Making the Case: TCU and Boise State both to the BCS

As we head into mid November things across the Football Bowl Subdivision are really heating up. Outside of who will be in the National Championship game, their is no bigger debate then who will receive auto bids to BCS games, and who deserves at large births. And as the games have unfolded in October and the first week of November, I believe that it is becoming more and more likely that both the Texas Christian Horned Frogs and the Boise State Broncos will be featured in BCS Bowl game match ups.

Over the past five years the landscape of college football has really changed. Former power house programs like Michigan and Florida State are complete dumpster fires. Teams like Miami and Nebraska are pulling themselves out of holes similar to what the ‘Noles and Wolverines are in now. Adding to that, this year is especially unique in which all the top BCS conferences are pretty soft in the middle. The SEC sees a pretty significant drop off after Florida and Alabama. Proof of this can be seen in the fact that both have locked up their spots in the SECCG by November 7th. With a full three weeks of conference games yet to play. Oklahoma was destroyed by the injury bug, and no other Big XII team has stepped up to be a strong number 2 to Texas, to push for an at large BCS game (the second highest ranked Big XII team in the BCS rankings is Oklahoma State at #19). Ohio State and Iowa line up Saturday in a defacto Big Ten championship game with a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line. The loser of that game will drop out of the BCS top 14 (the spot that any non BCS automatic qualifier needs to be ranked to be eligible for any at large birth).

The point is, that their is a void in the top half of teams throughout the nation. And that void has been filled by the non BCS conference power house. This weeks top 20 of the BCS rankings feature #4 TCU, #6 Boise State, #15 Houston, and #16 Utah. Now any non BCS conference team ranked in the top 8 of the BCS gets an auto bid to a BCS game. But no more then one non BCS conference team will receive an auto bid. Which leaves any other team, like Boise State, subject to the same at large process as second place teams in the big 6 conferences.

My current BCS Bowl Projection looks like this…

Rose Bowl: Ohio State (Big Ten) vs Oregon (PAC 10)
Sugar Bowl: Alabama (at large) vs Cincinnati (Big East)
Fiesta Bowl: USC (at large) vs Boise State (at large)
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech (ACC) vs TCU (auto bid)
National Championship: Florida (#1) vs Texas (#2)

A lot of people don’t understand the BCS selection process. Now let me explain further as to how this will go down, and why Boise State deserves that at large birth. The National Championship game is obviously filled first with the #1 and #2 ranked teams. Now the Sugar Bowl will get the first pick to replace SEC Champion #1 Florida, who normally when not going to the National Championship game would go to the Sugar. They will without a doubt take Alabama. The Fiesta will then get to replace its Big XII champion Texas. And without any qualifying second Big XII team the Fiesta will happily select 2 loss USC. The Rose will be filled out with its tie in champions of the Big Ten and PAC 10. ACC winner Georgia Tech will accept their tie in to the Orange Bowl.

If you’ve had trouble following so far, this is when things start getting real fun…

So now we move to the BCS at large selection process. The order in which teams are selected go by what bowl game is played closest to the National Championship game (By date of the game played) and then down the line to what game is played farthest away. So for the remaining 3 spots, the order will be Orange, Fiesta, Sugar.

Now out of those 3 spots one has to be auto bid TCU, and one has to be Big East Champion Cincinnati. The Big East has no official tie in to a specific BCS Bowl, only a contract that states they must be chosen.

So the Orange is put into a position of take one of the two auto bids, or select one of the two remaining possible at large teams (their will be more then two, I don’t see anyone else being a viable option, at this time) the highest ranked non automatic qualifier Boise State or second place ACC team Miami, who should finish with two losses. Now the Orange in no way shape or form will take Miami to play fellow ACC team Georgia Tech. I believe in this scenario they will take TCU. A match up of TCU vs Georgia Tech give the Orange Bowl a solid match up of teams the undefeated #3 ranked TCU who ranks #7 in rush defense vs Georgia Tech’s #2 ranked rush offense. The whole point is to generate story lines, and a match up that will bring in dollar bills.

Which will move us to the Fiesta Bowl. Where the Miami vs Boise State debate begins. In any other year, before this, I would say that a choice between a national power like Miami and the smurf turfers, for a BCS birth, would result in a choice of the Hurricanes 100% of the time. But this year I think things will be different. On face value Miami would seem to have an edge. A lot comes with the name Miami, and even with two loses when you line up what would be both teams 3 most impressive wins on the season Miami would be on top. With wins vs Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, and Florida State the resume would seem better then Boise States wins vs Oregon, Fresno St, and Nevada. Financially, I think the Fiesta is better off selecting the Broncos. And the money is what matters most. I don’t recall exactly, but I don’t think Miami traveled that well to Arizona when they played Ohio State, in 2003. I certainly remember that was more of a home game for the Bucks. Boise State fans will travel well to Arizona. I think TV wise Boise State has closed the gap on other national powers, so I think the money gap has closed, at least in the Fiesta’s sake. I think the Sugar, if the Fiesta takes the Big East champ, they will take Miami over Boise State to face Alabama. But you never know. Their will be a lot of outrage if Miami is taken over higher ranked and undefeated Boise State. BSU is looked at in a different light then all other small conference schools. Average football fans across the nation know about the wacky team who plays on the weird colored field. And Boise has done it on the big Fiesta Bowl stage before. And because of these things, I don’t see the Fiesta Bowl letting Boise State get by them.

Of course their is a lot of football left to play. A lot of things could throw monkey wrenches in this whole scenario, and I could come back next week with something completely different. Look at things here, Arizona controls their own destiny in the PAC 10, Nebraska and Kansas State are fighting for a birth to the Big XII championship where they could beat Texas, Idaho has 7 wins and is going to a bowl game! This is why College Football is the most exciting and unique sport in the country.

Case Keenum for Heisman!

14 Responses to “Making the Case: TCU and Boise State both to the BCS”

  1. Louie D Says:

    NCAA needs a Playoff…there’s no way TCU or Boise could make it through a big boy schedule without losing a game.

  2. DiNunzio Says:

    Well, I couldn't disagree with you more on a playoff for the FBS. An 8 or 16 team playoff would not only destroy the greatness of the college football regular season, its completely not worth it for the NCAA from a finacial standpoint. Now a plus one format, I would agree would be possible.TCU's strength of schedule ranks 42nd in the country. Thats very respectable. They dismantle who they play. The Horn Frog defense has only given up 101 points total this year. If Texas and Cincy go down, TCU will be in the National Championship game. Boise State's S.O.S. is 88th, not so respectable. But the best way to prove whether they belong or not, is to put them in the spot light of the BCS, and see what happens. Thus far these teams are 3-1 in the BCS games that have featured teams from the WAC or MTN West.Here's a link for strength of schedules: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/polls/119

  3. Jeb Says:

    DiNunz…very well though-out post. There are so many good nuggets of information in here, it makes me want to go grab a 20-piece at McD's.I couldn't agree more, I think both non-BCS teams are going to make it, and both of them are deserving. TCU is down right nasty, and I'm excited to see them match up with Utah on Saturday.I'll be anxious to read more of your commentary as the season winds down.

  4. Marcus Allen Says:

    I'm loving your post, but I'm hoping for a USC vs. Miami Fiesta or a Florida Vs. Miami Sugar Bowl! Great Post! I'll be back next week!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Look it is time for a playoff, 8-10 teams. Use the BCS bowls(and teams) and give the 1st 4 the week off. Why does that ruin CFB, Play the rest of the bowls. They have no impact on the NC game now. The other arguement that ever game matters now is BS. what impact does Iowa-OSU have on the NC this week? or GT or USC or Oregon? none it's all about Florida, Bama and Texas. Now in a playoff scenario all those games matter cause the winner of the big ten, Pac ten and ACC are all in the show. As far as the money goes If you don't think extra games with top ranked teams will generate revenue you are wrong.

  6. Louie D Says:

    Yes, playoffs…pleaseeeeeeeee. It would take college football to a different level! Every game would matter just as much if not more. Everyone already knows who going to be in the NC game this year, Florida or Bama, and Texas. With a playoff they would be talking about what one loss team is peeking right now! Every game this week could make or break you. No more questions on who is the best team, undefeated programs will now be crowned NC we won’t have Utah going undefeated just to watch Florida kiss the trophy or have LSU and Florida both say their NC. Playoffs, Playoffs, Playoffs.. Enough with all this nonsense

  7. DiLo Says:

    I have to agree with Lou, I would absolutely love to see a playoff system installed. Let's say you take the top 8 teams, that would be 7 bowl games. All you would have to do is add 2 more BCS games to the mix because there are 5 right now including the National Championship. So, for arguments sake, lets say you add in the Cotton Bowl and Capital One Bowl to the BCS mix. As it would stand now, this is how I see it playing out…Round 1.(1) Florida vs. (8)LSU – Sugar Bowl(2) Alabama vs. (7) GT – Fiesta Bowl(3) Texas vs. (6) Boise St – Capital One Bowl(4) TCU vs. (5) Cincy – Cotton BowlRound 2UF/LSU WINNER vs.TCU/UC WINNER – Orange BowlUA/GT WINNER vs. UT/BSU WINNER – Rose BowlRound 3Winners – National Championship This scenario can give a team an opportunity to play in 3 post season bowl games, generating an insane amount of revenue.

  8. DiNunzio Says:

    Lets start with what you said about this year, you say that it’s all about Florida, Bama, and Texas. That is a false statement. Cincy, TCU, and Boise State are in the hunt right now, for sure. You might say, "That’s only 5 teams." Well, you do realize its Mid November right? The regular season has almost played its self out. Obviously the teams in the National Title picture are going to wind themselves down. May I remind you that just two seasons ago Ohio State was #1, and then lost to Illinois. In the rankings that came out November 11th, 2007 Ohio State fell to #7. Everyone in front of them lost, and they ended up in the national title game vs LSU. This is very much like the situation Iowa is in now, as a one loss team. So the game played in Columbus this weekend certainly can play into the national championship picture, for Iowa. And 1 loss #7 Georgia Tech is in the same situation as Iowa. They have a game vs Georgia left, and the ACCCG vs Clemson. If some things go their way they could find themselves at number 2. So in reality, we're talking about 7 teams still very much alive. That’s exactly the way it should be in Mid-November. Now your playoff idea… An 8-10 team playoff is completely unfeasible. First you cannot have bye weeks and second you can't have 11 conferences and independent teams and not include each conference champion in the play off. If so what’s the point of having the Sun Belt, MAC, etc… as Division 1A teams? So take any idea you have of anything less than a 16 team playoff, and throw it right out the window. And a 16 team playoff would kill college football as we know it. It would generate much less games and much less money. The NCAA is not in the business of collecting less money just to feed Americas obsession with seeing and filling out a bracket.

  9. Jack Potts Says:

    The NCAA will never allow an 8-10 team playoff. That would add 3-4 weeks to the already insanely long college football season. Believe it or not, some of these schools have academic requirements to go along with football. In a 8-10 team playoff, the teams involved in the national championship would have to play 3-4 weeks in a row, on the road (assuming each game is not in their home stadium).

  10. DiNunzio Says:

    The argument of adding weeks to the season doesnt hold water. The FCS holds a 16 team playoff each year. You just start the playoffs in mid December. The season would end at the same time it does now. The adding of weeks isnt a hurdle that cant be crossed.If you'd like to have my explanation why a 16 team playoff is impossible, I certainly will give it to you. It is long.Remember guys all 11 conferences and indy teams have to sign off on a play off system. Dilo, your system doesnt even include the champion of the Big Ten and PAC 10. No way could their be a playoff without their champions always being involved. And no way the small conferences sign off on one that will not include their champion.A plus one is the only possiblity. And I could make strong arguments both ways on that, too. The one positive idea I would have to support it would be adding another BCS bowl, like Dilo suggested. But he didn't name the bowl I think is most wanting and willing to step up. That bowl is the Chick-Fil-A. Since 1998 when Chick-Fil-A paid for the exclusive naming rights to the former Peach Bowl, no bowl sponsor has increased their payouts like the Chick-Fil-A (currently they are the 3rd highest non BCS game payout behind the Cap One and the Outback.) Chick-Fil-A has come in and just swung money around, and has mentioned intentions to become a BCS bowl sponsor. And the Chick-Fil-A comes with great support in the Atlanta area. The Chick-Fil-A has the third longest current bowl sell out streak. Only behind the Rose and Fiesta. The Chick-Fil-A also sponsors the season kick off game in Atlanta between an SEC and ACC team. This year VT vs Alabama. They are ready and willing and might be the push that will move the NCAA toward addding another BCS game, makinga a Plus 1 format possible.

  11. DiNunzio Says:

    Oh, and I forgot one last thing that the Chick-Fil-A Bowl has going for it… Polynesian sauce. Jackie Potts knows what I'm talking about!

  12. Jack Potts Says:

    I will hover all over some polynesian sauce

  13. DiLo Says:

    I put a little polynesian sauce in my hair when I've had a rough week. What do you think holds it up, slick?

  14. der7002 Says:

    Nunzio, I'm a DIEHARD CANES FAN. Your point on us getting in as an at-large over Boise is well-taken. I think if we win out, we get in as an at-large. Some say that Penn State might crack the Top 14 and get in as at-large. Realistically, I don't see that happening.

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