2004-11-26

Auburn: This year's BCS odd team out


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Here we go again: Three undefeated major conference teams and only two tickets to the Orange Bowl. Yet this year we aren't hearing the "sky is falling" cries. There's no hand-wringing, no BCS-bashing above and beyond the normal level of acrimony.

Why? Because this year it appears that Oklahoma and USC will be playing for the national championship and Auburn will be left out, and somehow this has been deemed the acceptable order of things.

Bear in mind we still have conference championship games to play in the Big XII and SEC, although history has shown that what happens in the Big XII championship will be completely ignored when it comes to deciding who should play in the Orange Bowl. Actually, these games couldn't be more meaningless this year. Auburn plays Tennessee, but won't be helped by this quality game because they've already beaten the Vols this year. Oklahoma plays 6-4 Iowa State. Beating the Cyclones won't help Oklahoma because, like much of the Big XII this year, they suck!

Still, the pollsters have coronated USC and Oklahoma the proper championship contenders, so Auburn will just have to settle for a pat on the back and the opportunity to crush the Big East or ACC representative in one of the other BCS games.

To add more fuel to the fire, mid-majors Utah and Boise State also remain undefeated. You're likely to hear more outrage over their treatment, or lack of treatment, in the BCS than over Auburn not getting the opportunity to play for a championship on the field.

I continue to be baffled over the trend toward giving the polls more, not less, weight in the BCS equation. It's the college football equivalent of giving Dan Rather 10 electoral votes!

- Also posted at Sportsblog.org

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