I love sports because they should symbolize fairness and objectivity in a world that doesn't remember what either of those words mean. What a sport should be is for two players or two teams to take the field, take the mat, or take the court and duke it out to see who wins. At the end of that day, we should all definitively know who the winner is.
But there's the rub.
How do we decide who gets to play?
I hate the BCS. I truly do. I have no idea how to set up the ideal playoff, but I know that we need one. Let me take you back in time to my freshman year.
I was a newly born baby Redcoat. I suffered my heart to be broken at the hands of Tennessee and South Carolina. But then the miracle season took shape. We beat Florida on the wings of Knowshon leaping over a goal line stand effort. We beat Auburn in a nationally televised blackout. We were playing football as well as anyone else in the country. When all was said and done- everything but the last game of the regular season at least- Georgia was ranked number four. I remember hearing the words over and over again: "hottest team in the country." We were synonymous with high energy and with Soulja Boy. We danced. We punched the SEC in the mouth. We were good. Great, even.
Then the unthinkable happened.
The number 1 and number 2 lost.
Logic would say that if the 1 and 2 lose and the 3 and 4 win, the 3 and 4 should move up to 1 and 2. But that didn't happen.
Cue Les Miles.
Les Miles and everyone else in the country stepped up and said "Georgia isn't going to play for their conference championship. LSU is."
LSU was ranked 7th.
LSU went on to beat Tennessee and rose to number 2 in the rankings. Winning the SEC meant something.
I understood that then. Truthfully, we didn't win our conference. In a completely fair move, LSU did win their conference and represent the SEC in the national title game. They slaughtered Ohio State and brought the bling back. Georgia was excluded from the title game on the sole basis that we did not play for or win our own conference. If you can't win your conference, you shouldn't play for the nation. Right, Jim Rome?
Fast forward to 2011. Here we are again.
Except now, Alabama isn't even going to be at the game in Atlanta this weekend. They get to compete for the big pot at the final table without even buying into the poker match. LSU gets a free pass to the game even if they lose. Georgia has to blow LSU out to keep them out of the game, according to the media.
What happened? How does this make sense?
The SEC Championship, the game that for the last six years has decided the national champion, has just been made a mockery of. The BCS, who has lived and died on the moniker of "in our system, every game matters" since its inception, is finally laying that aside and showing its true colors. It doesn't matter who loses to who. It doesn't matter if you win your conference or not. It matters who can field the best PR campaign.
Just to help you out, I posted some videos. The first batch is from 2007:
Please note. You have to win your conference to play in the game.
And now here are some videos from this year:
And now winning your conference doesn't really matter. It's about the two teams that are the "best." It's about who is the "hottest team in the country." It's not about who beat who or who actually wins. I thought this was common sense, Jim Rome? No? Ok.
And now, just to prove it's not just ESPN and CBS: Even the New York Times thinks this travesty of a rematch is a foregone conclusion.
Dawgs, lets do this one right. Win this game. Win it in spectacular fashion. We can't do anything about Alabama. We don't get to play them.
But there is one thing we can do.
Shut. LSU. Out.