Last year the Bowl Championship Series tried their best to put down the perceived underdog. Utah was given the task of playing Alabama, a team one win away from the BCS title game, practically on the road in New Orleans.
So what did Utah do? They embarrassed the Crimson Tide. They beat them from start to finish.
That doesn't make the BCS happy.
The BCS has had two strategies to their automatic qualifying teams, strategy one: put them in a bowl that a victory won't make an impact.
In the 2004-2005 season Utah, led by Alex Smith and coach Urban Meyer, ranked No. 6, played the Big East Champion Pittsburgh Panthers. Utah turned the game into a laugher, but to most fans victory was expected.
What did Utah get for their win? They ended the season ranked No. 4. Why wasn't Utah given the opportunity to play another undefeated team, Auburn?
The answer is simple, why allow the team to earn any respect? If Utah were to win against Auburn what would that do to the system?
In the 2006-2007 season, Boise State went undefeated and played Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. This game is remembered for the display both teams put on in a 43-42 game which saw the Broncos win.
My problem is that Boise St. was denied the chance to play any team ranked higher than they were. LSU, Louisville, USC, and Michigan were all ranked higher and a victory would have made another impact for the 'mid-majors.'
Instead the BCS put these teams against competition that never allowed them to show their true ability as a team. Nobody remembers Utah's victory over Pitt because they were supposed to win. Boise State's win over Oklahoma proved nothing to critics of smaller conference schools.
Critics will tell you that if Boise was that good, ranked No. 8, they should have taken care of business against a team ranked No. 10.
After two straight non-BCS wins, the Bowl Championship Series changed their plan for their non-automatic qualifying teams. Now they were going to put them in situations to fail.
A year after Boise State's win, Hawaii was Western Athletic Conference champions and on their way to a BCS bowl game. The Warriors were looking for a chance to prove themselves and their conference.
The BCS was looking for a chance to prove their system. Georgia was the pick to take down Hawaii. The hottest team in the country at the time, Georgia took care of Hawaii 49-10, a black eye for the mid-majors.
The BCS had made their stand: We'll put them in games where they can't succeed.
Last year Utah was the recipient of the BCS gift in the form of an away game with Alabama. 31-17 later, the little guys hit the BCS back, and put the entire system on notice.
This season it looks like two teams should be invited to the BCS party outside the six 'major' conferences. Boise State and TCU have earned their chance to make an impact, and I believe they will.
Last night after TCU's big win over Utah, I went to sleep satisfied that the Horned Frogs had a legitimate chance at the BCS title game. I dreamt of a TCU victory over Florida, I can only hope it's in the BCS title game.
Perception has ruined college football, with the use of preseason rankings and perceived conference strength, teams are continually being penalized for situations they can not control.
Why does Boise State and TCU not deserve the same chances that Texas, Alabama, Florida, and Cincinnati have at competing for the BCS title? Can they help their conference? Can they help that teams don't want to play in their house?
All I want to see is a series of BCS bowl games that put great matchups on the field where teams can prove themselves. If these teams don't have their shot at a BCS title, I hope they can play a team where they can "finally prove themselves."
Personally the best teams in college football are as follows: Texas, Alabama, Florida, TCU, Boise, and Georgia Tech/Cincinnati.
With that in mind I hope TCU gets the loser of the Alabama and Florida SEC Championship game. I also hope that Boise State gets the next best team, whether or not that team is the Yellow Jackets or Bearcats.
If the BCS wants to play fair, they'll give the non-BCS teams their chance to show their mettle against the big boys. If not, they'll give teams like TCU and Boise State a team like Iowa, where a victory does nothing for perception.
Like all college football fans, I'd love a playoff, but until then let's get the best teams into these bowls playing other great teams.
I have a dream, a dream of Horned Frog success against the big boys of college football.