The 2010 college football season is over. On Monday night, the Auburn Tigers claimed the BCS National Championship, the fifth straight for the SEC, by defeating the Oregon Ducks 22-19 on a game-winning kick by Wes Byrum. Auburn finished the regular season undefeated and took home an undisputed National Championship.
Lurking in the shadows, the TCU Horned Frogs also completed an undefeated season with an impressive win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, but that has long been forgotten with the focus shifting toward the BCS National Championship game.
The little guys once again weren’t given the shot at proving themselves in a National Championship game. Just like Boise State and Utah before them, TCU is an undefeated non-AQ that never got the opportunity to play for the National Championship even though they were unbeaten.
The BCS is a broken system. You can’t crown a National Champion if there is another team sitting in the wings that has yet to be proven that they aren’t the best in the nation. I’m sure many people will point to me being an Alabama fan as a bias about this, but I said the same things last season when the Crimson Tide captured the National Championship by defeating Texas.
Boise State was sitting there undefeated and never got their crack at Alabama like they deserved. I’m not saying that Boise State would have beaten Alabama last year, or that TCU would definitely beat Auburn this year, but they at least deserve a shot at proving themselves.
Auburn and Oregon both had more impressive resumes than TCU, but the fact remains that Gary Patterson’s team finished the season with an unblemished record and proved in the Granddaddy of them all that they belonged by defeating Wisconsin 21-19.
Depriving the smaller school of a shot in the National Championship is wrong. If that would have been the case in college basketball, then we would have never seen Butler’s magical run to the National Championship and ultimately them falling just short against Duke.
If you watched Auburn and Oregon in Glendale last night, then you can’t legitimately say that TCU couldn’t have hung with either of those teams. Both teams were sluggish and neither played like they were the #1 team in the nation.
If TCU was playing Auburn or Oregon last night, and they played as inspired and as well as they did in the Rose Bowl, along with Auburn and Oregon playing like they did, then it’s quite possible that TCU would have been hoisting the crystal pigskin as National Champions.
I’ve said for a while now that TCU is the most complete team in the nation. If Auburn’s offense was only able to put up 22 points against Oregon’s defense, then I can only imagine how much they would have struggled against the Horned Frogs’ stout unit.
It’s not just about defense for TCU either, because Andy Dalton leads an impressive offense that was able to score points against a Big Ten defense. I know most people point to the size advantage that Auburn would obviously have against TCU if the two teams squared off, but Wisconsin had a major advantage in size as well and that didn’t matter.
Auburn had a pretty significant size advantage on Oregon tonight, and the Ducks fought hard. The Tigers couldn’t breathe a sigh of relief until Byrum’s field goal split the uprights.
I have no doubt that TCU could stay on the field with Auburn and I also truly believe that it would be a close game. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if TCU actually beat Auburn if we were fortunate enough to see this game played.
I’m a proponent of the plus-one system. In a perfect world, we would have a full eight to sixteen team playoff, but I don’t think a plus-one would be that much to ask for. If we had a plus one system this year, then TCU would have a chance to play Auburn in the National Championship a week or two from now.
If we had the plus one, hypothetically, we could see the Horned Frogs and Tigers battling for all the marbles on January 17th. Who wouldn’t watch that? It’s one more college football game and we would finally be able to crown a legit champion regardless of the outcome.
This isn’t meant to take anything away from Auburn. They had an outstanding season and went undefeated in the best conference in college football. Based on the current system that we have, they deserve the National Championship that they earned by going 14-0.
All I’m trying to get across is that the system is broken and you can’t legitimately say that TCU doesn’t deserve at least a crack at Auburn. If they had lost to Wisconsin in Pasadena on New Year’s Day, then all this talk would have ceased and we would be crowning an undisputed National Champion.
But, the word undisputed cannot be used if we finish a season with more than one undefeated team.
I love college football, I have a strong passion for it, and it is by far my favorite sport. There’s something spectacular about watching a bunch of 18-22 year old kids playing the game that they love, because they love the game, and not because of the paycheck. That’s a reason that college football is great.
But, the system needs to be changed so we can finally crown a National Champion and not have to sit here and talk about what could have been.
The fact that it is even being talked about shows that the system is broken. At the end of the college football season, fans deserve to be able to celebrate their team’s Championship without having to deal with people talking about another undefeated team.
Everybody that watches college football and invests time into it deserves to see a National Champion crowned at the end of every year with their being no question of another team having a claim to it.
Even Auburn fans should want to play TCU. As an Alabama fan, last season, I wanted to play Boise State. You should want your team to prove that they are the best. If they are truly the best team in the nation, then what would one more game do? If Auburn is the best team in the land, then why couldn’t they beat TCU? The only reason for Auburn not wanting to play TCU would be if they don’t think they could beat them.
The only thing the BCS system is doing at this time is depriving diehard college football fans the right to see a true National Champion. I want college football to take a small step toward legitimacy and implement the plus-one system.
Even then, it still might not be the perfect system, but it would be much better than what we have now and I believe the complaints would begin to shrink.
For eight months until the start of the 2011 season, we will all be left wondering what could have been if TCU was given their shot against Auburn. It shouldn’t be like that. We should end seasons with their being no doubt in our minds about the team that was crowned champions.
But, for now, we will be left with the “What if?” feeling every single year that there is a team like TCU left out in the cold.
Auburn won the BCS National Championship last night. But, the true National Championship game should be taking place next week with Auburn and TCU facing of for all the marbles and finally giving college football an undisputed National Champion.