According to some "experts" out there, there should never be a non-BCS team in contention for the national championship. Apparently, these teams from non-BCS conferences such as the Mountain West, the Western Athletic Conference, and Conference USA are undeserving of any accolades presented to them.
Experts, I present to you the 2009 Texas Christian University Horned Frogs.
This team has defeated three current Top-25 teams and two BCS conference teams (30-14 over Virginia and 14-10 over No. 15 Clemson, both of the ACC) with wins over No. 15 Clemson and No. 18 BYU coming on the road, the BYU win coming by a score of 38-7, and a defeat of No. 22 Utah at home, 55-28.
The Horned Frogs don't make the same, ahem, "mistake" that Boise State makes, either. Some members of the media say that Boise State doesn't win convincingly enough. Since the 20-17 defeat of Air Force on Oct. 10, which made them 5-0, they've won their last six by a combined score of 278-54, or an average score of 46-9. By the way, that includes the two defeats of No. 18 BYU and No. 22 Utah.
After that Air Force game, TCU was crucified by a few people out there, as the Horned Frogs were "overrated" and "undeserving of a Top-10 spot." How do you think those people feel now?
The defense boasts one of the best defensive linemen in college football, Jerry Hughes, predicted by many to be a Top-20 pick in next year's NFL Draft. The defense as an entire unit is ranked fourth in the country in total yardage allowed per game (238.8 yards) and is sixth overall in points per game (12.6 points).
You can't sell the offense short, either. Led by stud junior quarterback Andy Dalton and fleet-footed running back Joseph Turner, the offense averages 39.7 points per game (fifth in the nation) and 471.2 yards per game (also fifth in the nation).
Plus, with every win 8-3 Clemson earns, that 14-10 victory back on Sept. 26 has become one of the banner victories for the Mountain West Conference in 2009, along with BYU's 14-13 defeat of then No. 3 Oklahoma.
If you want to use the transitive property of college football, think about this.
The Texas Longhorns, currently ranked No. 3, went on the road to Laramie and defeated the Wyoming Cowboys, 41-10, way back on Sept. 12.
No. 4 TCU defeated them 45-10 this past week.
In the polls I vote on, that was part of the reason why I put TCU No. 3 this week, ahead of Texas and behind the SEC Championship tandem of Florida and Alabama. The other part of why I did it? As a whole, TCU has by far been the more impressive team. Texas has defeated one team currently ranked in the Top 25 poll, which was a 41-7 victory over No. 11 Oklahoma State. They defeated Oklahoma, but the Sooners are 6-5.
TCU has defeated three ranked teams: No.15 Clemson, No. 18 BYU, and No. 22 Utah.
Need some more convincing? Alright, let's look at their non-conference schedule.
TCU went on the road and played two ACC teams, Virginia and Clemson. They defeated both. They also played SMU, winning 39-14. Yeah, they played Texas State-San Marcos, a FCS school, but guess who else has played FCS schools this season?
No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Alabama, No. 5 Cincinnati, No. 6 Boise State, No. 7 Georgia Tech, and No. 8 Pittsburgh.
That's six of the Top Eight schools in the country, not counting TCU.
Plus, let's take a look at the out-of-conference schedules of the top three teams ahead of TCU.
No. 1 Florida: At home vs. Charleston Southern (FCS), home vs. Troy, home vs. Florida International, home vs. Florida State
No. 2 Alabama: Neutral vs. No. 14 Virginia Tech, home vs. Florida International, home vs. North Texas, home vs. Chattanooga (FCS)
No. 3 Texas: Home vs. Louisiana-Monroe, at Wyoming, home vs. UTEP, home vs. Central Florida
Out of those three schedules, the best matchup was Alabama's game against Virginia Tech, which they won. But after that, who's second? Florida State, which is an annual rival of Florida and therefore not a game that is a one and done? Troy, who is the best team in the Sun Belt at 8-3? Central Florida?
Especially take a look at Texas' schedule. They won all four games convincingly, but according to the 2009 Sagarin Ratings, the best team out of all of those is Central Florida, ranked 62nd in the country at 7-4 with an all-time record of 1-32 against Top-25 teams. Boy, they really went out and challenged a national power, didn't they?
Meanwhile, TCU went out and challenged Virginia and Clemson, with Virginia being ranked 67th and Clemson being ranked 12th in the Sagarin Ratings. Granted, Virginia is 3-8, but it's still an all-important BCS conference team.
The point I'm trying to make here is that TCU deserves, if anything, a chance to be in the national championship. To be realistic here, this is what they need to happen:
- Loser of Florida/Alabama to fall below them
- Texas to lose in the Big 12 Championship to Nebraska
- Stay in front of Cincinnati/Pittsburgh winner, if those teams come into their game at 11-0 and 10-1, No. 5 and No. 7 in the country
It can happen, but the Horned Frogs will need the voters' help. Coaches, media, and others, I'm calling on you to do the right thing and give this great team a look at the BCS National Championship game.