Friday, October 30, 2009

A Mid-Season Crisis

At about nine o’clock on Sunday morning when the sting of the TCU loss was finally wearing off, I imagine that you suddenly realized that you now face one of the worst crises that a die-hard sports fan such as yourself can face. It’s the same crisis that Pittsburg Pirates fans (if there are any more) encounter every year a third of the way into the baseball season: what do you do when the team you cheer for no longer has anything significant to play for. (Hint: If you are the Pittsburg Pirates, you simply trade all of your players away start rebuilding for next year.)

I don’t think many people will argue that BYU currently doesn’t have a whole lot to play for. Our best option is to play a crappy Pac-10 football team in the Las Vegas Bowl. For that to occur, there either needs to be a three-way tie in the MWC or TCU needs to go to a BCS game. Even then, there is no guarantee that the Las Vegas Bowl would actually pick BYU. Needless to say, things don't look up. As such, it seems kind of pointless to put the same amount of energy into following BYU football that we did at the beginning of the season. (For example: spending 4 hours every Saturday watching the game as your daughter begs you for your attention, searching for any and every article you can find on the internet about BYU, watch Sportscenter hour after hour into the early hours of the morning just to hear Lou Holtz say one more time that BYU has a legitimate chance at playing in the national championship, spending hours trying to find a pirated stream of the game online because you don’t have versus or the mtn.).

Now that BYU is pretty much out of the picture, what are you going to do with all of that time that you would have spent following BYU pursue a national championship or BCS berth? After all, it is not as if you can fill that time with any old thing; that's sacred time. If you find yourself in this predicament, I have a few suggestions.

1. Cheer for Iowa and Cincinnati!

I’m being serious. I will admit that I am no fan of the Big Ten or the Big East. I think that they are both incredibly overrated conferences and normally I take great joy in watching them struggle. However, Iowa and Cincinnati’s recent success has changed my attitude somewhat, at least for the remainder of this year. Although both schools are in “BCS conferences”, they really have not gotten a whole lot of respect this year. As a result, it is entirely possible that even if they both run the table neither will not get a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. I can think of nothing better than for this to happen. For the last several years we have had undefeated teams from “mid-major” conferences such as the WAC and Mountain West get snubbed by the BCS title game. It looks like it will happen again this year. Although this has made a lot of people upset and question the BCS format, most of the noise has come from other mid-major schools. Imagine, however, what would happen if a team from the Big Ten or Big East, the BCS’s very own, were snubbed despite going undefeated—particularly if they were passed by a 1 loss team from the Pac-10, SEC, or Big 12. It would be complete chaos. Then, instead of simply mid-majors crying for change, we might see some help from some of the conferences that have a little more power. This is precisely the type of chaos we need to push for change.

2. Pull out your horned-frog purple!

We all know that BYU still has a shot at winning the conference, which we previously suggested should always be BYU’s primary goal. If BYU beats Utah and Utah beats TCU, then we have three-way tie for the conference championship. But before you get your hopes up, I think BYU fans should consider whether this is in fact what we want. It was one thing to hope that Utah lost to TCU last year in order to create a three way tie. That was more about our hatred for Utah than wanting a conference championship. This year it may very well be the case that TCU winning out and getting to BCS game would be much better for BYU and the conference in the long run than a three way tie. I personally don’t have the same hatred toward TCU that I feel toward Utah and so I am much more open to considering this than I was last year. At the very minimum, it is something to use your free time to think about.

3. Follow NASCAR or soccer

Okay, that one is a joke. Not worth your time!

These are only a few suggestions, and I would love to hear what some of the things you are going to do with the time you would have dedicated to faithfully following BYU football if they still had something to pay for.


  1. Very interesting article. Kind of depressing to think that the hopes of anything better than a Vegas Bowl are all but gone. I agree with every word you said. I wasn't really rooting for Iowa or Cincy, but now I will. I always like the Big East to be lousy so that the MWC looks better, but your point about an undefeated Cincy team getting "snubbed" is thought provoking.

    I've also been rooting for Boise State now that TCU is ahead of them in the BCS standing. Will the BCS take two undefeated non-BCS conference teams? My vote is no, unless Oregon wins the PAC-10; how could they not? So I am also rooting for an undefeated Boise State team and Oregon winning the PAC-10. Definitely throws another twist into the BCS fiasco.

  2. I would see the rest of the season going like this. Oregon plays Florida for the BCS title, Utah beats TCU and plays Cinncinati the Big East winner, Alabama plays Texas, TCU plays Iowa and BYU plays USC or Cal in Vegas Bowl with sales out in first five minutes.

  3. The only way BYU is going up in the polls is when they have a bye week!;)

  4. I'm cheering my heart out for TCU, Iowa, and Cincinnati to all end up undefeated. I can't stand Boise or I would cheer for them too. I am equally cheering for the Top 3 (Florida, Texas, and Alabama) to lose. That doesn't seem likely though seeing that Texas is playing in a significantly weaker Big 12.

    Nothing would please me more than seeing the BCS snub TCU and Boise to give us a craptastic National Championship featuring the powerhouses of Cincinnati and Iowa. That's a ratings nightmare! And after we are all treated to that poop sandwich, there will be even more outcry about the B(c)S, and we can be sure Urban and the "big boys" will be joining in.