All of a sudden, my pre-New Year's prediction for 2010 that Boise State would not only play for -- but win -- the national championship looks pretty good.
Thanks to their signature win over TCU last night, Boise is as well-positioned as any non-BCS team ever to crash not just a "BCS-level" bowl, but the BCS national championship game.
All it will take is the usual pinball of improbable upsets among the BCS teams to make it happen: Texas stumbles -- just once -- without McCoy. Alabama runs the table in the SEC (including a win over Florida), only to lose a rematch to Florida in the SEC title game. The Pac-10 and ACC flake out. The Big East champ, even if undefeated, can't credibly claim to be stronger than Boise. I have Ohio State going 12-0, and even OSU fans tell me I'm crazy. It's not unreasonable.
And then, Boise steps in: They have the BCS cred. They have the momentum from this unbeaten season. Now, they have the head-to-head win over next season's next-best non-BCS team. They will start the season highly ranked, and they will simply stay near the top as everyone else falls short. Then, in the title game -- back in Glendale, ironically -- they will do what they do best: Win.
All of a sudden, my Boise bandwagon for next season feels a little more full.
(As I point out in today's SN column, this development would be bittersweet for people who hate the BCS system: On the one hand, a non-BCS team would crash the national title game; on the other hand, the BCS folks could then argue that the system is entirely egalitarian. Frankly, if the BCS cabal wants to maintain its power, THEY should be rooting for Boise next season, too.)
More in today's column:
*Mike Shanahan in DC. I'm so underwhelmed.
*Are the Wiz ready to drop Arenas?
*Who's excited about the Orange Bowl?
Lots more there. Complete column here. More later.