The BCS standings came out tonight, and it had a little bit of a surprise in it: LSU (#1), OSU (#2), Bama (#3), and Stanford (#4). A one-loss Bama team stays on top of Stanford even though Stanford hasn’t lost a game. That means that Bama is still in the hunt. OSU and Stanford play two very losable games this coming Saturday. If those two teams were to lose, Bama would be right back at #2 next week, and that would pave the way for an LSU-Bama rematch for the national championship (if both teams win out).
As I said in my previous post, I really do believe that LSU and Bama are the two best teams in the country and that Bama deserves to be ranked #2 if they win out. Having said that, however, I do not believe that Alabama deserves a rematch with LSU for the national championship. I watched the BCS Countdown on ESPN tonight and heard all the arguments for and against a rematch. But there was one argument that never came to the fore. It’s the fairness argument.
Suppose that LSU and Alabama win out, and suppose that we have a rematch for the national championship game. That means that LSU would have to beat Alabama twice in order to win the championship, but Alabama would only have to beat LSU once in order to win it. If LSU were to win, they would be the undisputed national champion. But if Alabama were to win, then we would end up with two one-loss teams who both lost one game to each other. How could you declare either team national champion after that? Most people would look at that result and call it a draw, but not the BCS. They would give the whole thing to the team who happened to win second instead of first.
At the end of the day, it is not fair to create a situation in which LSU has to beat Alabama twice while only requiring Alabama to beat LSU once. It is not fair to require LSU to go 2-0 against Alabama in a single season while only requiring Alabama to go 1-1. That is not a fair way to end the season. Alabama had their chance on their home turf to win, and they blew it. It would be unfair to give them another shot at LSU without also giving LSU a second shot. It would reward an Alabama team who lost on their home field just because they pulled out a win on a neutral field.
If you are upset with my argument, then your problem is with the BCS. If you want to fix the BCS, then you should support a playoff. That is the only way to fix this inherently goofy way that we go about picking a champion every year. Sometimes the BCS gives us a clear winner, but sometimes it does not. A playoff would fix that.