MORGANTOWN — All of those opposed to doing away with the Bowl Championship Series in favor of a four-team playoff after next month's national title game between Florida State and Auburn, please raise your hand.
And no, those of you who feel that the four-team playoff doesn't go far enough can't abstain. You have to commit. It's either the disjointed, controversial, no-margin-for-error BCS and its polls and computers and take-it-or-leave-it single game, or what promises to be a disjointed, controversial, a-tiny-bit-of-margin-for-error system without the polls and computers and instead a selection committee.
Go ahead, step forward BCS fans. We'll wait.
What, no takers? Oh, well.
In truth, I'm a bit surprised that there aren't more proponents of keeping the BCS system, be it to keep on choosing two teams to play or four teams to play off. After all, how many times have we heard someone proclaim, not just this year but almost every year, that despite all its flaws the BCS eventually got it right?
Isn't that the refrain this year with Florida State and Auburn in the title game? And hasn't it been almost universally accepted each year that the two most deserving teams wound up where they were supposed to be?
It's a garbage argument, of course, but almost everyone who claims to have some sort of prescient insight into the sport usually agrees that the BCS got it right.
Go ahead, check the past games. The BCS has been around since 1998, or for 16 years including this one. And how many controversies have there been? How many times was it argued that the BCS didn't get it right?
Not many. Sure, there were years when unbeaten teams (once three unbeatens) were left out of the title game, but usually at the expense of other unbeatens or with glaring flaws on their resumes. And the Alabama-LSU rematch two years ago didn't go over particularly well outside of the SEC.
But for pure outrage, there have only been three in 16 years. And all three were in the first six years of the BCS and prompted immediate changes in the formula. It happened first when 11-1 Florida State finished ahead of 11-1 Miami (both behind consensus No. 1 Oklahoma) in 2000, despite the Seminoles having lost to the Hurricanes in the regular season. That No. 4 Washington was also 11-1 and was the team that beat Miami didn't help either.
That prompted Roy Kramer and the BCS boys to begin tinkering with the formula and, in some cases, making it even worse. A year later, Miami seemed clearly to have the best team in the country, but in the quagmire behind them emerged a No. 2 Nebraska team that had lost its regular-season finale to Colorado, 63-36. The Cornhuskers didn't even make it to the Big 12 title game, but were invited to be destroyed by Miami in the national title game.
And then finally, two years after that, Southern Cal was the unanimous No. 1 in every poll in the country. But the Trojans were No. 3 in the BCS and watched Oklahoma (which had lost 35-7 to Kansas State in the Big 12 title game) and LSU (a microscopic leader over Southern California in the final BCS standings) play for the title. It's the last time there was a split national championship, with USC winning the Associated Press poll.