Where’s the outrage?
Everyone seems perfectly content with the matchup for the BCS Pseudochampionship Game. Granted, Auburn and Oregon should put on quite a show.
But the mass media, taking their lead from the shills at ESPN, haven’t wasted a passing thought on the injustice at hand.
What about TCU?
Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs did everything asked of them — for the second year in a row. They lined up 12 opponents and beat them all. You’d think they’d get a little something, you know, for the effort. Like Carl Spackler when he was loopin’ for the Lama. Big hitter, the Lama.
They did get a nice consolation prize from behind Door Number Two: a New Year’s Day trip to Pasadena to face big, bad Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
And if you saw the throng assembled at Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth on Sunday, you’d have to conclude that the Frog faithful weren’t too upset. The band, cheerleaders, and about 2,500 partisans celebrated TCU’s back-to-back BCS bowl trips.
Perhaps that’s because not too long ago the TCU program was so downtrodden that the Big Eight Conference refused to take them in after the Southwest Conference died. My, how times change.
Senior quarterback Andy Dalton summed up the prevailing sentiment for Greg Beacham of the Associated Press: “It would have been nice to see what would have happened if one of the teams went down. But, there are two great teams playing in the national championship game. We’ve got quite an opportunity to show we belong.”
That’s quite a magnanimous statement from the leader of a team that just debunked one of the greatest BCS myths: every game means something. TCU played 12 games and won them all, yet it gets no shot at the national title. Clearly, none of their games meant anything.
That’s the same myth we thought Auburn destroyed back in 2004. That was the year the Tigers went undefeated, only to sit by and watch Southern Cal and Oklahoma play for the pseudotitle. We’re still hearing about that one. When Bushgate broke, costing SC its title and leaving Auburn as 2004’s only undefeated team, didn’t logic dictate that Auburn be declared the champion?
Sorry, this is college football’s bowl subdivision, where logic takes a holiday. You play all year only to have your fate determined by a couple of computers used to eliminate the human element from the equation.
Query: who feeds the data into the computers?
But back to the pseudochampionship. Two more prolific offenses can’t be found. Auburn and Oregon both rank in the top seven in the nation in scoring offense, total offense, and rushing offense. They’d better check all the bulbs in the scoreboard.
Now, wouldn’t it make for an interesting game if either of these offensive juggernauts were to face the team that led the nation in scoring defense? The team ranked first in total defense, first in passing efficiency defense, and third in rushing defense?
That’d be TCU.
And the Frogs offense isn’t bad, either. They rang up 45 points per game (fifth best in the nation), ranked fifth in passing efficiency and ninth in rushing.
Yes, I know, TCU put up those stats against lesser competition than Auburn and Oregon. They played a schedule comparable to a Big Ten team, as Ohio State president Elwood Gordon Gee discovered a week ago, much to his chagrin.
TCU had no choice about its Mountain West conference schedule. That problem will be rectified by the Frogs’ move to the Big East conference. It will also solve the irksome issue of a non-ranked Big Least team taking a spot in a BCS bowl game at the expense of a team that actually deserves to be there.
But TCU did choose its non-conference foes, and look who they beat: Oregon State, Tennessee Tech, Baylor, and Southern Methodist.
Compare and contrast with Oregon, who chose to meet non-conference foes New Mexico, Tennessee, and Portland State.
Auburn chose Arkansas State, Clemson, Louisiana-Monroe, and Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Huge differences there.
I must say I’m annoyed by the acquiescence to TCU’s fate. The system will be fixed only in the face of extensive outrage.
When a team negotiates its way through its season without a single loss and finds itself locked out of any shot at a championship, I find it outrageous.
Suppose TCU beats a Wisconsin team that played as well as anyone over the past two months. Suppose the TCU defense can slow down a Wisconsin offense that scored 201 points in its last three games.
Don’t you suppose some outrage would be appropriate?