I’m not going to write here in any detail about Monday’s Maryland-Navy game because I wrote about it in today’s Washington Post. The column was posted here a short while ago. I sum the game up this way: Maryland deserved to win. Navy deserved to lose. You will not see the name Ricky Dobbs in the same sentence with the words Heisman Trophy at any point in the future.
The most important game of the college football weekend was the last one played (and played and played and played; my God is it time to do something about the length of college football games). That was the one between Boise State and Virginia Tech. I believe many people who went to the game will be reading this shortly after they arrive home at about noon today. Nothing quite like the parking lots at FedEx Field—especially at midnight on a school/work night when you are an angry Virginia Tech fan I would imagine.
Virginia Tech is a very good football team. It is well coached and resilient as it proved when it rallied from an early 17-0 hole to lead on several occasions in the second half. My guess is the Hokies—if they don’t get too down about this loss—will win the ACC for the fourth time since they joined the league. I’m still not sold on the Miami comeback thing or on Jimbo Fisher although we’ll have to see.
The point is this: We now know that Boise State is the real deal—if there was any doubt before Monday night. The Broncos traveled across the country, went into a hostile stadium and bolted to an early lead. Then, when the home team, led by a talented senior quarterback rallied and took the lead, they didn’t get frazzled. When they had to drive the length of the field late in the game to win, they did exactly that.
You fans at Alabama and Texas and Ohio State and Florida who are screaming that your team would whip the Broncos, that’s fine. Like I said last week—play them. (Note to the poster who pointed out that LSU HAS scheduled some very good teams home-and-home in recent years and on future schedules: you’re right—but they’re all from BCS Conferences).
If Monday night’s game had been played in Seattle, Washington instead of suburban Washington, Boise State wins by at least 10. The setting played a critical role in Virginia Tech’s comeback. Would Boise State beat those top-ranked teams on a neutral site? I don’t know, but I’d love to see them get the chance.
And now, like it or not BCS apologists (that means you Kornheiser) there’s a possibility they might. If Boise State can beat Oregon State at home on September 25th, there’s a good chance it will run the table—just as it did last year when the BCS hypocrites stuck them and an equally undefeated (I know there’s no such thing) TCU team in the Fiesta Bowl to ensure that neither would get the chance to beat someone like Georgia Tech or Iowa or Cincinnati in one of the BCS games—which they surely would have.
The best-case scenario for the BCSA (BCS apologists) now is that two of their schools go undefeated. Then they can use the, “tougher schedule,” excuse to leave Boise State out of the championship game. If, however, there’s only one unbeaten or even worse if no one goes undefeated, the BCS has a problem. Because if Boise State is left out of the championship game in favor of a one-loss BCS school, there are going to be a lot of voices a lot louder and more influential than mine screaming fraud. Because that’s exactly what it will be.
Don’t get me wrong, the problems with this system go well beyond Boise State. Unbeaten teams from Utah and Hawaii and TCU have also been denied the chance to play for the national championship. In 1998 Tulane went unbeaten and didn’t even get to play in a BCS Bowl. That was before Congress began throwing the term, “cartel,” around and all of a sudden a formula was found to “allow,” non-BCS schools access to the BCS Bowls (read money) though not—as yet—to the title game.
If you go unbeaten in any sport, you should get to compete for a championship. Period. That’s why some form of playoff should have been in place years ago. That’s why Boise State’s win Monday night was important because even though it isn’t going to bring down the BCS, it is another brick in the wall. This is sort of like the plagues of Moses. It took ten to get to Pharaoh but he eventually had to capitulate. Don’t get me wrong: I am NOT advocating the death of the first born of All BCS, just extreme discomfort for all who defend it. I think watching ‘Around the Horn,’ on a non-stop loop forever might be appropriate.
Or maybe listening to Colin Cowherd too. (This is a new one for me. I’ve always thought the guy was just kind of a clown, another ESPN guy made a star by ESPN promoting him non-stop, but Monday when I heard him blaming the people who went bankrupt and lost their homes for the fall of the economy, that was it for me.)
My favorite BCS team for the rest of the season will be Virginia Tech. Because the more the Hokies win, the better it is for Boise State. And if you believe at all in what is right and good for America, you are a Boise State fan. And a TCU fan. Throw in Utah while you’re at it if you want. But the Broncos are the horse we’re riding right now.
Completely different subject: Patrick McEnroe stepped down as Davis Cup captain yesterday. He’s got three kids and a lot on his plate and figured that ten years was enough.
The leading candidates to replace him are Jim Courier and Todd Martin. This is a no-brainer. Martin is a good guy who was a solid player but Courier is a four-time major champion who was a Davis Cup stalwart. He’s also very bright and wants the job for all the right reasons. The USTA should put Martin on hold, keep him involved with the work McEnroe is doing with young players and name Courier as the captain. It’s an easy call.
One other easy call: Bob Beretta should be the next Athletic Director at Army, replacing Kevin Anderson who left for Maryland. Beretta has been at Army for 20 years and gets the place. He’s smart, he’s been Anderson’s right hand for six years and can hit the ground running. What’s more, he won’t see the job as a stepping stone to a bigger job the way Anderson did and the way Rick Greenspan did—even though Indiana’s decision to hire Greenspan was right up there with New Coke when it comes to disasters. In fact, Army STILL hasn’t completely recovered from Greenspan’s Reign of Error. (See Berry, Todd for details).
Beretta is an easy choice and the right choice. My concern is that Army will conduct a ‘nationwide search,’ hired one of those God-Awful headhunting firms and screws it up—as it did with Greenspan.