The college football season is one third over (can you believe it?). There are still numerous undefeated teams left on the college landscape, but the two teams we will be keeping a close eye on all season will be TCU and Boise St. Which one is more deserving of playing in a BCS bowl or national championship game? Let’s start with Boise St. They are the darlings of the non-aq schools. ESPN has spent countless hours talking to us about the “blue turf” and “trickeration” (is that even a word?). They’ve spent countless hours shoving the “David vs. Goliath” scenario down our throats. But, you have to wonder whether this is marketing genius by ESPN (who covers WAC games) or is it literally a storyline we should pay attention to. My opinion is both…….Boise St. no doubt should be taken seriously, but can we please ease up a bit on the hype? It’s overkill. Its like listening to K$sha over and over again on the radio. It’s mindnumbing. So let’s just pay attention to what has happened on the field. No doubt the Virginia Tech game to start the season was a hostile environment and a quality win, however, voters will look at it two ways. Those in the Boise corner will say that it was a quality win against a team who threw in the towel for the season. Those who are against Boise St. will say it was a quality win against a low-end ACC team. No matter, it was a quality win. Then came Wyoming, which was a little over a week removed from a tragic car accident that took the life of one of their players. I give that win a nice 5 on a scale of 10. True it was in Wyoming, which is always a test, but that Wyoming team wasn’t focused. Most recently, the Beavers of Oregon State went into the “blue turf” of Boise for a Saturday night tilt. The Broncos pulled off the victory at home by a 13 point margin. Many will view this game as a measuring stick between the Broncos and the TCU Horned Frogs. This was the only quality opponent that both teams share on their schedule (no disrespect to Wyoming). TCU won by 9 on a neutral field.
Meanwhile, TCU has had 4 opponents (really 3). TCU’s first contest was against Oregon State at Cowboys stadium which was considered a neutral site even though it was played 30 miles from Fort Worth. True the stadium was more purple than orange, but the field and stadium were new to both teams. Frogs win by 9 and tap the breaks in the 4th quarter by running the ball and the clock. The second game was the home opener for the Frogs and Tennessee Tech was the opponent. Game over, big win. The Frogs third match was against undefeated (at the time) Baylor of the Big 12. Most people would yawn at this matchup but those who do fail to realize that this is an emotional game that has bad blood written all over it. TCU played a perfect game and smoked the Bears by 35. This past weekend TCU traveled to SMU to play in the annual “Battle for the Iron Skillet”. On paper this looks like it should be a blowout in TCU’s favor, but June Jones has the SMU Mustangs on the rise and they always get up for this rivalry. TCU won by 17 points in less than impressive fashion. Most people say that TCU should have put some style points on that win, but the fact of the matter is that the spread was 18 and this was a rivalry game. Frogs win by 17 which is right on that spread.
So who is more deserving right now, Boise St. or TCU? Well, I’d have to say its too close to call…..but give a slight edge to Boise St. Remember Boise is returning all but 1 starter this year and therefore look like they are in postseason form. TCU had to replace 4 starters on the #1 ranked defense of 2009. So the Frogs still have room to grow as the season goes on. We’ll check back in with this battle of the rankings in the next few weeks (if both keep winning) to analyze further. For now, its too early to anoint one team the best of the non-aq’s.