USA Finishes Third in BCS Rankings
As critics renew their cries for a world superpower playoff, the United States finished #3 in the final rankings released by the BCS (Battle Championship Series) rankings, behind the People's Republic of China and LSU. China will face off against LSU in the Nokia Sugar Bowl, while the United States will be facing an undetermined opponent from the Middle Eastern Conference in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
The BCS rankings average the results of the UN/ESPN and the Associated Press pundits poll with those of five different computer ranking systems. Though the USA was comfortably ahead in both "human" polls, the computers downgraded them due to their weak strength of schedule. Their military record, while impressive, was amassed against weak opponents like Afghanistan and Serbia. In contrast, LSU played Mississippi on the road, Florida at home, and defeated #11 Georgia twice.
"Obviously, everybody wants to see the top two squads face off," said analyst Kirk Herbstreit. "The fans want it, the Republic of Taiwan wants it, and the defense contractors want it. But the conference presidents and defense secretaries signed off on this deal, and now they're just going to have to live with the consequences."
While military fans around the world have been critical of the BCS rating of the United States military, some have called the United States overrated. The lack of success for recent stars after leaving the military, from Norman Schwartzkopf to Wesley Clark to Gino Torretta, supports this argument. Others say that the US military looks better by "running up the score" on opponents, particularly their tendency to call for "the bomb" even with victory well in hand.
Still, US leaders have refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the BCS, calling the system's disparate results from the polls an "affront to democracy." When reached for comment, a military spokesman commented, "USA! USA!"