University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide won their second national championship in three years last night. Photo by: David Reber's Hammer Photography
BY STAYSON ISOBE, Couchsideshow.com contributor
It is what it is. The BCS seems to be here to stay, regardless of what the general public wants, and whether you believe that Alabama deserved or didn’t deserve to play for the championship game last night, there’s no denying that they are the best team in the country now.
Now count me as one that full heartedly believed that Oklahoma State deserved the chance to duke it out with LSU last night at the Superdome. For one, it’s hard for me to fathom the fact that a team that doesn’t win its own conference, much less even play for their conference title, can compete for the national championship in the case of Alabama, while teams like Oklahoma State or even Oregon won their respective conferences.
In addition, Oklahoma State had a much more impressive resume when compared to the Crimson Tide. The guys from Stillwater had more wins against ranked teams and teams with winning records than the guys from Tuscaloosa, and oh yeah I did mention that they won the Big 12, the second best conference in the nation this season in my opinion, right?
Oklahoma State aside, a lot of the displeasure about this title game was that it was a rematch of a regular season game. Not only a rematch, but a rematch of a 9-6 game that was dubbed “the game of the century” going into the first meeting. Sure these two teams from the SEC have the two best defenses in the country, but really nobody could put the ball in the endzone? The fact that we’d already seen these two teams play once, and an ugly game at that, gave us even more reason to hope for an LSU-Oklahoma State matchup. Who wouldn’t have wanted to see Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon take a shot at this vaunted Tiger defense. I know for a fact that we wouldn’t have needed to wait until 4:36 remaining in the game for the first touchdown of the night.
Is anyone (besides me) watching the early bowl games? You know, the ones that ESPN is careful to selectively telecast through a limited number of cameras and no blimp shots in order to hide the fact that the stadium, like the pessimist’s glass of water, isn’t just half empty. It’s dead … as a doornail. No overhead view revealing the nothingness below. Cameras only pointing at the 50-yard-line crowd, purposefully avoiding shots of the empty upper deck. Sad. Very said.
Or is it?
Seventy-two teams make a bowl game. No doubt, this explains why lifelong Wyoming Cowboy fans are crazy enough to drive for two full days to Albuquerque to endure a lashing by the mighty Owls of Temple, only to turn around and drive straight home. Attendance: 25, 762. Payout: $750,000 per team.
At least the Utah State Aggie fans had the chance to drive only five hours up to Boise to watch their beloved WAC also-rans lose to the Mid-American Conference runner-up Ohio Bobcats, coached by deposed Husker headman Frank Solich. Attendance: 28, 076. Payout: $750,000 per team.
And finally, let us not forget the always-competitive Beef O’Brady’s Bowl (formerly the St. Petersburg Bowl), which the Thundering Herd of Marshall won over the might-as-well-have-been-playing-at-home Florida International Panthers. You remember these guys … they were on the receiving end of a literal beating at the hands of the Miami Hurricane-Convicts a few years back. Attendance: 20,072. Payout: $1 million per team.
Let’s compare these three blockbusters (hey, whatever happened to the Blockbuster Bowl?) to say, the granddaddy of ‘em all, the Rose Bowl Game, presented by Vizio. Jan. 2. Oregon versus Wisconsin. Pac 12 versus Big 10. Savvy versus strength. Two top 10 teams. Attendance: 100,00-plus. Payout: $22.3 million per team.