Breaking the huddle on protocol in the BCS era

It is the time of year when all of college football obsesses about protocol. Making the BCS National Championship Game is neither cut nor dried. It is a mix of performance, opinion and computer magic. The recipe changes from year to year, like flu shots.
Some years, performance is everything, as when USC and Texas romped to the Rose Bowl three years ago. Some years, computer magic trumps opinion, as in 2003, when No. 1 USC didn’t play in the BCS title game.
This is one of those years when performance has the lead in the homestretch. If Alabama and Texas Tech finish undefeated, they will play in the BCS National Championship Game. But if either the Crimson Tide or the Red Raiders falter, protocol will be needed. It will be time to measure the desire for a championship against the musty creed of sportsmanship.