As they are a part of the
cartel system used to determine a national champion, the coaches are expected to fall in line with the results of the BcS title game and vote for the winner in the final USA Today coaches poll.
For the second time in three years, one coach has bucked the system.
Auburn claimed 56 of the 57 first-place votes — two coaches could not be reached in time to place their vote — while the other vote went to unbeaten non-automatic qualifier TCU. The identity of the coach was not revealed, but some reasonable assumptions could be made as to who may have broken ranks with the other coaches — Utah’s Kyle Whittingham and Boise State’s Chris Petersen are two of the 59 voters this year.
In 2008, Utah was the only team to receive a first-place vote after Florida laid a beat-down on Ohio State in the national title game.
While the name of the coach who voted TCU No. 1 was not revealed, he will be ultimately. And, more than likely, he will be vilified by a good percentage of the country. That would and will be a shame.
Almost as big of a shame that there has to be this argument in the first place, that a national champion can’t be decided on the field instead of on some subjective ballot filed by someone who simply doesn’t possess the time to make a rational decision.
As Penn State assistant Jay Paterno tweeted Tuesday morning, “Not sure TCU isn’t the best team in the Nation—someday the system must allow a team like that a shot at all the marbles.”
And that’s the thing. A playoff would afford a team like TCU, like Boise State in 2009/2010 or Utah in 2008, the opportunity to prove their worth on the field of play. Just like every other sport governed by the NCAA currently crowns their champions.
Not to impugn what Auburn accomplished last night or over their previous 13 games against a rugged schedule — they are indeed worthy — but there is a better way to determine a national champion. Like it or not, teams like TCU and Boise State have earned the right to, as Paterno wrote, have a shot at all the marbles.
Plus-one, eight-team, 16-team playoffs and anything in between, teams like the non-AQs must be allowed the opportunity to prove, one way or the other, whether they deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the so-called traditional powers.
All I know is, it’d be a step in the right direction arguing about the fifth-, ninth- or 17th-best team getting screwed over for a playoff spot than the current system that only allows two of 120 schools to have a shot at hoisting the crystal at season’s end.
Until Congress acts, though, I’m not holding my breath.