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Crashing the Party
Posted Thursday, October 9, 2008 - 12:00am

Hard to believe, but we're heading into week seven of the college football season, and the first rankings of the Bowl Championship Series have been published.

There's not too many surprises – Oklahoma has been mowing down opponents with the ease of a tornado plowing through a Midwestern cornfield, and Alabama's trouncing of Georgia has left it, for the time being, sitting in a lofty perch. But both of their schedules are about to get much tougher, so we'll see if they remain on top over the next few weeks. This is the time when things really start getting interesting.

The BCS formula is always cooking up something crazy. At least it gives us something to talk about on Monday mornings. At least a dozen teams are still in the hunt, including three teams of local interest.

Now, if you're a true college football fan, you know that the BCS formula is basically a bunch of hogwash surrounded by controversy. (How could LSU lose its last game of the year in 2007 and still end up in the nationalchampionship game?) At least five teams have the chance to crash the BCS party this year.

Three of the four BCS rankings have Boise State (WAC) and Utah (MWC) rated ahead of BYU. Two of the computer rankings have BSU and Utah in the top five. One ranking (Colley) has BYU in the lowly #23 position.

Now, before you start howling Cougar diehards, or stop reading altogether, think it through with me. The human polls generally follow this kind of crusty logic: "Well, they beat them, when they were ranked first, and then they beat them, so that means team A must be better than team B."Let's put some faces and names together. Utah beat Oregon State (granted, just barely) and Oregon State beat Southern Cal, when it was ranked #1. Utah also has one other quality win against Michigan, although as the season wears on, it's clear that the Wolverines aren't much more than a mediocre team, though they managed to knock off Wisconsin, which has since lost a second game.

Pile all that up, sort it out, and Utah comes out looking pretty good.

Boise State, with its win over the Oregon Ducks, is on the same logic train. BSU beat a pretty good team on the road, therefore, it deserves a higher ranking than BYU. Or so goes what passes for BCS logic.

Face it. BYU does have an interesting team and will end up in a high-profile bowl game, barring losses to, say, TCU and Utah. But just exactly who have the Cougars beat? They struggled to nip a weak Washington team by a single point and with the aid of a questionable call at the end of the game, and Washington will struggle to win more than a couple of games this season.

But all of this is why college football is so much fun to follow. You can argue, debate and compare, and in the end, only two schools will end up in the championship game. Will BYU be one of them? How about Utah? Or Boise State?

It's doubtful, but buckle up, because the ride is going to be fun over the next few weeks. In the meantime, local football fans, keep your eye on Nov. 22, when it's just possible that two undefeated teams lock horns in Salt Lake City.

Who knows? If it's the Utes in a cakewalk, maybe those BCS contributors know a little more than we give them credit for.

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Great article. Texas !

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