Boise State Wins Fiesta Bowl, BCS System Be Damned


With a 17-10 score, undefeated Boise State beat the TCU Horned Frogs last night during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl to become BCS champions. Even for non-football fans, it was an exciting game, with well-matched teams and some artfully executed plays—including a fake punt—that cinched the win.

While Boise State fans were jubilant, naturally, much of the post-game commentary on TV was essentially, "Meh. Who cares if these teams were undefeated? Who cares if this game was tight? It was a BCS game, not a real playoff and even though they won the game, they didn't win the national title. Now if TCU or Boise State were good enough to play Alabama or Texas ... that would have been a game."

And more than one sportscaster/sportswriter suggested something slightly untoward in the win, the words "sneaky," "trickery" and "gadget plays" among others used to describe coach Chris Peterson's playbook.

But among the detractors are a few Boise State athletic supporters (hee hee) and some who even find value in the flawed BCS system. They allow that even though the system may not give the little guys a chance to prove their mettle against the big boys, the BCS games can put teams on the national map. And an undefeated champion is still an undefeated champion, right?

At, Pete Thamel wrote that this win gives "Boise a chance to reside alongside the national elite programs. By finishing the season 14-0 and with a spot in the top five all but guaranteed, Boise State is on the cusp of something unthinkable even three years ago ... The same stage that put them into the college football elite now has them with realistic dreams of being in the running for the national title in 2010."

Sports Illustrated/'s Joe Posnanski suggested in his post-game column that he isn't sure "if Boise State's victory was impressive enough or showy enough to convince people that they could beat Alabama or Texas," but that it was a championship win just the same.

"Nobody will ever be able to prove that the Texas-Alabama winner is better than Boise State or vice versa," Posnaski wrote. "And it seems to me that we can embrace that. We should embrace that. Nobody can stop people from Boise State from selling 'National champions' T-shirts. Nobody can stop people from buying those shirts. And nobody can say those shirts are wrong."