Crimson Tide wins SEC championship

No, that’s not an error in the headline. Alabama, by virtue of its stellar defensive play and its 21-0 shellacking of Louisiana State University Monday, can lay claim to being the best football team in the Southeastern Conference.

But it’s far from clear they’re the best team in college football, even though Monday’s game was meant to decide that.

Fortunately, there is reason to hope this ridiculous system for choosing a college football champion may be changing.

Oklahoma State can make a case that it deserves the college football crown, based on the strength of its schedule and the number of ranked teams it played compared to Alabama. Of course, Crimson Tide loyalists can make contrary arguments in favor of Alabama. But that’s the point.

Every year, there is some dispute over who the real national champion is, or who should play in the championship game, because the Bowl Championship Series is so arbitrary.

What’s needed is a championship tournament, such as is used to decide the winner of nearly every other sport.

There is some hope the leaders of the BCS are finally recognizing this. The commissioners of 11 college athletic conferences met in New Orleans Tuesday to discuss potential changes in the BCS. No decisions were made, but one option discussed is called a plus-one, four-team playoff. Under such a plan, the four top-ranked teams at the end of the season would have a mini-tournament, with the No. 1 team playing the No. 4 ranked school, and No. 2 and No. 3 meeting in the other semifinal.

We think a larger tournament with at least eight teams would be better. But, if the four-team option had been in place this year, at least Oklahoma State and Stanford would have had the opportunity to make the case for their own championship standing on the field, instead of through the media.

Come on, BCS, go to a tournament.


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