Another crowning of a ‘champion’ 

A champion will be crowned tonight, they tell us. Somewhere in an Arizona desert, two teams who have been hand-selected from a pool of 119 Division I-A programs will engage in a fierce battle for the right to be called … the champion of the game played between those two teams.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Oh sure, the Lords of College Football Creation (modestly referred to as the BCS) will tell us that the Ohio State Buckeyes or the Florida Gators will truly be the "national" champions, while stoically defending the virtues of their ridiculous polling system and their 1981 edition Texas Instruments calculator watch that doubles as the official BCS championship computer, but we know better.

We know, for example, that the winner of tonight’s game will not have emerged victorious from a "national" championship tournament, a minor obstacle that might have played a small role in determining an actual national champion.

We know that neither of tonight’s combatants had to prove they were better than a USC team that, judging by its demolition of Michigan in the Rose Bowl, might have been able to beat either one of them.

We know that neither of

tonight’s hand-picked competitors had to face a possible upset at the hands of a team like Boise State on its way to the promised land of cacti, sand, and fahrenheit. You know, the same Boise State that used its heart,will, determination and creativity to upset a more-talented, tradition-rich Oklahoma team in what would have been one helluva playoff matchup.

And we also know that neither one of tonight’s combatants may actually resemble the team that suited up the last time they took the field. It has been 36 days between games for the Gators, and 51 torturous days of waiting since the Buckeyes put it all together in their conference title-clinching win over Michigan. A couple of button-punches on that 1981 TI calculator watch tells me that’s the equivalent of a seven-week bye for the Buckeyes.

Sure, the Ohio State players say it’s no big deal. The way practicing for the last 7 weeks has been as hard as any game and that the layoff won’t affect them. Okay, but let’s put it another way: Imagine playing the first three rounds of this year’s U.S. Open at Oakmont in June — then playing the final round in August. You think you’d be swinging the club in that final round the same way you were swinging it two months earlier? Oh, and by the way, you don’t get to play any other tournaments during the layoff. Driving range and practice rounds only. That’s what the Buckeyes are facing.

Yet the LCFC insists that a true champion will be crowned, while the integrity and tradition of the bowl system has been preserved. (Quick — name the winners of the Outback, Capital One, and Chick-Fil-A Bowls! Quick!) Yep, good thing those bowls weren’t harmed, important as they are an’ all.

Face it, the bowl system is a bowl of crap, and this genetic mutation they want to call a national championship game is an affront to all things competitive in sports.

Tonight’s winner will be a champion all right. The same way Cincinnati was a champion Saturday night in the International Bowl. The champion of the game between the only two teams in that particular stadium.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at

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