November 27, 2001

Smell Something, Commissioner?

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I remember the first time I wet my pants. I stood on the tips of my size 3 shoes, straining to look out of the library window — too afraid to enter the fifth grade hall where the closest bathroom resided. The fifth grade hall: no man’s land for a first grader like me. So I sat down, readying myself for a new experience.

And I went.

Right down the left side of my black pants — soaking them to an even darker black. It actually felt good — warm and comforting like a shower in a sense. Then the wetness sunk in, and thirty minutes later, my classmates and I ruefully discovered the stench of urea.

Needless to say, in spite of numerous urges, I never again denied a toilet its due. The commissioner of the BCS, on the other hand, must be going through his fourth straight pant–wetting session. And to understand his plight — the very essence of his struggle — one must have wet his or her own pants. So, if you haven’t already, I urge you to go.

Right now.

Yes, for the fourth year in a row, the dadgum BCS is in a mess.

Year One: A year after the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll inexplicably split the national title between Nebraska and Michigan (Michigan clearly deserved it), the BCS was born. And in Shakespearean–like foreshadowing, three undefeated teams stood tall with one weekend left to play. Three teams (Tennessee, Kansas State, and UCLA) for two slots in the national championship. And commissioner Roy Kramer undoubtedly wet his pants. But Shakespearean–like fates allowed Kansas State and UCLA to be upset on the last weekend, and the BCS was saved from embarrassment.

Year Two: The nation’s favorite underdog, undefeated Virginia Tech (led by the nation’s hero, Michael Vick) held an entirely too–slim lead over one–loss Nebraska in the BCS standings with one week left to play. The Hokies were in danger of being jumped by an undeserving Husker team. Hang up another pair of soaked slacks for commissioner Kramer.

But the fates stepped in once again, and the Huskers mustered only a close win while Virginia Tech rolled, allowing the rightful Hokies to face off against Florida State.

Year Three: An undefeated Miami team was left out of the national title, replaced by Florida State. The Seminoles held one loss and that loss was to, you guessed it, Miami. Kramer must have hit a pant–shortage.

And after this past weekend, Year Four is cause for more urination. Nebraska was throttled by Colorado, leaving five one–loss teams with a legitimate chance at the title with one weekend left to play. Florida, Texas, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee and maybe even Colorado — in the bizarrest of circumstances — all deserve, in one way or another, to play for the national title.

Florida, because Steve Spurrier is the nation’s favorite clown (and its passing offense is grand). Texas because who wants to deny Chris Simms anything? (And a Bensen-Williams combo seems unstoppable.) Nebraska, because it actually does deserve it, yes, in spite of one bad week. Oregon because it has the best colors. Tennessee because of an incredible defensive line. And Colorado solely because it scored 62 points against Nebraska. Making any one of them happy would cause the other five to cry. What to do commissioner Swofford? What to do?

Put the teams in a hat and pull one out? Sounds as good an idea as any.

In a simulation, I got Oregon. Oregon and Miami in the national championship. Sound good?

Hey, what’s that smell?

Archived article by Sumeet Sarin