College Football: Who Should Be Ranked #2?

Even though I live in Los Angeles, I rarely get that excited about either UCLA or USC football, but their game next Saturday may determine who gets to play Ohio State in the national championship. It is no surprise that Kevin Drum enjoyed the game last night between USC and Notre Dame as USC beat the #6 ranked team nation handily.

While Gene Wojciechowski concedes that a USC win over UCLA will likely seal the deal, he protests:

That’s the only real question left to answer in a season where a national championship matchup will be determined by – and how stupid is this? – “style” points. I hate the BCS. I hate it because the two best teams in the country aren’t going to play in the national title game. Instead, No. 1-ranked Ohio State is going to face a very good, but moderately flawed USC team. If it were up to me — and a slightly less-flawed Michigan team – the BCS would be swimming with the fishes. It would be ruled unconstitutional. If you uttered its initials, you would be required to eat a very large bowl of FieldTurf. So while the rest of the NCAA’s Division I-AA, II and III qualifiers are in varying stages of 16-, 24- and 32-team football playoffs, we’re stuck with BCS computer standings, mathematical formulas and a “system” so screwed up that it sees a therapist twice a week. It ought to be called the FAC (Flip A Coin).

Let’s we forget, Michigan beat Notre Dame by a score of 47 to 21 and its only loss was a well played game against Ohio State. While USC has beaten some very good Pac-10 teams including Berkeley, they lost to Oregon State and its margin over Notre Dame was only 44 to 24 (only?). So Gene has a point.

But I’m be cheering for USC Saturday (heresy!) for this reason. If USC plays Ohio State for the national championship, Michigan will play in the Rose Bowl. And my hope is that their opponent will be the Berkeley Bears. Go Bears!