<
>

College football finds its happy place

Posted by ESPN's Eric Posman

Does anyone ever think that every sport at every level possibly has it all wrong? And that maybe, just maybe, only major college football has it right?

Why decide things on the field, when you can make up your own Pythagorean Theorem, create a matchup in a compromised laboratory, and have the two sort-of best program play for a mythical championship?

If that system's not equitable or fair, why not go all the way back to college football's roots, and declare multiple champions? That's the answer. Let's take that big crystal BCS trophy and take a chainsaw to it. Divide it up in socialistic fashion like orange slices after a pee-wee soccer game.

Maybe Tommy Tuberville can take his section of the 2004 trophy, in lieu of a resume, to his next job interview.

The sport's history is littered with an alphabet soup of national championships. It's not even that outdated. Just five years ago, LSU won the BCS championship and USC still won the AP national championship. Twice as many players, coaches, and alums wore smiles on their faces for the next eight months. And isn't that the idea, to make more people happy?

Like those happy players in Utah. When coach Whittingham recruited you in your living room, he told you "Come to Utah. We'll win a national championship." When he walked back to his car, he doubled over in laughter.

Just for that, for believing in him, you as a Utah Ute have done everything in your power to make him a prophet. You are 12-0. When you beat Michigan in the Big House, you didn't know that this was an off-brand big blue team. And your administrators didn't know that when they scheduled them. Then you beat Oregon State the week after the Beavers knocked off USC. You weathered TCU and BYU and the elements and altitude in a tough Mountain West. Now if you beat Alabama in the heart of SEC country, you deserve at least an end piece of that fancy hardware.

And what of the Texas Longhorns fans? They deserve to be happy too. In living rooms, dorm rooms, and bathrooms, all over Texas, placards that read "45-35" are mounted in reverence. Yet in this system, the "35" is the headliner, and the "45" is the opening act. What's a Texas fan's consolation prize, a Heisman Trophy for Colt McCoy? Not a certainty and not proper compensation. They want to see Mack Brown lead his team over Ohio State and lay claim to a 25 percent share of the title.

And what would be a better Hollywood ending than the Trojans, playing arguably the best football in the nation, adding more pieces to coach Carroll's championship jigsaw puzzle. Let's see, he's got a small piece from 2002, a half from 2003, the bulk of the 2004 trophy, and had his portion of the 2005 model stolen by Vince Young.

A win over Penn State in the Rose Bowl would give Coach Carroll approximately 2.7 national titles when all tallied.

Then you've still got the lion's share of the trophy to be split by Oklahoma and Florida and then carved up as bling for the deserving Sooners and Gators. The actual outcome of the game is a mere formality.

This is the plan. Utopia. Nobody has to make tough decisions. Nobody has an ax to grind. What would an eight-team playoff do besides sending seven elite teams home with a season-ending loss? So sad.

But then college football would be like every other sport.

Posman is an ESPN/ABC college football producer