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CBSSports.com Senior College Football Columnist

We may not like LSU-'Bama rematch, but BCS's logic is sound

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I'm OK with The Rematch and you should be too.

LSU-Alabama again? I can shoot down any argument against it with Jerry Palm tied behind my back. I'm not saying the game would be great. The first one wasn't. It's just the most logical matchup at this point. Or re-matchup.

In the aftermath of the Game of the Century that wasn't even the game of the night (remember, Kansas State-Oklahoma State?), there wasn't much to like about seeing these two again. LSU had nothing else to prove. Alabama was upset at home and looked clunky doing it. Why give the Tide a second chance?

Three weeks later we have our answer: No one else is as deserving. Since Nov. 5, Alabama, Stanford, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech have all lost this month. There's an old BCS saying -- OK, I just made it up -- if you lose one game you have no right to argue in the BCS.

Alabama lost "best." For those of us privileged to see the Tide and Tigers in person, they are the best two teams in the country. Pardon me while I gush but that's helluva good place to start.

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I know, I know, the BCS hasn't always accounted for things like, well, talent. Imagine that. In 2001, a Nebraska team that got blown out by 26 at Colorado and didn't win its division played for the national championship. Oklahoma lost by four touchdowns to Kansas State in the 2003 Big 12 title game.

But if we're going to rip the system for being unfair, then let's give it credit for seeing the obvious. Alabama's only loss is in overtime to No. 1. LSU has beaten seven ranked teams, three of them in the top five. It's already looking like LSU could "afford" a loss in the SEC title game and still play for it all.

Let's not overthink this. Alabama and LSU have combined to play 11 ranked teams -- that's almost half of their schedules. Virginia Tech, Stanford and Oklahoma State faced a combined nine ranked teams.

I will listen to your arguments that the SEC was top heavy this season. Five teams won at least 10 games. I will also remind you that represents almost a third of the 16 teams that have won at least 10 games to date. No other conference has more than three 10-win teams. I also won't have a problem if Georgia beats LSU Saturday and a record three SEC teams end up in the BCS.

Strip away the conference affiliations and you still come up with the same championship game. Just watch them play. An All-America defense could be built with LSU and Alabama players alone. Would an LSU/Alabama-Oklahoma State game be more entertaining? Absolutely. But that's not the argument.

The BCS promised one thing: a 1 vs. 2 game. Maybe not your 1-2 game but it's a heck of an improvement. Fifteen of the 46 1 vs. 2 games in the history of the AP poll have been played since the BCS started in 1998. If that's not good enough, there is only system that comes close to shutting everyone up -– a 16-team playoff. Call me a dreamer by we'll all be driving jet cars before that happens.

If college football begs to differ about the current BCS standings it has failed to provide a compelling rebuttal.

Oklahoma State's loss is to Iowa State. How's that for pistols misfiring? Virginia Tech lost at home by 20 to Clemson. Revenge in the ACC title game means beating a team that has lost three out of its last four. Stanford might be the third-best team in the Pac-12 considering ...

Considering those of you who think a team should have to win its conference to play in the championship game. You have no case. You might have noticed the Cardinal can't win the Pac-12. With a chance to clinch the Pac-12 North, they didn't -- falling to Oregon by 23. That doesn't mean they're not deserving of competing for the BCS title game. Using that logic both Stanford and Alabama would be eliminated from the chase.

In the old system, an LSU-Alabama rematch would not have been possible. LSU would have gone to the Sugar Bowl to play Michigan. Alabama probably would be in the Orange Bowl playing No. 4 Oklahoma State.

That would have settled exactly nothing. That's why we have the BCS. It's not perfect but it knows logic when it sees it. Well, most of the time. OK, some of the time.

At least now.


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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