Forgive college football’s blue bloods, blowhards, traditionalists and AQCs (automatic qualifying conferences) for celebrating Boise State’s stunning upset to Nevada late Friday night. They just don’t know any better.
It took a pair of missed chip shot field goals by Kyle Brotzman to end the Broncos’ 24-game streak and with it went wide any shot they had of playing in the mythical BCS national championship game.
But for all those who love the pageantry, tradition, antiquated bowl system and old boys club that makes top-level college football the only NCAA sport that doesn’t crown its champion via some kind of postseason tourney mechanism — and thus renders ESPN’s other four BCS games, the Sugar, Rose, Fiesta and Orange Bowls, ultimately meaningless — there was little thanks afforded the Wolf Pack. While the Blue Fielders dropped from No. 4 to No. 11 in the standings, their conquerors and current BCS savior only managed to upgrade two spots to No. 17.
There was no such luck with that other uppity NAQ (non-automatic qualifier) interloper, TCU. As expected, the Horned Frogs pummeled New Mexico , 66-17, on Saturday to remain ensconced in BCS third place. (I guess TCU wants in on this AQC business: The school is expected to announce on Nov. 29 that it will join the Big East and its BCS bid, kicking off with the 2012-13 school year. Of course, the Big East is a lesser college football conference, so…never mind.)
Auburn, rallying from a 24-point deficit, topped defending champion Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 28-27 in the Iron Bowl, and horn, er, leapfrogged, Oregon in the process. The Ducks, only managing to win its game against No. 21 Arizona by a mere 48-29 count by scoring 34 points in the second half, were waddled back to No. 2 in the BCS rankings. Somehow, polls, computer and college blue bloods blow hard, especially when green’s the thing.
But what if the Old Ball Coach Steve Spurrier and his Gamecocks have more than a few tricks up their sleeve and South Carolina tames the Tigers in the SEC Championship game?
Or what if the NCAA determines this week that Cam Newton, the presumptive Heisman Trophy front-runner, is found guilty of how should, we say, fiscal improprieties relative to his alleged recruitment to Mississippi State and/or how he landed on the Plains this week? Does Auburn’s season burn away, along with losses for all of its opponents?
Aggrieved parties include now No. 7 Arkansas (previously No. 12) and No. 10 LSU (formerly fifth), whose head coach finally couldn’t see for Miles that maybe it would be a wise to drop six DBs 30/40 yards downfield — not three, two of whom collided — on the last play of the half, when the Razorbacks connected on an 80-yard TD to turn the game in Little Rock their way.
Or what if the NCAA doesn’t rule in the Newton nonsense this week, and the QB and crew fries the Gamecocks? Doubts and stories would continue to swirl about potential violations until ESPN airs the title tilt from Glendale, Ariz. on Jan. 10. Please, it’s time to declare Newton and/or his father innocent or guilty.
How about an out-manned Oregon State rising up in its “Civil War” rivalry and somehow plucking the Ducks next Saturday?
Does some fowl up by Oregon in Reser Stadium in Corvalis and/or Auburn in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Dec. 4 — or off the field — color the BCS championship game purple?
For all those who think the BCS is BS and the playoff-less Football Bowl Subdivision is substandard, one can only hope to stay Horny.