This Does Not Compute

Hey, Sparky, think it's time to pull the plug on the Bowl Championship Series wizards?

Most of us never come close to solving the great mysteries of life. You know: What's a "Hoya"? Do Jesus and Mohammed get together for lunch? How does the washing machine know to take in four socks and give back only three? Where have the Bush twins gone? I mean it. Really. When was the last time anybody saw those cute little rascals Barb and Jenna? Do they still sneak into the liquor cabinet at the White House? Hey. Why can't the Rockies ever beat Atlanta? And what did Michael Jackson do with the rest of his nose? Does he keep it in a jar of brine buried under the merry-go-round? Listen. Ask yourself. Who the hell decided everyone in Iraq has to wear a mustache? And this. How is it that a roomful of computer geeks get to choose college football's national champion?

This last Big Question is on everyone's lips this week. Especially now that the two "top" football teams in the country have been selected, by the crack computer used by the Bowl Championship Series, to play in the Sugar Bowl on January 4. To say the least, the computer's decision has not been a popular one. That's because anybody who knows the first thing about college football knows that J.B. Seeley Junior College (Resume Speed, Texas) and the Jacques Delorme Institute of Wine Studies did not field the best teams out there this season -- not by a long shot, I'm here to tell ya.

Why, any idiot who's ever waved a pennant can tell you that the Sluggards got their butts handed to them way back in the fourth week of the season by a far more inspired bunch from Jerkwater Automotive and Technical. As you may remember, the Jackdaws sacked Seeley's highly rated junior quarterback, Harvey N. Prance, nine times that afternoon. En route to a 78-3 win. Strength of schedule or no cockeyed strength of schedule, those pretenders from Seeley have got no damn business in the title game. And I'm not saying that just because I earned a degree from Jerkwater (Carburetion Science, '78) or because my ex-brother-in-law happens to be the assistant athletic director. Nope. That's not it at all. The point is, you give this friggin' computer a little bit of information, and the damn thing will figure out a way to screw it up, to come up with a conclusion so bass ack-ward that you start to wonder who the hell's in charge, The damn machine or the people who have actually got eyes in their heads.

Now. As for Jacques Delorme. Granted, they've got a nice-looking little team up there, what with the all-purple unis and those corks they wear on their heads, and from everything I've heard, the training table is really something special. Not just T-bones, but great big, prime-grade T-bones with big dollops of béarnaise sauce on 'em, for God's sake. And croissants. With café au lait. I mean, no other school in northeastern North Dakota can quite measure up to that. No wonder the Cabernets can recruit. Just look at all those huge, muscle-bound farm boys they get from Minnesota and Ohio and Wisconsin. It's simple. Kids just can't wait to get their fists around a big bowl of boeuf bourguignonne and a nice carafe of 1975 Châteauneuf-du-Pape. No wonder Coach Brillat-Savin has been able to build up such a strong program. Anybody with a big jug of cognac instead of Gatorade out there on the sidelines is bound to attract some top prospects.

But the national title game? The Sugar Bowl? You gotta be kidding me. For one thing, who can forget that crucial road loss to Southwest Alaska State? You know. That was only two weeks ago. Sure, it was cold up there, and the Delorme players could apparently really feel it. You don't amputate three toes from your starting middle linebacker's left foot at halftime and claim it wasn't cold. No one's saying that. Hey. Any time a third-string wide receiver and two towel boys freeze to death sitting on the bench in the second quarter and no one even notices, you gotta think it got a tad chilly. Maybe the folks up there in Elk Rump ought to rethink those 10 p.m. kickoffs they're so all-fired fond of. Pretty tough on visiting teams. But that still makes no alibi for the Cabernets -- or for the crazy-ass computer program that put them in the big game. You get beat 2-0 by anybody and your stock just has to fall, computer program or no friggin' computer program. So what if a couple of engines on the team plane seized up on the way home and they had to ditch in Lake Winnipeg? Football's a hard-ass game, and sympathy goes only so far. What'll you bet that computer had sympathy figured into its selection program? I mean, Jacques Delorme? You must be joking. Why, as recently as 1971, Jerkwater put a 17-14 whuppin' on those guys. And where did it get themthis year?

So hear me out. Just like you, I don't give two hoots what some whacked-out computer says. Go, Jackdaws! You're Number One!

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