David Against David: Why TCU and Boise State Deserve a Shot at Goliath
College football fans want to pull for TCU. They want to root for Boise State.
Why? Because everyone loves an underdog.
The Bowl Selection Committee has deprived us of our beloved underdog.
They are hiding behind a seemingly valid argument: When TCU and Boise St. square off in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 4, it will be the first ever bowl matchup between two undefeated teams not playing for a national championship.
The Committee stands behind that point as justification for pitting two Davids against each other in a BCS world that must protect its Goliaths.
It's a cop-out...an attempt to limit controversy by keeping the little guy out of the big picture.
Utah's domination of Alabama in last year's Sugar Bowl created a mountain of controversy. Some said they should have played in the BCS title game.
For the record, I disagree. Florida and Oklahoma were the two best teams in the country last year; the selection committee got it right.
Furthermore, they got it right this year, too. Alabama and Texas are deserving of the title game. Texas was very fortunate to escape against Nebraska, but make no mistake about it, they belong in Pasadena.
There is, however, a colossal difference between this year and last year. Utah got its shot at Goliath and seized a monumental victory for the program.
TCU and Boise St. won't get that same opportunity.
What does either team have to gain from the Fiesta Bowl? Sure, it's a great matchup. It was last year too. But does either team really benefit from a victory in Glendale?
Look at it from TCU's perspective. They've done everything that's been asked of them this year, and they've done most of it in blowout fashion. Their reward: Boise St.?
Don't get me wrong, the Broncos are very good—just ask Oregon—but mention their schedule and their existence in the WAC, and credibility goes right out the window.
That's just the way it is. TCU victory would most likely cause the college football nation to wonder if maybe Boise St. just wasn't all that good.
If the Horned Frogs fall, the common perception won't be that Boise St. is worthy of praise for an impressive victory over a very good football team, but rather that TCU was perhaps overrated in the first place.
The only way to truly determine whether or not the TCUs of the world are actually on a level playing field with the big dogs of the so-called BCS conferences is to allow for a showdown on the gridiron.
To think that a computer system can provide a bona fide measuring stick in the same way is ridiculous.
The BCS claims it has made the system more inclusive for conferences that do not have automatic berths by expanding the number of teams from eight to 10. Any conference champion that finishes in the top 12 is supposed to earn a bid to a BCS game.
This year, it seems obvious that there are four BCS games. As an afterthought, TCU and Boise St. will face off in the Outsiders Bowl.
I get that it is all about money. The big conferences bring in more money for the bowls. It's a hard point to argue. If that's the case, it looks to me like the Fiesta Bowl is getting a royal hose job.
When you get down to the entire truth of the matter, the Floridas of the world don't want to play against teams from the Mountain West and WAC.
It is a lose-lose situation for them as well, and the BCS is protecting the big money programs from embarrassment.
Who wants to go play on the blue turf in Boise during the regular season? Nobody, for two reasons. First, it's a really tough place to play. Second, a loss pretty much means you can kiss your national championship hopes goodbye.
A bowl loss would have a similarly embarrassing effect.
Until that perception changes, there will never be a level playing field between the major conferences and the non-BCS conferences.
If the BCS wants to defend its current system, they should do it with integrity. Really put the system to the test by allowing the little guys to play on the big stage.
It will at least give them a chance to silence the critics who are calling for a playoff system and in the meantime will give football fans a chance to watch some intriguing matchups.
Putting contracts and other things aside, think about the possible matchups that college football fans were cheated out of: TCU and Florida in the Orange Bowl; Boise St. and Cincinnati in the Fiesta.
I don't think I'm in the minority here when I say that those two matchups would actually excite me. It would give us a chance to see what TCU and Boise St. are really made of.
More importantly, it would give David a chance to slay his Goliath.
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