In early February, we turned in the manuscript for Death to the BCS. After two years of work, we felt like we had sufficiently unraveled the Bowl Championship Series, and I won’t lie: I wanted to climb atop a mountain that day, shout out every nauseating fact — “The Sugar Bowl took in $34.1 million in 2007 and didn’t give a penny to charity!” — and let the public descend with pitchforks and torches.
So while waiting more than eight months certainly tested my patience, the rewards gleaned Thursday were, for lack of a better term, awesome. It wasn’t just seeing the Amazon rank shoot up and the positive reviews flow in. The nature of so many Twitter bursts and e-mails told us that there is a legitimate thirst for knowledge about the BCS, that people aren’t satisfied with mere anger against it. They want to elucidate themselves and lace their barstool discussion with the substance so severely lacking in BCS debate.
That the book just so happened to come out the week that Boise State will almost certainly be ranked first in the BCS standings — and, consequently, turn said BCS debate thermonuclear — was as much happenstance as design. The book originally was slated to drop in November. We asked for October. The publisher chose Oct. 14. Sometimes you just get lucky.
Now we get to watch this mess of a season unfold. Boise State could pull off a neat trick: be ranked No. 1 on Oct. 17, not lose another game and somehow end up dropping two or three spots in the final standings. Michigan State very easily could finish undefeated in the Big Ten and not play for the BCS championship. They won’t be the only ones with legitimate beef.
Currently, there are 10 unbeaten teams in Division I-A with a shot at a national championship: Ohio State, Oregon, Boise State, TCU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Auburn, LSU, Utah and Michigan State. (Nevada, Oklahoma State and Missouri, still undefeated, are simply too far back in both polls.) The only matchups among them are TCU-Utah and Auburn-LSU. Nebraska and Oklahoma could play in the Big 12 title game. That leaves as many as seven undefeated teams after conference-championship season.
The din will grow louder, the cries more shrill, the heartbeat of dissidence stronger. And though it will lead to plenty of heartbreak for those whose schools the BCS does dirty, it will likewise fortify the college football-viewing public.
Death to the BCS is here, finally. Tell your friends. Spread the word. Educate the masses. And, if you’re so inclined, ready those pitchforks and torches.