There has never been a true earned national division one college football champion. Ever, not since the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) played Rutgers College (now Rutgers University) on November 6, 1869 in New Brunswick, N.J.
Yes, there have been many seasons, and even more so after BCS championship games than before, when polls of journalists, coaches and average Joes agreed that the “best” and “most deserving” teams were voted No. 1.
But whether such a consensus emerged on January 2nds before 1999 or on mornings after the non-bowl game played by the two chosen by man and machine (computers not named HAL), the final choice is decided by vote rather than by results; as are many Olympic champions.
They even have a vote after the BCS Championship Game, even though the rules of the BCS provide that the winner of its championship game is the champion. That sounds like a results-driven champion. Yes, but how the teams that play are determined SOLELY by votes, and not compelled by results. The two teams chosen need not even have won their conference championship, however determined.
I think that both Auburn and Florida State are deserving as conference champions and the two best according to my criteria, but that more than 50% of others that care agree with me does not a true championship worthy of the name make.
Even if one accepts the premise that any undefeated team must be a participant unless there are more than two, one is only compelled to include FSU. Auburn is one of several other major college conference champions with only one loss. We will never know whether Spartans or Bears could defeat Seminoles or Tigers-with-a-War-Eagle.
Next year’s four-team tournament chosen by a panel will be an improvement over the BCS but only in improving the myth. Only a tournament with at least five conference (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, and Pac-12) champions as automatic qualifiers transports big-time NCAA football from fictitious to actual champions.
And for the sake of symmetry, we don’t mind indulging the lovers of un-kept scores, trophies for all and probably the designated hitter, we have no problem with three teams chosen at-large by “experts”. And if Alabama can lose the SEC but still win the championship that way, then it is obviously God’s will.
Gamecock Sand Lapper