Does BYU deserve to play in a BCS Bowl?
In my last article I posted a poll that asked which of the following teams deserved to play in a BCS bowl. I will list the choices in the order of votes received: Ball St. (1.5 percent), Missouri (3.8 percent), Oklahoma St. (4.6 percent), TCU (4.6 percent), Georgia (11.5 percent), Boise St. (15.4 percent) and finally BYU with a whopping 58.5 percent of the vote.
At the time I wrote this article there were 130 votes cast so the percentages may shift somewhat in the next few days, but I don’t anticipate a large swing to make up for the drastic support given to BYU.
This overwhelming support for the Cougars led me to wonder why BYU received so much of the vote. In posting the poll, I assumed each person who read the article would vote for their respective home team and the numbers would wind up roughly equal, but I was wrong.
Even more surprising was the scant two voters who registered a tick for Ball St. I assumed the folks in Muncie would be out in a fury, or at least someone in the Midwest would think an undefeated season was worth a shot at the big boys, apparently not. I can’t say that I blame the voters, I was merely surprised at the result.
To determine why BYU received so much support I have been left to theorize and speculate. BYU does have a large fan base comprised of graduates nationwide and many fans in Utah, the 34th most populous state in the union. Yet, no matter how I look at it I can’t see BYU fans swaying the poll so much that it would lead to such a drastically disproportionate result.
This overwhelming favor for BYU must mean that national voters feel that BYU is the best team outside the top ten. To this I must ask, Why?
I think the Cougars are a fun team to watch. The passing attack is lethal, and you just can’t look away from Max Hall’s beady eyes. But, despite their offensive potential and their national name recognition, why do they belong above the other six teams listed.
BYU is coming off a win against a good (No.39) Air Force team and recorded early wins against (No.71) UCLA and (No.112) Washington. Though these were decent wins, none of their wins have come against a team ranked in the top 25. In fact, the next best team that BYU beat this year after Air Force was a three-point victory over (No.68) Colorado State.
I’m not trying to get down on the Cougars, I’m just trying to justify why they deserve a big payday, and I cannot see it. Truthfully, I’d love to see BYU ranked in the top ten with their sights set on a big game against a SEC or Big 12 opponent.
However, the problem is that BYU does not seem to be at that level yet. In fact, it is hard to justify the No.14 spot they hold in both the BCS and USA Today polls, both of which rank them above a TCU team that served up a 32-7 loss to the Cougars.
Some of my analysis may change in less than a week if BYU beats No.7 Utah at home. I’ll rethink my logic and prepare to see those awful orange and blue BSU jerseys in the Sugar Bowl, but I am praying, along with anyone else with a High-Def TV, that this doesn’t happen.
I’m preparing a follow-up article that addresses what teams like BYU can do to gain national respect (guess what, it involves beating ranked teams) and I will post it soon.
My sources for the top 120 teams in college football came from http://www.sportsline.com/collegefootball/polls/120.