The University of Connecticut will play in the Bowl Championship Series for the first time in school history. The Huskies will play Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix. The Fiesta Bowl was the site of what some call the greatest game ever played, when Boise State defeated the Sooners 43-42 in the Broncos’ first BCS bowl. Do the UConn Huskies have what it takes to pull off another upset? Maybe!
The UConn Huskies are participating in a BCS bowl game after playing in the FBS since the 2002 season. That is quite a feat. The Huskies are to be commended for their success in recent years. UConn is going to the Fiesta Bowl because it won the Big East Championship with a 5-2 conference record and were 8-4 overall.
You could also say that UConn is playing in a BCS bowl game simply because they were granted membership in the privileged and preferred Big East Conference. On the other hand, Boise State appeared in the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma because they earned the invitation on the field as an undefeated, 12-0 and 9th ranked “at-large” selection. Boise State had to overcome the perception that it did not deserve a place among the elite because they were not from one of the privileged and preferred BCS conferences.
UConn’s Fiesta Bowl opponent Oklahoma is in the now-familiar position they found themselves in 2007. They are trying to get up and motivated for a game that offers them little chance move up in the final rankings. The Sooner coaching staff has been here before and should be better prepared to motivate the Sooner players against the Huskies.
Like Boise in 2007, UConn has so much to gain and nothing to lose in playing against one of the storied programs of college football. This scenario is often the case for bowl games, which are nothing more than postseason exhibition games. If OU and UConn were playing in a playoff game in which the winner advanced to the next round of a championship bracket, both teams would be equally motivated. In a playoff, the players, coaches and fans all know what is at stake. In a playoff, the stakes are higher and that means more fun and excitement for players and fans. It would most likely mean better TV ratings, which would please the big corporate sponsors.
The new book, “It’s Possible! Realignment and Playoffs – College Football’s Opportunity” discusses how playoffs could be conducted in a way that would give every school an opportunity to earn a playoff spot with its performance on the field. The book also considers how current conference alignments hinder the growth of the sport. The book is available at: