Well, well, well… amazing what a loss to Stanford does to a soul. After playing in all those BCS title games of recent vintage where never was heard a discouraging word, Pete Carroll has suddenly gotten playoff religion:
It looks to me like the BCS system is one that, at the end of the process, designates the team that had the most attractive season based on who they played and what their record is at the end and all of those things that you add up. In my opinion it does not have anything to say about who the best team is at the end of the year, meaning that, who would be the team that would win if you had a playoff, and who’s playing the best football?
I’m not saying that’s us. But there are teams out there – and we’re one of them – that could arguably be able to beat any team in America when the time comes…We’re playing the game to see how far we go and how far we can take it.
The only way you get it perfect is to play ’em off…
Evidently this just dawned on him one day. I’m sure USC’s having no crack at the BCS title game the last two seasons has had nothing to do with this revelation.
I will say this, though. If you read that first paragraph of his comments carefully, it does frame the BCS/playoff debate nicely. Do we care about what the teams accomplish over the course of an entire season, or do we just care about seeing who gets hot in a playoff? Because those are radically different matters. And that’s really what the debate ought to be about.