Another season of college football has nearly ended with the same result that has made Division 1-A the joke of collegiate athletics.

With the predicted finishes of Auburn, USC and Oklahoma capturing their respected conference titles, the Tigers are left on the outside looking in, wondering what more they have to do to claim a spot in the national title game.

All Auburn did this year was go through the SEC, the nation's toughest conference, unscathed and unbeaten.

The Tigers beat three teams ranked in the top 10 when they met -- LSU, Tennessee and Georgia. Only two of the Tigers' victories were by fewer than 10 points. Yet it wasn't not enough.

While proponents of the BCS insist the system works by getting the No. 1 team vs. No. 2 team in the national championship game, it didn't get the nation's best team.

For those who don't believe the SEC is the best conference, just look to last year when LSU and Oklahoma played in the Sugar Bowl.

The Sooners appeared dominant in the regular season before being humbled by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game and then by the Tigers in the BCS finale.

Last year, the Trojans were snubbed by the BCS despite ending the season with just one loss, the same as the Tigers and the Sooners.

The biggest reason for Auburn's inability to get recognized by the BCS is the preseason polls.

The Tigers were ranked just 18th in the preseason polls as opposed to USC and Oklahoma being No. 1 and 2, respectively.

In that case, you really can't argue with the Trojans and Sooners being the title game. If they keep winning, why should they be penalized and dropped in the polls.

For this reason, the polls shouldn't even come into play until a couple of weeks into the season.

That way, the pollsters have had some time to judge just who really are the top teams.

This system has major flaws.

Unfortunately, it may be here to stay since university presidents have this notion that the almighty dollar is better than an undisputed national champion.

For those on the plains of Auburn, there's not a price big enough to measure how special this season was. A dominant defense, combined with sparkling performances from running backs Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams, and revitalized play from quarterback Jason Campbell made the Tigers one of the nation's best teams.

Included in Auburn's victories were resounding wins over Georgia and on the road against Tennessee and Alabama.

But even if Auburn beats Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, they won't be considered the best. That's an injustice.

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