Column: Gosh Darn, Alabama

By Ian Gold

Alabama, just when you had a real shot at making the NCAA look at its BCS system and explore change, you went and lost.

I was yelling “Roll-Tide,” and we were an overtime touchdown away from perfection. Bama would have had to finish undefeated and the BCS would have had to put in at least a four-game playoff.

The national championship this year would have still been USC vs. Texas, but we would have a Jackie Chiles case for next year.

Last year, Auburn was the third undefeated team, and the nod went to the Pac-10’s Hollywood creation and the Big 12’s latest pretender. And while USC embarrassed Oklahoma, Auburn stayed undefeated in a big way and looked more like the team that should have played in the Orange Bowl.

The SEC is undoubtedly tougher than the Big 12 and Pac-10; I know the “that’s why they play the games” reference. In the Big 12 and Pac-10, you more or less play two real games. The SEC makes you prepare and fight week-in and week-out, and Bama fell victim to the stress.

If the SEC got slighted for a second year in a row we would hear an outcry for sure. The sweet southern drawl would be humming over every airwave, calling for the heads of the NCAA.

Although they claim the AP championship is still up for grabs, they aren’t kidding anyone. Because of the Crimson Tide’s loss, we have to picture the NCAA fatcat’s hidden away somewhere smirking because their system worked.

The National title game, barring incredible upset, will host the only two undefeated teams in the land. But the system is still wrong. That third team deserves a chance. And besides, I know a couple other teams that deserve a chance to fight it out.

Back to Alabama, if they run through the SEC with only one loss, including a rough championship game, how can you say they aren’t national title contenders?

Miami’s young team lost an early game in Tallahassee against Florida State. Since then they have dominated all comers, including an eye-opening win at Virginia Tech. They have the nation’s No. 1 defense and their young offensive weapons are starting to grow up. Do the Canes’ not have the right either?

Penn State has one loss – at Michigan – in the closing seconds of the game. They have impressively beaten all ranked opponents this season and play in the deepest conference in the country. JoePa is 78, this could be his last chance. How badly do you think his kids wish they could give him another ring?

I said weeks ago that any playoff system would only bring more intensity and fanfare to college football. Imagine the spectacle it would be if the NCAA could work out a playoff system. A loss in the first week of the season wouldn’t ruin the season for a team that rightfully belongs in the top five in the country.

Oh Bama, you had such an opportunity. But if the NCAA is popping corks thinking they dodged a bullet, you could be looking at 152 pounds of pissed off JoePa wondering where his shot is.

Ian Gold is a senior in Communications. He can be reached at [email protected]