For all the controversy and all the complaints, the college football nation should find solace in one thing: for at least this season, the BCS got it right.
Alabama topped Texas 37-21 in the BCS Championship game on Thursday night, capping a perfect season and winning its first national championship in the BCS era.
Hundreds of articles have been and will be devoted to dissecting the key moments. key players, and various factors of the game. This article, however, focuses on one important question: Did the BCS get it right?
I propose that in 2009, no team was more deserving of a national championship than the Alabama Crimson Tide. Based on this, I believe that the BCS correctly determined the 2009 National Champions.
Surely objections will be raised to this assertion.
The two greatest arguments against Alabama being named the sole national champion at the moment are (1) Alabama was unimpressive in the championship game, and had Texas not lost Colt McCoy to injury Texas would have defeated the Tide, and (2) Boise State deserves a piece of the National Championship since they are undefeated.
On Alabama being unimpressive in the BCS Championship
There are two prongs to this attack. First, this argument claims that Alabama was unimpressive in winning the championship.
Sure, at times the Tide looked unpolished, but what team hasn't? The bottom line is that the Crimson Tide were powerful, opportunistic, and consistent in winning the championship game.
Alabama's defense forced numerous turnovers, and remember that the Tide had not one, but two 100-yard rushers in the game. Keep in mind that Texas had not allowed a single 100-yard rusher the entire season.
The second prong of the attack proposes that had Colt McCoy not been knocked out of the game, Texas could have or would have won the game. Yes, and had Sam Bradford not been knocked out for the season (ironically, by Texas), Oklahoma could have or would have returned to the championship game.
In short, that's part of football . Alabama got to McCoy and were physical enough to force him from the game. In the world of "what ifs," the Buffalo Bills had a four-peat in the '90s, but none of that matters in the real world.
Also, remember that the Texas rush defense, which was statistically ranked first in the nation, conceded over 200 yards on the ground on Thursday night to the tune of 4.0 yards per carry (previously this defense allowed just under 70 yards a game and 2.0 yards per carry). In light of this, Texas' loss cannot be solely placed on Colt McCoy's absence, but also the absence of Texas' rush defense.
On Boise State deserving a share of the championship
First off, are we serious? Did anyone else watch the completely underwhelming performance that Boise State put up against TCU? The commentators lauded Boise State's defense for shutting down TCU, but the only people shutting down the Horned Frogs were the Horned Frogs .
The difference between top tier teams and mid-level teams is execution. In the Fiesta Bowl, Boise State did not shut down TCU. Instead, TCU (and more specifically, TCU wide receivers) simply failed to execute.
Remember, there was a string of four consecutive dropped passes for TCU at crucial points in the game; one for a touchdown! Since when does an open receiver dropping a pass constitute being shut down?
Even if you considered Boise State's bowl performance legitimate, what about their regular season resume? Boise State finished undefeated, but plays in a conference that also features no less than three high school caliber teams. Put it this way: the second place team in Boise State's conference lost to Notre Dame 35 to nothing!
Sure, the Broncos trounced Oregon in the first week of the season, and won a BCS bowl (against a fellow mid-major), but anyone who honestly believes that Boise State is equal to or greater than Alabama should re-evaluate the tapes.
The BCS is not a perfect system. Any college football fan knows that. It is, however, better than the system which preceded it, and I believe that this detail often gets lost in the fray of controversy.
I am not endorsing the BCS, as I believe that a playoff system is both ideal and achievable. Instead, I am merely pointing out that, even though the BCS creates much controversy, it can also achieve its purpose: to determine a true national champion.
For all the times that the BCS has baffled football fans, the 2009 National Champions should provide some form of comfort.
For this year, at least, the BCS got it right.
Note: As an LSU fan, it pains me to write this. My hatred for Alabama is nearly unparalleled. Based on this, if anyone wishes to accuse me of bias for Alabama, you can check those comments at the door.