Certainly a lot of college football fans are looking at the major bowl matchups with more than a bit of disbelief, and it's not about the championship matchup, nor about which schools got in ahead of which other schools.
Certainly it is true that after Texas' lackluster, last second win yesterday against Nebraska one could make the case that Texas Christian is a better team and deserves to play Alabama for the national title, but that's debatable.
What is not debatable is that the BCS took a mulligan when they announced their bowl pairings Sunday night.
Their argument has been in the past that top schools from non-BCS conferences aren't competitive with the top schools from the six 'power conferences' that make up the BCS. Only over the past few years, non-BCS 'bowl busters' have made mincemeat out of that argument by going 3-1 vs. BCS competition in the major bowls. Clearly, that qualifies as 'competitive.' This wouldn't be such a big deal except that tens of millions of dollars are involved, money the six BCS conferences want to keep exclusively for themselves (or at least as close to exclusively as they can get away with) and the non-BCS conferences want a share of so they can use it to benefit schools in their conferences (and more importantly students who attend those schools.)
This year is the first year in which two non-BCS schools, Boise State (from the WAC) and TCU (from the Mountain West) both forced their way into the BCS bowl series. Not only were they undefeated but there were no one-loss teams available to sneak in ahead of one of them (as happened last year when Boise State was undefeated but couldn't get a break since Utah was also undefeated and ranked ahead of Boise State in the computer rankings.)
It would be great to see both of them play conference champions from the BCS conferences (or for that matter to play Florida, which was ranked number 1 before losing to Alabama.)
So what did the BCS do? They sent Boise State to the Fiesta Bowl (not that I blame the Fiesta for wanting the Broncos back after they played probably the most exciting and fun game in BCS history against Oklahoma three years ago in the Fiesta.) Then they also sent TCU to the Fiesta Bowl.
That's right, they play each other.
Not only is the game a rematch of last year's Poinsettia Bowl (won by TCU, 17-16) but it suggests that the BCS is afraid of being embarrassed again by one or both of these teams if they were to beat a BCS conference champion (maybe the memory of last year's domination by Utah of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl is still too fresh.) Both Boise and TCU deserve to play a top BCS school from a BCS conference, and that's what the fans would rather see, too!
It's hard to escape at least the passing thought that the movers and shakers in the BCS were afraid that if they let Boise State and TCU both play high level BCS competition, it is possible that could result in two BCS losses and certainly that outcome would ratchet up the pressure to overhaul the system.
Come on, BCS! You still claim we don't need a playoff and yet you continue to defend a system that locks non-BCS schools out of any kind of contention for a national title? Then PROVE YOUR CONFERENCES ARE BETTER!! In the first year when two non-BCS schools force their way into your party, making them play each other isn't the way to convince anyone. Well, maybe it's a way to convince some people that the BCS really is afraid of the Mountain West and the WAC. But that's about all this pairing will convince anyone of.
On a lighter note, I happen to be a fan of the Montana Grizzlies (the only college I've attended that had a football team.) Montana beat Stephen F. Austin yesterday in the first round of the Division I playoffs. Yes, read it again. The Division I PLAYOFFS. Something the BCS is deathly afraid of, because it would force them to decide the whole thing on the field, instead of their pre-stacked computer ratings (hey, the computers even start out with pre-season rankings, though most aren't published. What could possibly go into a 'preseason ranking' besides last year's statistics and/or the bias of the programmers?)