Sunday, December 07, 2008
A Load of BCS
The pairings for the BCS are set. As expected, there are a lot of happy people in Florida and Oklahoma. There are a lot of upset people in Texas. The rest of the country is indifferent to the results of a sham of a system designed more to generate money for bowls and certain conferences than to determine a true national champion.
Some thoughts on the various BCS matchups:
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati. Not too long ago, these schools were members of the Metro conference for basketball and other sports, and independents in football playing each other every year. Fast forward 20 years, and these two schools are playing each other in a big-money bowl. On the field, it’ll actually be a pretty good game. However, it is a TV ratings disaster in the making. Plus, how many people are going to pay $125 per ticket to see Virginia Tech play Cincinnati? Good luck filling the stadium for this one. This is the price the Orange Bowl pays for hosting the national championship game a week later. VT won a very balanced but mediocre ACC. Cincinnati won an equally mediocre Big East going away. Both teams would finish 5th or worse in the Big 12 South, and it is questionable if either would win the North. Boise State would beat both teams by at least two touchdowns. So would Texas Tech. Flip a coin for a winner here. Picks will be made in a future blog post.
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Utah. The Crimson Tide are back on the map in Nick Saban’s second year, going undefeated before losing the SEC championship game to the Florida Gators. Utah, in the meantime, went undefeated and won an underrated Mountain West conference. This will be a pretty good game.
Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Texas. The Buckeyes are here on the strength of their large traveling fan base, their huge alumni base, and their ability to draw a TV audience. Their second place finish in the Big Ten is not impressive due to the weakness of that conference. The Big Ten is definitely stronger in the classroom than on the field. Texas, on the other hand, has a case to be in the national championship game. The Longhorns were the only team to defeat Oklahoma, and were a last-second touchdown pass away from going undefeated. This is the most attractive matchup of the non-championship BCS bowls.
Rose Bowl: USC vs. Penn State. Penn State is this year’s sacrificial lamb put up by the Big Ten to be slaughtered by USC. 5:00 Central Time on New Year’s Day would be a good time to eat your black-eyed peas, as USC will have this one well in hand by then.
BCS National Championship Game: Oklahoma vs. Florida: Look for lots and lots of points in this one. Both teams are averaging over 50 points per game, and won the two dominant conferences in college football: the Big 12 and SEC. There is a possibility of a matchup of Heisman Trophy winners here, with Florida’s Tim Tebow and OU’s Sam Bradford. That is, if Bradford does what many expect and wins the Heisman on Saturday night. OU is looking to break a string of four consecutive losses in BCS games, including losses in the championship game in 2003 and 2004. This blog would love to see a rematch of OU and Texas in this game. However, Florida is very deserving of their spot here.