As the final seconds ticked from the clock, no smiles were wider than those belonging to members of the BCS committee. The 8th ranked BYU Cougars had fallen 32-7 to the TCU Horned Frogs. For the moment, the intentions of the BCS are preserved, and they could now pull their eyes away from the Mormon school in Provo Utah, and focus more on their upstart neighbors, the 14th ranked Utah Utes. What began as a mid-major scare tactic, with the two Mountain West programs surging upwards in national polls, and perhaps headed towards an undefeated collision to end the regular season, ended with a good old fashion Texas ass kicking, and a quick sigh of relief. TCU had saved the day. Well, at least for now.

Unlike the unbeaten WAC champions of previous years, it would have been difficult to truly justify an undefeated Mountain West champion not qualifying for the BCS Championship game. Reason appears, if we finish with 2 undefeated programs from BCS conferences, but that doesn’t seem likely. If you are voters and computer geeks, how could you justify rewarding points to Penn State for a victory over Oregon State, but see Utah’s victory over those same Beavers as a lesser accomplishment? How would you ignore BYU’s victories over UCLA and Washington, but credit Oklahoma for the blowout in Seattle? How could you possibly explain either BYU or Utah being stripped of championship opportunities, when one would have finished their unblemished season run with a victory over the other, which would have been a top 10 opponent?

The effort of the Horned Frogs enabled a system built with closed doors to deny entry to mid-major programs to hide the key and enforce their wishes. Utah can win out, but just as the WAC Champions, they won’t have that final regular season opponent to lift them into discussions. As competitive as the Mountain West conference has been in 2008, TCU’s victory was great for the home team on Thursday, but it also put a hurt on the conference that won’t be felt until season’s end.

~ by Anthony on October 17, 2008.

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