There was a small chance that the BCS could’ve went a little nutty and spit out an Oklahoma-Texas rematch for the national championship, but after the coaches’ poll revealed Oklahoma and Florida to be 1-2, there was little surprise as to who would be playing for the national title.
Of course, even Urban Meyer probably couldn’t rest easy until he saw the matchup pop up on the screen, but Florida will indeed be taking on Oklahoma for the national championship in Miami on January 9.
You can’t help but feel a little sorry for Texas, but the Longhorns will still have a chance to record an impressive BCS bowl win and potentially make a case for a share of the national championship, depending on how things shake out in Miami.
I gave a short look at the national title game matchup already, and there’ll be some in-depth previewing between now and the title game, but I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what the over/under will be on this one. 110? Nah, that’s a little low…
Cue up the Bob Stoops-Florida connection storylines, which will likely include an interview or 20 with Steve Spurrier, which may or may not also include comparisons between Florida’s offense then and Oklahoma’s offense now. Oh, and the Heisman vs. Heisman matchup between last year’s winner Tim Tebow and this year’s likely winner Sam Bradford.
It’s the marquee matchup, and it’s the right matchup (and Barry Switzer could barely contain himself on Fox’s bowl announcement show), but it’s not the only one.
Penn State should give USC a stiffer test than any of those teams did, but don’t bank on it. USC’s defense has held 10 of 12 opponents to 10 points or less, and though the offense has been a little ’quieter’ than in previous years, Mark Sanchez has 30 touchdown passes, and the trio of Joe McKnight/Stafon Johnson/C.J. Gable has combined for 1,892 yards and 19 touchdowns. Penn State’s a terrific team, but the Trojans just have a way of turning it on in these BCS games.
We’ve got a BCS newcomer in the Orange, with Big East champion Cincinnati taking on ACC champ Virginia Tech. This one is the matchup that will likely generate the least amount of excitement, but I like the chances of this one not being a snoozer.
Virginia Tech is no stranger to BCS games, as they’ve won the ACC title in three of the five years that they’ve been in the ACC. However, neither the Hokies nor the ACC have done well in BCS games in recent years. Va. Tech took on a newcomer in last year’s Orange Bowl in Kansas and lost 24-21, so they certainly won’t be looking past the Bearcats.
Cincinnati might not be a household name right now, but Brian Kelly has led the Bearcats to a 21-5 mark in the last two seasons (10-3 in 2007, 11-2 this season), which is why he’s been mentioned with several top jobs this year. Cincinnati’s got playmakers at receiver and an offense that has 36 sacks and 16 interceptions, so the Hokies will be in for a fight.
Well well, welcome back to the BCS, Utah. BYU was the BCS buster pick for many at the start of the season, but instead, the Utes were the one to roll through their schedule unbeaten and are now being rewarded with their second BCS berth in five years. Boise State will feel hard done by, but the Utes beat three ranked teams (BYU, TCU, Oregon State), while the Broncos beat only one (Oregon).
It was all too fair for Alabama to get a BCS berth despite losing the SEC title game to Florida, and you can expect to see plenty of red on both sides when this one goes down in New Orleans.
Sure, Texas would probably like to be playing in the BCS national title game, but a nice consolation prize will be taking on Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. It’ll be the program’s first time in the Fiesta Bowl, but their opponent has reason to call the desert a second home this decade.
We know how Ohio State’s laid eggs in the last two BCS national title games, so it’s a relief that they’re not anywhere near Miami. However, they’ve fared a heck of a lot better in the Fiesta Bowl, winning the national championship over Miami in the 2003 game, following it up with a win over Kansas State a year later, and then beating Notre Dame in the 2006 game.