Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Catching the collective breath

Yesterday was one of the better days I have ever had watching college bowl games. All the games were pretty exciting, but nothing compared to the Boise State/Oklahoma game. I have been watching college football since the early 60's and I really can't remember too many games that were this exciting. I guess I would have to go back to the Orange Bowl when Washington played Oklahoma to find a game that was that action packed and lived up to the hype and personal involvement.

Boise State did something special yesterday, they went out, won one for all the little guys, and stuck a huge fork in the cartel known as the BCS. From this day forward the BCS will continue to be more exclusive rather than inclusive. This game was good for college football as a whole. The parity of 85 scholarships has opened up competition outside of the traditional conferences. Like basketball the mid majors will probably never win a national championship, but they showed yesterday that they could compete, and win on a given day, at the highest level.

Over on the Dawgman boards people are spouting off things like why would we ever schedule Boise for next year? Aren't they going to start recruiting our players? Why can't we have a coach like Chris Peterson?

First of all we schedule Boise because they have the best program currently in the Northwest. Boise will never be able to outrecruit, or even compete for a single Pac Ten player in the near future. Only five current players on their roster come from Washington. 45 players come from California, and the rest come from the Rockies, and Canada. What Boise has done is built a program the right way through evaluation, and development. They have taken the players who were just a little too small, just not quick enough, and turned them into a unit that could compete with anyone in the country this year. That my friends is coaching, and it is achievable at any level.

If Boise was a current member of the Pac Ten they would be beaten down by the schedule of playing bigger, faster, and more physical teams each week. This current Boise team would still have finished in the upper half of the standings, but year in and out they would be near the bottom.

Could Boise State beat Ohio State this year?

I don't think so, but I did say that about Oklahoma too. In the case of Ohio State I think while they are not on the level of the last four USC teams, they do have more power than any other team this year.

The WAC has turned itself into a great little league made up of the schools that the more prestigious Mountain West didn't want. It's good for football out in the West. Having two strong mid major leagues to compete with the Pac Ten is a good thing for this remote section of the country. Hawaii, Nevada, Boise St, San Jose St.....Remember those names, all four of those WAC teams went out, and won their bowl games this year. These are programs on the rise, and they are going to put more fans in the seats because after the Boise State game the fans of those schools are now realizing that they are in the big time too. This is good for college football.

This changes the landscape of college football because now the little guys have something to play for too which will allow their programs to grow. For too many years the smaller schools were just schedule fillers for the big programs, now the playing field has evened up a bit.

I am a Husky fan, but more than that I am a fan of college athletics, and the West in general. To me this is all exciting. The 85 rule has changed the landscape of college football and has made it a better game. Now if only the BCS would put together a playoff to decide who really is the best at the end of the season. Sure I like tradition, but wouldn't it be nice to really see who is #1 after a playoff?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the excellent answer, but half the fun of college football has always been the arguments over who really is #1.

Great post...thanks.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I like the arguments too, and one of the annual arguments is what if there was a playoff? This is the first year of the four plus one format and I like it so far. Having the extra game a week later doesn't diminish the importance of the other bowls, it gives us an extra BCS game which Boise showed they were deserving in going to. That should clear the way for more of this in the future. This game helped football in the Far West.

nsc said...

Hey there, Fresno State Bulldog blogger here. I just wanted to make a point with respect to a playoff. I understand your idea on a playoff but there is a problem with it. If there were a playoff being used this year here is what would happen. With this years BCS rankings Boise would open on the road against Ohio State. If they won that game they would be rewarded with a game at either LSU or USC. I want a playoff but if the media and voters continue to treat mid-majors as less than BCS teams then there is no need for one.

Boise was the number five team or so this season but even so they still play two road games in a playoff. A playoff system would be nice but just would not work annd remember if a playoff were in this year Boise would not have had a great win that we all could talk about. They would have traveled to the Horse Shoe and loss to a superior Ohio State team.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I don't think playoff's would be held at home, I am sure they would opt for a series of neutral sites utilizing existing bowl venues.