Rooting For Anarchy (and The Longhorns) at The Fiesta Bowl
With USC's convincing win over Penn State and Utah's demolition of SEC darling Alabama, we are on the precipice of a perfect storm that could hasten the end of the BS with the BCS. We just need a couple more dominoes to fall.
As a fan, most of the year, I'm locked onto my team, largely concerned about our conference and take a passing interest in the national scene. Sure, I catch Sportscenter highlights and the box score of the big games, but my perspective is largely based on history of the school, expectations for the year and the box score. I watched Texas lose to Tech, and could meaningfully evaluate that loss (skittish first half doomed team).
But I didn't watch Oregon State beat USC. I didn't watch Ole Miss somehow beat Florida in the Swamp. I would probably guess that Jacquizz Rogers' legs and Jevan Snead's arm had something to do with it. Or maybe both favorites came in flat. Or something equally hypothetical. I wouldn't know anything really.
Is it any different for the voters in those polls influence the BCS? Am I to believe that coaches, mid-season, are supposed to really be better evaluators of SC when they coach in the Big East or ACC? Am I supposed to believe that AP journalists who are predominantly silo-ed in their region and conference are supposed to be more knowledgeable?
The fact is, they couldn't possibly be. A fan has far more opportunity with the right cable package to see more game film (of the national scene) than a coach prepping for the next week or a journalist that has to evaluate the ongoing results of the Mountain West conference.
Bowl season changes that myopic view dramatically. The games are staggered. Coaches' schedules are cleared. Journalists are dispatched to multiple venues across multiple conferences. And fans, journalists and coaches alike are treated to one game after another, with a steady progression towards the "National Championship."
But our perceptions get calibrated, improved as we see first hand USC's statistical defense give a real world whipping to Penn State, Texas Tech's speculatively weak defense get worked or Utah play anyone, let alone Bama.
Now add Texas thumping Ohio State and OU winning ugly vs. Florida. You would have a USC team that more than lived up to the West Coast hype. You would have a Utah team that beat four ranked opponents and physically dominated both lines of scrimmage to roll Tide. You would have a Texas team that did everything it could after getting jobbed by it's own conference's BCS tie-breaker, and the team they beat straight up, would be the BCS endorsee.
This would be far more damaging to the BCS than the usual one team left out reality that normally precedes the bowl season. No, this would be four teams with a legitimate claim to the top spot after the big game. This could create enough controversy to split the polls and crown multiple champions. This is the kind of result that will ratchet up the pressure from coaches and alumni to get school presidents to rework the system. Hello Auburn, SC, Texas, Utah, Boise State, and likely every other nationally contending school.
So when you are watching the Fiesta Bowl, root for anarchy, root for chaos, root Texas. When you are watching the BCS title game, root for flat performances, ugly winning and the catastrophic failure of the BCS.
Like most flawed systems, things have to get worse before they will get better.
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