Reason No. 3,478 to hate the BCS and what it does to college football: I like Auburn. I like Cam Newton, regardless of all the allegations floating around out there. I like Gene Chizik, the Tigers’ coach. I like the way Auburn fought back against Alabama on Friday in Tuscaloosa to beat the Tide, remain unbeaten and stay on track to play in the BCS championship game. So, if I like Auburn and yada, yada, yada, why did I want Alabama to win the game? Not because I have any affinity for the Tide or Coach Nick Saban. Only because I want a BCS train wreck and an Alabama win likely would have knocked Auburn out of the national championship picture and opened up a spot for Boise State, most likely, or TCU. Yes, my hatred for all things BCS colors everything else in the way I perceive college football. And it’s not good. The only thing I root for in this sport is a way to finally put the BCS out of its miserable existence so as to instill a playoff, preferably a 16-team playoff. But at this point, I’ll take anything. I hate everything about the BCS – even the letters B, C and S. Since my name is Bob, hating the letter B is an issue. Without it, I would simply be named O and that’s not a name that really suits me. I wasn’t devastated that Auburn won. As I wrote, I like Auburn. The Tigers pulled off an incredible comeback on enemy turf, overcoming a 24-0 deficit and winning on a day when Newton wasn’t as scintillating as he normally is. Everybody, it seemed, was picking Alabama to win the game and with good reason. The Tide, after all, is the defending national champion. But Auburn came through. Part of me was happy; part of me was disgusted. These are the trials and tribulations we face with a system so flawed that it creates mass confusion. All other sports clear up confusion with a postseason designed to do so. Not college football. Not the BCS.
I’m looking forward to watching Kansas play Ohio tonight in Las Vegas, although I expect a blowout. I get my first live look at the Jayhawks on Thursday, when they play UCLA at Allen Fieldhouse. This is setting up to be an incredible season of college basketball in our state and I’m excited about it. I loved being in Kansas City’ for the CBE Classic this week and even though Kansas State played poorly in losing to Duke, I expect the Wildcats to bounce back. Tonight’s game against Texas Southern will not be a problem. Kansas State’s next semi-serious test will be next Friday, when the Cats play at Washington State. On Dec. 18, K-State will play Florida in a tournament in Sunrise, Fla. Back to Kansas. ESPN analyst Dick Vitale said on the Duke-KSU broadcast the other night that the Big 12 championship still goes through Lawrence. He made that statement because K-State is the preseason favorite to win the conference title. And I think the Wildcats have a legitimate chance. But I have to agree with Vitale about KU. I think the Jayhawks are a better team than they were last season with Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry. At this time last season, I was writing about the Jayhawks’ lack of chemistry. And that was pretty much the ongoing storyline for KU during the 2009-10 season. Collins, I think, tried to do too much when things were going poorly. Aldrich regressed noticeably as an offensive player and Henry, while having some nice games, was not as consistent as I expected him to be. This season’s team looks to be in sync already with a lot of veterans. The Jayhawks still have stars (Marcus Morris, for sure), but it looks like a much deeper and balanced team. Which makes me wonder where freshman Josh Selby will fit in when he becomes eligible on Dec. 18, when KU will play a home game against Southern California. Selby is going to play and play a lot. He’s on par with Duke’s Kyrie Irving as one of the best freshmen guards in the country. Irving is a dynamo for the Blue Devils and Selby can be the same for Kansas. But it will be interesting to see how KU coach Bill Self incorporates Selby into the rotation. He probably won’t start games at first, but there’s no doubt Selby is going to be a 25-minute player sooner or later. With so many veterans, the transition should go smooth. But it will be worth watching.