If Chaos Will Lead to Change, Cincinnati and TCU Blew It for Everyone

Dan KelleyCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Tony Pike #6 of the Cincinnati Bearcats reacts after a play against the Florida Gators during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisana Superdome on January 1, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The idea that the onset of the new year is a time for change is often espoused by enthusiasts of the holiday season.

It’s supposed to provide the impetus we need to finally make some of those changes that have been nothing more than nagging thoughts in the back of our minds all year.

College football had a very similar opportunity as 2009 came to a close. And, like the vast majority of people who swiftly blow their new diets, their attempts to quit drinking or smoking, their struggle to save money, or other failed resolutions, FBS football squandered a golden opportunity to drive itself away from the BCS and towards a more balanced postseason format.

The wheels seemed to be in motion. In this chaotic year, which saw five teams finish their schedules unscathed, even Congress was looking to pick a fight with the fraudulent BCS. The system has been exposed time and time again as a sham, but we can’t seem to get rid of it because it makes sure that all the right wallets are being filled.

Indeed, the Bowl Championship Series’ purpose is not to give college football a legitimate No. 1 at season’s end, but rather it’s just a complex money-making scheme.

The enigma of how to escape this failed experiment won't even begin to unravel until the system bungles things so badly, that it will force someone—whether it be Congress, the University Presidents, or perhaps some other unforeseen party—to finally take serious action.

With five undefeated teams heading for BCS bowls as the New Year approached, the stage appeared to be set for the kind of gruesome finish that could finally bring about such an intervention.

Conveniently, with the title game between Alabama and Texas set, the bowl drawings pitted the two biggest party crashers, TCU and Boise State, against each other in the Fiesta Bowl.

This clever pairing assured at least one of the unbeaten mid-majors would finish the season with a loss—a clear case of damage control by the powers-that-be.

Then there was Cincinnati, who unlike the unbeatens relegated to the Fiesta Bowl, hails from a BCS conference and still got shafted.

But while they were left out of the championship game, the Beatcats were given the chance to make a statement in a game against the Florida Gators.

As things turned out, Cincinnati was annihilated by college football’s golden boy Tim Tebow and the rest of the Gators, and TCU’s potent offense was totally shut down by Boise State in a loss.

Consider though, the kind of madness that could have ensued if both of those teams had won.

The final poll would feature three teams at its peak with perfect records, two of which come from BCS Conferences and all three fresh off bowl wins over top six opponents.

The damage would be irreparable: 2009 would be remembered as a year with no definitive champion regardless of the outcome of the BCS' championship game.

As it stands, though, the bowl season couldn’t have worked out any better for the fat cats governing college football. Cincinnati is completely out of the discussion thanks to its embarrassing performance in the Sugar Bowl.

TCU is out as well with its loss and Boise State was never really in the picture to begin with thanks to its comically unimpressive strength of schedule.  

Well, so much for that. It appears that for this year at least, FBS football will finish with a clear champion—which, of course, is supposed to be the idea.

However, knowing that the BCS has already been exposed as an exclusionary sham and a chaotic finish could have been the impetus to finally abolish it, this bowl season has been one of the most disappointing in recent memory.