Today the prevailing thought when it comes to the national-championship-type game arranged by the BCS this year is "boy, isn't the BCS lucky Texas kicked that field goal."Without said field goal, Texas descends from its lofty peak and the second bid in the national title game falls to Cincinnati or TCU, and one team spends the offseason as the new Utah. Another senator takes time off from whatever it is that senators do to stump for his local college football team, etc. The Texas win apparently destroys all complaints,since it's just obvious Texas should go.â†µ
A simple question: why? BCS computers have been notoriously erratic ever since they removed the margin of victory component, but if it was up to them Cincinnati would be Alabama's opponent. Four of the six computer polls rank the Bearcats above the Longhorns, and one of the dissenters is Richard Billingsley's notoriously stupid, consistently outlying poll that places extreme weight on Billingsley's arbitrary preseason rankings.
And it's not like the computers are obviously wrong. Texas's nonconference schedule was UL-Monroe, Wyoming, UTEP and UCF. Cincinnati had I-AA SEMO and a game against MAC tomato can Miami, but then took on Fresno State and Illinois at home and Pac-10 contender Oregon State on the road.Meanwhile, the Big 12 was terrible this year. Sagarin actually rates the Big East above the Big 12. There is a credible case that Cincinnati has more meat on its resume.â†µ
Sagarin also rates Texas's schedule more difficult and puts the Longhorns well above Cincinnati in his "predictor" rankings that take scoring margin into account, so it's not like the Bearcats area slam dunk when it comes to the numbers. That's not the point, though:the point is that an undefeated BCS conference team from a league better than the Big 12 this year is getting passed over in favor of a better name. There's absolutely nothing that definitively stakes Texas to a better resume than Cincinnati. This is unlike LSU's two-loss national title season, when LSU's blowout of top-10 Virginia Tech gave them a trump card and uncontroversial passage into the crystal football game.These are two nearly identical undefeated teams. By rights, there should be rioting and blood in the streets, and there would be if you gave Penn State or Ohio State or Miami or virtually any other team with cachet the exact same resume Cincinnati has.â†µ
Don't be fooled by the helmets: for the ninth time in 12 years,the BCS system has failed to construct an uncontroversial championship game, and this time it's leaving out three undefeated teams with at least somewhat credible claims for a shot. Burn it down.â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.