Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 11/4/11
Because the BCS likes to pretend it is in the business of putting the best two teams in the country together to play for the national championship and because the SEC recently has provided the best football, LSU vs. Alabama on Saturday basically has been called a friendly, a warm-up, an exhibition.Not intentionally, just by definition.It is likely the first in a best of two, with the second being played in January in New Orleans with a national championship on the line. The loser on Saturday loses nothing except possibly not being favored by Vegas in the rematch. It is all the talk this week, this idea of Nick Saban and Les Miles meeting again in a game that really matters.LSU and Alabama might deserve to play each other again, and I struggle to find any good argument why this is not the best game.But if the BCS is not going to have a playoff, it cannot have a rematch. A rematch violates the same flawed logic used against a playoff that the regular season is a single-elimination playoff and, thus, loses its magic if a postseason redo exists.Please let this happen. Please let LSU or 'Bama get jobbed.Because if the BCS prevents a deserving LSU or Alabama two of the best and most powerful programs in the nation currently from playing for a championship, there will be hell to pay. There might even be a playoff. Auburn should have been the spark back in 2004 when the Tigers went 12-0 in the regular season but missed out on the BCS title game in favor of undefeateds Southern California and Oklahoma but there was not as much public outcry then. It is different now: All that is required is properly motivating a fan base willing to poison trees to inject themselves into this playoff debate.The BCS will have a hot mess on their hands.Because a really good team is going to lose Saturday, possibly the best team in the country and, by BCS logic, it should have no opportunity to win a championship or avenging that loss. This, they tell us, is what makes college football great, what preserves the regular season from the abomination that is a postseason.The problems with a playoff are many, or so we are told. The havoc wreaked on the GPAs of the student athletes they purport to care so much about, the damage done to the fine upstanding folks who only sometimes use bribery in the running of their bowls and the damage to the sanctity of games like the one being played Saturday.Please explain how 'Bama-LSU is ruined if they play again? For a trophy?Yes, the problem with defending something indefensible is eventually you reach the point in the argument where the flawed logic self-immolates. A playoff does not ruin Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Nothing could ruin what is sure to be one of the best nights of the college season.The lack of a playoff does not exactly ruin college football, either; what ruins it is the constant lying about the reasons. Id respect the whole thing a lot more if somebody just said, No, we are not getting a playoff because, as the Big Ten and SEC dudes always say, sharing the money with the little schools is idiotic and because those dudes in the blazers from the bowls give really good enticements and because we can. Instead, we are left debating who should be playing for a championship instead of actually playing for a championship.A playoff is the only remotely sane way to determine which is the best team in any sport anything else is ice dancing or gymnastics, which are not actually sports. They are not. Go ahead and email me, I am unlikely to be swayed. If a judge is involved and artistic impression matters, it is "American Idol" with muscular movements.Real sports have a winner and a loser, decided by the game they are playing and themselves and by playoffs whose participants are determined by games. Of course, that world does not exist. We live in a pre-playoff world in college football, with rematch dominating pregame."I understand both sides of the issue, but in the end, you want to get the best two teams in the championship game," former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said recently.What a fabulous idea. However should we decide?The most popular idea is to replay Saturday. It is not an awful idea unless, of course, you are one of the other undefeated teams in the country like Stanford or Oklahoma State or Boise State. It is especially bad for Boise because, well, it tends to get jobbed like this a lot. The Broncos go undefeated and somebody argues they do not deserve to play for a championship because the SEC is better, because they do not have LSU andor Alabama on their schedule, because they do not play games like Saturday's.Not that Saturdays game is a slam-dunk ticket to a rematch. There is a lot of arguing about degrees. It should be played again, for the championship, only if it is a classic, only if it is close, which leads to more debate.How close? What defines classic? Who tells Stanford?"It's interesting," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said on the weekly SEC conference call. "I keep reading no rematch for these two teams. I'm not so sure that's the truth or not. And I'm not so sure a rematch, if they both win out, that there's anything wrong with that."Actually there is something wrong with that. It is like a playoff. And we were told that ruins the game. You can follow Jen Engel on Twitter, email her or like her on Facebook.
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