Since the SEC has won three consecutive national championships in football, it has little to complain about in regard to the BCS. But I can still complain on its behalf.
That's not the lead-in to another we-need-a-playoff rant. I have moved on, and - though not embracing the BCS concept of championship by ballot - have at least accepted it.
I also have accepted the fact that coaches will continue to vote in the top-25 poll, which is akin to having college basketball coaches serve on the NCAA tournament selection committee.
Such acceptance proves I'm not trying to buck the establishment and willing to bargain in good faith. I'll settle for a few crumbs in return.
All I am asking is that the BCS include strength of schedule as a separate component in its rankings format.
That's hardly revolutionary. Strength of schedule once played a more prominent role in the process.
There's nothing foreign about tweaking the BCS formula, either. The BCS has been tweaked and re-tweaked so often, what's another tweak?
Sure, the SEC has flourished under the system. But as the nation's premier football conference, it should flourish under any system.
And the best conference would benefit from a greater emphasis on strength of schedule.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive believes the conference has benefited from that.
After all, some of the computers employed in the BCS formula have a strength-of-schedule component. Moreover, you would assume that top-25 voters weigh strength of schedule in ranking teams.
"I thought the voters made a statement when LSU made it to the championship game with two losses (after the 2007 season)," Slive said at the SEC spring meetings last week. "That was a statement for recognizing the strength of SEC football."
I agree. And the BCS was vindicated when LSU dismantled Ohio State in the national championship game.
While LSU proved it was the best team in the country, it would have not had a chance to play for the championship if a series of late-season games hadn't fallen just right.
The SEC and Big 12 both needed help last season in setting up a Florida-Oklahoma championship. But if Iowa hadn't upset unbeaten Penn State on a game-deciding field goal, either Florida or Oklahoma would have been knocked out of the championship game.
I'm not concerned with what happened two years ago or last year. I'm concerned with what might happen next time.
While voters and computers might consider strength of schedule, they don't consider it enough. If they did, an undefeated Penn State team wouldn't have been ranked ahead of one-loss teams from stronger conferences.
Voters don't have a problem putting a one-loss team from a BCS conference ahead of an undefeated team from the Mountain West or WAC. But they balk at the notion of putting a one-loss SEC or Big 12 team ahead of an unbeaten Big Ten team, even though those conferences are currently superior.
A strength-of-schedule component would benefit the best conferences and best teams. It also would help ensure the best national championship match-up.
Otherwise, college football's best teams could be at the mercy of a Big Ten kicker. Next time, he might miss.
Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.