CHRIS DUFRESNE / COLLEGE FOOTBALL MAILBAG

A few points, very few, to make about USC and No. 1 Notre Dame

Q: As a USC fan, can we petition for "GameDay" to go to the UCLA game instead? They deserve it and we don't.

David Shapiro

A: That's very magnanimous of you David, but my guess is that "GameDay" is more interested in No. 1 Notre Dame this weekend than either UCLA or USC.

Q: Once again you go on about the BCS vs. playoff system without taking a position on why it matters. In my opinion, it doesn't.

Why do we need a champion?

Kevin Minihan

Los Angeles

A: Why do we need a champion? How else would we keep track of world putt-putt champions and the best chili cook-off recipes and soap box derby builders?

Please tell me you're not one of those orange-slice soccer dads who think all the kids should get a participation trophy. That happens too often in college football and all it does is breed a society of wimps who think the world owes them a living.

In 1997, Michigan thought it won the national title fair and square when it was No. 1 in both polls heading into a Rose Bowl it ended up winning. The AP voters kept Michigan at No 1, but the sentimental coaches voted Nebraska a share of the crown as a retirement gift to Tom Osborne.

Why couldn't they just get him a tie or a nice box of cigars? Cuff links always make a nice gift.

The BCS tried to solve this "everyone's a winner" theme but failed in 2003 when the No. 1 team in both polls, USC, was not invited to the national title game. That forced a title split — with Louisiana State winning the BCS and USC claiming the AP title.

I say leave the charity work for the Red Cross.

This four-team playoff in 2014 should weed out some of the weak links and settle the championship on the field.

Just look at how well the system would have worked this year. You could have one undefeated team (Notre Dame) and six or seven really good one-loss teams. All you have to do is choose among four of those schools and tell the rest they're just not good enough.

Oh, wait a minute. Maybe we need an eight-team playoff. No, make it 16, or 32, or 64, or 68 ...

Q: After 60-plus years as an avid college football fan, I give up. How about a rule that says if you play more than one lower division team in the season you are not eligible for the BCS championship, or playoff when that comes along?

Larry Levine

A: Sounds good to me, but sometimes a school gets stuck with a lower division team because another school backs out of a prearranged game.

This year, for instance, Oregon had to play Tennessee Tech because Kansas State backed out of a home-and-home series with the Ducks.

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