Winston Churchill famously noted that democracy was the worst form of government, except for all others that have been tried from time-to-time.
The BCS may put that dictum to rest. After a topsy-turvy regular season, the bowl pairings were announced this afternoon, with the headliner -- Ohio State playing LSU in the Sugar Bowl -- surprising no one but leaving fans (except for those of OSU, and of LSU) feeling less than excited. (The Tigers have already been installed as 5-point favorites, and OSU apparently has never beaten an SEC team in a bowl game; last year, OSU was embarrassed by a more athletic Florida, 41-14.)
Ohio State's greatest attribute was its schedule: their out-of-conference schedule was lighter than a bowl of Cool Whip, including Youngstown State, Kent State, Washington, and Akron. The Buckeyes also benefited from the Big Ten -- the conference itself is not particularly strong, and without a conference championship game, the Buckeyes did not have to risk a season-ending loss after Thanksgiving.
(LSU's schedule includes the SEC and the SEC Championship Game -- no complaints about 'strength-of-schedule' at all.)
Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer should learn something from OSU's Jim Tressel. Had the Hokies substitutued a "manageable" MAC or Sun Belt team for LSU (on Saturday night in Baton Rouge, no less) on Week #2, they may have had the opportunity (even with a home loss to BC) to play for the BCS title. Contrast Tech's schedule with that of ACC rival Boston College (who lost to Tech in the ACC title game): BC played Army, UMass (I-AA), Bowling Green, and Notre Dame out of conference.
What also is lost are the bowl matchups that might have been. Under the old system, OSU would have played a white-hot USC in the Rose Bowl, and the winner of that game would have had a legitimate claim for a mythical (pre-BCS) national championship. Another erstwhile matchup might have been VA Tech/OU in the Orange Bowl, and West Virginia/Georgia in a Fiesta Bowl.