" As reprinted from an Oct. 28, 2011, article by Ron Morris in The State (Columbia, S.C.):
The greatest playoff system in all of sports is working again. Week to week, the drama continues to build until the two best surviving teams meet in New Orleans for the national championship.
Welcome to BCS football.
No other sport offers the kind of meaningful regular season with weekly national championship ramifications. With five weeks remaining, plus a weekend of conference championship games, the title game picture is starting to become clearer.
The sole purpose of the BCS is to match the two best teams in the national championship game. After that, the BCS is charged with attempting to get the most interesting matchups in four other bowl games, but that is a secondary responsibility.
Of course, the thousands of fans and TV talking heads who so dislike the BCS already are crying about how the system has failed again. They, of course, want a postseason playoff that will never happen.
These folks fail to realize they are watching the playoffs unfold during the regular season. With the field for the national title game having been whittled to eight unbeaten teams, they should be handicapping the field.
OK, we will do it for them.
Let's start with the top two contenders, who will play what amounts to a semifinal playoff game in two weeks. The winner of LSU's game at Alabama, a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup of undefeated teams, will run the table and play for the national title. That part is easy to figure.
Now we have six contenders for the other championship game spot. One by one, five of those six will fall out of the race.
That is the way it has worked beautifully in 11 of the 13 seasons since the BCS championship game was adopted for the 1998 season.
This is how it will work this season:
" Clemson (8-0) is a trendy pick to win its remaining games. It will not happen.
The Tigers simply are not strong enough defensively to survive regular-season games against Georgia Tech and South Carolina as well as a likely rematch with Virginia Tech for the ACC championship.
Clemson could lose two of those three, but definitely at least one.
" Houston (7-0) has quarterback Case Keenum and the nation's top passing and scoring offense. But it will not matter because the Cougars will lose to either SMU or Tulsa to close the regular season, or to Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA championship game.
" Kansas State (7-0) faces the same prospect of losing as Oklahoma State with a remaining schedule that includes Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas.
The Wildcats are another national feel-good story, but not strong enough to survive that schedule. Scratch the Wildcats off the board.
" Oklahoma State (7-0) has no chance of surviving its remaining schedule unscathed. The Cowboys could go down a couple of times with games against Baylor, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
" Stanford (7-0) is a contender thanks to the sterling play of quarterback Andrew Luck. He likely will win the Heisman Trophy, but there is no way the Cardinal will avoid losing a game.
The Cardinal face a pair of once-beaten teams -- Southern California on Saturday and Oregon on Nov. 12. Should Stanford survive those two -- which it will not -- it still must win the first Pac-12 Conference championship game.
Not going to happen.
" That brings us to Boise State (7-0). The Broncos have one stiff test remaining and that comes against TCU on Nov. 12. Fortunately for Boise State, this is not a strong TCU squad.
By virtue of going unbeaten -- and having proved itself on the national stage time and again over the past few seasons -- Boise State deserves a crack at the national championship.
So, there you have it. Alabama or LSU vs. Boise State for the national championship on Jan. 9 in New Orleans. Finally, a school from a non-BCS conference will get a crack at winning the national title.
I am OK with that.