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Friday, December 14, 2007

BCS Aftermath

After another year where the Bowl Championship Series managed to "get it wrong," CFBN is here to analyze what should have been in the New Year. If we had our way, we would have scheduled ...

BCS National Championship
Ohio State v. LSU
Actual: Ohio State v. LSU
The system got the most important game right this year, pitting Ohio State, whose only loss came against BCS-bound Illinois, and LSU, whose two losses came in triple overtime by the work of then-Heisman front runners. Other teams that could make a claim to the title game fall short. Oklahoma and USC both had an outside chance, but both had pitiful losses (Colorado/Texas Tech and Stanford). Georgia could make an argument for the game, but they didn't even win their own conference (in fact, they were the third-best team in the SEC), so how could they be in a position to be national champs? Same goes for Kansas and Missouri. Virginia Tech would have been a heart-warming selection, but they have the same record as LSU and lost to them by 40+ at the beginning of the season. Illinois has three losses and shouldn't be considered. This leaves Hawaii, and to be fair, they beat a Ty Willingham team by only one touchdown. All else considered, LSU and Ohio State is fair.

Rose Bowl
USC v. West Virginia
Actual: USC v. Illinois
With the exception of maybe Georgia, USC is the hottest team coming into the postseason, with a top-rated defense and an offense that is finally firing on all cylinders behind a young set of receivers and running backs. On the flipside, West Virginia might be the coldest team coming into the postseason, with a horrid loss to Pittsburgh to preclude them from the title game. However, many skeptics have said that West Virginia has yet to prove itself on the big stage. While this isn't the same USC team as two or three years ago, it is still USC under the guidance of Pete Carroll, and it would be a right of passage for the Mountaineers to beat the Trojans in the Rose Bowl, familiar territory for USC. The current game pits Illinois against the Trojans, which might be the ugliest of all the BCS bowls (again, with the exception of maybe Georgia).

Orange Bowl
Virginia Tech v. Missouri
Actual: Virginia Tech v. Kansas
CFBN calls for a simple replacement in this game, with the No. 2 team in the Big XII getting the nod over the No. 3 team. It is incredibly unfair to keep Missouri out of a BCS game when they were the No. 1 in the country less than 24 hours before the bowls were slated. Also, the match up of Chase Daniel's spread offense against Virginia Tech's defense is much more appealing than Kansas' lesser version of the same. The current system rewarded Kansas for not winning the Border War in the regular season and that should not be the precedent set for future bowls.

Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma v. Arizona State
Actual: Oklahoma v. West Virginia
After another "rebuilding" year, Bob Stoops and his Oklahoma Sooners find themselves back in the Fiesta Bowl as the Big XII champions. CFBN would pair the Sooners against the local favorites, Arizona State. The Sun Devils had two losses all season, coming against teams that at one point were considered for the national championship. Meanwhile, the Arizona State offense has been extremely volatile at times, making it happen through big plays -- much the same as Boise State last season. A steady offense like Oklahoma's going against an explosive one like Arizona State would make the Fiesta Bowl much more exciting and unpredictable than the current match against the Mountaineers. If only Arizona were as talented as Arizona State, we could have seen a sibling rivalry between the Stoops' brothers.

Sugar Bowl
Georgia v. Hawaii
Actual: Georgia v. Hawaii
Hawaii went undefeated and does deserve a chance in a BCS Bowl. However, they couldn't have it any other way than a match in the Sugar Bowl against Georgia because of the constraints of the system. We expect this to be an ugly game with Georgia winning by a 24-point margin. However, if Hawaii can win this one, they make another bold statement for the WAC and mid-majors everywhere.

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