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BCS gaining on Swiss cheese for most holes

When the Bowl Championship Series was devised in 1998, it was tabbed as a system that could legitimately determine college football’s national champion.

However, during its illustrious decade — besides spawning punchlines and confusion — it has failed its mission. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

The 2001 game pitted Miami against Nebraska. Sure, Miami deserved to be there. But, Nebraska? The Cornhuskers gave up more than 60 points in a loss to Colorado to end the season. They didn’t win the Big XII, much less their own division.

The result was predictable. The Hurricanes routed the Cornhuskers 37-14.

In 2003, Kansas State upset Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game, theoretically ending the Sooners’ chances. But they didn’t even relinquish the top spot, and LSU edged out Southern Cal for No. 2. The Tigers waltzed their way to the national title in a 21-14 win that wasn’t that close. Meanwhile, Southern Cal had to settle for the AP title, creating a split national championship.

But disregard the title games for the moment. That argument has been done way too many times, and I have no plans to start it again. My complaint is about other changes the BCS has caused.

For instance, the move to five BCS games. And taking it a step further, the creation of at least two matchups that will have viewers changing the channel after the first quarter.

Did the powers that be forget the bludgeoning Hawaii took against Georgia in last year’s Sugar Bowl? Alabama-Utah may wind up being as classic as Boise State-Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, but my money is on a replay of last year’s bloodletting.

And the Orange Bowl is the unlucky recipient of Virginia Tech-Cincinatti — a good matchup for a meaningless game. How can anyone be excited about a BCS game in which the ACC champion beat a team that is playing in the Music City Bowl to advance?

Bear in mind, the loser of the SEC title game is in a BCS game.

And as great a job as Brian Kelly has done at Cincinatti, the Bearcats hit the BCS stage by winning a conference depleted by the ACC expansion a few years back. The Big East recouped its losses by raiding Conference USA, but I digress.

Due to bowl tie-ins and a “let your little brother play, too” mentality, teams that actually deserved a BCS shot, like Texas Tech, are left in the cold.

The Red Raiders beat BCS participant Texas, but have to settle for the Cotton Bowl due to a loss to a national championship participant. And even though they beat the Sooners months ago, the late loss kept the Longhorns out of the national title game.

Not only has the BCS failed its mission to determine a national champion, it has also made a mockery of bowls — or consolation games, if you will — that are actually supposed to mean something in the end.