By Steve Czaban Special to Published Dec 08, 2004 at 5:26 AM

{image1} We have a motto in this country. It goes something like this, "In America, you get what you want, when you want it, and a lot of it."

In other words "Isn't capitalism wonderful?"

Why, yes. Yes it is.

But we never seem to appreciate this fact until, we as consumers, are deprived of the capitalist-driven market freedoms we take for granted 99.9 percent of the time.

Sadly, big-time college football remains stubbornly in that other .1 percent. Are we getting what we want? No. Are we getting it when we want it? Hell no. And are we getting a lot of it? No. Not at all!

You think communism is dead? Not according to the major university presidents. They are a group that has been about as enthusiastic for playoffs, as the Saudi royal family is for women's rights.

So, here we are again, having communism shoved down our throats by the BCS. The only real difference between this gang of Big Conference Athletic Directors and the old Soviet Politburo is the big furry hats.

"Yessss. Vee geeve you dah Bowl Seestem. You like. Vee promise. Eees veeery good seestem."

If college football were truly a free market, and not centrally controlled by the Big Six College Crime Families (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, Pac 10) then we would've had a 16-team bracket format a long time ago.

But you can be damn sure that Alabama will turn into a blue state sooner than its football team will share its gridiron loot with the likes of Louisville. This year's GMAC Exhibition Bowl (and I insist upon inserting that word "Exhibition" after the corporate sugar daddy name and the word "Bowl") between the hi-flying Cardinals and Boise State will certainly be a high-scoring affair (estimated over/under: 106.5).

Which is fine to teams that are made of guys in the Big Six Families. Because most of them would get smoked by Louisville this year. And probably by Boise State, too. This way, nobody in the Big Six gets embarrassed on New Year's Day, and better yet, they keep all the cash.

It was bad enough that Utah crashed the party this year. The hope from the BCS crooks is that their new "Fifth Game" (which remember, is NOT, I repeat, NOT a plus-one championship game, we could never have that!) will be the equivalent of the card table at Thanksgiving.

You know, a place where the kids can sit and be seen, but not heard from. Very good teams like Marshall in 1999 and Tulane in 1998 went undefeated. The adults said: "That's cute. Card table."

Once again, the BCS has managed to contrive an elaborate scheme, full of nerds and numbers. Polls and pundits. And the amazing thing is, it almost always gets it wrong. All wrong, horribly wrong, stupidly wrong.

After the travishamockeries of 2001 and 2003, they were determined to "fix it" this time. Fewer geeks! More coaches! No scores, only wins and losses!

Well, here we are again.

How do you tell the Auburn Tigers, who tiptoed through football hell (aka the Southeastern Conference) that they'll be the first team from that benchmark conference in the last 25 years to go undefeated and NOT have a date in the "title" game?

Even though USC got "screwed" last year by being voted No. 1 in both polls, but shunned by the computers, they still got to print their own "National Champions" T-shirts without anybody snickering.

I say Auburn -- if they dispose of Virginia Tech -- should do the same. Declare victory, and come home to a parade. Who's gonna stop you?

It's not like any of this stuff is "official" anyway. If it were, the NCAA would put its logo on it. It doesn't, but Nokia does. And you are shocked that this hasn't changed yet?

Remember, we are told, we can't have a playoff because it would remove these scholar-athletes in cleats from their appointed Philosophy 101 exams.

This year, John Hopkins University -- where the average incoming SAT score is 1398 -- just missed the playoffs by a five-way tiebreaker for the Centennial Conference automatic bid.

That is a mere 301 points higher on average, than the average incoming Arizona State SAT score, and god knows how much lower that is for your typical Sun Devil starting linebacker.

And yeah, the Sun Devils did accept an invite to the 71st Annual Vitalis Sun Bowl. The paycheck is worth $1.45 million per school. Which after taxes, travel, hotel mini-bar, tuba transport for the band, and the requisite kickbacks to the Pac-10 bosses (remember, it is a crime family after all, you gotta make your monthly nut!), Arizona State just might have something left over, but don't count on it.

It seems like only in college football could a group of empowered interests, so successfully thwart the will of the vast majority for so long, with such a naked profit motive in full view.

But there is one other place I know of, at least. Ever been driving through New Jersey? Ever stopped for gas? Ever tried to pump your own?

Then you know what I mean.

The so-called "Garden State" (along with Oregon) does not allow drivers to self-service their own gasoline. It is a statewide ban that has been in force and defended by special interests like Fort Knox since 1949.

Despite determined efforts over the years by a handful of brave politicians to drag the state kicking and screaming out of the Studebaker era, the corrupt New Jersey machine continues to play shutout defense.

We know the real reason for this. Gas station flunkies would lose their jobs, and station owners would have to charge less per gallon. What's the reason New Jersey claims is behind their obstinateness?


Yeah, right. Just like the reason against a football playoff is always "academics."

So, while the residents of New Jersey wait twice as long to get more expensive gasoline, college football fans keep getting heaping portions of a meal we never ordered.

Communist Europe collapsed because it eventually went broke. If New Jersey allowed self-service gas stations to compete against the mandatory full-service, the same thing would happen. The scam would collapse.

Sadly for Jersey residents, driving to New York or Pennsylvania is not always an option.

But watching, attending or caring about the current BCS system is optional. We can make the BCS collapse like East Germany, if only we could collectively ignore it. Starve it of the millions it still makes from fans and TV networks.

Frankly, I thought by now it would have already. Well, I am doing my part. Are you?

Steve Czaban Special to

Steve is a native Washingtonian and has worked in sports talk radio for the last 11 years. He worked at WTEM in 1993 anchoring Team Tickers before he took a full time job with national radio network One-on-One Sports.

A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Steve has worked for WFNZ in Charlotte where his afternoon show was named "Best Radio Show." Steve continues to serve as a sports personality for WLZR in Milwaukee and does fill-in hosting for Fox Sports Radio.