From the diaries. Welcome to LSU grads visiting BN in defense of www.onepeat.com. All Trojan haters are honorary members of the BruinsNation. -N
I would like to throw my two cents into this argument. First of all I am an LSU grad and present LSU law student. I would also like to say that I have nothing to do with this billboard that will probably go up but I do think it is pretty funny. Some LSU fans feel very strongly about the split title but really this billboard thing is all in good fun. It's college football rivalry gone mad. Plus, it is very fun to debate.
As I see it, here is the main issue involved here: "In the BCS era, does the #1 team in the final AP poll have a valid claim to the national championsip based solely upon their ranking in that poll?"
It is my belief that the #1 team in the final AP poll does not have a valid claim to the national championship based solely upon that ranking. Of course this is only true for the BCS era. If they did however, I would say that it is certainly less of an "official" championship. If we were to go back, before the 2003 controversy erupted, and ask any college football fan how we crowned a national champion, they would say that the winner of the BCS would be the champion. Nobody would have said either the BCS winner OR the AP poll winner.
While it is true that a BCS title game may not bring us a controversy free champion, it is the system we have in place. It may not be a playoff but it is certainly better than the old system. Basically, the argument I hear from those who say USC had a valid share of the 2003 title is that since the AP never agreed to the BCS, that they are free to name their own champion. Please, correct me if I am wrong, but that is what I hear. They would be right in their argument as well, but whether the AP agreed to anything or not does not matter. What matters is what the participants of college football, the conferences, agreed to. After all if you are going to play a game you establish the rules with the other players, not the spectators. So the AP can name their own champion but it is not the one the conferences have officially recognized.
The difference between the BCS system and every poll that has ever existed is that the BCS was the first and only system that all the major conferences ever collectively and officially agreed to recognize as a national champion selector. That does not make the BCS perfect, it does not make it a playoff, but it does make it something more "official" than any other system we have had.
Further, there are those that would argue that the contract between the BCS and the conferences never specifically excluded the AP poll as a selector, therefore it is valid. I personally think this is the type of argument that is made on playgrounds throughout our country. That is saying, well, since we never said we couldn't do it, it makes it ok.
Besides that though, to say that the AP poll is still valid as a national champion selector because it was never specifically excluded is an illogical argument. This is because the nature of a "champion" is a singular nature. The inclusion of one selector (BCS) necessarilly excludes any and all others (AP). The idea of a split title runs counter to the concept of a "champion." Co-champion is really a contradiction of terms. When the conferences signed up with the BCS, all other national champion selectors became invalid. Logically you do not need nor can you have multiple ways to select a national champion. That is why the agreement did not need to specifically exclude the AP and it also did not need to declare the BCS the "only" selector. It was implied. Please let me know if I am wrong.
In addition, I also hear quite frequently that it is only fair to give USC a share of the title. I just do not think that is the case. I think it is completely unfair to allow a split title for that year. It is not just unfair to LSU, but it is also unfair to Auburn of last year, or Oregon in 2001, as well as any teams in the future that have a similar situation to that of Auburn or Oregon. Yes I understand that USC was different in that they were #1 in the human polls at the end of the season. However, why were they #1 in 2003? It was because they lost two weeks before LSU. Reverse that and at the end of the season LSU is #1. Everybody knows that is how the polls work. The earlier you lose, the better. Is that fair though? Is it fair that Auburn did not get in just because they began the season with a worse ranking? I don't think either of those things are fair, and I certainly don't think it is fair USC got left out of the Sugar Bowl.
You see my point is, in sports, any given rule may or not be fair in and of itself. However, rules achieve their fairness through their equal application. A rule may be completely unfair but if everybody agrees to it and it is applied equally, then the playing field is level and fairness is achieved. To give any team special treatment or unequal application of the rules is one of the most unfair things to do in sports. It serves a great injustice to the teams that are not given special treatment. It is much more unfair to apply the rules unequally then to apply an unfair rule equally. At least everybody agreed to the unfair rule before-hand. If you do not like the rules then you can change them once the season is over. However, once you decide on a set of rules you stick with them and see them through. You cannot change them on the fly or retroactively. Changing them on the fly is what happened in 2003. That is why I believe, the fairest thing to do is actually deny USC a share of the title. It is simply the equal application of the rules.
Thank you for letting me post on your website and best of luck to UCLA next year.
P.S. I am sick and tired of people saying this is a waste of money considering the recent events in my state. What these people fail to realize is that there are plenty of people in Louisiana who have donated to the billboard, including Katrina and Rita victims themselves! The recovery effort is about more than just money and donations. It is about remembering how to smile and laugh, and if donating a few bucks to this site can bring that to some people in Louisiana, then who is to say it's a waste of money?