Monday, August 15, 2005

Implications of the Boise State vs UGA Game

If you are an avid reader of all things college football, particularly on the Internet, then you've probably heard tell that the Boise State v UGA match-up could reshape the college football landscape.

Well, it does have a couple of things going for it. Boise State is probably playing in the premiere game of the program's history. It's on the road in a fairly environs, on national TV, and coming on the heels of Utah's appearance in a BCS title game. Up until this point, no so called “mid major” had ever played in a BCS game.

I'm thinking, though, that this whole “change college football forever” thing already happened last year. Boise could run the table or go 10-1 – assume that the loss isn't to UGA. Is it a lock for the BCS either way? No – that will depend in part on how other teams are doing. A bunch of one-loss conference runners-up could muddy the picture. However, any claim to a BCS berth will be aided thanks to Utah's performance last year.

Utah making a BCS bowl (against as big of a sacrificial lamb as we've seen in a long time, to be sure) was a bigger deal than a Boise State victory in Athens would be. Not that such an upset wouldn't be a big deal – and to the Boise State fans it would be everything. But I think the landscape already got changed last year. Utah's making and winning a BCS game could help future mid-majors who claim a spot in one of College Football's “big four”. As sensational as an upset in Athens would be, it would not the long term impact that Utah making the Fiesta will.


At 6:18 AM, Blogger I'm a Realist said...

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At 6:20 AM, Blogger I'm a Realist said...

I agree with you. I don't think it will change the landscape of college football as much as people think. It should come as no shock that "mid-majors" are catching the top programs in college football. With so much television exposure, recruits don't have to go to a top ten program to receive national recognition.

The key for these programs to break through the glass ceiling and become top programs is the ability to keep their young coaches. As good as Meyer is, he has only stayed two years at each of his previous stops before moving on to bigger and better things (If I'm in Gainesville, I'm wondering how long he stays before he scratches that NFL itch). For any mid-major to become elite, they need to follow the Florida State model (yes, pre-1980's FSU was very much a mid-major): Beat the big boys when you get the chance and keep your coaching staff in tact as long as possible.

If Boise State wins in Athens, the smurf-turfers' toughest challenge of the year will be keeping Dan Hawkins in Idaho.

At 6:38 AM, Blogger peacedog said...

Agreed on all counts. Keeping a coach can be tough. And the mid majors will probably suffer as much due to coaching lossess as anything esle.

I'm working on a couple of more pieces about the game, I'm going to be posting them periodically. It should be a good one.


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