1, 2006 - Five
BCS games for the 2006 season! In short, the NCAA has
added another BCS game...and it's called the BCS National
Championship Game, which is to be played on January
8th in Arizona. First and foremost, the NCAA wants to
remain very clear…this is not a playoff. A team
can only play in the post-season one time. The title
for the new system is now termed the Double Hosting
Model, which is not to be confused with other nominated
versions - the Piggyback Model, the Plus One Model or
the Gaylord Hotels - VISA Championship Model. This current
model was not necessarily put in place to guarantee
that the two best teams make it to the title game –
supposedly, we have already had that working since the
advent of the BCS in 1998. This new system was put in
place to give the mid-major conferences a chance to
have their champions play for the huge payoff coming
from one of these classics. The revenue earned (and
shared amongst its conference) would be a huge leg up
for these leagues looking to gain parity with the six
conferences already guaranteed at least one spot in
the big-money games.
that said, what does one of these mid-major teams have
to do to get an invite into one of the BCS battles?
Here is how the NCAA explains it:
a champion of Conference USA (C-USA), the Mid-American
Conference (MAC), the Mountain West Conference (MWC),
the Sun Belt Conference, or the Western Athletic Conference
(WAC) finishes the regular season either (a) ranked
in the top 12 or (b) ranked in the top 16 and ranked
higher than the champion of a conference with an annual
automatic berth in one of the BCS bowls, then that school
will be guaranteed a slot in one of the BCS bowl games.
latter part of the equation would best be explained
by the example from last season when Florida State received
an automatic bid by winning the ACC Championship Game
but finished ranked #22 in the final BCS poll. By virtue
of the new rules, TCU would have made a BCS game by
finishing ranked #14.
this system had been put in place last season, Oregon
(10-1) as well would have been included as part of the
BCS equation, a situation that could have put to rest
the argument that the Ducks belonged over a two-loss
Notre Dame. The bowl scenario would probably have looked
more like this:
BOWL SCENARIO UNDER THE NEW BCS SYSTEM
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – Texas vs.
ROSE BOWL – Ohio State vs. Oregon
SUGAR BOWL – Georgia vs. West
ORANGE BOWL – Florida State vs.
FIESTA BOWL – Notre Dame vs.
who are the mid-major contenders for a BCS birth in
2006? Given the current slate of games on each team's
schedule, we have narrowed it down to two possibilities.
The Horned Frogs of TCU and…hold on to your hats...the
Tulsa Golden Hurricane. You know, that school that has
2,600 undergrads; the team that won Conference USA last
season while going on to beat Fresno State in the Liberty
Bowl; the team that has the state of Oklahoma's high
school career passing record holder in QB Paul Smith
(9,574 career yards/Owasso High School and Edmond Deer
Creek, 2000-02); that team with 16 starters back...of
course, you knew all that, huh.
most important, Tulsa’s schedule is void of any
BCS-conference affiliated opponents. Their toughest
games (in-conference) are at home, versus Southern Miss
and UTEP. And if you have never heard of young Coach
Steve Kragthorpe, you soon will. In his first season
at Tulsa (2003) he led the team to the school's first
bowl game in 12 years and was named a finalist for the
Paul "Bear" Bryant and Bobby Dodd Coach of
the Year Awards. Kragthorpe was presented with the "Key
to the City" by Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune on December
18, 2003, at the regular City Council meeting. Be careful
Bill - this winter, if Kragthorpe keeps it up, they
may just offer him your job. If you like a wide-open
spread offense with an aggressive personality, tune
in when you can as the Golden Hurricane take the field.
But, unfortunately, don’t expect the 2,600 undergrad
students to put enough bodies in the big stadium seats
on New Years Day to attract much vaunted national television
status. If they earn it, Tulsa will go to the BCS on
pure merit, the way it should be.
to the new BCS system.