This Is "No Fantasy": Boise State Shocks Bama To Win College Football Playoffs

Jon Sarver@ IJanuary 9, 2010

Time for a little truth

In the "fantasy" world of college football where all of us (blogger people) seem to live by accepting a horrible system because "the money boys" tell us we have to; we take time out for a little reality

It's reality based on a playoff system that continues to play games at a reasonable rate through December and January. It's a system that rewards performance, not opinion. It's a system that absolutely can work if the conference commissioners and college presidents look at the merit and the quality of what is being proposed!

With all that being said, the only way we can possibly accomplish change is by a nationwide protest. plans to hit it hard in 2010 and let the conference commissioners and college presidents know we have had enough "phony" championships and it is time to dump the BCS for a college football playoff now!


Now to our game...

In a game played at new Cowboys Stadium before 106,215 (the last Saturday in January) wild Alabama and Boise State tailgaters, the Boise State Broncos barely outlasted the Alabama Crimson Tide, 31-28.

Alabama fans were heard wailing after the game that it was just not possible for anyone to believe that "Little" Boise State could give their team a game. Well, it happened and in this fantasy world anything is possible because they are playing football all the way through December and if you are good enough, January, instead of taking a 45-day break between the conference championship and the big game.

In this game Kellen Moore had its top two running backs and all of its receivers, sprinting out to a quick 75-yard touchdown behind 55 Jeremy Avery rushing yards and a 30-yard touchdown reception to Titus Young—instead of 3-0, they led 7-0. 

Bama got the ball back and Greg McElroy showed he was nervous and if anything overconfident against a tenacious Bronco defense, and the Tide went three and out and had to punt the ball. 

That's where Kyle Wilson went to work. He took the ball on his own 35 and raced 65 yards down the sideline and through a shocked Tide defense for a touchdown. The reality was (this was not Texas) Boise State would do whatever it had to do to win this kind of a game. They had a better BCS record than Alabama against similar opponents so if you look at it realistically this could happen.

But Nick Saban is a great coach and great coaches coach great. Saban decided to work to Alabama's strength and utilize Mark Ingram who has had some real decent post Heisman games in the GridIron Gauntlet 16-Team Playoff unlike a boat load of other Heisman winners this last decade.

Along with Trent Richardson, the Tide struck back on a 68-yard, 10-minute drive that kept the ball out of the Broncos' hands and trimmed the score to 14-7 as the second half neared the end.

That's when the Bronco's went to work again. We've seen the Tide defense in these playoffs and we know they are vulnerable (shoot, if a true freshman can do it, why not Kellen Moore with all his guns?) to big plays against hot quarterbacks.

Go ahead, Tide fans, and tell me this can't happen (we know this is fantasy and we know your reality). Behind Moore's pinpoint passing and the "healthy" Bronco offense, the team rolled down the field  behind a punishing attack of Jeremy Avery, Titus Young, and Austin Pettis and suddenly Boise State had sprinted to a 21-7 halftime lead. 

Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit were heard saying at half time that, "These playoffs bring out the best in teams because teams are playing football and not sitting around for 45 days waiting for the big game like they were with the old BCS."

Bringing out the best means you don't have to wait a quarter and a half before you start seeing real football (regardless, if the other teams star quarterback is knocked out of the game). 

The second half started with another long Bama drive the highlighted the amazing ability of Mark Ingram. The Heisman trophy winner carved up the Bronco defense for 38 yards on five carries, ending with a two-yard plunge, and the score was tightened to 21-14 with six minutes left in the third quarter.

We know that Bama has a great defense, and they were proving it at times against the No. 1 offense in the country—many of you are now pulling out the schedule (No. 1 offense) argument and you play (Boise State) who will play you.

Boise State has been trying to upgrade its schedule for several years with big conference teams ditching them one after another. The truth is Alabama schedules FIU, North Texas, and Chattanooga so it can be in a position to play the big game. (PERIOD!)

After a Mark Barron's 63-yard interception of a Moore pass, they were back in the game with three minutes left in the third stanza, 21-21.

Boise State came marching back. They were healthy (they weren't against TCU in that dream game!) and with their proficient offense that proved itself with three playoff wins already against top 12 teams, they proved they belonged (a playoff will weed out the men from the boys).

Moore was carving up the Bama defense and was not afraid to go back to what was working before that last interception, and Kyle Efaw surprised and fallen Javier Arenas for a 42-yard touchdown. Suddenly, Bama realized this was no Texas (or was that a dream too!?) and the Bronco's made it 28-21 with six minutes left in the game.

In spite of their non conference schedule, Alabama is a great team (actually, if you can get away with it, why not?) and proved it on the next drive. McElroy, who was in charge of managing the offense (where have we heard that before?), went to work. He hit Mark Ingram for 20 yards.

Then he connected with Marquis Maze for a beautiful 36-yard pass over the outstretched hands of Jeron Johnson and a five-yard scamper by Ingram to finish it off and we were tied at 28 with 1:30 left in the game.

As we simulated this game we could have had the Broncos fumble the next kickoff and Bama win the game on a 30-yard field goal as time ran out, thus avoiding your abuse and "name calling"; however, this DIE-hard USC fan believes Boise State could have indeed been competitive in this game (they are better than Chattanooga, aren't they?). 

So, we have the Crimson Tide kicking the ball out of bounds and Boise State taking full advantage and hitting one big trick play after another to push the tide to their own 25 with two seconds left, where Kyle Brotzman ended the first ever GridIron Gauntlet with a 42-yard field goal as time ran out.

Saban is usually in a bad mood no matter what happens, but he cracked a smile here and said, "These playoffs finally shut up the 'who is better?' debate once and for all and produced a true champion. You win it on the field!"

Help us help you make that happen in 2010.

Congratulations to the Boise State Broncos for their undefeated season and being the 2009 GridIron Gauntlet National Champions!


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