As wacky and wild as the college football season has been to date, it only seems right that two non-traditional powers - Missouri and West Virginia - are poised to play in the BCS championship game. Aside from the inevitable debate about whether they are rightfully ranked 1 & 2,* now we have the worrying that a UM/WVU clash won't be good for business:
If Missouri and West Virginia advance to the Bowl Championship Series title game Jan. 7, the matchup clearly would lack the luster of recent showdowns between traditional powers Southern California-Texas and Florida-Ohio State.This seems to happen every season in the pro sports - pundits worry that the entire sports/industrial complex will collapse if Milwaukee faces Kansas City in the World Series instead of the Yankees and the Angels. While I can understand the financial concerns, isn't is a self-defeating prophecy to say "oh, nobody will watch these small market teams" and then afterwards point to depressed ratings as proof?* * *
Still the name-recognition question persists. Last Saturday's showdown between then-unbeaten Kansas and one-loss Missouri drew a decent 7 overnight rating on ABC, but that was down 27% from that time slot last year for teams with one loss each.
Of course, they were USC and Notre Dame.
Besides, crowning champions isn't about economics, it's about rewarding excellence. That's the theory, at least. Lords know, the BCS is hardly a prime example of that principle.
* Honestly, I think they are, even though I'm a WVU alum and somewhat biased. I can't say that we have any greater claim to a spot in the championship game than any of the other 1-loss teams, but I can't see that the other teams have any stronger claims, either.