A bowl with meaning

College football championship should be more merit-based

Unless you’re a rabid Alabama fan, the much-vaunted, much-awaited major college football championship game Monday night was a clunker on concrete blocks.

The Crimson Tide’s 21-0 shutout of conference rival Louisiana State University was hardly predictable – but then again, this is what can happen when you get “elected” to the national championship game, rather than playing your way in.

You can’t blame high-powered and third-ranked Oklahoma State University’s team from wondering what might have been.

“This is what the Bowl Championship Series wrought. A title game with a single touchdown,” wrote USA Today’s Steve Wieberg.

“I bet you there’ll be a lot of people wish they’d given us a shot to see a different kind of game,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “We’d have thrown it 50 times. You sure would like to have had a shot at it. ... It kind of hurts to watch it.”

Join the club, bub.

It’s time the NCAA, which governs college sports, took a hand. Every other sport ends with an unquestioned champion. This week, voters had to rubber-stamp Alabama’s big win. How silly is that? And how frustrating that, after years of hard work and dedication, so many of these young men are denied the opportunity to play their way to a championship.

The wizards of the Bowl Championship Series apparently are conferring behind the curtain to make the clubby bowl system more merit-based. We’ll see. The popular suggestion seems to be a “Plus One” play-in arrangement of some kind – a hybrid of arbitrary bowls and playoffs. If that’s a bridge to a full playoff system, so be it.

But lots of us crossed that bridge a long time ago.

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Sat, 01/21/2017 - 22:00

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