Here are the final BCS rankings:
Here are the BCS bowl match-ups (along with the rest of the bowls):
- Title Game: Florida vs. Oklahoma
- Rose Bowl: USC vs. Penn State
- Orange Bow: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati
- Sugar Bowl: Utah vs. Alabama
- Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Texas
Now, who really got screwed? (Besides everyone; this system makes everyone feel like a loser without a fair shot to really prove who’s the best on the field.) Texas is still griping about not playing for a national championship, or to prove that it belonged in Kansas City on Saturday.
But Boise State has a real reason to bitch. As far as I see it, the Broncos have a legitimate claim that they were left out because Ohio State has more fans, travels better, and would assure better numbers in the Fiesta Bowl against Texas.
Ohio State lost twice, both times to BCS teams: the first to USC, who absolutely drubbed the Buckeyes in a heavy-handed fashion, leaving QB Todd Boeckman unable to see straight; the second to Penn State, in a defensive showdown in Columbus. As far as teams to lose to, those are not bad ones, but they’re still two losses. What makes them more worthy than a second at-large team from a non-BCS conference? Strength of schedule or conference? The Big Televen, outside of Penn State and an OSU team trying to figure out its transition process between Boeckman and Terrelle Pryor, was absolute medocrity, with only Northwestern making any real attempts at trying to rise above its station.
10-2 in a down BCS conference shouldn’t trump undefeated from a conference that has sent two teams to the BCS with at large bids in the past two years. Yes, Hawaii got slaughtered by Georgia last year, but everyone remembers the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. That should count for something. Despite a year in which there was a bit less WAC competition, Chris Petersen led another squad, this one with a redshirt freshman QB in Kellen Moore, to his second undefeated season in the past three years.
There’s no rationale for the OSU selection outside of money, and that’s understandable, because the bowl games, including the BCS Championship Game, are a business. The primary goal is to draw eyeballs to the TV and fans to each of the neutral sites for sellouts. Ohio State is guaranteed to do that better than Boise State will; they have good, dedicated fans that will travel anywhere for a squad with a BCS bid. But let’s not act like they belong there.
The problem is that we keep pretending that this is the way to “select” a national champion in Division I-A (suck it, FBS) football because the NCAA doesn’t have the balls to tell the conference commissioners that it’s past time to stop farming out a sport’s post-season to outsiders. The NCAA is in the thrall of its conferences and cannot do anything about it when four of the six commissioners of those conferences won’t even vote on a plus-one system.
Thus, Boise State will take on Texas Christian in what may be the best non-BCS bowl game in the Pointsettia Bowl. Hell, it sounds like it’ll be much better than the Orange Bowl.
It’s too bad the BCS selection committee can’t see it that way. Of course, you cannot make men understand something if their jobs hinge on them not understanding it.