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Venkataraman: Stage set for a memorable BCS swan song

With last week’s finalization of the College Football Playoff committee and all of the controversy and mudslinging that followed, it seems as if much of America has forgotten that we still have one year left in the ever pleasing Bowl Championship Series (BCS) era.

Well, it looks like the football gods sure haven’t forgotten, because this year is shaping up to be a doozy.

This last weekend yielded an incalculable number of upsets, with many a team’s national championship aspirations spinning out faster than the scoreboard at the Baylor-Oregon game that every points enthusiast wants to see. The aftermath of the carnage yielded just four undefeated teams rising to the top of the coffee mug: Alabama, Florida State, Oregon and Ohio State. The bad news for the BCS is that all of these teams have very good chances of going undefeated. As a wise man once said, “Who ya got?”

Alabama is the reigning two-time national champion led by AJ McCarron, his traitorous (but amazingly beautiful) Auburn-going girlfriend and a whole host of first-round picks on defense. Florida State has its own trophy quarterback in “Famous” Jameis Winston and just finished wiping the floor with Clemson in the blowout of the season to date. Oregon has yet to even be tested this season, having scored a boatload of points with the tough part of their schedule yet to come. And Ohio State has endured, grinding out tough wins to remain undefeated while weathering injuries on both sides of the ball.

Looking at each of these teams and their schedules from now until the end of the season, there is a distinct chance that more than two of them will remain undefeated. At that point, I picture the entire BCS collapsing like The Barad-dur at the end of the Lord of the Rings: violently and quickly.

I know that it is bad form to beat a dead horse, but why, oh why, can we not move up the start of the playoff to this season? There are still two and a half months to go before the bowl games need to be finalized and the selection committee for the playoff has already been chosen and vetted.

It seems distinctly likely that this season will feature a lot more parity amongst the elite teams than we have seen in the past. On a neutral field, I have no idea who I would pick to win because all of these teams pair incredible strengths with evident flaws. That is part of what makes this sport so enticing, and part of why the playoff system is perfect for a year like this one. I would kill to see those four teams play each other and settle the debate on the field. More than just being fair, this would make for highly entertaining football. Enough said.

In 2004, USC and Oklahoma met in the BCS National Championship Game (or didn’t, depending on which revisionist view of history you subscribe to in the post-Reggie Bush scandal era), leaving undefeated Utah and undefeated Auburn in the lurch. After a ho-hum national championship game in which USC plastered Heisman trophy winner Jason White in a 55-19 rout, both Auburn and Utah, which had won their respective bowl games, felt (rightfully) peeved that they were not given the chance to prove their merits on the football field thanks to the evil BCS formula. This season has all the smatterings of a similar outcome, but to me, nothing would give me more pleasure than seeing the BCS fail one last time before riding off into the sunset.

There is one excellent thing, however, that has come out of the BCS: It has proven to be wonderful fodder for columnists such as myself to write about. It’s almost as easy as taking candy from a baby.

So in a way, I will be sad to see the BCS go. It might go gently into the night, ruffling no feathers and exiting stage left with nary a fuss. Or this season could end in the BCS apocalypse, ushering in the playoff era with the biggest of all “I told you so!” moments.

Boy, the rest of this college football season is going to be fun. Your move, BCS.

Some men like Vignesh Venkataraman just want to watch the world burn. In his ideal BCS apocalypse, Viggy has undefeated Fresno State facing undefeated Northern Illinois in the championship. Tell him off spectacularly at viggy ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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