Thus, one more reflection on the college season just ended, and some early thoughts on the season that will not get here soon enough.
For all of the griping we do about the BCS, once again the system got it right. Consider what might have happened under the old system. Oregon would have played in the Rose Bowl instead of Stanford. Notre Dame would have anchored the Orange Bowl, probably against Kansas State. Alabama would have played Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
If Notre Dame had won, the Irish would have been voted national champs. If Kansas State had beaten the No. 1 team, with Oregon and Bama both winning, the vote would have been split among those three winning teams. It would have been a mess. None of the many scenarios would have been as satisfying as what transpired. Even with Texas A&M finishing strong, Bama left no question as to who was the best team in college football.
That said, the BCS is still a poor substitute for a playoff.
Where the BCS is really messed up is in the other bowl matchups. It's time to end this nonsense of conferences having automatic qualifiers.
Notre Dame's Manti Te'o was Heisman finalist, but he wouldn't have made first-team All-SEC. He's not as good as Georgia's Jarvis Jones, Alabama's C.J. Mosley or LSU's Kevin Minter. In fact, Te'o would be hard-pressed to make second-team All-SEC.
As good as Jones, Alec Ogletree, Bacarri Rambo and John Jenkins are, here's saying Georgia's defense will be better next season. Ogletree and Rambo's lack of discipline is one reason that talented defense underachieved. It's not merely coincidental that Ogletree and Rambo began the season with four-game suspensions.
Similarly, even though Bama loses a ton of talent on the offensive line -- which might have been one of the best O-lines in college football history -- there won't be much of a drop off in performance. They will still be strong, athletic and disciplined.
Add that up: With Bama, Georgia and A&M being just as strong, and South Carolina, Florida and LSU being good again, the chances of the SEC running its national championship streak to eight look pretty good. The chances of any Missouri players running their mouths about the SEC are considerably less.
To be around Gus Malzahn is to be impressed with his intelligence and character. My biggest question about Malzahn when Auburn hired him as head coach was whether he was well connected enough in college football to assemble a staff that could recruit and coach. But that's exactly what he has done. Malzahn will have Auburn nationally competitive within two years.
Georgia Tech's hiring of Ted Roof as defensive coordinator might seem like a bad decision. But Roof is a solid football man who's a good teacher. But Roof, like anybody else, needs players.
-- Guerry Clegg is an independent correspondent. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org