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Florida’s win still doesn’t put an end to the debate

So another college football season comes to a close, complete with debate over the championship game’s participants.

When will the lesson be learned? The current format simply does not work.

Of the 11 BCS championship games, seven have ended in drubbings. That means either those seven years, the No. 2 team in the country was vastly inferior to the winner, or the wrong two teams were selected.

Don’t get me wrong, I realize Florida was worthy of a shot. But at the same time, I realize several deserving teams were on the outside looking in. USC had to settle for dismantling Penn State, and may get the AP title. Utah — the nation’s only undefeated team — upset Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and, well, that’s all the Utes got.

And if anyone has a gripe, it’s Texas. The Longhorns beat Oklahoma straight up, but watched the game in Miami from Tempe, Ariz., due to a loss to Texas Tech.

Throwing an ironic wrench of hindsight into the mix is Ole Miss, who beat the new national champion and the team (Texas Tech) that beat the team (Texas) that beat Oklahoma.

If that’s not proof that limiting the field to the two teams that made their mistakes in September instead of at a later point is foolish, I don’t know what is.

Here’s how I would have handled the postseason. Scrap the bowls, but use the BCS rankings. Trust me, I’m going somewhere with this.

Bring in the six BCS conference champions and the two teams rated highest in the BCS standings. No, I do not think the Big East (Cincinnati) or ACC champion (Virginia Tech) is more deserving of a spot than Texas or Ohio State. But, I do feel that each played a tougher schedule than Utah, Boise State or TCU.

Actually, on second thought, Utah gets the nod over the team (Cincinnati) that lost the Orange Bowl to the team (Virginia Tech) that upset the Music City Bowl loser (Boston College) to win its conference.

My vision looks something like this. The five BCS conference champions in the running are Oklahoma, Florida, Virginia Tech, Penn State and USC. This is where BCS rankings come in to determine the rest of the 8-team field and playoff matchups.

The result is a first round featuring Oklahoma (1) versus Virginia Tech (19), Florida (2) versus Penn State (8), Texas (3) versus Utah (6) and Alabama (4) versus USC (5).

From the oddsmakers’ perspective, Oklahoma would play USC and Florida would play Texas in the semifinals. And regardless of either outcome, the true national champion would be crowned.

The system I envisioned is not without it’s flaws, but it’s a sight better than the format that has been in place for more than a decade. And the championship game participants would earn that right in the most logical of places — on the field.