CBSSports.com Senior College Football Columnist

BCS system may be broken, but it somehow works this week

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This BCS really sucks, doesn't it?

Check the standings with two weeks left in the season. The Broken Collegiate System is trying to sell us this load of poo that the three best teams in the country are not only from one conference, they're from the same six-team division. The B(C)S has officially jumped the shark with that one -- landing on Tigers, Tide and Hogs.

Someone call a senator. File an injunction. Next thing you know they'll be telling us that Oklahoma State still has a chance. Didn't the Cowboys just cough up a hair ball the size of Eskimo Joe's at Iowa State? Or that Andrew Luck's luck hasn't run out at Stanford. Boise State, too? Last we saw of the Broncos, they were perfecting the fine art of yanking field goals.

Don't forget Houston. Unblemished, unloved and ridiculous that the Cougars are still here. With Joe Paterno gone, there is even talk of old-timer Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer having an opportunity.

This silly Bowl Craptacular Series can claim all-inclusiveness -- at least eight teams from five different conferences still have a shot at the national championship game. Bozo Championship Series propaganda also has it that this the closest finish to a national race since chads were hanging in Florida 11 years ago.

Simply outrageous. This isn't major college football, this is fourth-grade soccer. Everyone gets a trophy, or something close to it. You mean the champions of almost half of the FBS have a shot in late November? Stop the madness, now.

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Personal foul -- stupidity on you -- if you didn't grasp that the above is #sarcasm. The season's conclusion has become absolutely the greatest thing ever -- the football symphony of our lives. Unless you had a Duck in the fight, losses by Oregon and Oklahoma State were cymbals crashing. The Cougars are the crescendo. Them boys from the SEC just keep pickin' and grinnin'.

A year marked by scandal and tragedy is going to end up ... fair and just. Well, fair, if you consider the outside possibility that LSU could lose at home Friday against Arkansas and still play for the national championship. Such is the awesome might of the Strength Everywhere Conference.

But that's a mere footnote in this season's 1,000-page reference book. It just seems that things are going to work out despite a possible three-way tie in the SEC West that would be decided by the BCS standings.

Unless the top two teams are ranked within five spots of each other.

Then it goes to head-to-head results.

And that's just to decide who plays in the SEC title game.

Thank God -- meaning, Roy Kramer -- for small favors. The BCS is working right now because there is no alternative that would make this season this good this late. Jim Delany's proposed 1 vs. 2 game? One of the SEC schools would be left out. Get rid of the automatic qualifiers? That might allow as many four SEC schools in. A plus-one, four-team playoff. Maybe, but which one-loss team do you leave out?

The BCS is like still having a Blackberry Curve in a smart phone world. It's clunky and awkward, but it's all we have for now. It is both a smothering monopoly and socialism run amok. Everyone has a chance and no one does considering the SEC's continued hostile takeover of the sport.

BCS honks like to crow, "Every week is a playoff." In the third week of November 2011, they're absolutely right. LSU, Alabama and Arkansas may have to win this weekend but only one is assured of victory. If Alabama and Arkansas lose, suddenly Oklahoma State has new life. The Cowboys then have to beat Oklahoma on Dec. 3 in the aptly-named Bedlam series.

There are seven teams above unbeaten Houston. Six of them still have a chance to lose. Virginia Tech, Stanford and Boise hold out varying levels of hope.

If you're sick of SEC fandom being to football what infomercials are to cable television -- loud and ubiquitous -- try to make a case against the league's new division -- the SEC Best. The Tigers, Tide and Hogs have separated themselves. Their only losses are to each other. No. 2 Alabama lost to No. 1 LSU. No. 3 Arkansas lost to No. 2. The three won their games Saturday by a combined 100 points.

That set up what could be the greatest week of football anticipation in Arkansas since Richard Nixon watched The Big Shootout in 1969.

LSU has been here before, being tormented by the Hogs in 2007. Four years ago, the Tigers gave up 50 points at home to Arkansas in the regular-season finale and somehow still played in the BCS title game. Added incentive: LSU is chasing a third "home" BCS title game in New Orleans since 2003.

One thing is certain in Alabama: Marquis Maze will never, ever throw another pass out of the Wildcat formation.

All of it adds up to the SEC's choke hold on a sixth consecutive national championship. Call it season-ending serendipity. Oregon's Chip Kelly may have outcoached himself trying to rally back against USC. Oklahoma can't win the little ones.

Yeah, the BCS sucks so much that no one is arguing the order of the top three. Three teams from one conference have never been this close, this late in the 14-year history of this postseason model. It may not have happened at all since the Big Eight finished 1-2-3 (Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado) in 1971.

That was the year of the original Game of the Century. With LSU-Alabama II looming in January is it possible to play two GOCs in one season?


Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.
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