CFN Daily Roundtables
Does 2008 Utah
have a beef? Should the Mountain West be in the BCS?
No BCS, No Weis?
Over the next several weeks, as part of the CFN 2009 Preview, we'll
examine some of the key questions going into the year with a
daily discussion of the big topics.
Q: Does 2008 Utah have a beef? How
about the Mountain West and its complaint that it belongs in the
Utah no, and the Mountain West, no ... with
Hindsight is 20/20, but lost in the
months since the end of the season was how dominant Oklahoma was
after the Texas loss, and also lost, at least a little bit, is
just how good the 2008 Florida team was. I don't want to rehash
the Ole Miss-really-was-good debate when it comes to the Gators,
and I don't want to get into just how much they deserved to be
playing for the national title, but considering they were fully
focused after the Tim Tebow speechy thing, I'd take them over
Utah by double digits. Easily. Oklahoma wasn't flaky like the
teams that lost to West Virginia in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl and to
Boise State in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, and with that machine of an
offense, it would've beaten Utah. I'd have taken USC, Texas, and
Penn State, too, but that's my opinion.
performance against a bad New Mexico team and the problems
getting by TCU, the team that got blown out by the Sooners, are
still fresh, and yes, Utah, Alabama wasn't the same team it was
before the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship game. Yes,
losing Andre Smith really was that big a deal, and that was a
Tide team that had little interest in playing against the pumped
up Utes. However, that's not the point. My opinions
aside, Utah can still be ticked off that it didn't at least get
a shot for the title. We can all believe that the Utes would've
been blown away by the biggest of the big boys, but no one
picked them to beat Alabama, either. All teams want is a chance
to compete, and Utah didn't get that.
The point is that
there (duh) needs to be a playoff. There should've been an eight
team format with the six BCS champions (Virginia Tech, Penn
State, Cincinnati, Oklahoma, USC and Florida), the top champion
from a non-BCS league (Utah), and a catch-all wild-card (Texas).
Of course, Boise State would've had a huge complaint, but to
come up with a reasonable playoff format, there will be someone
upset. Just like there is now.
Someone had to be left
out of the mix. Florida? The team that won the nation's best
conference, beat the No. 1 team in the nation (Alabama) and was
dominant on both sides of the ball all season long outside of a
bad late stretch against Ole Miss? Go back and look at what the
Gators did, and it really was a no-brainer. Oklahoma? The team
that was hanging 60 points per game with regularity? USC? The
team with one of the most dominant defenses in college football
history? Texas? The team that lost on a last-second play to
Texas Tech? Boise State? The team that was 12-0, like Utah? Utah
had a right to be mad, but only two teams get in under the
current system. There's no need to make a federal case about it.
As far as the Mountain West and its complaint that it
should get an automatic bid into the BCS, I vote no only
because, without a playoff system, there shouldn't be any
automatic bids going to conference winners. It's ridiculously
unfair that Cincinnati, who was ranked 12th in the final BCS
rankings, and Virginia Tech, who was ranked 19th, got the big
money spotlight while Texas Tech and Boise State didn't. If
you're going to have a BCS system to determine who the best
teams are (as flawed as this might be) then go by the rankings
and just take the top ten teams and ditch the automatic invites
just because of conference ties.
If you make the top ten
in the final BCS rankings, you should be in. That's it. The BCS
bowls should've looked like this ...
- BCS Championship - No.
1 Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Florida
- Sugar Bowl - No. 4 Alabama vs.
No. 9 Boise State
- Rose Bowl - No. 5 USC vs. No. 8 Penn
- Fiesta Bowl - No. 3
Texas vs. No. 6 Utah
- Orange Bowl - No. 7 Texas Tech vs. No.
10 Ohio State
Does 2008 Utah have a
beef? How about the Mountain West and its complaint that it
belongs in the BCS?
If this refers to last year’s No. 6 ranking heading into the
postseason, no way. Yeah, the Utes were memorable in their Sugar
Bowl win over Alabama, and deserved a No. 2 ranking in the final
human polls, but who were they going to displace in the national
title game? A 12-1 Oklahoma team that was rewriting the NCAA
record books for offensive output? Or the 12-1 Florida team that
would go on to win the championship? I love the Utah story, but
you’ve got to wonder if it would have had the depth and talent
to remain unbeaten as a member of the Big 12 or SEC. It wouldn’t
have, which is the final word in this discussion.
you’re talking about the Mountain West gaining automatic entry
into the five BCS bowl games, you and Craig Thompson might have
a legitimate gripe. We’ve reached a point where the conference
has caught up to the bottom end of the Big 6, specifically the
Big East. The Big East has held up well since Miami, Virginia
Tech, and Boston College departed, but where exactly are the
power programs, especially since West Virginia is about to drift
back a bit in a post-Pat White world? Although both leagues have
their bottom-dwellers, you can certainly argue that the Mountain
West is stronger up top with Utah, BYU, and TCU. Plus, the
league is going to attract even better talent if that automatic
bid ever does become a selling point for the nine coaches. As it
stands right now, the league has as much right to one of those
bids as the Big East, but if I’m Thompson, I’m putting the
full-court press on Boise State and ending the debate.
Utah have a beef? How about the Mountain West and its complaint
that it belongs in the BCS?
Sure they do.
Why? Simple: 1984.
BYU, playing a
schedule far easier than what the rival Utes had to endure in
2008, was crowned national champion. The Cougars were able to
play--and beat--an okay Michigan team in the Holiday Bowl and
avoid playing Washington, Oklahoma, or another similarly
credentialed superpower in a bowl game. If Utah couldn't receive
at least a split national title (with Florida) from voters and
systems in light of its body of work, it's clear and--from a
historical perspective--plainly undeniable that the Utes got the
shaft last year.
Q: Does 2008 Utah have a beef? How about the Mountain West
and its complaint that it belongs in the BCS?
No. Oh, you want to know why? They don't play a week in week
out schedule of opponents that are of the caliber that exists in
the Pac 10, Big 12, Big Ten, ACC, SEC or Big East. Wait a
second, at least the first five. If I were a MWC fan in 2008, I
could say that our league was just as good as the Big East in
several years of the BCS, and I think you could hold your own in
that argument. But 'that's their one' as the kids like to say.
Call it a perfect storm, flash in the pan, or whatever cliché
you wish. Once they get a decade's worth of tradition with
three or four teams knocking off the big boys more often than
not, plus they need to be consistently dominant in their own
conference, then let's revisit this discussion. PS: I am aware
of their success against Pac 10 teams in last year's regular
season, and I remember BYU's 59-0 beat down against UCLA.
Northern Iowa held their own better against the Cougars than the
Bruins did. But let's do it a few more times before we get
senators to take their eye off the recession and grandstand for
votes with BCS posturing, mkay? Utah, I know you have won two
BCS bowl games, but there is a huge letdown factor when teams
find out you are their draw. That might sound like an excuse,
but I believe it. Not to mention one of your BCS wins came
against the worst ever BCS team, which was 8-3 Pitt of the Big
East in 2005. TCU? Let's keep it going...give yourselves a
reason to argue over the long haul.