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.