is to put the best two teams in the championship match-up, then how can a game that excludes an undefeated team from a major conference crown a true champion? Well, that seems to be a pretty easy answer for myself anyway.
It has to be the darkest secret of not just the BCS but of NCAA athletics across the board and that is the power of the booster. As I sit here starring at my beautiful Hummer sitting in the driveway bought by someone whom I've never met, I'm reminded just how powerful this type of shady behavior truly is. Boosters are the people that build beautiful football stadiums and the ones who truly control a program with their checkbooks because if a coach who they don't prefer is hired, the checks may stop coming to the athletic department to fund a beautiful new weight room. The same can be said for the NCAA, they will favor teams from conferences with rich benefactors to keep them happy so the money keeps flowing in.
When it really comes down to it, what is the NCAA after all? It is, simply, a business and when running a business your soul objective is to make money. The way the current bowl system is set up is pretty much the optimum way for the NCAA to make boatloads off cash off bowl sponsorships and selling the television rights for millions. We, the people, aren't stupid and when the NCAA tells us that they believe that the current system is the best for determining a champion, we know they are full of it; it's all about the dough.
So at the end of the day, is a national championship match-up with a little known university tucked into the Wasatch Range in it going to make money or one with two of the highest profile schools with the highest profile athletes? You know the answer and as unfair as it may be, it's the system that will be in place for many years. We can all just hope and pray, eventually, the NCAA comes to its senses and installs a playoff system that affords them just as much cash. There is a way, trust me, but that's a whole other rant in and of itself.
Last Week: 4-5
No picks for yesterday's games; that would be unfair. From this point on, we'll do games from Saturday and the next Thursday. It's on you to remember.
Oregon is still an incredibly young team that is struggling mightily. It won't stop against the very powerful Sun Devils.
ASU 86, Oregon 70
Can the Beavers rekindle the magic of last weekend when they beat USC? Probably not. They still are, after all, the Beavers.
Arizona 75, Oregon State 65
California is a very good team that is coming to Seattle to play a team I can't stand. We all know how I feel about that.
California 76, Washington 68
WSU lost to Stanford three times last year and Stanford followed up their victory over Arizona by getting trounced against the Devils. Inconsistent: yes and I think that could spell victory for the Cougs.
Washington State 60, Stanford 53
The worst rivalry ever in college sports because no one really cares about it. Either way, the Bruins are still good and the Trojans are full of one and dones.
UCLA 82, USC 69
UCLA should continue to a conference juggernaut this year as the competition top to bottom just can't stand up to their talent. And Arizona is no match.
UCLA 76, Arizona 65
USC is so cute to think that they can really stand up against a team with the likes of James Harden (pinches Tim Floyd's cheek)
Arizona State 77, USC 70
For as much as I can't stand Washington, I really don't think they can blow this one.
Washington 68, Oregon 56
Yikes, two bad offensive teams. This could be an incredibly low scoring affair and I'll predict it no other way.
Washington State 46, Oregon State 40
Dunderhead of the Week: Washington sophomore guard Venoy Overton. Coming down the floor to play defense, he threw his gum into the crowd and hit yours truly in the abdomen. Add to that is less than stellar line in the game against WSU (he missed every shot he took) and you get a recipe for a huge dunderhead.
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