Nobody expected the Tide to go down this year (and be crowned National Champions, once again). It was a given that Alabama had the squad this year to do it all again. They play the best big boy football in a league of big boys. But with their loss, the AP Top 25 rankings have sparked an interesting yet tiresome conversation across the country and when the first Bowl Championship Series standings come out next weekend, that conversation will be taken even further. Can Boise State remain undefeated this season and ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the BCS Standings at the end of the season to play for a National Championship? And if they are able to do that, will voters allow Boise State, which plays in a weak WAC conference, to play for a National Championship over a one-loss powerhouse SEC team?
Believe me that will be the ongoing conversation for the rest of the football season if Boise State stays undefeated. I don’t think for one minute, though, that Boise State should take the place of a one-loss SEC or Big 12 team in the National Championship. I know it isn’t fair, but Boise State still isn’t playing the same caliber football as Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon and the other big boys in the country.
To the credit of this tough Alabama team, they have been playing tough opponents week after week, having just run the gauntlet of Arkansas, Florida and then South Carolina and then running out of steam against the Gamecocks. These matchups were the marquee games each weekend – and college football at its best. While they shouldn’t have lost to the Gamecocks last weekend, I certainly can understand why they did. Big game after big game after big game, all very physical, will have its toll on a banged-up team. Alabama got banged up and lost. Put any other team in that same role and we’ll see what happens. I don’t think they fare as well as Alabama did.
And Alabama’s thick schedule is not yet over, heading on to tough southern matchups against Mississippi, Tennessee and the undefeated Auburn and LSU. Things do not get easier for the Tide. Again, they are playing big boy football in a league of big boys.
So here is what Boise State has done. To their credit, they beat Oregon State and Virginia Tech. That’s it, though. Boise State’s other wins are Wyoming, New Mexico State and Toledo.
Then it’s on to San Jose State, Louisiana Tech, Hawaii, Idaho, Fresno State, Nevada, and Utah State. Only one of those teams – Nevada – is currently ranked. By the end of the season, Boise State will have played only three ranked teams. Give me a break. This is not big boy football. Yeah, the big boys play weak teams early in the season as warm-ups, but they don’t play them the entire season as Boise State currently does.
I can’t see Boise State rolling off a huge win on Dec. 4 against Utah State and being selected to go and play in the National Championship against an undefeated team (if it happens) against someone like LSU, Auburn or even Oregon. That National Championship will be a joke and it will be a terrible end to another college football season. Nobody wants that.
So you have these Boise State fans constantly saying in whiney voices, “Well, what does Boise State have to do to be recognized? They’re only winning every game. What do they do to deserve a National Championship game?”
First of all, Boise State needs to get rid of that blue turf and install green turf like big boys. This isn’t Smurf land playtime, it’s college football. A green football field would be the first step in being recognized as a legitimate football team. Petty? Yes. Am I serious? Yes. I can’t stand watching a game on that field. (Watching Boise State earlier this year was the first time I wished I didn’t have HD TV.)
The next step would be to schedule every out-of-conference game with as many big boy teams that will have you. You want to play the big boys in the National Championship? Play the big boys a couple times during the regular season. Play LSU. Play Texas. Play Nebraska. Get in some big-time games and see how you do. At least those games will give us fans an idea if this kind of match-up is a waste of time or not. I’m sorry, but Virginia Tech and Oregon State aren’t big enough to help put my concerns at ease.
I really hope several teams can remain undefeated and keep the National Championship conversation an easy one. While the Oregon Ducks are a fun, score-happy team to watch, I would like to see a classic match-up between the SEC and the Big 12 in the National Championship? Maybe LSU and Nebraska? With the Huskers old school look of running the option behind a great looking freshman quarterback? That sounds like a National Championship worth watching.