Bowling for UT, TCU, UH and Rice
Ohio effing State.
The Horns went 11-1 on the season and clearly earned a BCS Bowl berth. Sure, Ohio State went 10-2, but the team struggled the entire season, and couldn't even win the Big
11 10. Yet somehow they're playing in a BCS Bowl game while the Boise State Broncos, the darlings of the BCS just two years ago after pulling off one of the biggest upsets in major bowl history, are stuck playing in the Poinsettia Bowl.
This despite the Broncos having the better record. This despite the Broncos having the better ranking. This despite the fact that most of us college football fans are really sick and tired of watching Ohio State get their asses kicked every bowl season. Sure, we don't have to watch the Buckeyes get blown out in the BCS title game, but damn, do we have to watch them get blown out by UT?
The only reason the Fiesta Bowl won't be the worst of the BCS Bowl games to watch - that game is the Orange Bowl which features 9-4 Virginia Tech against 11-2 Cincinnati in a New Year's game I'm sure most of the nation won't watch - is that it might be fun watching just how many points the Horns are going to put up on the scoreboard.
The Fiesta Bowl could have been much better. Remember how much fun it was two years ago in the Fiesta Bowl when Boise State took it to Oklahoma? Remember the trick plays? Remember the proposal on the sidelines after the game? Remember just how exciting that game was?
We could have had that this year, too. Boise State rolled through the WAC, finishing the season at 12-0 for their third undefeated season in five years. They trailed only three times in the entire season, and at one point, they led every opponent by 17 points. The defense allowed only 67 points in eight WAC games. Remember how the Horns struggled to stop the Texas Tech offense? Imagine how they would have struggled to stop the Boise State offense.
Instead, the Fiesta Bowl folks are sticking us with a game that's not going to be watchable, unless you're a Longhorn fan.
So, Longhorn fan, you can bitch all that you want about getting screwed over. But it's the rest of us college football fans who are really getting the shaft.
SOME MISCELLANEOUS COLLEGE NOTES:
The BCS Title Game to be played on January 8 will feature the Oklahoma Sooners against the Florida Gators. The Sooners, who were probably sick of listening to whining Texas fans, never let up and shoved Missouri up and down and all around the field on Saturday night, winning the game by the score of 62-21. And the game wasn't as close as that score indicates.
Alabama, meanwhile, came into the SEC Championship Game with the perfect record and the number one ranking in the AP, the Coaches Poll, and the BCS Rankings. So Florida, which was the number four team in the country, came out behind QB Tim Tebow and defeated Alabama 31-20 to set up the match of the two 12-1 teams in Florida and Oklahoma.
And for those who have become used to watching Ohio State getting blown out in the BCS Title Game every year, this year might actually offer up a competitive game.
The Longhorns aren't the only Texas college team going bowling. The most entertaining - and possibly the best - game of the bowl season will be the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego on December 23. This game will feature undefeated Boise State going up against 10-2 TCU. TCU's only losses this season were to BCS Bowl teams Oklahoma and Utah. The Horned Frogs won ten games for the fifth time in the past seven seasons. Their offense can compete with Boise State's as they set team records with 54 touchdowns and 420 points while their defense was one of the best in the nation, giving up only 215.08 yards per game - only 48.7 rushing yards a game.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders, despite losing only once this year and despite beating the Longhorns, found themselves shut out of the BCS Bowl games. Instead, they're heading up to Dallas to take on 8-4 Mississippi in the Cotton Bowl on January 2nd. And one of Mississippi's eight wins was against Florida.
The 7-5 Houston Cougars are heading up to Fort Worth where they will take on 8-4 Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl on New Year's Eve. The Coogs are going to their fourth bowl game in five years, but are seeking their first bowl win since the 1980s. This game is a rematch of a game played earlier this season, when the Coogs lost to Air Force 31-28 in a game played in SMU's stadium - the game had been set for Houston, but had to be moved because of a weather event known as Hurricane Ike.
And the 9-3 Rice Owls finally have an opponent for the Texas Bowl. And no, thank God, it ain't the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Irish decided to screw over the Texas Bowl suckers and are instead heading off for a bowl game in Hawaii. The Owls will instead play 9-3 Western Michigan in Reliant Stadium on December 30 in a game no one will see because it's on the NFL Network.
-- John Royal