Posted on: December 5, 2010 2:18 pm

UConn Ugliest BCS Team Ever

Someone is going to read that title and make a joke about how the Connecticut Huskies are the worst team in BCS History. Let them joke I say, because no one is going to be able to tell me that my title isn't correct. Last season, UConn lost 5 games by a total of 15 points. This year, UConn's three biggest wins (Pitt, WVU, @ USF) came by a combined 8 points. UConn rarely makes football look "good" like their BCS counterparts in Oregon or Auburn. Or even VA Tech.

UConn doesn't boast a playmaking QB like Cam Newton. In fact in most games this season there could be a legitimate missing persons report for the Huskies passing attack. Connecticut is very much old-school in their football approach. They're going to run the football at you, play defense and win the turnover battle. Rinse. Repeat. See yesterday's game against USF. Jordan Todman was held under 100 yards for only the second time this year, but still carried the ball over 30 times. The UConn defense had three interceptions, including Lawrence Wilson's pick-six in the 2nd quarter, UConn's only touchdown of the game.

And how exactly did UConn win yesterday? By doing the little things. Punter Cole Wagner consistently pinned USF in their own territory as UConn dominated the field position battle all day. Kicker Dave Teggert had never hit a 50-yard FG in his career. He had two of them last night, and for the second straight year kicked the Huskies over the Bulls. UConn's only mistake: a Todman fumble (very questionable, but I'm biased) that USF quickly turned into a touchdown to make it a 16-13 UConn lead. Neither team had a lot of sustained drives deep into their opponent's territory or really threatened to score many offensive touchdowns. It was a typical UConn game. Ugly in every sense of the word.

But to say that UConn doesn't deserve a BCS berth would be insane. The Big East has an automatic BCS berth. So does the ACC, which sucks just as much. And the Pac-10 which will only have three bowl-eligible teams this year thanks to Southern Cal's probation. So West Virginia is ranked, and probably matches up better against an Oklahoma team in the Fiesta Bowl (more on that later), but UConn has a victory against WVU this year. And Pitt. And without Randy Edsall's certified brain fart (the only one he's had in years) in starting redshirt freshman Mike Box against Louisville, Connecticut could be celebrating an outright title in the Big East. Not bad for a basketball school.

But now all indications say that UConn will be going to Glendale, AZ and the Fiesta Bowl while the Stanford Cardinal are heading to Miami and the Orange Bowl. This is a huge mistake for many reasons and if there were a time where I need the NCAA conspiracy theorists to come through for me, now would be that time. You do not want UConn playing its first bowl game in Arizona. Keep UConn and Stanford on their respective coasts, its best for everyone. You get a Top-10 matchup with Stanford-Oklahoma and let the Big East another shot at beating the ACC, something our conference will never say no to.

And I'm not trying to protect UConn here, this is really best for the BCS as a whole. And I'm not a big fan of collusion (see FIFA World Cup selections), but I have to make an exception here. It makes too much sense to have the Huskies in the Orange Bowl that I can openly hope that there are phone calls going back and forth between the Fiesta and Orange Bowl reps. But either way, there is one tiny, football state that will stand united behind their Huskies no matter what.

No matter how ugly their football team is.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 27, 2010 10:48 am

UConn In Control of Big East/BCS Destiny

No, the following title is correct. The Connecticut Huskies are two wins away from a Big East conference title and a berth in a BCS Bowl, most likely the Fiesta Bowl. And unlike 2007, when UConn won a share of the Big East title, UConn doesn’t have to go on the road to beat the No. 2 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. That game resulted in a 66-21 loss and UConn only earned a share of the title after a shocking upset by Pitt the following week. WVU still earned the BCS bid, but lost a shot at a National title.

Now, let’s say I gave you the following two scenarios back in 1998, the first year of the BCS:

Connecticut will play in a BCS Bowl OR a non-automatic qualifier will play for the National Title

Quick, how many of you were taking UConn in ’98? Should be zero. Why? Keep reading…

Remember this, UConn was a I-AA team until 1999 and were transitional members of Div. I-A through the 2000-2001 seasons, and weren’t full time Big East members until 2004, a move that happened a year early after the BC, Miami and VA Tech moved to the ACC.

Also remember that 2004 was the first year a non-AQ made a BCS bowl (Utah 35 – Pitt 7) despite several non-AQ schools finishing in the Top 15 of the BCS standings.

So from 2004, it’s an even timeline. UConn started playing in a BCS conference in 2004 and Non-AQs starting making BCS bowl games. The next logical step for each party, making a BCS bowl game (UConn) and making a national title (Non-AQs).

So maybe the goals aren’t exactly equal, but UConn is just one school going up against half of the Div. I-A (Yes, I still refuse to call it the FBS.), so cut me some slack there. Plus, UConn plays in the worst BCS conference in the country  according to everyone (despite the ACC bowl records) and there is no way that a basketball school is playing in BCS football games. There’s a much better chance that Boise State, TCU, Utah, BYU or someone will qualify for the BCS National Title game. Right?

I mean, before the season started, UConn was a darkhorse to win the Big East. Not too shabby, but going against two Top-5 teams in Boise State and TCU. That’s a lot of ground to make up, even for what everyone thought would be a solid UConn team. And there’s no way both of these things could happen right?

Well, fast forward to yesterday. November 26, 2010. Friday afternoon, WVU-Pitt kicks off at noon, UConn needing one Pitt loss and wins against Cincy and USF to clinch the Big East’s BCS berth. WVU blows out Pitt late and UConn officially takes destiny in its own hands heading into today’s home game vs. Cincy. People who chose Option 1 above begin to rejoice.

3 PM, EST - Aubrun-Bama kicks off and Bama is out to a quick 24-0 lead. Suddenly, Option 2 is looking pretty good as well. Somehow Cam Newton rallies Auburn to an Iron Bowl victory and Auburn is one SEC Championship game vs. South Carolina away from a BCS Title berth. (By the way, UConn beat S. Carolina 20-7 in the 2009 PapaJohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama last year. It’s more or less the same roster. I’m taking Auburn.)

8 PM, EST – Arizona-Oregon has kicked off and they are trading touchdowns in the first half. A safety and a FG give Zona a 19-14 lead at half. Option 2 is still in the fight for 2010. End of good news, Ducks move on to a 48-29 rout and Boise, Idaho and Fort Worth, Texas begin to weep. And they kept weeping in Boise after failing to convert two short FGs at the end of regulation and in OT and lose to Nevada.

So maybe the Boise State’s TCU’s of the world won’t make the National Title this year. And the Non-AQ’s will ask again what they have to do to outsmart the BCS computers (play harder non-conference schedules) and the BCS school presidents (looking at you Ohio State) will sit smugly and continue to refuse to play these guys since it’s the only way they will qualify for the National Title game. And the BCS will probably schedule a rematch of the 2009 Fiesta Bowl (greatest injustice in BCS history). What should happen is a 6<sup>th</sup> BCS game and AQ berths for the WAC and MWC, the two dominant Non-AQ conferences in BCS history, mainly due to Boise, TCU and Utah. But that is a topic for later debate…

But elsewhere in the country, isolated from the rest of the college football world, sits a tiny state, whose football team was not even a glimmer in the BCS’ eye just over a decade ago. A program with one of the longest tenured coaches in Div. I-A. A program that sent four players in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft in 2009. A program that has no business playing with anyone in the BCS according to just about everyone.

And perhaps the Connecticut Huskies will not reach the Big East summit this season. Perhaps they lose one of their final two games and West Virginia plays in a BCS bowl and saves conference respectability like ESPNs Brian Bennett says. Or maybe the NCAA will step in a forfeit the Big East’s BCS bid for this bowl season and save UConn the embarrassment of being the worst BCS team ever like Bleacher Report says. After all, the last unranked BCS team was that Pitt team that got clobbered by Utah, what chance would UConn possibly have. Or maybe UConn has gotten right like ESPN’s Ivan Maisel wrote in the preseason. (One of my favorite articles ever, and not because it’s about the Huskies, I would have loved it if it had been about the WKU Hilltoppers.)

Either way, everyone who rightly picked against UConn making a BCS bowl over a Non-AQ title contender are probably trying to hedge their bets for the rest of the 2010 season.

But if UConn can come this close to playing a BCS football game, there is certainly a chance that Boise State or TCU can play for a National Title.

Perhaps not this year, but soon.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 5, 2009 8:42 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2009 11:49 pm

SEC and BCS Overhyped and Overrated

I can't believe I just spent the last 4 hours of my life watching that. CBS should want their money back, because that was dreadful.

Kudos to Alabama, for crushing Tim Tebow and Florida to win the SEC and almost certainly earning a spot in the BCS National Title Game.

But that was a dreadful game to watch.

The Big East crowned a champion today. Gregg Doyel wrote about it. It's a great piece. I'd love to see him write about the SEC Championship game, because I'm sure he'd have problems with it. Anyone would.

Tim Tebow will probably be remembered for his worst outing ever at Florida. Mark Ingram will probably win the Heisman, which he doesn't deserve after his dismal preformance against Auburn the week before. That honor should go to Stanford Toby Gerhart, but it won't. Because everyone in the country is in love with the SEC. They say it's the toughest and hardest conference to win. I think it's the most top-heavy of all the conferences and that neither Bama or Florida should have had a shot at the BCS Championship if they'd won this game.

That's right, you heard me SEC fans. Rip me all you want. But at 8:10 PM EST as I write this, your conference will likely put up the worst game of all the Championship games this week. The Civil War in Oregon for the Roses -- classic. The MAC Championship -- the Central Michigan LeFevours took care of Ohio. The defacto Big East championship -- another Instant Classic on ESPN premiering right after the Civil War.

The SEC game, with all it's hype and glamour and undefeated powerhouses was a dud. Total, stinking, dud. And it wasn't even close. Florida can pull out every excuse in the book. They're best defender was suspended for a DUI, Tebow is human, blah, blah blah. Someone else should be playing TCU or Cincy or Boise in Janurary for all the marbles. Instead, we have an Alabama team that scheduled one legit non-conference game (at Va Tech) and three cupcakes (FIU, N. Texas, Chatt.) in the BCS Championship. Can't we kick them out based on RPI or something? Same for you Texas, your non-conference schedule is a joke too, La.-Monroe, Wyoming, UTEP, UCF. All wins by at least 30 points. Florida, you have one ACC opponent, Florida St., and three cupcakes too! Maybe we wouldn't have so many undefeated BCS conference teams if they actually had the balls to schedule a non-conference opponent.

And this is supposed to be worthy of a National Title?!?!

TCU won two games at ACC opponents, even if one of them was Virginia, that's two more BCS teams than Texas scheduled. Boise State beat Pac-10 champ Oregon to open the season and it's not their fault no one wants to play them and they're in the WAC. Cincy beat Oregon State, Fresno St. and Illinois non-conference and survived the Big East gaunlet, which is twice as hard as the SEC considering it has 6 of 8 teams bowl eligible (it's really 5, Rutgers has the biggest cupcake schedule of them all).

You want to know why everyone loves the Pac-10, Big 12 and SEC? Because they're best teams (USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and Bama) are flashy. They look good. No one wants to see real football in this country, otherwise they'd appreciate the competitiveness of the Big East or the Big Ten from week to week. The Big East had ZERO teams in the preseason Top 25 and it just produced arguably the best "championship" game of the week. Between two teams in the Top 15. The SEC had two teams in the Top 2 and couldn't do that.

The BCS is broken. The preseason vote has too much influence over the system and there's no way the three top teams in the land, Bama, Florida and Texas, should be rewarded for eating cupcakes all season. And I'm sick of it. I'm sick of the NCAA and the talking heads who help drive this garbage. I'm sick of the so called little guy not getting a chance, and that includes the March Madness Tournament too. How about letting the non-BCS conferences and the mid-majors have their day in the sun.

But that's not going to happen. No one has the balls to want it. Instead, I'm stuck with a nation of talking heads and voters who hate the Big Least conference and anyone who could throw a wrench in the BCS like Boise or TCU. And it's a damn shame.

And I hope that Boise, TCU and Cincy all go out and crush their BCS bowl opponents. Because the BCS deserves the scrutiny for having 5 undefeated teams. Two of which will likely play for the BCS title game.

The least two deserving, undefeated teams in the country.

-- Eagle

UPDATE (11:45 PM EST) -- Texas and Alabama are projected to meet in the BCS National Championship, although Nebraska did their best to throw a gigantic wrench into the mix. Give the Huskers' a lot of credit, they played great D all day, but they imploded after taking the lead late in the 4th. Kickoff out-of-bounds, horse-collar tackle gave Texas a chance with one second left (which the zebras correctly put on the clock) to kick the FG. Hats off to Colt McCoy and company as well as Nick Saban and the Tide.

Doesn't mean I like it, but hey, it's the system we have.
Posted on: January 9, 2009 1:52 am

BCS Needs a Fix

I am almost ashamed to say that I spent the better part of my evening watching the BCS National Championship Game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Florida Gators. And from watching this game I have come to a conclusion: The BCS doesn't work. You can not play the championship game between two teams almost a month and a half after the regular season/conference championships are over. It doesn't make sense. Neither Florida or Oklahoma looked like National Champions tonight, at least neither of their high-profile, Heisman winning QB's did anyway. And it's not their fault, it's the system. And it just doesn't work anymore.

Before I go off on a quick tangent on the actual game, I want to say that I do not care for a playoff system much either. It will make the college season longer which creates two significant problems. One, is it increases the chances for these players to get injured. Two, and most importantly, it will keep the players out of the classroom for basically an entire semester. And these kids should be considered student-athletes, even if you and I both know that's probably not the case at some schools. But having a system that produces the two best teams and has them play a game for all the marbles after not playing a game in over a month isn't working. That much I know.

I'm also not here to debate whether Utah or USC should be considered for the No. 1 spot in the country, because ultimately Florida will be considered the champ and I really don't care all that much. I can't remember the last time I was so disinterested in a bowl season ever. And I do mean that. I quite frankly didn't care for any of these games and that might be another reason to change the system, to get the casual fan to become interested again in the bigger bowl games.

Quick Tangent: I don't dislike Bob Stoops. I am not a Bob Stoops "hater." To get a program into the Championship game 4 times in 9 years means your doing something right. But I had major issues with two of play calls. He left 6 points on the board by going for it on 4th down instead of kicking a FG and also failed to kick a FG as the first half ended. Even with those points, the Sooners still could have lost the game, but I think failing to score on those two drives shifted momentum over to the Gators and that might have cost them in the 2nd half. But both teams and QB's looked rusty enough to throw this theory out the window. I personally wouldn't have done it. But I'm not a Div. I-A/FBS football coach with a resume like Bob Stoops.

If I had a choice, I would advocate an 10-team playoff. Here's why: You get the 6-BCS Conference champions and then 4 "Wild Card" teams. These can be based off the BCS rankings or selected by a committee, I don't really care. Once you get all 10 teams, reseed them based on ranking, so that the lowest ranking team becomes the 10th seed, etc. This way, non-BCS teams like Utah or Boise State that outrank BCS conference champions have a higher seed. The top 6 teams get a bye. Then you have two first round games with seeds No. 10 and 7 playing each other and seeds No. 8 and 9. Re-seed like the NFL so the No. 1 team plays the team with the lowest rank of the first round winners, the 2nd seed gets the other team and then you have seeds 3 and 6/4 and 5 play each other. Standard bracket after this, no reseeding. All games played at home sites with the exception of the championship which will be neutral. It will only take four weeks and I don't like having 16-teams because I think it's two many.

All of this aside, this is the number one problem with the BCS: teams schedule towards the system. BCS schools don't take many chances outside of conference. To quote, "use the regular season as the playoff" argument, you need to make sure that BCS conferences schedule significant games against each other, which means stop picking on Duke, Washington, Washington St. and Syracuse and all those 1-AA/FCS teams and play against teams that can challenge you. Actually earn a 10 win season instead of giving yourself 10 wins on the easiest schedule every year. Once I can see the strength of schedule actually affecting rankings, then you know the system is getting better.

Because right now, the only thing I do know is that the systems sucks.

- Eagle
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com