Friends, we’ve gathered Wait. This is the funeral for the BCS. It has no friends.
Enemies, we’ve gathered here today to say good-bye to the Bowl Championship Series. It died last week. It was 14 years old. In its short life, it was subject to repeated attacks by President Obama. Republican backbenchers turned it into a political football. Sportswriters prayed for its demise. (See the 2010 book titled, um, Death to the BCS.)
But I was a bigfan. In death, it’s up to me to be its eulogist. Here are five things the non-playoff got right:
1. The Atlantic Coast Conference, Greensboro, N.C.
What bothers us most is the growing lack of regard for geography. What bothers us is that there should be some sense, some inherent logic, to the way these things are arranged. There are always anomalies in sports (Does anyone think the Dallas Cowboys belong in the NFC East?) but college sports are defined by conference alignments in ways that professional sports never could be. All those years Pittsburgh and Syracuse seemed perfectly happy in the Big East (a conference that hasn’t been “East” for several years, unless you consider Chicago a suburb of Philadelphia), and then in one weekend, they wind up joining yet another league whose name no longer holds any geographic relevance. (Colorado:Pacific::Texas A&M:Southeast.) We might as well rename them Conference A, B, C and D; it’s all Legends and Leaders now, and no one can tell the difference.
In many ways, the world of women’s basketball is like a family. There are feuds. There are moments of great joy. And, of course, there are trying times, like what happened Tuesday, when Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt announced that she suffers from early onset dementia.
In that moment, Summitt’s family rallied around her.