Not The Year For A Playoff

Bobby Curran
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Friday - December 01, 2006
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Nate Ilaoa and the Warriors face Oregon State on Saturday
Nate Ilaoa and the Warriors face Oregon State on Saturday

This could have been the year many college football fans had been waiting for. It could have been a season in which four or five teams could have had a legitimate claim to a spot in the National Championship game. It could have created the convoluted mess that everyone in favor of a playoff was hoping would happen.

But it’s not to be.

Not this year.

Ohio State has wired the field, and you couldn’t reasonably argue against them.

And if USC beats UCLA as expected, the only team that will have a serious beef with the BCS will be Michigan, and most fans don’t seem terribly sympathetic to the plight of the Wolverines and even less interested in the prospect of an Ohio State-Michigan rematch.


All of the contenders have proven to be pretenders in the last month. All of the West Virginia talk has subsided with their two losses, the most recent one to South Florida. Auburn, LSU and Arkansas have all fallen by the wayside.

Only Florida has any argument left, and most of that was destroyed by a lackluster win over hapless Florida State last Saturday.

The bowl system will continue to pour money into the BCS conference coffers and, yes, there will be a token handout to Boise State and the WAC. Not a full share, mind you, not the $15 million or so the big boys get, but a little more than half that, something to keep the have-nots quiet. There will be no outrage about Division I-A football being the only NCAA championship not decided on the field, and no hand-wringing about the lack of opportunity for the non-BCS conferences.

The folks at the BCS have this thing pretty well figured out.

The addition of the fifth game will mean that every third year or so a non-BCS member like Boise State will get into a big game (likely the Fiesta Bowl vs. the Oklahoma-Nebraska winner) and Notre Dame may get in about as often (for a reduced payday of about $6 million because they don’t have to share), and the rest of the time the BCS conferences can have four members double dip.

The upshot is the rich will get richer, the facilities wars will escalate, and coaches’ salaries - already through the roof - will continue to rocket into the stratosphere.

All of that is enough to make you pine for the relative innocence of high school football, where Kahuku needed a miracle play and some suspect clock management by Baldwin to keep the Bears from being the first Neighbor Island team to play for the Division 1 State Championship.


And where, for the first time, the D-2 Championship game will be an all-Neighbor Island affair, Kauai squaring off against King Kekaulike.

And if you want more of a crowd than the 20,000-25,000 likely to attend the state finals, you can come and watch the first sell-out and last regular season game for the UH Warriors, who will play host to Oregon State on Saturday - the same Beavers who laid the only loss on USC.

And, yes, that game will be an hour later, kicking off at 7 p.m., but the gates will open at the usual time of 2:30 p.m., which should ease the congestion.

I find myself grateful for small favors.

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