Does TCU's BCS Title Hopes Ride On Tonight's Boise State Vs. Virginia Tech Game?

College football is the only sport where week one could mean the difference between playing in a bowl worth $20 million or just under a million dollars if one is in a non-BCS league.  Prior to the Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and TCU our Boise Site OBNUG went back forth debating whether if the Fiesta Bowl winner would have a shot at the BCS title game.

Here is an excerpt from that post which explains quite well what the 2010 Fiesta Bowl meant:

Jeremy: Another reason why I think it is possible for the winner of this game [2010 Fiesta Bowl] to get a shot at the title game is that the Mountain West has had three teams ranked in the final top 25 the past two years, and in the final coaches poll of this year there were five non-BCS teams ranked.

The winner will still need help with BCS teams losing, but I still feel the winner will be in the top 5 when the preseason polls come out in August and they will have a legitimate case at the national title. However, as we know the BCS will try to find a way from that happening, and the block will most likely come from the BCS coaches not ranking a non-BCS team number two even if it is deserved.

Kevan: I am of the mind that progress can only last so long until it becomes change. College football is okay with non-BCS schools showing progress in the polls and in the BCS bowl picture. College football has yet to show that it is okay with change.

As such, I will not believe it until I see it. Win or lose in the Fiesta Bowl, Boise State and TCU will be no closer to a national title in 2010 than they were in 2009. That is college football for you.

Wonder if Kevan's perspective has changed since Boise State is sitting at five in the coaches poll?

Back to TCU, their win Saturday puts them in good shape to go undefeated, because their schedule is not all that difficult.  Their schedule lines up quite nicely and may not be challenged again until October 16th when they get BYU, but that game is at home.  Plus, TCU has throttled BYU the last two seasons; Air Force is the following week and will be a formidable opponent, but again that is at Fort Worth.

The toughest game all year will be when TCU travels to Utah and is the place where the two schools played an epic 2008 game where Utah was able to over come early mistakes to come from behind to beat TCU.  That game is the only one that stays in the way of TCU and either a BCS bowl or a potential national title game.

Is a BCS bowl the ceiling or is the title game a real shot, TCU was very close last year had Nebraska beat Texas:

whether one of the "traditional" BCS games is still the ceiling, or whether the championship game is suddenly in play under the right circumstances. They were one second away from being right last year: If Texas hadn't slipped out of Nebraska's grasp in the Big 12 Championship Game to close out its own perfect run, TCU was four-thousandths of a point behind No. 3 Cincinnati in the final BCS standings, and may have earned enough votes to pass the Bearcats if the championship game was at stake. The only reason so much more attention has followed Boise State as a would-be darkhorse since January is the Broncos' head-to-head win in the Fiesta Bowl (a grudge match in its own right, after TCU ruined Boise's perfect season by one point in the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl).

Back to what the title of this posts talks about: Does tonight's game affect TCU's BCS title game hopes?  Not to sound wishy-washy, but the answer is both yes and no.  It does affect TCU in that the loser will drop behind TCU in the polls and if that loser is Boise State then TCU does not have to worry about being jumped by a one-loss Boise team.  If Virginia Tech loses there is a slight chance a 12-1 Hokie team that would be the ACC champ could jump TCU, but the last time an ACC team went to the BCS title game was Florida State in 2000.  

It also has little to no affect because TCU moves up regardless of what team loses tonight, but it would behoove TCU fans to have Boise State lose because Boise's chances of losing after this game are slim, and TCU could miss out on a BCS game altogether at 12-0 if Boise wins.

Another reason this game has little bearing is because Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma play each other and possibly twice with Nebraska against Texas or Oklahoma, Alabama and Florida play each other (plus Florida looked terrible against Miami, OH) so TCU would jump them, then Iowa and Ohio State play each other.

So, TCU really controls their own destiny, but the only concern is a one loss SEC title team or perhaps a one loss Big XII team that gets revenge.  In reality this game has little bearing on TCU getting to the BCS title game.

If any year for a BCS team to make it to the title game this is the year, and who knows perhaps the matchup will be Boise State vs TCU for the third straight year back in Glendale, AZ for all of the marbles.

We can dream right?

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