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CHRIS DUFRESNE / ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

BCS matchups are off by a fraction

Really, who outside Alabama wanted to see the Crimson Tide get a rematch with LSU? And the Sugar Bowl lacks a top-10 team, with Boise State, TCU and Kansas State on the outside looking in.

December 07, 2011|Chris Dufresne
  • Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore has had a remarkable college career, but he and the Broncos have been shut out of a BCS bowl game for the second consecutive year.
Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore has had a remarkable college career,… (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )

It's fitting only 0.0086 ended up separating No. 3 Oklahoma State from No. 2 Alabama in the final Bowl Championship Series standings.

This is the year everything got 0.0086'd.

It was never accurate to say before Sunday that Louisiana State and Alabama were "clearly" the two best teams in the country.

And you still can't, because in the final BCS standings Alabama and Oklahoma State nearly ended up in a statistical draw.

Had one BCS computer flipped and a few more voters considered Oklahoma State's case, we'd be getting an entirely more festive bowl season.

LSU and Alabama might be the best teams. But if those teams have already played and "Team 3" is an equal alternative and champion from a great conference, to me it's a no-BCS brainer.

Thanks a coal-in-your-stockings lot, coaches and Harris voters and all you myopic bowl directors who couldn't see Wake Forest for the fees.

And you wonder why people loathe the BCS? A chimp could have picked better bowl matchups out of Les Miles' hat.

Imagine if Oklahoma State had prevailed by .0.0086 over Alabama. The BCS title game would have been LSU vs. Oklahoma State with Alabama also in New Orleans to play in the Sugar Bowl.

Brain cells harvested in a Petri dish could have seen that Boise State against Alabama would be almost as compelling as the title game.

But hey, that's just me and 49 other states talking.

Because Alabama prevailed by 0.0086, the Sugar Bowl is matching Michigan against a two-loss Virginia Tech team coming off a 28-point loss to Clemson.

Because the Sugar Bowl didn't have Alabama (thanks again, BCS), it went into panic mode and reverted to the back-room days when you booked bowl teams in October based on their fight songs.

Michigan and Virginia Tech is the first Sugar Bowl matchup not featuring top-10 teams since USA Today started administrating the coaches' poll in 1991. Boise State and Kansas State finished Nos. 7 and 8 in the BCS, compared to Nos. 11 and 13 for Virginia Tech and Michigan.

The BCS is designed to give schools flexibility in bowl selection, but every 10 or 15 years common sense should prevail.

Leaving Boise State out of the BCS is the reason the Broncos can't get to the Big East Conference fast enough. Quarterback Kellen Moore is 49-3 in his career, with the losses by a total of five points.

Boise State is one play and two kicks from possibly playing in consecutive national title games, yet is headed to its second straight Las Vegas Bowl.

The BCS and Sugar Bowl owe Moore a hand-written apology on a Hallmark card.

Isn't this Interesting: Michigan, needing to move up two spots in the final BCS standings to be eligible, moved up three. Meanwhile, tadpole Texas Christian, needing to move up two BCS positions to earn an automatic bid, didn't budge a spot.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban voted Stanford No. 3 ahead of Oklahoma State, helping to create a wedge between his team and the team trying to catch his team in the BCS standings.

Boise State Coach Chris Petersen should not feel good about voting his team No. 5 and TCU — which beat his team — No. 18. That 13-position gap ranked the widest among the 59 voting coaches.

TCU needed to finish in the top 16 to guarantee a BCS spot that Boise also coveted.

ESPN's Craig James, an Associated Press voter, moved Boise State up one spot this week, to No. 23, while 52 out of 59 coaches voted Boise in their top nine.

The next breaking news bulletin should be the AP revoking James' voting privileges.

This season's bowl lineup can be divided into a Clint Eastwood movie title:

The good

BCS title game (LSU-Alabama), Rose (Oregon-Wisconsin), Fiesta (Stanford-Oklahoma State), Cotton (Arkansas-Kansas State), Capital One (Nebraska-South Carolina) Champs Sports (Florida State-Notre Dame).

The title game is a rematch of 9-6 but the hitting by future NFL stars will be ferocious.

Pasadena pits the last two Rose Bowl losers. The Fiesta could be dubbed, like the Junior Olympics, the "non-SEC" national title. The Cotton is a top-drawer SEC-Big 12 showdown and the Capital One features Bo Pelini vs. Steve Spurrier. We only wish the coaches in the Champs Sports bowl were still Bobby Bowden and Lou Holtz.

The bad

Sugar (Michigan-Virginia Tech), Las Vegas (Boise State-Arizona State), Poinsettia (TCU-Louisiana Tech), Pinstripe (Rutgers-Iowa State), Gator (Ohio State-Florida), TicketCity (Houston-Penn State).

The Sugar leaves a bitter taste; TCU went from BCS cusp to the stem of a flower. The Pinstripe is pedestrian; the Gator may look good but its entrants are a combined 12-12: and Houston definitely punched the wrong ticket to TicketCity.

The ugly

Kraft Fight Hunger (UCLA-Illinois), Music City (Wake Forest-Mississippi State), Little Caesars (Western Michigan-Purdue).

Fight Hunger: Don't sit at the dock of the bay, run from it! Music City? Wake (Forest) me when it's over. And sorry about the Little Caesars matchup, but that's just how the "Domino's" fell.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

twitter.com/dufresnelatimes

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