Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sunday 12/01 Auburn December Quickie

It's a glorious morning for those of us who traffic in instant history: Auburn's jaw-dropping win over Alabama was the single-greatest finish in college football history.

If you consider the context, participants, stakes, history -- all of it -- nothing can match it. It not only ended Alabama's national-title hopes, but it elevated Auburn's.

All in a rivalry game and all in the single-most-stunning play you will ever see. Just when you think sports can't sports any more dramatically... sports.

Let's move on to what will be a cataclysmic debate this week: Given the SEC's string of national titles and given Auburn's -- or Missouri's -- (vastly) superior resume, should a 1-loss SEC champ get into the BCS title game ahead of an unbeaten "brand-name" team from a power conference?

The answer -- simply enough -- is absolutely.

When you compare Ohio State's resume -- devoid of literally any high quality wins, let alone the multiple high quality wins of either Auburn or Mizzou -- it simply doesn't compare.

Even if/when Ohio State beats Michigan State next week, the Auburn-Missouri winner will have racked up yet another high-quality win -- far more impressive than Michigan State.

(Forget top 2 in the country: Can we agree that Ohio State might only be the 6th-best team in the SEC, reasonably set behind Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Missouri and South Carolina?)

You could say that a BCS finale that shuts out a clearly superior 1-loss SEC champ in favor of two unbeatens with relatively paltry resumes is the fitting end to a flawed system.

I would prefer it if the BCS belied its checkered history and -- not unlike the way Breaking Bad ended things for Walter White -- sent itself out with a bit of dignity that comes with rejecting a kneejerk "But they're unbeaten!" rationale for what we all know to be true:

The Auburn-Missouri winner deserves a shot at the national title in a way that Ohio State simply doesn't. (OK: If you want to make it interesting, let Ohio State and Florida State play in two Saturdays for the right to face the Auburn-Mizzou winner... but that's a 4-team playoff, of course.)

None of this should overshadow the most remarkable finish to a college football game in the history of the sport.

-- D.S.

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