With Bama Out, Does BCS Need Notre Dame to Save the National Championship Game?
SEC haters can rejoice. As it stands right now, the behemoth of a conference is likely going to be shut out of the BCS Championship Game, making it impossible for the league to add to their championship streak. If you're the Fiesta Bowl, you're staring at a possible Notre Dame and SEC No. 2 matchup that should still play well in Glendale. If you're the Sugar Bowl, you know you'll be OK with your SEC Champion.
However, if you're the BCS Championship Game, you're sitting back hoping that Oregon or Kansas State somehow trip themselves up so you can get Notre Dame into the equation.
This is not an issue of right or wrong, folks. Rather, this is an issue of simple facts. Of the three remaining undefeated teams, only one of them truly has the juice to carry a title game. Sure, Oregon is exciting with its point-a-minute offense. Yes, Collin Klein is the de facto Heisman front-runner. But, neither Kansas State or the Ducks move the needle the way Notre Dame does.
Do you think the folks at the BCS need Notre Dame to help sell this title game?
So, while Kansas State, Oregon and non-SEC fans were thrilled to see the monopoly end; the BCS executives have to be less than thrilled. Alabama is a national brand. It's one of college football's "elite" programs. Not just from an on-the-field standpoint, but from a box office and ratings view. Losing the Crimson Tide has left the folks in Miami staring down the barrel of an Oregon-Kansas State showdown in Sun Life.
As great as it would be for those fanbases, the folks that are in the business of selling the sport are eyeballing Notre Dame hoping to get the Irish into the discussion. Notre Dame brings better ratings. Notre Dame brings more ticket sales. Notre Dame brings more of everything that the people behind the curtain are looking to sell.
Last year's title game battled the regionalism and anger over the rematch. This year, the folks in charge need a winner to sell, and getting two non-traditional powers would make that difficult. Having the Fighting Irish as a piece of the puzzle would make pushing Oregon or Kansas State much easier. While the Fiesta Bowl is hoping to keep the Irish for themselves, the folks in Miami are likely rooting for a Wildcats loss in the next few weeks of the season.
Notre Dame and Oregon would mean coast-to-coast coverage. The explosive offense versus a stout defense. A member of college football royalty against a new kid on the block. Tradition versus the new age of the sport. That's a game Miami could push to the masses.
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