Orange Bowl 2012: How Does West Virginia's Win Change the BCS AQ Conversation?
West Virginia embarrassed the Clemson Tigers despite being labeled as the so called "softer" or "less talented" team. Well, the ACC is now 2-13 in the history of the BCS and West Virginia is undefeated at 3-0 with wins over Georgia, Oklahoma and now Clemson.
Everybody is already discussing the future of West Virginia with still some uncertainty of whether it will play in the Big 12. However, its dominating Orange Bowl victory should have us thinking about what this does to the future of the BCS and its automatic qualifying status.
Big East Theory
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I am so glad I am not among the 83 percent that were wrong, but West Virginia proved to the nation that it was worthy. Its offense always had the talent, but it could not find a way to put it together in the Big East conference.
During the season, the Mountaineers only scored over 40 points in conference play once!
People that were complaining about the Big East not deserving an automatic spot in the BCS feel shocked and appalled, but they should also feel fooled.
West Virginia set the bowl record for points in a quarter (35), points in a half (49) and points in a game (70).
There still is a small chance the Big East could lose its BCS automatic-qualifying spot in the system, but this victory should end up saving it with Boise State and company on their way in 2013.
Future Non AQ's
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The Boise State Broncos are one of the most talked about teams in college football because of their ability to win games against BCS competition.
However, their schedule has never been as difficult as the BCS teams, so some do not believe they are worthy of even getting a shot at playing a top-tier team in a BCS bowl.
Although West Virginia was from the Big East this past season, its dominating victory over Clemson (though we still call them silly old Clemson) will only help out the non-AQ's.
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The BCS was smashed in December for a few teams that were thought to have no business belong in the first place. However, all four of the BCS games thus far have been amazing to watch.
West Virginia-Clemson was a shootout early on, but the Mountaineers gave us the sort of offensive electricity that we have not seen in the BCS before.
Geno Smith threw for 401 yards and six touchdowns against a Clemson squad that was expected to limit him, and there were no issues by Dana Holgersen's squad at any point during the season.
However, that is what happens when you give great coaching staffs an extra month to prepare for the opposition. These recent bowl games have been so exciting because the offenses are clicking on all cylinders.
Boise State, Utah and TCU have all knocked off BCS teams despite being the underdog, but all three had (or still have) some of the best coaching staffs in the country.
Though some fans want more non-AQ's to get their shot at a BCS bowl, there are still some that do not think they deserve them. This Mountaineers' victory only helps make the case for these small kids around the block that want their shots at the bullies.
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The BCS contract expires after next season which gives many fans the thought of a change. Some really do want that thing called a playoff, and these BCS games are one of the arguments they use.
The Fiesta, Sugar, Orange and Rose bowls were all spectacular to watch. In fact, these past few BCS bowls does give us the hope that maybe an eight-team playoff would make the sport better.
I am not a fan of anything other than a plus-one, but we would all love a mini-version of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament if we could be guaranteed to have similar results to these recent BCS games.