The Bowl Championship Series is set and as always there are some things that just don't add up. You've got questions and we've got answers:
Q: Why did LSU make it to the title game over those other two-loss teams?
A: The Southeastern Conference is the toughest league in the nation - though the margin isn't quite as great as the folks down South want to believe - and the Tigers get bonus points for winning it. Also, that 48-7 win against Virginia Tech still looks good three months later.
Q: Why did Kansas get an at-large bid and not Big 12 rival Missouri?
A: First off, the rules are one at-large bid per conference. Secondly, after the championship game is set, it's not about putting the best teams in the other games. It's about drawing TV viewers and tourists for bowl organizers. Neither Kansas nor Missouri are ratings grabbers. but the Jayhawks figure to travel better so they go to the Orange Bowl and the Tigers, who beat KU and were a win away from the title game, go to the Cotton Bowl. It's not fair, but it's within the rules.
Q: Was it fair Georgia got jumped by LSU in the final standings?
A: Yes. The rules say a team doesn't have to win its conference to play in the championship game. It's a good rule to protect against extraordinary circumstances. Maybe a team goes 11-1 with some great nonconference victories but loses the league to a team with three losses. This was NOT an extraordinary circumstance. LSU and Georgia had the same amount of losses and the Bulldogs got pounded by the Tennessee team the Tigers beat for the SEC title.
Q: Did Hawaii deserve to get in?
A: Sure. The undefeated Warriors needed to finish in the top 12 and they came in 10th. They did what was asked of them. And beyond that, it's good to have Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl against Georgia just for the curiosity factor. We'll find out once and for all if Colt Brennan and crew can hang with the big boys.
Q: Does Hawaii deserve to be playing in the national championship game?
A: Please. The Warriors' nonconference schedule was pitiful (it doesn't matter if it's not their fault) and the Western Athletic Conference just isn't good enough to justify Hawaii playing for a title. Washington, one of the worst teams in the Pac-10, beat Boise State, the second-best team in the WAC, and nearly beat Hawaii.
Q: Aside from LSU and Ohio State, which team benefited most from Saturday's shake-up.
A: Illinois. The only way the Illini, who had a great turnaround season from 2-10 to 9-3, were getting into the BCS was if Ohio State ended up in the title game and the Rose Bowl was left looking for a Big Ten team. Congratulations, Ron Zook. Have fun against Southern California.
Q: Aside from Missouri, which team suffered the most from Saturday's results.
A: Arizona State. Washington cost the Sun Devils and the Pac-10 millions by not being able to put away Hawaii. If the Warriors lose, Arizona State gets in. The Warriors didn't and now the Sun Devils aren't even playing on New Year's Day. Hello, Holiday Bowl.
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Ralph D. Russo covers college football for The Associated Press. Write to him at rrusso(at)ap.org.
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