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CHRIS DUFRESNE / ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The more unbeatens, the merrier for the BCS

How can anyone argue with a Florida-Texas championship game? Sorry about that, Iowa, Boise State, Cincinnati and TCU.

November 05, 2009|CHRIS DUFRESNE | ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Memo to the enemies of the Bowl Championship Series state, saboteurs, seekers of subterfuge, plotters, pamphleteers, "Hatch's Hecklers," lobbyists, fomenters, "Barack's Bracket Brigade," and mercenaries for the MAC:

Be careful what you wish for.

The usual rules of anti-BCS engagement -- hoping a worst-case scenario leads to an overthrow that leads to a college football playoff -- may not apply.

What you think might be best for your cause -- six undefeated teams at the end of the year -- may be manna for the "bad" guys.

Those inglorious BCS . . . well, just fill in the last word from that movie title.

How does chaos play into their hands?

Let's say six teams finish undefeated and the final BCS standings order is Florida, Texas, Iowa, Cincinnati, Texas Christian and Boise State.

The BCS championship game is Florida-Texas, the teams ranked first and second heading into the season.

Anyone have a problem with that?

"No one is going to challenge that Texas and Florida don't belong in the game," said Karl Benson, commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference who has fought the BCS establishment for more than a decade.

Iowa is the 12-0 champion of the Big Ten but has to play in the Rose Bowl against the Pac-10 champion, let's say Oregon.

Not only is that a terrific game before the BCS title match in the Rose Bowl, the Big Ten can't say a word about getting cheated out of a title chance because Jim Delany has been the Big Ten poster commissioner against any kind of playoff.

"That controversy is out of there," Benson agreed. "And even if Iowa complained, their own coach said if the computers saw us play they wouldn't vote us No. 1."

Cincinnati might have a gripe, but it joined the club when it left Conference USA and entered the Big East, a BCS conference.

Besides, how about an Orange Bowl in which undefeated Cincinnati plays one-loss Georgia Tech? Think anyone will watch that?

What about the two undefeated "non-BCS" schools, Boise State and Texas Christian?

They both get BCS bids.

TCU earns the automatic spot by finishing in the top 12 and Boise State gets an at-large because it deserves it. This is an easy decision, especially if the Big 12 and Notre Dame don't qualify for an at-large selection.

You could put Texas Christian in the Fiesta Bowl to play 11-1 Penn State and send Boise State to the Sugar Bowl to play Alabama.

The charges of a BCS monopoly would lose some muster.

"That would probably silence whatever [playoff] momentum there might be out there," Benson said.

Imagine at least one undefeated school in five BCS bowl games. The ratings would be huge, controversy would rage, the Associated Press could even crown an independent No. 1 if it doesn't like the Florida-Texas outcome.

And the BCS would sit back and count the receipts.

"I think you're right on," Benson said.

This kind of chaos is a BCS dream scenario.

What the playoff crowd really needs is fewer undefeated teams. It needs 10-2 Notre Dame to qualify for an at-large berth and the Irish getting picked over an undefeated Boise State.

The anti-BCS rabble-rousers should be rooting for Texas to lose, and the one-loss loser of Florida versus Alabama to get a rematch in the BCS title game ahead of an unbeaten team.

It's OK to wish for BCS doomsday, just make sure it's the kind of apocalypse that works for you.

Blitz package

* One problem Boise State has in its BCS fight is finding competition. The WAC's Benson says elite programs have no incentive to schedule the Broncos -- ask Oregon about that. The Idaho Statesman reported at least 10 major schools have declined a chance to host Boise State in 2011, with no requirement for a return game. Boise State did play at Georgia in 2005, and lost, 48-13.

* Tough league: USC's loss at Oregon last weekend dropped the Trojans from No. 4 in the country to tied for fourth in the Pac-10.

* "Get the Correct Facts on Iowa Football." That was the headline on the news release Iowa sent out this week to counter charges by "national pundits" that the school doesn't belong "on the same board" as other top 10 teams.

Missing from the fact sheet: a quote from Iowa Coach Ferentz after learning his Hawkeyes were ranked first in the BCS computer component: "Computers have not seen us play," Ferentz said. "If they had eyes and could see us play, they would say, are you kidding me?"

Iowa has won four games by three points or fewer. The team's unofficial theme song this year is Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer." Only one major college school, Miami of Ohio, has thrown more interceptions this year, 16, than Iowa's 13. Miami of Ohio is 1-8.

"Positive" Iowa stats: The Hawkeyes lead the nation with 18 defensive interceptions and are the second-least penalized team at 33.67 yards a game. The most positive statistic of all, of course, is 9-0.

* The nation's most penalized team, averaging 89.25 yards a game, is Arizona State, which is hosting USC this week. The Trojans are averaging 63.38 penalty yards a game, 90th worst out of 120 schools.

* If only Air Force had Iowa's good fortune. The Falcons (5-4) lost by seven at Minnesota, in overtime at Navy, in overtime at Utah and by three to Texas Christian.

* Need we say Moore? Boise State sophomore quarterback Kellen Moore continues to lead the nation in passing. He has thrown for 24 touchdowns with two interceptions.

* USC true freshman Matt Barkley has thrown as many interceptions this year, six, as three UCLA quarterbacks combined.

* Happy early birthday to Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden, who turns 80 on Sunday. It'll be happier if his 4-4 Seminoles beat Clemson.

--

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

twitter.com/DufresneLATimes

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