Every year college football fans are left to ponder how far their teams would really go, if only the NCAA had a playoff system like the NFL.
But what if the tables were turned? What if the NFL decided that the best way to choose its championship was with power rankings, computers and opinion polls?
This article represents a depiction of this imaginary and bizarre NFL…
The NFL has announced the selections for the 2008-2009 BCS Bowl Games based on the Week 18 Power Rankings.
Super Bowl Championship: Tennessee Titans (1) vs. New York Giants (2).
The Titans had the top record in the NFL this season at 13-3.
The Giants finished the season at 12-4, along with the Colts, Steelers and Panthers. They managed to retain their No. 2 slot based on strength of schedule.
Fiesta Bowl: Pittsburgh Steelers (3) vs. Minnesota Vikings (10)
The Steelers (12-4) clinched the No. 3 ranking with a strong finish to the season, blowing out the Browns 31-0.
Head coach Mike Tomlin was “happy to be playing in a top bowl game,” but he “really believed we had a team that could compete for the championship. I guess we’ll have to wait until next season.”
The Vikings (10-6) shocked the NFL by upsetting the No. 2 ranked Giants, thus cementing a top bowl bid.
Sugar Bowl: Carolina Panthers (4) vs. New England Patriots (8)
After star Tom Brady was injured for the season, many thought the Patriots would have a losing season. However, the solid play of the defense and the emergence of backup QB Matt Cassell were enough to retain their top-tier status and a big-time bowl game.
Rose Bowl: Indianapolis Colts (5) vs. San Diego Chargers (11)
The Chargers sneaked into the Rose Bowl by winning a very weak AFC West Division, even with 8 losses. Many have questioned the BCS selection procedure, as it is widely believed that the Chargers have little chance of competing with bigger division teams, such as the Colts.
Orange Bowl: Miami Dolphins (8) vs. Baltimore Ravens (6)
The Dolphins surprised the NFL this season by winning the AFC East division and securing an Orange Bowl berth. Both Miami and Baltimore finished with formidable 11-5 records.
Notable Non-BCS teams
Although the Arizona Cardinals won their division, they did not secure a BCS berth. By rule, teams that win the NFC West must finish in the top 12 to have a shot at a BCS bowl game.
Fans of the Atlanta Falcons felt slighted by the BCS process this year, as they did not place in a top bowl game while being ranked seventh overall. Many believe that their poor performance in past seasons has haunted their bowl chances this season, despite their 11-5 record.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ strong performance over the last five weeks was not enough to secure a BCS berth. Early in the season the team was thought to be a championship contender, but they quickly faded after a poor first half of the season.
Now back to your regularly scheduled reality, already in progress…Thank God for the playoffs.