|Former LSU coach Nick Saban holds the National Championship trophy|
For the first time since they started the BCS, a non-conference champion won the title game. And, unless you count the Bowl Alliance (1995-1997 seasons), it was the first time the SEC champion lost the “title game.”
But was it really a title game?
A lot of people seemed to be upset that Alabama, which didn’t win its conference — heck, it didn’t even win its division — was even in the title game.
Of course, I don’t remember hearing all those people piss and moan when Oklahoma played in the title game in 2004 (2003 season) even though they got beat by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game. LSU ended up beating the Sooners in the National Championship Game.
I also don’t remember a bunch of whining when Nebraska was in the title game in 2002 (2001 season) when they didn’t qualify for the Big 12 title game. Miami beat the Huskers in the National Championship Game.
But, this time, the non-conference champ beat the team that “deserved” to be there, unlike the two Big 12 teams from the 2001 & 2002 seasons.
Of course, this was a rematch from a game played earlier in the year. That’s never happened before. Unless you count the 1997 Bowl Alliance title game (1996 season) between Florida and Florida State. FSU won the regular season finale, but Florida won the rematch in the National Championship Game.
So what happened — a non-conference champ in the game and a rematch in the game — has happened before. All this whining should have happened the first time one of these things happened. Or the second. Or the third. Waiting until the fourth is a little late.
What should have happened? There should have been a playoff. The 11 conference champions and the top five non-conference champions should have been placed in a pool of 16. Like I wrote about here. Then, the two teams that are still standing after that have shown they deserve to be there. Who knows what would have happened? We may have had an Alabama-LSU rematch. Or, a game between Oklahoma State and Boise State.
Will a playoff happen? No, because a true championship isn’t the goal of the people in charge.
So, we’re stuck with a very imperfect system. Sort of like how we pick presidential candidates.