No Championship In This 'BS'

Tonight marks the mythical national title game when Florida faces Oklahoma in the BCS title game (Fox, 8 p.m.)

After which, the national champion will be crowned — Utah.

Because when you have a conversation about college football, it should begin with the only team in the country with a perfect record that then went on to beat a highly ranked team in its bowl game. And yet, because Utah doesn't play in one of the glamour conferences, that conversation seemingly ends here.

For reasons passing understanding, Florida or Oklahoma (unfortunately, probably Florida) will be given the title tonight even though no reasonable person can't say that USC or Texas isn't just as deserving for a shot at the crown. Heck, the Longhorns beat the Sooners straight up.

Because a computer, however, determined that Florida and Oklahoma were the top two teams in the nation, we get this ridiculous, ultimately meaningless system thrust upon us.

I mean, why didn't the BCS computer give Ole Miss a better ranking? After all, it beat Florida, and it beat Texas Tech, which beat Texas, which beat Oklahoma.

Criticize Utah's conference all you want, but is it that much weaker than the Big 10, which continues to underperform in bowl games year after year? The ACC didn't exactly light up the bowl season, either.

I'll tell you what the BCS is — it's un-American. This country was founded on the ideals of a free marketplace, yet the BCS stifles the little guy (the smaller conferences) in favor of a monopoly (the big bowls that control this crap), which last time I checked, was illegal.

This is the only collegiate sport that doesn't have a playoff system. Even the non-Division I-A schools have a football playoff.

An eight-team system in which the bowl games rotate the title game each year, with the  champions of the six major conferences plus two at-large teams, is much more fair, much more logical and much more satisfying.

Remember when bowl games used be done by New Year's Day? None of this month-long boredom. The two extra rounds required to play an eight-team playoff fit in perfectly into December, in time for a legitimate national title game for Jan. 1.

As for the college presidents who claim this would hurt academics (trying to stifle a laugh here), I hesitate to point out that many of these guys are in the pockets of the bowls and hasten to point out that most of these schools are out of session in December anyway. And no one worries about the academics of basketball and baseball players during the major tournaments in those NCAA sports.

Meanwhile, enjoy the sham of a title game tonight. I'll be doing something else.

NBC ANNOUNCES 'APPRENTICE' LINEUP: The celebrities selected for the new edition of "Celebrity Apprentice" are: Clint Black, Andrew Dice Clay, Annie Duke, Tom Green, Natalie Gulbis, Scott Hamilton, Jesse James, Claudia Jordan, Khloe Kardashian, Brian McKnight, Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers, Brande Roderick, Dennis Rodman, Herschel Walker and Tionne Watkins.

It's a good indicator of how much NBC continues to suck these days. I can't think of five people I'd rather watch less than Joan and Melissa Rivers, Andrew Dice Clay, Tom Green and Dennis Rodman, yet not only do they make up nearly one-third of the cast, but the shows have been expanded to two-hour editions.

Wake me up if Herschel Walker and Annie Duke make it to the final two, and maybe I'll watch then. 

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: ABC is certainly ignoring the so-called title game tonight, airing new episodes of "Ugly Betty," "Grey's Anatomy," and "Private Practice" beginning at 8 p.m.

With the exception of "The Office," NBC also has a new night of shows with "My Name Is Earl," "Kath & Kim," "30 Rock" and "ER."