Even Ohio State's Urban Meyer discovers the BCS just isn't fair

Fans from Berkeley, Calif., to Key Biscayne, Fla., must have done a spontaneous spit take when Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer announced his frustration with the lame-duck Bowl Championship Series.

"I think it's a flawed system," Meyer said Monday.

Here's another bulletin: Bill Gates is rich.

Ohio State is 10-0 with three games left but is not likely to finish in the top two unless Alabama and/or Florida State lose. It would also help if Baylor lost.

The Buckeyes are currently third in the BCS standings, by a slim margin, with Baylor set to move to No. 3 if it wins Saturday at Oklahoma State.

Ohio State has won 22 straight games — it's just not fair!

The BCS worked out stupendously for Meyer at Florida when his Gators won national titles in 2006 and 2008 despite losing one game each of those seasons.

Remember Tim Tebow's "Never again" speech? That must be why Meyer also said of the BCS, "I think it was great for a while." The BCS worked so long as its decimal gods were on your side.

Meyer, in 2006, campaigned vociferously against Michigan's getting a rematch against Ohio State after the Wolverines lost a November heartbreaker in Columbus. "They had their shot," Meyer implored.

Florida outshouted Michigan for the second spot by a margin of .9445 to .9344. Florida then defeated Ohio State for the BCS title.

Only five years later, the same Southeastern Conference that employed Meyer insisted Alabama, despite not winning its own division, deserved a BCS rematch against Louisiana State.

The SEC rationale: That was then, this is now.

Alabama won the argument over Big 12 Conference champion Oklahoma State and whitewashed LSU for the championship.

System lobbying has been one of the many unintended and distasteful consequences of the BCS system.

In 2004, the great orator Mack Brown climbed on a box and insisted Texas belonged in the Rose Bowl instead of California, which had last appeared in 1959.

Cal Coach Jeff Tedford then refused to score a tack-on touchdown against Southern Mississippi just to impress the electorate. As a campaign tactic, it was like Michael Dukakis riding that tank back in 1988.

Brown swayed enough voters to get the Longhorns to Pasadena by the BCS margin of .8476 to .8347.

The Associated Press was so disgusted with the process it pulled out of the BCS formula, claiming it was journalistically unethical to be in a system it had been part of since 1998.

Lobbying supposedly will be not be tolerated next year when a selection committee makes the picks in a four-team playoff.

Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott, speaking with reporters at the Washington-UCLA game at the Rose Bowl, said the selection panel was given specific marching orders.

"We designed it so that lobbying will not be a factor," Scott said. "You are not going to see committee members visiting games or be out and about talking to coaches and athletic directors."

So, Scott is saying, it won't matter that the selection committee chairman is the athletic director at Arkansas, or that Archie Manning put three sons through two SEC schools.

Don't bother, USC, sending your marching band to play "Conquest" outside of Pat Haden's office. The selection committee, Scott said, cannot be bought.

However, no four-team playoff system can be credible until the SEC commits to playing a nine-game league schedule. The Pac-12 already plays nine and all the major leagues except the SEC have committed to what essentially is a fairness doctrine.

"There has been no directive that they have to," Scott said. "I just suspect they will for a variety of reasons, because the rest of the country is going that way."

We'll see. Playing eight conference games in a 14-team league creates several key misses each season. Georgia came five yards from playing for the national title last season in part because it didn't have to play SEC West powers LSU, Alabama or Texas A&M; during the regular season.

Enough about next season, though. There are only three crazy weeks left in the final BCS campaign.

Get your final lobbying bids in now, before the BCS shutters its doors after Dec. 8.

• Alabama: So what if we struggled against Colorado State and Mississippi State. Our zone defense is better than Israel's.

• Florida State: So what if we've played a weak schedule in the worst of the five major conferences. We've had more blowouts than Daytona.

• Ohio State: We are "The" Ohio State and have won a school-record-tying 22 straight games. Is it our fault the Big Ten Conference is weaker than Ann Arbor green tea?

• Baylor: We are averaging 61 points per game and our offensive linemen are faster than Ohio State's secondary. We haven't won at Oklahoma State since 1939. If we do this weekend, it would be Waco not to put us in ahead of the Buckeyes.

Oregon: We lost by six points on the road to Stanford, then the No. 4 team in the BCS, yet are somehow treated like we have scurvy?

Auburn: If we defeat No. 1 Alabama in the Iron Bowl we should leap in the BCS standings like a frog from Calaveras County.

Missouri: If we win the world-best SEC title in our second season, after never winning a Big 12 title, that has to count for something.

• Clemson: We are still undefeated if you don't count that exhibition game against Florida State.

• Stanford: We … ah, never mind. We blew it.


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