Since the inception of the BCS format in 1999, there have been six instances when a team from a non-BCS conference has played in one of the prestigious bowl games. It’s been a combination of Hawaii, Utah, Boise State and TCU going up against the top conferences.
So with Kent State sniffing a BCS bowl berth, the question has to be asked: Is it good or bad for College Football that the Golden Flashes would sneak into the Orange Bowl?
And if they do crack the Top 16 and earn a BCS berth, is it a good sign for college football that such a small school was able to rise above the bigger universities?
Over the last six years, five schools from one of the non-BCS conferences have played against a school from the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten or against each other.
So the trend has been moving to smaller schools being able to catch up to the rest of the playing field, which is a good thing for the NCAA.
In previous years, a team from a non-BCS conference has earned the right to play in a BCS game because they were ranked inside of the Top 10 of the final BCS standings. Plus in those years each of the BCS conferences saw its champion earn a spot in one of the games.
It’s why this year would not only be a first for a BCS game, with a team outside of the Top 10, but a team from one of the BCS conferences failing to earn its berth.
However, Kent State needs two things to happen to break into the BCS.
First, Kent State needs to beat Northern Illinois in the MAC championship game.
Second, the Golden Flashes need UCLA to lose in the Pac-12 championship game to Stanford. If these things happen, then they will break into the Top 16 of the final BCS Standings, making it a landmark achievement for the tiny conference.
If Kent State’s ascent to BCS eligibility then it will be a shot in the arm to how far the MAC has come in becoming a good football conference, which shows how college football has been strengthened in the past few years.
However, if Kent State knocks out Rutgers from its BCS position, then is it a knock on how far the Big East has fallen as a football powerhouse?
If there’s one sign that Kent State deserves a spot in the Orange Bowl over Rutgers, its that the Golden Flashes won the head-to-head matchup when these two teams met on October 27.
Not only did Kent State blow Rutgers out 35-23, they did it at Rutgers’s house.
Kent State may head to Miami, Fla., to take on Florida State in the Fed-Ex Orange Bowl and get their tails kicked by the Seminoles. However, just getting there is a monumental step forward for the university and the conference and in my opinion a good thing for college football.