To those of you rooting for the BCS to embarrass itself on a national stage last night, take heart: we are left with the least desirable national championship matchup imaginable.
I, like you, was jumping around with excitement when Nebraska took the lead with 1:44 left. This is it! This is the year we don't get two clear top teams! This is the straw that breaks the playoff-averse camel's back! But because college football is high on spectacle but low on fundamental play, it took just nine seconds for Texas to get down to Nebraska's 26-yard line.
An email being forwarded to pretty much every newspaper columnist in the country is trying to claim that since the Big 12's instant replay rules forbid the use of replay after the clock has run out, NU are the rightful conference champs. Nice try, but sorry. The whole point is, the clock didn't run out, even though Colt McCoy appeared to try his best. (That sequence was especially delicious after we had spent the drive putting up with the announcers praising Mack Brown's clock management.)
No, Texas won fair and square, just like Alabama. Tim Tebow's eyeblack highlighted John 16:33, a verse from the Last Supper. You have to wonder if he knew his run defense would betray him. Alabama owned Florida from the start, and Mark Ingram put an emphatic 3-TD stamp on his Heisman application.
Oh, Gators. We didn't want things to end like this. We need a too-perfect, media darling QB in our lives as long as we can get him. We did want to see Tebow crying on the sidelines after his national title hopes were dashed, but we didn't want to see it until the National Championship game.
Oh, Longhorns. We didn't want to see you make it this far. Not the we-only-hung-13-on-Nebraska Longhorns team. They'll be outclassed by the Crimson Tide's running game, and they'll be outmatched on defense.
Here's the worst part of it all: if Alabama had to win, we needed Texas to lose. A high-flying TCU or dark horse Cincinnati would give the title game some novelty, and have the country dissecting the failings of the BCS for a month. But if Texas had to win, we needed Alabama to lose. If we can't have some new faces, we at least need two big-name, dominant programs meeting, even if they weren't the best teams.
Now, it wouldn't have BCS Chaos if Nebraska held on. In decreasing order of likelihood, Alabama would have had to face Cincy, TCU, Florida (yikes), or Boise State. All fascinating matchups, and all great arguments for a playoff.
Here's a good solid prediction for the final BCS standings. You're telling me a four-team playoff, with the Bearcats and Horned Frogs getting their shots at the top two, wouldn't make for a great couple weeks? Even better, how about an 8-team bracket? Alabama would open with a feisty Ohio State, Texas would go up against an evenly matched Oregon, Cincinnati and Boise State would be able to make their cases against each other, and Florida would have another chance to prove themselves against TCU.
That sounds like an amazing month of football to me. And it's what we could have had, if not for the current BCS system. While it would be wonderful to see the rankings flail about to find a disputed No. 2 team, it's a much more damning indictment of the system to have, laid out for us, what we're missing out on.