It's that silly time of year again. There are so many significant teams among the big boys of college football, but there are just two slots on Jan. 7 in Pasadena, Calif., for that title game of the Bowl Championship Series. So the voice of the older Jim Mora is screaming in my subconscious.
We don't need playoffs in this situation.
We need everybody to take a deep breath, count slowly to 10 and stop their knee-jerk talk of a playoff system. The decade-old way of deciding a national champion through the BCS rankings is mostly just fine.
Take this week, for instance. Where's the problem? There isn't one, because the combination of the human polls and the cold computers has it right. The defensive monsters from Florida and Alabama clearly are No. 1 and No. 2, followed by a Texas bunch with a defense that also clobbers people.
That trio is from power conferences, and with apologies to the prolific whiners from the Mountain West and Western Athletic conferences, teams from power conferences deserve a nudge over the rest.
Anyway, Florida and Alabama will meet in the SEC championship game, which means one of them will drop in the rankings behind Texas .
That is, if Texas wins the Big 12 championship game. If Texas doesn't, then one of those other undefeated teams (Texas Christian, Cincinnati and Boise State) will slide into the title picture. Or it could open the way for a one-loss team such as Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh or even the loser of the SEC championship game.
Whatever happens, the system is there. The system is working. The system is controversial, but the system provides less drama than what would occur with a playoff system, which will never happen anyway.
There are just too many questions involved with a playoff system, but its supporters either ignore those questions or shrug them away.
For instance: How many teams will be in this playoff system? The answer is, nobody knows. Many want a "plus one" thing, where two of the four BCS games (Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta) would host semifinal games, and then the winners would play in another BCS game. Others want 16 teams in a playoff. Some want 32.
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach wants 64.
As for those other questions, pull up a chair and rest a while. If you can provide more than a surface answer to three or more of the following, then you should immediately leave Planet Earth to design the next solar system.
Where would these playoff games take place, and would they be at the same locations every year, and who would decide the locations?
What entity would choose the playoff teams, and how will such a system be less subjective than what we have now?
With colleges everywhere crying broke, where would they find the extra cash they would need for travel, lodging, food, equipment, utilities -- along with all of those other expenses that nobody wants to discuss that would surface?
Where are those colleges going to find the extra cash to pay for those bonuses that their already heavily compensated coaches would surely command for reaching and winning playoff games?
Oh, and with all that extra cash going to football programs for these playoffs, and with all that revenue created through television rights and jacked-up ticket prices, how would schools satisfy their Title IX obligations since women sports surely would seek a mighty part of the pie?
What would this do to the bowl system, especially since (1) the overwhelming number of the 34 bowls won't have a shot at hosting a playoff game and (2) advertisers (as in TV) won't be as interested in those other bowls?
How many fans could afford to travel with their team across the country at the spur of the moment, which would be the case more often than not?
How many fans could keep traveling if their team keeps winning?
How many folks would the NCAA need to hire to investigate all of the cheating scandals that would surface involving those pressured to do shady things to reach the playoffs to keep from getting whacked?
What kind of toll would all of these extra practices and meetings (see, it's not just one little, old playoff game that its supporters keep suggesting) take on your average student-athlete physically, mentally and academically?
Why not just leave the BCS alone?
Why not, indeed? After all, this eternal grumbling over who really is No. 1 has been so detrimental to college football at its highest level that, entering this season, attendance rose every season for the previous 14 years.
Consider, too, that along the facade of the club level at Folsom Stadium, where the Colorado Buffaloes play their home games, you'll find these words: 1990 National Champions. That's funny, because around Georgia Tech, spanning from Bobby Dodd Stadium to a billboard that is visible for those traveling through Atlanta down I-75, you see claims that the Yellow Jackets won it all that season. And they did. Georgia Tech was named the United Press International champion, and Colorado was declared the nation's best by the Associated Press.
Since nobody can prove otherwise, you have two different fan bases in college football who can claim for eternity that their team was the king of 1990.
There also is that endless griping around Auburn over its undefeated 2004 team that won the SEC but didn't make the BCS championship game. Never mind that Auburn disqualified itself from serious consideration by playing the likes of Louisiana-Monroe, The Citadel and Louisiana Tech.
Auburn fans still think their Tigers would have won it all that season over Oklahoma or USC. They still think they were robbed.
The same goes for Penn State fans who remember 1969, when a giddy Richard Nixon attended Texas' victory over Arkansas during the regular season and crowned the Longhorns national champions in their locker room. Texas later won its bowl game to finish undefeated, but so did Penn State. It's just that Penn State wasn't anointed by the president.
The point is, a playoff system would have exposed those Auburn, Penn State and other such teams as frauds, but now we'll never know.
Which is a good thing. Which is why everybody has another reason to keep breathing deeply regarding the BCS.
Terence Moore is a national columnist and commentator for FanHouse. He is a frequent panelist on "Rome Is Burning," an ESPN show hosted by Jim Rome, that is seen Monday through Friday at 4:30 PM ET. Moore spent more than three decades working for major newspapers, including 26 years as an award-winning sports columnist for the San Francisco Examiner and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He resides in Atlanta.