Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fiesta! Underdog Boise State Pulls Off
Most Entertaining Bowl Game Ever?

Boise State just might very well BE the best team in college football.

And while they'll never actually GET the No. 1 ranking -- despite finishing the season 13-0 -- they are certainly the most entertaining. And, no matter how the BCS title game ends, they were part of the best bowl game of the season.

The only lingering questions? (1) Was it the most exciting bowl game ever? (2) Where WILL Boise State end up in the final rankings? (3) Have you ever watched a more exciting finish to a game?

(1) Most exciting bowl game ever? This year: Definitely. All time? It's hard to top last year's Texas-USC title game. But let's qualify it as the most exciting non-title-game bowl game ever.

(2) Final ranking? Even if Ohio State loses to Florida, it's hard to imagine Boise State being ranked No. 1. But after watching them pour on the points against Oklahoma, is there any doubt they could have hung with ANY of the season's top teams?

I'd actually rank them No. 3, behind Ohio State and Florida. Meanwhile, don't even THINK of ranking USC ahead of Boise State. Just look at the performance against common opponents: USC lost to Oregon State. Boise State clocked Oregon State. Case closed.)

(3) A more exciting finish? Arguably not, though again: Last season's Texas win over USC set a pretty high bar. But consider Boise State's case:

*Trick hook-and-ladder play in dwindling seconds of regulation on 4th-and-18 to tie the game.

*Trick play to score game-tying TD in OT.

*And then, going for 2 (and the win) in OT... with another trick play... even after showing the formation to Oklahoma before the Sooners called a time-out to scheme a defense for it. It was, without question, the finest sell-job on a play-action play I have ever seen. You need to see the replay to fully appreciate it, and I defy you not to shout out loud when you do.

That, my friends, is cojones.

*Oh, and to top it all off, the game's MVP, Ian Johnson, proposed to his girlfriend on the field -- on national TV -- immediately after the game.

Again: Case closed. This might be one of those games I have to buy on iTunes to have in my library forever.

Here's the larger point: We can argue about where Boise State ranks against the other top teams in the country this year, but the WAY Boise State won that game -- the style, the dramatics, the creative calls, the guts -- ensures that they have earned every college football fan's RESPECT.

-- D.S.


Anonymous said...

Plays left in Boise State playbook:
1. Fumblerooski
2. Bark like a dog misdirection play
3. Tecmo Bowl dropback to your goal line and throw 100yd TD Pass

Anonymous said...

I gave up on this game twice and then finally turned it off when OK scored easily in first overtime. What an amazing game! I should have stayed up for it.

My excellent instincts also made me give up on West Virginia...

TJ said...

It's one thing to be an SEC/Florida fan but as a so called "journalist" you should at least try not to be as biased and ridiculous as you are half of the time.

Wait, this post sent you over the edge?

I hope it isn't because you think BSU should be ranked #1 if OSU loses. I'm sure that idea will get tossed around today, along with the 'OSU should stay #1 even if they lose' nonsense. If only because the 'If Michigan whoops USC...' talk is dead and they need something ridiculous to talk about.

Anonymous said...

Leave Dan alone. It's better than ESPN's non-bias bias for Connecticut basketball that never gets discussed (I'm sure it isn't because they're in the same state). Or their love for Boston permeating from Gammons.

I'll never be convinced that any college team is an undisputed champion. The best college teams always seem to look more like the Indianapolis Colts than the New England Patriots. They only play about 3-5 games a year that are competitive. So, if OSU loses, BSU should be #1, on record alone.

Let's put it this way: if Both Mich and OhSt. lose their big bowl games, then their entire resumes are shot! This entire "regular season is meaningful" argument looks pretty silly when the SEC and Big 10 teams get mulligans based on a "strength of schedule" that doesn't exist. And it's not as if Boise State came out of nowhere. They've been consistent contenders for a number of years.

amr said...

What big teams did BSU beat?

1. Oklahoma, who beat Oregon(*), Missou, A&M, Washington, and Nebraska

2. Oregon State, who beat USC, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, and Missouri (Bowl Game)

3. Hawaii, who beat Purdue, and Arizona State, and everyone except BSU, Oregon

4. Utah, who beat Tulsa in their bowl game.

Not an awesome list of accomplishments, but not awful.

amr said...

I posted before I completed my comment on Hawaii. They beat everyone but BSU, Oregon State, and Alabama.

Unknown said...

Once the bowls start, and the BCS title game is set, rankings don't matter.
Had BSU beaten OU in the regular season, then they'd be griping.
They can't now..it's done.

Regardless of whether Ohio State or Florida wins, Boise St. should be rewarded with the final #2 ranking though.

Panmankey said...

Boise State should finish the season ranked no lower than 2, they deserve it for going undefeated.

There's just no way you can rank a 2 loss team in front of them.

MoonHopper said...

OK, Leave Dan alone. I'll be honest, if I wrote daily about sports I might show some favoritism; telling you all how great the 49ers are. Well maybe not.

Anyway, I watched the Fiesta Bowl and it is the most exciting/fun/wow game I have ever seen. The comeback, the number of game-over-if-they-don't-make-it plays, the plays that were run to make it, not to mention the whole little dog/big dog aspect. And I really had no rooting interest. If a good game is played and you have a rooting interest, it came enhance the whole experience. I'm sure folks in Boise are more likely to say this was the best game ever.

My measure of the game's excitingness: I was alone and yelling out loud; I not only got goosebumps several times, but got them watchinhg the highlights; and I'm still getting them reading the re-caps of the game today.

My 3.5 cents on rankings: If OSU beats Florida handily, there's no reson not to rank Boise St. #2. If the game is close, no matter who wins, there can still be debate about ranking Boise St. #2.

Kevin said...

What the hell? Boise needed two trick plays to beat Oklahoma, when USC beat the Sooners easily. And anyone who has seen the teams play knows that SC would put up sixty on the Boise defense.

I'm not trying to knock Boise - they deserve everything they're getting. But they're not better than USC (who's probably the second best team in the country).

My rankings:
1. OSU
2. USC
3. Michigan
4. Florida
5. Boise

Kevin said...

Just to clarify: Those rankings were who I think is the best team, i.e., who would win on a neutral field. If I were a voter for the AP or whatever, I'd put Boise either second or third, depending on what happens in the national championship game.

Great game, definitely top-three that I've ever seen (although that really only goes back to the turn of the century). OSU-Miami in '01 probably goes first, then probably SC-Texas last year because of what was at stake, although this one could be #2. (Of course, it would have been much better if it was an afternoon game and I could have actually seen the end of it...)

Anonymous said...

It's not that BS needed trick plays, it's that they were audacious enough to attempt them and talented and gutsy enough to execute. That's puts them ahead of Michigan easily. Boise won its biggest games.

In a theoretical world with playoffs, I think Boise St. would run the table like the Patriots. No one thinks they match up on paper, but they just keep winning.

Based on team talent, I think USC is #1 easily. OSU is second. OSU has better coaching, and that's why they're in the championship game and USC will be watching from home.

Anonymous said...

There's that word again...probably...

USC - 2 losses (1 to OSU)
BSU - 0 losses (and a win vs OSU)

And to counter the "Boise State needed two trick plays" argument: OU needed a lucky tip for a TD and 3 attempts at a 2-pointer to tie.

Boise State's D was better than I expected and their overall team speed was much faster than I expected. I think that applies to lots of people right now.

Kevin said...

Okay, then, ignore the "trick play" comment. The fact is that Boise needed OT to beat a three-loss (okay, 2.5-loss) team that really didn't beat anybody. And that's easily Boise's best win of the season.

I just don't think they're better than USC or Michigan. Simple as that.