For about the last two years or so I've often vented about the treatment the loser of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference game receives when it comes to NCAA playoff positioning.
Just this year, Slippery Rock won the West, then lost to Kutztown in the PSAC Championship game and got left out of the Division II field while California (Pa.), a team The Rock beat a month ago, qualified for the 24-team tournament.
A year ago it was a bit different. Bloomsburg beat Kutztown to win the East, then lost the title game to Mercyhurst. Fortunately the Huskies got in to the playoffs, but dropped from the No. 2 seed to the sixth seed and had to play on the road in the first round while Kutztown got a bye and a second-round home game because it won its finale rather than lose in the PSAC title game.
Those kinds of situations in and of themselves are tough to deal with. Now imagine a life without playoffs. The Huskies might have gotten jobbed out of a decent seed last fall, but at least they still had a chance to win the national title. That isn't the case in FBS football, where, as we all teeth-grindingly know, there is still not a playoff.
Right now there is a real distinct possibility that the BCS is about to blow up on the next two Saturdays.
Cue up the evil Vincent Price cackling here for me, please.
Want a nightmare scenario? Say top-ranked and unbeaten LSU beats Arkansas on Friday and Alabama beats Auburn on Saturday. Now, because it lost on the road to the No. 1 team in the country, pollsters, computers and coaches all leave Arkansas at No. 3 with 'Bama at No. 2 and LSU on top heading into next weekend's SEC Championship.
Now say Georgia thumps LSU in the SEC title game and the pollsters see the Tigers lost to a team not ranked in the top 10 and drop them behind both the Tide and Hogs? That would mean that Alabama and Arkansas, teams that finished behind LSU in the SEC West and who each lost to the Tigers, would play for the BCS national title, despite finishing second and third, respectively, in their own division of their own conference.
Oh, and that would keep LSU out of the BCS altogether because the rules only allow two from the same conference.
Mr. Price, if you wouldn't mind...
How's that sound? It might sound ridiculous, but stranger things have happened in the world of college football and its polls. Remember 1994 when Penn State won on the road and dropped out of the No. 1 spot and never retained it, finished unbeaten and the only national title it got was from the New York Times?
The sad thing is a lot people are pulling for the above disaster, including a lot of football fans. Maybe the only thing that is going to blow up the BCS is one of these scenarios. So far nothing has worked. Not three teams from power conferences finishing undefeated, not one unbeaten team and a handful of others with one loss, and not zero unbeatens and a bunch of one-lossers in the mix.
Fortunately for the BCS, in recent seasons things have worked out for the most part. Most years it has been pretty cut-and-dried and as long as that happens there won't be a true outcry for a playoff.
Then again, maybe we need a couple more weekends like we had to juggle things so much the only option left is to scrap the BCS.
n Sports editor Bill Bowman covers college sports for The Daily Item. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or message him at twittter.com/williambbowman