Boise State and TCU: Forget About the Conferences, Look at the Teams

Mark E. SmithCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2009

BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 3: Quarterback Kellen Moore #6 of the Boise State Broncos sets to throw a pass in the third quarter of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Bronco Stadium on September 3, 2009 in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 19-8. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Another year with the BCS, another year of controversy.  The 2009 regular season has ended with an unbelievable five undefeated schools.  Three are from major conferences, while the other two, Boise State and TCU, are not. 

There have been a plethora of articles written about why the two non AQ schools don't belong in the national championship game.  Nearly every one that I have read cites the conference affiliation and the schedule that accompanies. 

Nobody will argue that teams like San Jose State and New Mexico are not bad and that the conference is as challenging as the Pac 10 or SEC.  Those of us who look at the Broncos and Horned Frogs as being equal to Alabama, Cincinnati, and Texas understand that a great team can come from anywhere. 

BCS conference boosters seem to forget how every year many of their beloved teams go down in defeat to "lesser" teams.  Oklahoma State early this year lost at home to Houston which belongs in the eighth best conference in the country.  Up until last week the Cowboys were considered to be a team that could bump Boise State out of the BCS. 

The mighty Nebraska lost at home to Iowa State, Pittsburg lost to NC State, we could go on and on with instances where teams lost to inferior opponents.  Here is the point.  TCU and Boise State, like the great teams, just don't lose.  They win every game that they are supposed to win.  They win the games that are challenges. 

TCU went out and beat Clemson, BYU, and Utah.  Then proceeded to not have any hiccups.  Boise State beat a team in Oregon that turned out to be quite impressive, don't even try the argument that they weren't the same team.  That's bush league! BSU also took care of business against a super hot Nevada team, and a challenging Fresno State team on the road. 

Again, another season where they went out an won every game on the schedule.  Some people out there in BCS land believe that is very simple to do.  They seem to conveniently forget all about the upsets that occur weekly in college football as if the little guys should be held to a higher standard. 

Looking at the facts, going undefeated in any season of Division 1 football is an anomaly.  Usually no more than one or two finish that way.  So when a Boise State or TCU finish unblemished, their season should be given respect. 

The manner in which both of these school have accomplished undefeated seasons is what lends to the credibility. After a narrow win against Air Force mid season, TCU went on a dominating tear winning all of their games by double digits. 

For Boise State, it was a close call against Tulsa that got the critics going.  They responded by scoring more than forty points in their final seven games.  They have outscored opponents this season by 344 points. 

So go ahead, and rank the WAC and Mountain West lower than the BCS conferences.  There is nothing unfair about that.  Just don't be ignorant to the fact that outliers exist.  Sometimes greatness is found where we don't expect it.  The funny thing is this season it so easy to see.

I have been repeatedly telling people that they should judge teams not by stat sheets or SOS comparisons, but by what they see on the field.  When you take the time to do that you just may see what the minority of us have been witnessing all along. 

After seeing Texas' lucky escape against Nebraska, I know that some of you are letting the doubt creep into your mind.  It's quite alright.  Don't be afraid to ask yourself if that is the best the BCS conferences can do.  Will Texas and their 19 yards rushing be able to avoid embarrassment against Alabama?  Or would you rather see the unknown TCU give their best shot? 

Maybe the nation's most efficient passer in Kellen Moore would prove to be more of a challenge to the Tide than Florida was.  Maybe...maybe not.  The important thing is that we start to think less in about conference and more about team.