Orange Bowl paves way for historic BCS season
Iowa’s dominating win over Georgia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl last night paves way for an interesting historic note that I’m stunned nobody is talking about. But, before I get into that, big kudos to the Big 10 for breaking their stigma as BCS chokers in a big way. Ohio State and Iowa both put up dominant defensive performances en route to breaking the Big 10’s six-game BCS losing streak and locked up the conference’s first bowl-season winning record since 2002. That was a great game last night. Much better than I expected and, for my money, the best BCS game so far this season.
But one thing that nobody is talking about is that this season is well positioned to be the first time ever that every underdog in BCS games have won. No. 8 Ohio State started it by knocking off No. 7 Oregon. That same night, No. 5 Florida crushed No. 3 Cincinnati. Then, No. 6 Boise State topped No. 4 TCU. Last night, No. 10 Iowa took down No. 9 Georgia Tech. No. 2 Texas has a chance to complete the sweep and make history tomorrow night in the BCS National Championship against No. 1 Alabama.
Previously, the best performances by underdogs were the ’07-’08 and ’08-’09 seasons when the underdogs won three of the five BCS bowls. Underdogs have never before come this close to sweeping the BCS. In two previous seasons (’00-’01 and ’04-’05) the favorites swept the BCS.
I wonder why this little historical note seems to have escaped everyone’s attention. Is it perhaps because people are caring less and less about these matchups as they buck for a tournament?
Could it be that people forgot that some of these teams were underdogs? It’s pretty easy to forget that Florida fell from No. 1 to No. 5 after losing to Alabama and that, despite expectations, they weren’t technically the favorite in the game. And with the huge layoff the Big 10 has before BCS season, it can be easy to forget where Iowa and Ohio State were ranked, let alone that they were even playing in BCS bowls.
It might be that the teams are more evenly matched than perhaps any previous season. This is only the second time that every team in a BCS bowl has been in the top 10. In fact, in five previous seasons, there has been one team outside the top 15 in the BCS, three of which have been teams outside the top 20. This is also the first time that every matchup has been between two teams that are separated by no more than 2 spots in the polls. One could say that this is the best demonstration of how the BCS should work that we have ever seen.
So, maybe it is the fact that nobody was facing a “real” upset. After all, how much of an upset can you call it when No. 8 tops No. 7? Nevertheless, Texas does have a chance to make history tomorrow night, and nobody seems to be noticing.