Sometimes, it takes someone with a different perspective to open your eyes. On my way to the Cowboys Stadium parking lot after the Big 12 title game, I chatted with CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish about the BCS chaos we would have seen had officials not given Texas another second to kick a game-winning field goal. Parrish, whose primary beat is college basketball, couldn't believe that Texas quarterback Colt McCoy's pass hitting a stadium railing altered the fate of the national title matchup.
"What a stupid system," Parrish said. "So, because Jerry Jones decided to put a railing there instead of 50 feet further back, Texas gets to play for the national title instead of Cincinnati?"
Parrish, who has the luxury of covering a sport that determines its champion with a tournament, is entirely correct. It is a stupid system, and it looks even stupider in that context.
That doesn't mean BCS officials deserve all the criticism they get, including some of the barbs thrown by me. When it was announced Sunday that Boise State would face TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, I had the same gut reaction as BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall; the BCS was conspiring to protect power conference teams from getting embarrassed the way Alabama did against Utah in the Sugar Bowl last year.
"I would have loved to see both of them play an automatic qualifier," Mendenhall said Sunday. "I think it's the safest thing in terms of those that are proponents of the current system, and you run a lot less risk [than] if TCU were to play a BCS qualifier and win and if Boise State were to play a qualifier and win."
I was a little meaner than Mendenhall. When the matchup was announced, I took to Twitter and congratulated the BCS for setting up the first Separate but Equal Bowl. A lot of people felt the same way, so don't be surprised if you hear a few Plessy vs. Ferguson references leading up to the game.
After thinking about the matchup for a while, I realized I was a hypocrite for complaining. In this week's rankings, I had TCU at No. 3 and Boise State at No. 5. If I truly believe the Horned Frogs and the Broncos are the third- and fifth-best teams in the nation, then how can I complain about them playing one another in a bowl game? Why would I want to see TCU play an Iowa team that, according to my own rankings, is inferior to Boise State? What would that prove?
So sorry, BCS dudes. I got a little carried away. You made a great game when you matched up TCU and Boise State. In fact, only one thing would have made it better.You should have made it a national semifinal.
NCAA Football Power Rankings