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By Don Markus and Don Markus,SUN STAFF | January 5, 2004
NEW ORLEANS - Confusion reigned at the Louisiana Superdome last night. It seemed appropriate, given the state of college football regarding the way it determines the national champion with that quirky quagmire called the Bowl Championship Series. First it was third-ranked Oklahoma, self-destructing its way into a 14-point deficit against the Louisiana State Tigers and their hordes of rowdy fans who clogged the streets of the Big Easy before the Sugar Bowl before filling most of the 79,342 seats inside the building.
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SPORTS
By Don Markus and Don Markus,SUN STAFF | January 4, 2004
NEW ORLEANS - They were supposed to be the newest addition to the list of college football's all-time greatest teams, joining a couple from previous generations that also wore the crimson and cream of the Oklahoma Sooners. Not yet a dynasty, simply dominant. Ranked No. 1 from the pre-season through their last regular-season game, this season's Sooners were simply waiting to be anointed. Instead, what Oklahoma did over the first three months was annulled by what happened in the Big 12 championship game.
SPORTS
By Don Markus and Don Markus,SUN STAFF | January 3, 2004
NEW ORLEANS - Don't dare suggest to anyone associated with the Louisiana State and Oklahoma football teams that tomorrow's Sugar Bowl isn't being played for the national championship. Those who do might consider putting on helmets and pads themselves. Given what occurred Thursday night in Pasadena, Calif., where top-ranked Southern California thoroughly beat No. 4 Michigan, 28-14, in the Rose Bowl, it figured that media day at the Louisiana Superdome yesterday turned into yet another debate about the much-maligned Bowl Championship Series.
SPORTS
By Peter Schmuck and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF | January 2, 2004
PASADENA, Calif. - For one cool, hazy Southern California afternoon, there was little dispute over which college football team was the best in the land. The top-ranked USC Trojans may have been unfairly denied an invitation to the Sugar Bowl and a chance to play Oklahoma in the designated national championship game, but they made sure they will not be overlooked in the final polls with a 28-14 victory over No. 4 Michigan yesterday in the 90th Rose Bowl. USC (12-1) finished the season ranked first in the AP and USA Today/ESPN polls.
SPORTS
By Don Markus and Don Markus,SUN STAFF | January 2, 2004
The last time a college football national championship game was played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, the winning quarterback was both overage and overlooked compared with his counterpart on the opposing team. Four seasons ago, it was Chris Weinke, then 27, doing more than enough to lead Florida State past Virginia Tech and Michael Vick to win the Sugar Bowl. Will history repeat itself for Louisiana State's Matt Mauck this year? At 24, Mauck is only one year older than Oklahoma's Jason White.
SPORTS
By Don Markus and Don Markus,SUN STAFF | January 1, 2004
If an expensive sports car leaked oil half the time it was driven, would its owner keep it on the road? The Bowl Championship Series has done its share of spitting and sputtering since former Southeastern Conference commissioner Roy Kramer and his cohorts turned on the ignition six seasons ago, and it appears many wouldn't mind seeing it relegated to the junkyard. But was the method used in the past to determine college football's national champion any better - or a lot worse? Trying to find a solution to a less-than-perfect system that previously relied strictly on human votes, and therefore human bias, the BCS began employing outside computers such as the kind used for college basketball's equally infamous RPI (Ratings Percentage Index)
SPORTS
By Peter Schmuck and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF | January 1, 2004
PASADENA, Calif. -- When the final Bowl Championship Series standings were released in December and the computers had somehow kicked top-ranked Southern California out of the Sugar Bowl, the reaction was understandable. There were calls to scrap a convoluted BCS system that was intended to produce a clear-cut national champion, but will accomplish just the opposite. How legitimate could it be if the No. 1 team in the traditional polls of writers/broadcasters and coaches didn't qualify to be one of the two teams in the designated national championship game?
SPORTS
By Don Markus and Don Markus,SUN STAFF | December 8, 2003
The computers that compile the convoluted data to determine college football's Division I-A national championship game sent Oklahoma and Louisiana State to next month's Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, giving proponents of a true playoff format their strongest ammunition for changing the current system. By overlooking Southern California, the No. 1 team in both the Associated Press poll of writers and broadcasters as well as the ESPN/USA Today poll of coaches, the Bowl Championship Series left the validity of its formula more hotly debated than ever before.
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