Buffs Taken Aback

A haywire computer stops CU short of its goal.

Colorado's Barnett, who was on his best behavior last week before LSU-Tennessee and his fellow coaches' reversal of opinion, was only slightly less miffed: "It's hard to be gracious," he said, then predicted changes in next year's BCS formula. "With what happened to us, we are the ones that will bring that about. And somebody will benefit from it next year."

What he's probably talking about is heavier weight in the formula for conference championships. But more radical changes are likely in a few years. Because of its ongoing credibility problems, the BCS is almost certain to get blindsided after the 2006 season (when the agreement expires), if not sooner. Major college football will then institute playoffs, if for no other reason than to satisfy the old American hunger for determining who's number one on the battlefield rather than in the lab.

Frank What's-His-Name, the head coach at "N," naturally had his own view of the BCS after his unworthies were elevated to the title game. "There's a system in place," he said. "I don't think I or my team have to prove anything to the critics." He might as well have been talking to cornstalks.

Despite the miscarriage of justice produced by flipped-out megabytes, Barnett and the Buffs must now prepare to play Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. If you like roast duck, tune in. Oregon is a nice little rain-drenched passing team, but if the way Colorado exploded in the late season (after those meaningless mishaps against Fresno State and Texas) is any signal, Oregon's got the same shot at beating the Buffs as Osama bin Laden has of being appointed to the Bush Cabinet. Asked Sunday if his team will be ready for the Ducks, Barnett said, "Yes...we'll be pissed off."

They will also find themselves staring a couple of ironies in the face. First, having finished its tureen of Duck soup January 1, Colorado will actually be rooting for the unloved University of Nowledge two days later, when it plays Miami. Because if both Big 12 schools win, they would likely share the national title. Of course, that's precisely the kind of wretched ambiguity the Bowl Championship Series computer was programmed to avoid.

But then, this thing scrambles its microchips on a pretty regular basis. Next thing you know, it'll probably get drunk and break down the door of the Buffs' homecoming queen.

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