LSU & Rudy Giuliani

Stumping For Votes
By Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com

It still is too soon to engage in what have become the college football rites of November: the statistical, head-to-head, scheduling analyses of the candidates for the BCS National Championship Game. They are not unlike another rite of November: the race to name the 2008 presidential candidates.

The BCS race engages and indulges in pseudo-debates, sound bites, regional biases, favorite sons and other staples of C-SPAN. Only the sites are different. Iowa and New Hampshire don’t have dogs in the BCS hunt, unless you include Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, a former Iowa defensive back, or Oregon offensive coordinator Chip Kelly, doing his Dr. Frankenstein imitation in Eugene after bringing the New Hampshire Wildcats to I-AA life.

Life might not always imitate art, but in this case, football imitates politics. Here is a guide to the current BCS wannabes and the presidential candidates they most resemble.

Ohio State: Hillary Clinton The Buckeyes don’t make waves. They go out of their way not to be controversial, including not scheduling anyone this season who could beat them. They hope to bland their way to the nomination.

LSU: Rudy Giuliani The Tigers are strong on defense, and their fans aggressively promote their qualifications. They gloss over their past missteps, hoping everyone focuses on their willingness to take on anybody.

Oregon: John Edwards A good-looking team with an engaging personality, but the Ducks’ stance on defensive issues is wanting. Do they have the substance to go all the way?

Oklahoma: Barack Obama Here’s a team that looks like BCS material, and it has all the resources in the world. But its potential continues to outweigh its performance. Maybe the next race?

Kansas: Mike Huckabee A plucky candidate that can’t get anyone to pay attention, the Jayhawks keep hanging around, charming people and slowly moving their way up the polls.

West Virginia: Mitt Romney The Mountaineers have great numbers and a wide-open attack, but they have done nothing to assure the voters they have the gravitas to make it to the top.

USC: Fred Thompson The Trojans get a bump from their Hollywood connection, but once they got on the stump, they looked nothing at all like a BCS candidate.

Hawaii: Ron Paul No matter how the Warriors perform, no matter how much support they drum up among the public, the opinion-makers never will take them seriously.

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