Every year around the holidays something very special happens, the sports nation as a whole stands spread eagle and accepts a collective kick in the Christmas bells. Yes, it is that magical time once again, when the BCS makes it selections, and leaves a big holiday crap on the doorstep of fans everywhere.
And every year, without fail, there comes a slew of articles from every writer of every kind on how badly we need to make a change. "The BCS is broken!," they shout. "A playoff tournament is the only way!," they beg. And each year, like Mrs. Clause's pleas for her husband to at least try NutriSystem, their words fall on deaf ears. So this year I am posing something different... I'm just going to deal with it. I'm not going to say how to fix this asinine system. I'm going to take it for what it is, just talk about it, and make my picks. That's right, it's time to act like the BCS is that hideous sweater your aunt gets you every year... just fake a smile and proceed to describe it for the camcorder.
THE ROSE BOWL
USC vs. Illinois
With college football having gone completely haywire this season, a game that Michigan and OSU were supposedly fighting for two weeks ago now involves neither. The Illini and likely candidate for head coach of the year Ron Zook were powered largely into the BCS by their win over then #1 Ohio State.
While the Trojans have their stellar defense, which is second in the nation in yards allowed, to thank (as well as maybe owing Dennis Dixon a thank you for getting injured and ruining Oregon's chances at making a run, in their cosmic uniforms, at the Pac-10 title).
My Pick: Illinois, because I will choose a team coached by this guy any day.
THE SUGAR BOWL
Georgia vs. Hawaii
This one features two teams that may have each have quite a legitimate gripe. Georgia had hopes that its six straight wins may have been the necessary push to give them a shot at the title. Instead, they are facing off with the Rainbow Warriors... oh excuse me, they're just the Warriors now.
Then again, we can't laugh them off either. The colorful boys from the islands have put together the year's only unblemished record at 12-0. And while they did face one of the easier schedules, their is no denying their high-octane, in your face, no fear, offensive firepower rocket-show led by their brash, rebellious, fun-loving, gun-slinging quarterback Colt Brennan that we've heard so much about.
My Pick: Georgia, but I hope Colt Brennan replaces his Hawaii island dye job with a big middle finger to spite the committee.
THE FIESTA BOWL
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia
The Sooners gave their best campaign on Saturday by stomping the then #1 Missouri Tigers (now suspiciously absent from the BCS) on a neutral field to clinch the Big 12 title, but they too will be playing for less than they had hoped. But if there is anywhere they can find consolation, it will be when they look at their opponents.
The Mountaineers of West Virginia looked like a sure lock for a shot at the title until their star quarterback went down with an injury. The ensuing defeat at the hands of Pittsburgh, a team who had just recently lost to Navy (..... seriously), shattered any hopes Pat White and Steve Slaton had for a shot at the big one.
My Pick: Who knows, I will not be watching for fear WVU's uniforms will scorch my retinas.
THE ORANGE BOWL
Virginia Tech vs. Kansas
The Hokies of Virginia Tech were another team whose staunch defense was backbone this year. Having allowed the fifth least yards and second least points against, they proved to be a nightmare for any opponent on their way to an 11-2 record. Overall, this team just had a lot of fight in them. Wherever he is, Michael Vick is very proud.
Kansas, who by the way in case you haven't heard is not just a basketball school anymore, may be the one true anomaly in this BCS equation. While they did enjoy the best season in school history, their one loss came to arguably the only good team they played all year, Missouri. And yet somehow the Jayhawks managed to make the BCS over a higher ranked Missouri team. Who knows on this one? Maybe the committee thought it was the Bulbous Coach Selection.
My Pick: Virginia Tech, they're going to come at the Jayhawks like a pack of angry dogs.
THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Ohio State vs. LSU
Thanks in large part to not having played last week, the Buckeyes somehow managed to fall ass backwards into the championship game. Some will call this coach Jim Tressel's greatest coaching year, others will call it a load of crap that a team with an easy schedule and a mediocre conference could sit at home the last week of the season and back in to a title shot, but I guess we all have our own opinions.
As for LSU, it is hard to make an argument against them. At 11-2 and having just won the SEC title without their starting quarterback, the Tigers seem like a team that legitimately deserves a shot at winning it all. And as for LSU fans, more than anything they're just praying that the post game conference doesn't involve Coach Miles looking into the camera and announcing he'll leave for Michigan as he cocks his hat to the side and screams "You've just been Saban'ed!"
My Pick: LSU, based mostly on the 51 days Ohio State enjoyed off last year before being thrashed.