BCS Bowl absence possible for TCU

After cutting its BCS ranking deficit in half for the second week in a row, Boise State will almost inevitably jump TCU in the BCS rankings after playing No. 19 Nevada (10-1) next week, with TCU facing unranked New Mexico (1-10). While it’s rather difficult to stomach as a Horned Frog fan, that’s the bottom line of the situation.

TCU’s .8995 rating earns us a No. 3 ranking, while Boise State’s .8860 rating makes them No. 4 in the BCS 8212; as determined by a combination of computer rankings and human polls used to determine the two teams in the college national championship, as well as the tie-breaker for a number of conferences.

In the event that Boise does jump TCU and ends up in either the BCS National Championship or another BCS bowl, there is a legitimate chance that TCU, a team that has been comfortably in the top five since the first week of the BCS rankings, could be left out of a BCS bowl. In fact it wouldn’t be at all unprecedented. Just ask none other than Boise State, which was undefeated in 2008, yet played TCU in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. The undefeated Broncos were left out of the BCS bowls because Utah got the non-automatic qualifier bid to the Sugar Bowl, where the Utes annihilated Alabama.

On Sunday night’s BCS Countdown show, commentator Kirk Herbstreit proposed the possibility that Boise State jump TCU and end up in either the BCS National Championship or the Rose Bowl. He said it would be a shame for the undefeated Horned Frogs to get left out of a BCS bowl game.

As they become frustrated trying to predict who will end up playing in which game, college football analysts often remind viewers that the entire point of the BCS system is to put the top two teams in the country in the BCS National Championship. The other four BCS bowl games are supposed to be attractive and entertaining match-ups. By attractive, they mean profitable, sold-out games with good TV ratings. In other words, TCU will probably get jumped by Boise State, as well as overlooked for the other BCS bowls because of dollars and cents.

A very cynical guy I used to coach high school football with often said, “I usually expect the worst; that way, I’m often pleasantly surprised.”

This is the kind of mentality I’ve developed regarding the BCS system. The one big difference TCU has from Boise’s situation two years ago is that we’ve been ranked in the top five in the BCS all season. Who knows, in the situation that Oregon and Auburn remain undefeated and Boise State jumps TCU, maybe one of the bowls will find its soul and choose TCU over an inferior automatic-qualifying conference tie-in.

If they don’t, however, TCU should use every influential resource it has available, including every ounce of the nation’s pity, to inspire as much hate in the flawed system as possible. We should probably invite U.S. Congressman Joe Barton of Arlington 8212; who introduced federal legislation a few years ago, called H.R. 390: College Football Playoff Act of 2009 8212; to host an anti-BCS rally on campus. We should pressure Congress, as The Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins suggested on Nov. 11, to remove the tax exemption BCS bowls receive as “educational entities,” despite acting on purely economic and often downright unethical motives.

After appearing on a slew of ESPN programs last Friday, it appears TCU head football coach Gary Patterson is willing to politic a little more than he used to, and he absolutely should, assuming he goes about it in his typical classy fashion. In the end, Patterson and TCU are just doing what’s best for their student athletes.

Leaving TCU out of a major BCS bowl because we’re a smaller school in a smaller conference with a smaller fan base would be an inexcusably poor message to send to a group of coaches and athletes that took care of business and won all its games. If you don’t lose any games, how can you not belong at the top?

John Andrew Willis is a senior Spanish major from Dallas.