There is probably nothing I could have asked for more on a Black Friday following turkey day than seeing the #1, #2, and #4 teams in college football play on national television. Unfortunately for me, as the day has recently concluded, I am able to say with 100 percent certainty that this Black Friday, November 26th of the year 2010, will go down as the worst day in my college football history.
Before the day began, we saw a possibility for one of two non-automatic qualifying schools (#3 TCU or #4 Boise St.) to jump either #1 Oregon or #2 Auburn and have a shot at playing for the national title. Oregon found themselves facing a a tough Arizona opponent, but were expected to win the game without much of a problem despite their recent struggles against Cal Berkeley.
Auburn, though, was set to play the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, and many analysts (including myself) predicted Alabama to pull the upset. If this were to have happened, the nation would have been looking at the likely chance that a non-automatic qualifying school like TCU or Boise St. would be given an opportunity to play in the national title game for the first time in the BCS era.
What did we all see instead? An early Christmas present given to the BCS and everything the flawed system stands for.
If I were the BCS commissioner and could have scripted the way each of these three football games ended today so that the system already in place would stay in tact, I probably could not have asked for a better outcome. I would have hoped for an incredible performance from Heisman Trophy candidate Cameron Newton and the Auburn Tigers, and then gotten more than that in a most impressive 24-point come-from-behind victory over Alabama, 28-27.
I would have asked for a dominating performance from the Oregon Ducks and their offense to show any doubters from last week that they are the real deal. They succeeded without any problems by beating Arizona 48-29 and, more importantly, outscoring the Wildcats 34-10 in the second half.
Then, if all else had failed, I would have prayed to God for a miraculous upset from the Nevada Wolf Pack over Boise St. to prove to all the small school and underdog homers out there that they really just aren’t that good. That happened, and in the most sickening way.
This is where the real me enters. I am as big a fan of the small school and underdog team as you can find. I love the idea of a playoff in college football and think that teams like Utah, TCU and Boise St. have proven that, on any given day, they can compete with any team in the country. We were on the brink of something amazing to happen this season in college football, and on this Black Friday, we saw it all come tumbling down.
BCS: 1. Justice and equality in college football: 0.
The worst part for me is that we may never see an opportunity like this again. Is it too much to ask for a small school to have their shot? Or for everyone in the nation to recognize that the current non-playoff BCS system is flawed? Is it too much to ask for either Oregon or Auburn to lose a tough game today and Boise St. to get a big win on the road? We failed on all accounts. In my opinion, we may have lost our only chance at ever seeing a playoff implemented in college football today.
For me at least, I will always remember today as my true Black Friday.
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