YOURS TRULY GOT into a heated conversation with a colleague in the Alabama press box this past weekend. And for once it wasn't over who was first in line for pregame barbecue chicken.
The subject was the BCS and whether we needed a playoff. This column started beating that drum (at least for this season) a couple weeks ago, so we will refrain from rehashing that.
(Or the fact that a political action committee has been set up in Washington to push for a playoff. If you think that's bad, trust me, I'm from D.C., there's a political action committee for everything. My dad once set up one to find a new dog.)
In my tussle with my esteemed fellow sportswriter, I kept coming back to four words: Boise State and Texas Christian.
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This is America, my fellow Americans. We don't just love underdogs, we give them a chance. When Winthrop's men's basketball team wins the Big South, it gets a ticket to the NCAA tournament. When someone wins a division in any pro sport, they get a ticket to the playoffs.
They say the regular season is the playoff in football. Fine. So you're telling me that if Boise State or TCU win ALL their games this year, beating some major programs along the way, they will NOT get the same chance?
Maybe Utah wasn't good enough to win the whole enchilada last year, but it did beat Alabama and finish unbeaten. Maybe Boise State wasn't good enough three years ago, but it did beat Oklahoma and finish undefeated.
The BCS can't just give the little guys a berth in a big bowl and say it's OK. It should let it have a shot at the whole thing.
Vanderbilt at South Carolina (-12.5): On Sunday, Steve Spurrier praised Alabama on its sportsmanship for being a clean-playing team. By Tuesday, he was asking if the Tide were cheating. By Monday, he'll be asking if Nick Saban had anything to do with the balloon boy. Pick: USC covers.
Clemson at Miami (-6): C.J. Spiller got a flat tire on Tuesday. No word on whether Rob Spence was the one who originally fastened the lugnuts. Pick: Miami covers.
Tennessee at Alabama (-16): The battle within the battle: Alabama defensive tackle Terrence Cody is an All-American candidate. Tennessee center Cody Sullins is a walk-on. Uhhhhh ... Pick: Alabama covers.
Florida (-23) at Mississippi State: Dan Mullen had to stop from crying at SEC media days when talking about Tim Tebow. Coincidentally, most Bulldog fans cry when they've watched their offense the past five years. Pick: MSU covers, but Florida wins.
Auburn at LSU (-8): LSU claims it's not out of the national title picture yet. OK, sure. Pick: Auburn covers, but LSU wins.
Arkansas at Mississippi (-5): Houston Nutt claims he's not giving up on winning the West. Does he mean in 2010? Pick: Ole Miss covers.
Maryland at Duke (-5): A five-point underdog to Duke? Yeah, maybe it is time to unplug the Fridge. Pick: Maryland wins.
Georgia Tech (-4) covers against Virginia. ... Notre Dame (-8) covers against Boston College. ... Kentucky (-17) covers against Louisiana-Monroe. ... Navy (even) beats Wake Forest. ... Boise State (-24) covers against Hawaii. ... BYU beats TCU (-1.5). ... Penn State (-4.5) covers against Michigan. ... Missouri covers, but Texas (-13.5) wins.
Last week: 8-7 vs. spread, 10-5 overall.
Season: 57-47 vs. spread, 79-26 overall.