It just doesn't feel right, not when the two happiest men in college football Sunday were Dan Beebe and Walt Anderson.
It doesn't feel right because the Big 12 commissioner (Beebe) and his supervisor of officials (Anderson) were just as much a part of Saturday's furious finish to the season as was the football.
It doesn't feel right because half of the BCS title-game matchup was decided from the video replay booth. The commish and his supervisor had to put the final stamp of approval on Texas' 13-12 non-loss over Nebraska. Yeah, they got it right even after Texas almost got it unforgivably wrong.
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Thread: Your thoughts on BCS
Many of you saw it and you still can't believe it.
Colt McCoy rolled out with eight seconds left with a timeout in his pocket and treated the play like it was a seven-on-seven drill. His leisurely pass out of bounds was flat enough -- and Ndamukong Suh was a split-second late enough in sacking him -- that it hit the ground with one second left. And as we all know, "The clock doesn't stop until the ball hits something," Anderson said.
Cue the confetti streaming down from the rafters. Wait, first clear the field of celebrating Huskers. Given that precious extra second, Texas' Hunter Lawrence punched it through from 46 yards for the winner.
That's how the 12th BCS title matchup was decided -- Texas not so much celebrating as exhaling. It was finalized only after Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini screamed at Texas, "You should be ashamed to accept that trophy," at least three times according to the Omaha World-Herald.
His brother, head coach Bo, dispatched legend/AD Tom Osborne to the middle of the Cowboys Stadium field to fetch Beebe. The commissioner had some 'splainin' to do. The pair talked out of earshot although the World-Herald reported hearing curse words.
"BCS," Bo was quoted as saying, "That's why they make that call."
|Dennis Dodd's Power Poll|
|6. Boise State|
|8. Ohio State|
|9. Georgia Tech|
|11. Penn State|
|14. Virginia Tech|
|17. West Virginia|
|21. Central Michigan|
|23. East Carolina|
|24. Fresno State|
In the fog of war we all say, do -- and write -- stupid things. No, it wasn't a BCS call, Bo. If Texas would have lost, it would have guaranteed the Big 12 more money by getting two teams in the BCS.
As it is, the conference has a team in the BCS title game for the second consecutive year and third time in five years. We're going to be asked to celebrate a title game featuring grand programs with two brand names. But something doesn't feel right because Texas is TCU is Cincinnati at this point. Might as well throw Boise State in there too because after Alabama, no one can convince me that the Longhorns "deserve" anything.
Their best victory is over an Oklahoma State team that couldn't beat Houston. Please, hold your applause. Their closing statements were anything but convincing, giving up 39 points to Texas A&M, then having Anderson clear up any misunderstanding about how they mismanaged the clock. Texas was one silly second from making Chris Webber's timeout in the Final Four look like a mere oversight.
At least TCU went on the road twice in the ACC to win. The Frogs beat two other ranked teams. Cincinnati beat three teams ranked in the top 20. But Texas is in and when Saturday blows over we'll spend most of the next month flogging its honorable place in that brand-name final.
Texas' biggest advantage it turns out is starting higher in the polls. TCU and Cincinnati finished a fraction behind in the BCS because they are Holiday Inn Express to Texas' Ritz. If you want to celebrate, look beyond January to a year when one of the non-traditional schools playing for the title. Soon. We came within a second of it happening this season.
That's why it doesn't feel it right. It's the same feeling we all got in 2001 when Nebraska lost by 26 at Colorado, didn't win so much as its division and still played Miami for the national championship. Something is missing.
Drama, maybe? The whole season seemed to be a prelude to Florida/Alabama winner vs. Texas. When it actually happened it was a huge letdown for me, at least. What looked like a good game on paper a few weeks ago now looks like Alabama 27, Texas 14.
I was just as intrigued about the Fiesta Bowl when it began considering Boise State and TCU. The Sugar Bowl is giving us Tim Tebow's final college game against Notre Dame's next coach (Brian Kelly) who may or may not be in attendance with Cincinnati.
The end doesn't feel right because there are voters in the Harris and coaches polls who can't give me a good reason why their No. 2 is the right choice.
They still can't tell me how to separate Longhorns from Horned Frogs from Bearcats from lions and tigers and bears, oh my.
Something bothers me because those coaches have been hiding in anonymity all season. That's what the coaches do with their votes. For all we know some voters have had Kelly's next team at No. 2. We'll know this week when the coaches go legit and release their final ballots.
Until then we'll have to rely on the text of one Gary Patterson. He's the TCU coach who I asked Sunday if he was upset at the prospect of being left out of the championship game.
"I don't know about upset," Patterson wrote, "but I did vote us No. 2. I had voted us No. 4 up [through] the games of yesterday. I watched all of them and this is what I thought."
After a strange, strange finish to a strange, strange process, that feels about right.