One of the first memories I have of the year 2007 was celebrating what I thought was the failure and imminent collapse of the Bowl Championship Series. A team from Boise, Idaho, had beaten the University of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, 43-42, with what was probably the best play call I’ve ever seen.
At my high school, after the game, everyone was talking about how great the Boise State Broncos were, and I happily joined in singing the Broncos’ praises. Conversations about the team continued when I arrived at TCU, but in a markedly different tone.
The Horned Frogs didn’t like taking the backseat to the Broncos, who became the nation’s favorite non-automatic qualifying BCS team with their 2007 Fiesta Bowl victory. We thought we deserved a chance to show that TCU was better than Boise and that we could take on the best of the automatic BCS qualifiers like Boise had.
Phase one of that plan went off well as the Horned Frogs pulled off a come-from-behind 17-16 victory against the Broncos in the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl. Phase two, the part about beating the best of the AQs, hit a snag: TCU went undefeated in the regular season and secured a BCS berth in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, but TCU got paired with the Broncos again. That’s not to say that Boise wasn’t a worthy opponent, but TCU fans were hoping to take on one of the AQ teams to make a statement like the Broncos had in 2007.
Boise State took its revenge from the Poinsettia Bowl by improving to 2-0 in BCS Fiesta Bowl with a 17-10 win, and that only spawned more ill will toward the Broncos on the part of TCU fans.
I’m going through this history lesson to remind Boise State and TCU fans of one thing: We’re in this together.
We’re both trying to show how broken and idiotic the BCS is, and we’re both trying prove that any football team in the country, not just those with the most money and the best political positioning, deserve a chance to play for a national championship.
This season TCU and Boise State are battling each other in the polls, creating more ill will between the teams’ fans. The stakes this season are higher than ever because a potential national championship berth is on the line, provided Auburn or Oregon slip up in the coming weeks. As a result TCU fans hope every week that Boise falls, and I’m sure Broncos fans do the same for the Horned Frogs.
As for which team is better this season, my answer obviously will be biased: It’s the Horned Frogs.
But I’m not going to play the statistics game or argue common opponents where I make a case as to why TCU is better, because I don’t need to.
Of course I think the Horned Frogs are better, and Boise State fans think the Broncos are better. You can play numbers games all you want, but that won’t change the fans’ opinions.
What I hope we can remember, though, is that both teams are trying to show how much of a failure the BCS is, and it’s just unfortunate that this season, both teams are in the other’s way to a potential shot at the national championship.
If TCU gets that shot, fantastic. If Boise State ends up getting it, I’ll be disappointed, but I will cheer for the Broncos to win, because my hatred for the BCS easily outweighs any dislike I have for Boise State.
We can argue all season about which team is better this year, and I hope we can get the chance to play each other again so we can find out. With a tremendous amount of luck and as long as both teams finish the regular season undefeated, I hope that chance will be in the national championship game.