BCS Bowl Games 2012: What the Matchups Should've Been
As much as some coaches say, "It's the system we have," no one really likes the BCS.
2010 was a poster season for the BCS, where everything in the system worked out correctly; this year, we're right back to business as usual.
The selection of Alabama over Oklahoma State in the National Championship game is the one everyone is talking about, but in my opinion, that's not the only place the BCS screwed up this year.
Here are what the five BCS bowls should be.
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Oregon
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Can't complain about this one. Now that both the Big Ten and the Pac-12 have championship games, and neither of those champions were in the National Championship this year, it's pretty hard to mess up the Rose Bowl.
This is a matchup between two great teams with two powerful offenses led by two of the best running backs in the country.
Montee Ball vs. LaMichael James.
Russell Wilson vs. Darron Thomas.
Wisconsin's offensive line vs. Oregon's blitzers.
It ought to be a very high-scoring, exciting game that comes down to the wire. Neither of these teams are invincible, but they're both very good.
Congratulations, BCS. One of five is better than I expected of you.
Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. West Virginia
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
I spoke too soon. The BCS got two bowls right. Outstanding!
This is the matchup that should be in the Orange Bowl.
Clemson has been a monster at times during the season, managing to do things like drop 59 points on North Carolina's defense. At other times, it has looked like a pretender, getting shut out by 6-6 NC State.
At its best, Clemson is one of the best teams in the country, but at its worst, anyone can hang with it.
West Virginia has been similar. While it put together a pretty impressive 9-3 record, it couldn't even win its conference outright and lost games to Syracuse and Louisville (I won't fault it for losing to LSU).
Both teams have underachieved to some degree, so both of them could use a big BCS bowl win going into next year.
Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs. Stanford
Brett Deering/Getty Images
Andrew Luck will face a better team in Oklahoma State, but in this situation, he gets another tough team with a tough defense.
Kansas State is probably the best team in the country that didn't get selected for a BCS bowl. It probably got slighted because it doesn't have as big of a fanbase as teams like Virginia Tech and Michigan.
Still, its two losses are to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (who only won by a touchdown), and its dual rushing attack is one of the best in the country. Not a bad resume.
We all know how good Stanford is. The Cardinal have been in the Top 10 all season and have only lost one game to Oregon. Andrew Luck is also one of the best quarterback prospects in years, so he's fun to watch.
Kansas State and Stanford would be a game of opposites, but it'd be a close, high-scoring and exciting game to watch.
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Boise State
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images
The Sugar Bowl, at its best, has been the SEC against non-AQ teams. Think about it. Alabama getting upset by Utah was something that no one saw coming.
Georgia then turning around and beating Hawaii was equally legendary.
I know that Cincinnati is in the Big East, and it's still technically a BCS conference, but no one has taken it seriously for years, so it's practically a non-AQ team. Florida stomping Cincinnati 56-12 in 2009 solidified that it was still second-rate.
It works for everyone.
The best that the small schools can put out there gets a shot at the second-best team in the best conference in the country. The small school wants to prove that it's a force to be reckoned with. The SEC team wants to show that it's still better than 99 percent of the rest.
Boise State was good this year. Its only loss was to a very good TCU squad, while it had its way with future SEC East winner Georgia on the road.
It would be a worthy opponent for Alabama.
BCS National Championship: LSU vs. Oklahoma State
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
I don't need to explain why LSU is here, but apparently I need to talk about Oklahoma State because the BCS disagrees.
Oklahoma State and Alabama both lost one game. They are both 11-1. Alabama lost in overtime to the best team in the country, but the Tide did so at home.
Oklahoma State lost (if you think that field goal actually was no good) a trap game to a decent team in double overtime, on the road, the week of a school tragedy.
If you ask me, there isn't a big difference between those losses.
Then, you have Oklahoma State's wins. Here are its biggest wins: Kansas State (52-45), Oklahoma (44-10), Baylor (59-24), Texas (38-26). It also only played three teams with a losing record.
In total, the opponents that Oklahoma State beat had a combined record of 68-52 (68-41 if you don't count their losses to Oklahoma State). That's a tough schedule.
On the other hand, Alabama's win total from its opponents is 71-61, with 10 of those wins coming from FCS Georgia Southern.
Furthermore, Oklahoma State did something that Alabama did—win its conference.
We've seen Alabama-LSU already, and I am not convinced that Alabama is any better than Oklahoma State, especially after Oklahoma State's thrashing of Oklahoma, where all 10 of Oklahoma's points came at the ends of the half while they were in desperation mode and Oklahoma State was playing prevent.
It should have been Oklahoma State. No one likes reruns.
Recap: System Look Busted Yet?
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
I realize that the comments will be full of people violently disagreeing with me about putting Oklahoma State over Alabama.
The argument that everyone uses for Alabama is that it and LSU are the top two teams.
Here's the cold, hard truth: We don't know that.
In 2006, Michigan and Ohio State were both undefeated at the end of the season, then Ohio State beat Michigan, 41-39. Everyone said that, since Michigan's only loss was to the No. 1 team in the country, it was obviously the best team in the country.
Florida also had one loss, but to a worse team, and a couple of close games over unranked opponents.
Everyone "knew" that Michigan was better than Florida, but the BCS voters did the right thing and voted for Florida over Michigan, avoiding the rematch.
So what happened then? Ohio State, the obvious best team in the country, rolled through Florida.
Oh wait...what? That didn't happen? Florida beat Ohio State 44-14? That's right.
Now I'm not saying that Oklahoma State would beat LSU, but other than that, the situation is exactly the same. The right thing happened then, the wrong thing happened this year.
SEC dominance started when Florida got its chance at Ohio State. SEC fans need to remember what it was like to be left out. Oklahoma State fans certainly will.