Pete Carroll insists he doesn't understand how the BCS system works. He understands enough to know he doesn't like it one bit.
"I think it stinks," Carroll said concerning how college football crowns its champion.
Carroll has expressed his displeasure over the years with the system, but things hit a new high for him over the weekend when the Trojans (7-1, 5-1 Pac-10) dropped from fifth to seventh in the BCS standings after they blanked Washington 56-0 for their third shutout in four games.
"I don't understand how the thing works, I don't really know," he said.
"What is the criteria of the process? Is it to pick the team that has the best season, that has the season that you like the most and feel best about voting for? Or is it the best team at the end of the year, the team that would win a playoff system if you did have it?"
One reality is pretty simple. USC trails three one-loss teams in the rankings — Florida, Texas and Oklahoma — despite averaging over 40 points per game and allowing only 7.1 points. That's because the Pac-10 is clearly weaker than the Big 12 or the Southeastern Conference this season, meaning the Trojans have a weaker schedule than those ranked higher. So they've got to win out and get a lot of help to reach the BCS title game.
The Trojans play the Golden Bears (6-2, 4-1) Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Oregon State (5-3, 4-1), which upset USC 27-21 on Sept. 25, is the only Pac-10 team that controls its destiny in the conference race.
Carroll referred to Democrat Barack Obama's remarks of Monday night, when he said if there was one thing he could change in sports if given the opportunity, it would be for college football to pick a champion with a playoff system. The BCS chooses two teams to play for the title at season's end based on polls and computer rankings.
Speaking of Obama, he received Carroll's vote.