Welcome to College Football Past, where nobody can identify the best team and better yet, there's absolutely no hope of having it decided on the field.
AP Photo/Ronen Zilberman
Wouldn't you love to see Colt Brennan run his high-powered offense against a top-ranked team?
Oh, it's been a great season. That's not the point. Look at all the story lines -- Kansas, Missouri, Hawaii, Boston College briefly, South Florida more briefly, Cal even more briefly, USC in/out/in.
And now what? There are seasons when the 10 dumbest people in the country could pick the two best teams. Those are the seasons when everybody says, "See, the BCS works."
This is not one of those seasons.
When news leaked out last week that the BCS was concerned it might not be able to conjure up 10 eligible teams for its five bowl games, Ohio State's Jim Tressel called with an offer to alleviate the problem. He said his Buckeyes would be glad to play Youngstown State in the Superdome for the national championship if it would make things easier for the committee.
And let's hear it for Georgia. How about this for a brilliant accidental strategy -- you play your best at the end of the year, put yourself in position to play in a BCS bowl and stay the hell away from the potential carnage of the SEC title game. You don't even win half of a conference title, and yet you stand an outside shot at winning the national championship. Pure genius.
• The state of Hawaii was the last state to enter the union (August 20, 1959). The University of Hawaii is the last unbeaten team in Division I-A.
• The state of Hawaii consists of 8 main islands. U. of Hawaii won all 8 games in WAC play en route to the conference championship.
• The state of Hawaii was created by undersea volcanic eruptions. U. of Hawaii has erupted for 47.2 PPG this season, tops in Div. I-A.
• The state of Hawaii has two languages, English and Hawaiian. The Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters. U. of Hawaii will try to complete a perfect regular season on Saturday vs Washington, its 12th opponent.
• The state of Hawaii produces more pineapples than any other state. U. of Hawaii plays the Washington this weekend. Washington produces more apples than any other state.
• The state of Hawaii's economy revolves around tourists who are there to get away from the everyday rush. U. of Hawaii's offense gets away from the rush completely, with the 2nd-fewest attempts in Div. I-A (238).
• The state of Hawaii's governor, Linda Lingle, was born in 1953. U. of Hawaii's head coach, June Jones, was born in 1953.
-- ESPN research
The idea that the winner of the BCS Championship Game is going to be a legitimate national champion is no longer a consideration. So with that understanding, there's only one possible solution: go with the novelty.
That's why the BCS needs Hawaii in the championship game. Throw June Jones and Colt Brennan and all those linemen with the monstrous hair into the title game against Missouri or West Virginia or Ohio State. It would be absolutely in keeping with the spirit of the season.
Forget what the computers say and let it happen. It would answer the biggest question everybody wants to know -- do the occasional Hawaiis and Boise States and other non-BCS conference undefeateds deserve a place at the adults' table. Boise gave a partial answer last year, so why not let Hawaii take it one step further?
Put it this way: Would you rather see West Virginia-Missouri or West Virginia-Hawaii? (People in Missouri, we know your answer. Save it. Besides, you're going to lose to Oklahoma again anyway. There's a pattern here, and your bubble is the next to meet the pin.)
Expect to read a lot in the next few weeks about how you can take the top eight teams and put them in a playoff format and play each game as a traditional bowl game and when it rains jelly beans we'll all have candy and bruised scalps.
So do the right thing. Pick Hawaii. It's not that hard, and we'll all watch -- as long as it's not on the NFL Network.
This Week's List
• OK, but if you need another point for the playoff argument: There are high school teams in Pennsylvania that play 16 games to determine a state champion.
• We knew the new era of recklessness would cost someone big: Cardinals returner Steve Breaston's decision to catch a punt at the two-yard line in overtime against the 49ers ended up costing his team the game.
• Unless, of course, the small but vocal Travis Fryman contingent rallies the troops: If the Hall of Fame is going to happen for Goose Gossage, it should happen this year, when he figures to be the only entry during an extremely down year for candidates.
• And Barry Zito immediately demanded to renegotiate: The Cubs signed Kerry Wood -- 1-1 last year -- for a remarkable $4.2 million for one year.
• So, does this mean they're going to schedule Chadron State every year and make a run at the Weedeater Bowl?: Nebraska interim athletic director Tom Osborne, discussing his preferred direction for the program in the wake of Bill Callahan, said he hopes the team can return to a time when it cultivated a significant amount of talent from within the state.
• When the head coach takes the time to point out the holder and the snapper in the first minute of his postgame press conference, you know it was a game for the ages: Pittsburgh 3, Miami 0.
• Just for the heck of it: Roy Gerela.
• Surprisingly, there's never been a 2-0 game, and since there's no Dolphins-49ers game on this year's MNF schedule, it probably figures to hold: After the game, the WAR DECLARED words along the bottom of the screen read, "Lowest scoring game in the history of Monday Night Football."
• It's kind of like picking out the worst smell in the dairy: As the weeks wear on, it becomes increasingly amazing to understand just how bad a team has to be to go 0-16 in this NFL season.
• Yeah, but, it might have at least hurt the other guys: In the course of explaining why he opted against a potential game-tying 41-yard field goal with roughly 4½ minutes left in the game, Chiefs coach Herman Edwards said, "Three points wasn't going to help us."
• And finally, as every one of the hundred or so announcers I heard over the weekend might have said: At the end of the day, it is what it is.
Tim Keown is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Sound off to Tim here.