Monday, November 13, 2006

History Unfolds on a Saturday Afternoon.

Ohio State and Michigan share one of the most storied rivalries in all of sports. For more than 100 years Ohio State and Michigan have been facing each other on the football field which makes this series almost as old as football . There aren't any trophies in this one. No jugs, or hatchets or bags of magic beans. Nevertheless, the players always play this game as though everything they stand for is on the line. Often, this game is a heart breaker. One of the teams will come in with a sterling record while the other has wallowed through a miserable season wrought with adversity only to win decisively as though the rest of the season never happened. They often say you can throw the records out when arch rivals meet but they never tell you that this is the rivalry that makes the adage true.

On November 18th this legendary contest will have an added twist: Ohio State and Michigan are both unbeaten, untied and ranked first and second in the nation respectively. Moreover, both teams are entering the game healthy and playing extremely well. It's unlikely you could examine the history of college football and find two teams playing at a higher level than these two are right now. These teams aren't just the best teams 2006 has to offer, both of these teams are as top to bottom dominant as college football teams get.

That's bad news for the BCS. After Saturday one of these teams is going to fall out of the so-called National Title picture. At best the loser might find themselves at #3 but after the polls are turned in and the equations are calculated the loser find themselves playing in a bowl they simply can't get excited about. The BCS people will hope and pray that they can generate enough hype about USC, Notre Dame or Florida to get the nation excited about who ever survives the formula to play Saturday's winner, but everybody know that the real title game is being played this week, not in January.

Saturday's contest will be epic. There is no question in anybody's mind that these two teams are the very best in college football and when you factor in the intense rivalry you are guaranteed that both teams are going to bring their level best for four quarters. That will make it hard to get anybody excited for the holiday exhibition that the BCS will become.

That's why we need playoffs. It's a shame that the top two teams in the country have to face each other before the predetermined national championship game. The winner of this game will prove that they're the better team, but some how the BCS will determine that the loser is worse than somebody else. It's simply not fair. A playoff system would force teams to prove their worthiness on the field in head to head competition. If Ohio State beats Michigan that shouldn't automatically elevate USC past the Wolverines. Let USC prove they're better than Michigan by beating them on the field, not in some arbitrary formula.

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