It’s times like these where you start to realize that mom and dad truly dropped the ball. I mean how could they raise me in Connecticut’s friendliest city or you in north Jersey or him in southern California? How could they have brought children up anywhere other than the state of Utah? Ah the Beehive State, where bee stings are the most common form of violence. Gangs aren’t the problem in Salt Lake City – cults are. There is no temptation whatsoever – all forms of gambling are banned; it’s the hardest state to purchase alcohol in; and any drug use might really screw up your hunting season. A wee bit boring if you ask me, but it has to be the safest place in the country to grow up.
There are no real problems in Utah, at least that’s what the state’s Attorney General Mark Shurtleff was saying when he announced that he was going to investigate the Bowl Championship Series for a violation of federal antitrust laws following the University of Utah’s unbeaten football season, in which it was left out of the BCS title game. “Honey, you don’t even have to cook dinner tonight. I’ll be in my den. I’ve got real work to do now.”
My initial reaction to all of this was the same as Pardon the Interruption’s Tony Kornheiser’s: Someone that out of touch with reality should be forced to resign. But then it hit me. This isn’t all Shurtleff’s fault. If everyone else is on board, why shouldn’t an appointed official drive the bandwagon?
After all, Shurtleff is just like you and I. He gets his information and develops his opinions based mainly on what he reads in the newspaper or sees and hears on television. And the fact is, the majority of the mainstream media is lambasting the BCS for not including the nation’s only unbeaten team in the national championship game. Even ESPN’s Rick Reilly is calling the Utes the people’s national champion.
See, most people already disliked the BCS, even if it has been correct about 80 percent of the time, but now that there is a poster child for everyone to feel badly for, the heat has turned up a notch. The problem is Utah doesn’t deserve to be playing for a national title anymore than its biggest rival (BYU) deserved to be winning one under a much more flawed system 24 years ago.
The Utes were better than Alabama last Friday night, there’s no arguing that, but stick them in any of the major conferences (even the ACC or Big East) and there is no chance that team goes undefeated. They aren’t big enough or deep enough to handle a BCS conference schedule and while they have been a nice story, there isn’t anyone in their right mind that thinks they would pose a challenge for Florida or Oklahoma.
Today, the story of Utah looks like the BCS’ biggest flaw, but guess what? Under the old system, the Utes never would have gotten a chance to prove themselves against a team like Alabama. And if there was a playoff, if it managed to even get invited, Utah would not be winning a national championship. Go figure, an imperfect system kept the Utes perfect.
So they’re stuck with an undefeated season, a win in a major bowl game and endless national media sympathy. Sounds to me like the Utes got everything it deserved and more.