JEFF: Aloha, BCS!
By Jeff Falconio
The BCS got it right. Well, sort of. Hawaii absolutely deserves a spot in the Sugar Bowl. I've said for weeks that any mid-major team that goes unbeaten deserves a shot to validate the unblemished record. The road to the BCS wasn't exactly the path of least resistance. In the final two weeks Hawaii had to beat a ranked Boise State team to win the WAC regular season title then turned in a gritty performance over power conference member Washington. I'm a little perplexed at how Illinois and Kansas got in over more worthy teams but such in life with the always-imperfect BCS. I know Wisconsin fans will be all over the Outback Bowl but here are a few other bowls to watch:
Texas Bowl, Houston vs. TCU, December 28. Certainly not a couple of well known teams but Houston runs a unique and highly-complex offense while TCU features a rugged defense. It's the classic offense vs. defense but wait...the game's televised on the NFL Network. Better find a local bar with a dish for that one.
Meineke Car Care Bowl, Connecticut vs. Wake Forest, December 29. Sounds like this would be a really good basketball game but this is a matchup of rising programs from the Big East and ACC. UConn had a surprising run through the Big East before being trampled by West Virginia.
Cotton Bowl, Missouri vs. Arkansas, January 1. Let me get this straight: Missouri beats Kansas and wins the Big XII North, yet it's the Jayhawks in a BCS bowl while the division champs get left out. Riiiight. The reward is that you have two of the best players in college football going at it in Arkansas's Darren McFadden and Missouri's Chase Daniel. Should be plenty of offensive highlights in this one.
Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma vs. West Virginia, January 2. Oh, what might have been. For not injuries to OU's Sam Bradford and WV's Pat White this could've been the national championship game. Instead the two teams meet in what should be another classic Fiesta Bowl.
BCS Title Game, LSU vs. Ohio State, January 7. It could be debated forever as to who should be in this game but nevertheless both teams have strong credentials. I picked LSU to win it all at the start of the year and I'm sticking to my guns on this one. This could be a low scoring ballgame as both teams have stars on the defensive side of the ball.