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Blog Entry

The Fiesta Bowl situation

Posted on: December 7, 2009 3:07 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2009 4:43 pm
 

I want to believe the Fiesta Bowl is breaking new ground with matching TCU and Boise against each other. It has more than a 35-year history of thinking out of the box.

Remember Miami-Penn State in 1987? That was a Fiesta-arranged meeting between No. 1 and No. 2. Right or wrong, Louisville filled a void in 1991 when the Martin Luther King holiday controversy raged.

So what are we supposed to make of TCU-Boise State? The bowl says the game is a ratings winner for TV. The stats say that last year’s Poinsettia Bowl between the same two teams was the 15th highest rated bowl.

The bowl says it’s a chance to match up a couple of unbeaten non-BCS teams. In that sense, Orrin Hatch, the schools, the Mountain West and Congress can’t complain. The alternative was playing a two-loss team from a major conference.

That’s what TCU and Boise probably wanted but neither school can complain either. They are playing the highest ranked team available -- except that they aren’t. The ideal matchup would be TCU vs. Cincinnati. But as executive director John Junker explained Cincinnati is like a long-distance girlfriend, not very geographically desirable.

OK, so this isn’t the best matchup. It isn’t particularly a TV ratings winner either, although TCU-Cincinnati would be worse.

Here’s a working theory based on nothing but conjecture …

 There was some low-level pressure from spin doctor Ari Fleischer, the BCS’ p.r. king, to keep the kids away from the adult table. That’s assuming that Fleischer knew enough about the system to suggest a Boise-TCU game. (Nothing personal, Ari. Ninety-nine percent of the country doesn’t get the BCS.)

The point being, that such a game would reduce the yelp from critics to almost zero.

 The four BCS bowl directors “colluded” to dump TCU and Boise in the desert. That keeps the embarrassment factor for all the BCS bowls to a minimum.

 With Cincinnati, Boise and TCU in separate bowls, the possibility exists of three unsettling upsets by non-traditional programs. Now the number is down to one, if Cincy beats Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

I don’t give the BCS bowl honchos that much credit. They’re in this for the individual gain of their bowls. If they’re in the business of helping other bowls, this instance would be the first time ever.

On the other hand, the Fiesta wasn’t exactly crowing (privately, that is) about having to take Utah in 2004 and Boise in 2006. Suddenly, a school with 40,000 living alumni (TCU) and one from the Idaho hinterlands (Boise) are appointment television?

Something doesn’t fit here.

Final verdict: We’ll have to take the Fiesta at its word. At the end of the day, it’s trying to get as many people in the Valley of the Sun for as long as possible to spend a lot of money.

As a fan, the alternatives – Iowa-Boise, Iowa-TCU – don’t do much for me. We already know that Boise and TCU are probably better than Iowa.

Now if one of those schools were matched up against Florida in the Sugar Bowl?

Category: NCAAF
Comments

Since: Nov 1, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2009 12:50 pm
 

The Fiesta Bowl situation

zerodev.... a big ten team has to play in a bowl game. They have a BCS contract for a bowl, whcih Ohio State is in. But the final two postitions was between Iowa and Penn State, because all other teams were out of the picture. Because Iwoa beat Penn State, they are in a BCS bowl.



Since: Dec 6, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2009 12:13 pm
 

The Fiesta Bowl situation

You know, I read my whole post and I couldn't find a single spot where I sad that I think anyone cares. Why do you offer your opinions in online forums? Because someone in the forum begged for them? "Oh please artvandelayx, tell us what you think!"? You see a lot of that on this thread? I was simply offering my opinion on the matter of which game is going to get more interest, albeit in a bit of a defensive manner. Don't worry, I'm not foolish enough to think that anyone cares what I think. Being a fan of a MWC team, my opinion doesn't matter. Oh well, I guess "there's always next year."

Sorry if I seem a little bit pissed off. I was frustrated last year when the Utes got snubbed and I'm just as frustrated this year when two other mid-major teams get completely screwed out of proving themselves while comparatively mediocre teams get the nod because their conferences are in bed with the BCS.



Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2009 6:59 am
 

The Fiesta Bowl situation

Industrialcaulk, why do you think anyone cares how you feel about Iowa football or the state of Iowa for that matter?  For your information the way you feel about Iowa is the same way I feel about Utah.  Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.



Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2009 10:11 pm
 

The Fiesta Bowl situation

The Fiesta Bowl admitted that it cleared the TCU-Boise State matchup with Fox.  I suspect that Fox (who signs their paycheck) dictated for the Fiesta Bowl to "take one for the team" and schedule this matchup.  Fox could then protect the BCS conference teams who are their cash and ratings cows and limit the bad ratings (at least from their perspective) to one BCS game instead of two. Maybe Fox offered to compensate them with a favorable matchup next year, who knows.  Fox really is the evil empire.
One flaw, there, bsubroncfan. ESPN is taking over the BCS game package starting next year.

How this thread became a referendum on Iowa is beyond me. Boise State would not beat Penn State on the road and take Ohio State to overtime on the road in the same season. TCU woud not do that either. But that's not what this is about is it? Because Iowa didn't take their spots in the BCS did they?

A lot of people took their eyes off the ball because Dodd took a (weak, under-researched) shot at the Hawkeyes. Iowa has held its own or better against opponents for two years now. Iowa-TCU, Iowa-Georgia Tech or Iowa-Boise State are all close games potentially. All of them are very even. If you say otherwise, you're talking out of the wrong opening in your body.

Here's who to blame:

1) The Fiesta, for going with TCU a non-BCS school with its first pick. When it did that, it knew full well, Boise State would be the most attractive team to take with its second pick.

2) Cincinnati, because of its terrible track record for selling bowl tickets. The Sugar Bowl had the very, last pick to round out the BCS matchups, and a team from Idaho was taken before the Bearcats. What does that say? The Orange Bowl would be a natural destination for the Big East Champ. They passed on the Bearcats as well. Again, what does that tell you?

Iowa has nothing to do with the fact that Boise State and TCU were matched up. I'll say that again. Iowa has nothing to do with Boise State and TCU being matched up. The Fiesta was either trying to be an innovator or was successful at being a co-conspirator to keep the non-BCS from another statement win against the big boys.

The BCS bowls have the top 10 teams for the 10 available slots. They have the right programs in the games. How they were paired up is the real question.

Dodd, please educate yourself about the Hawkeyes. You're self-indulgence drove this discussion off the theme of your column.



Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2009 9:34 pm
 

The Fiesta Bowl situation

I'll add another VERY plausible scenario for you:

The Fiesta Bowl admitted that it cleared the TCU-Boise State matchup with Fox.  I suspect that Fox (who signs their paycheck) dictated for the Fiesta Bowl to "take one for the team" and schedule this matchup.  Fox could then protect the BCS conference teams who are their cash and ratings cows and limit the bad ratings (at least from their perspective) to one BCS game instead of two. Maybe Fox offered to compensate them with a favorable matchup next year, who knows.  Fox really is the evil empire.

I personally think this game will get good ratings this year. Most rightfully feel this will be a great game pitting two undefeated teams and they will watch. What hurt last year was the game was on Christmas Eve and TCU had two losses (granted to two top ten teams). Also, it obviously was not a BCS game.

This doesn't excuse what they did by seating these teams at the "little kids" table so to speak.  A BCS slate of: Alabama-Texas, TCU-Florida, BSU-Cincy, Oregon-Ohio State and GaTech-Iowa would have been fabulous.  Also, as a Boise State fan, I like our chances against Cincy better than our chances against TCU, though I still think we can win if the Broncos bring their "A" game.



Since: Dec 6, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2009 4:38 pm
 

The Fiesta Bowl situation

BCS again proves its worthlessness
By John Feinstein
Washington Post
Monday, Dec 7, 2009

" The power-conference apologists can't claim that the Big East, Cincinnati's league, was weaker than the Big 12, the Big 10 or the ACC. They just can't. In fact, they'd be hard-pressed to make that claim about the Mountain West, a non-BCS league that not only includes TCU but also features a Utah team that stomped Alabama in the Sugar Bowl last season--an Alabama team that had taken Florida to the wire a few weeks earlier. Sadly, most of my gutless colleagues who vote in the AP poll decided to play the role of sheep and voted for Florida over Utah in last season's final poll when they had the option not to do so.

Perhaps the case can be made that the Western Athletic Conference, top to bottom, isn't as good as the BCS leagues, but in Boise State's one chance to play a team from one of the so-called power conferences this year, it beat Oregon--the champion of the second-strongest league in the country. So anyone who claims that they know Texas is better than the other three unbeatens also has some oceanfront land in Nebraska to sell you."




Since: Dec 6, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2009 4:35 pm
 

The Fiesta Bowl situation

BCS again proves its worthlessness
By John Feinstein
Washington Post
Monday, Dec 7, 2009

" The power-conference apologists can't claim that the Big East, Cincinnati's league, was weaker than the Big 12, the Big 10 or the ACC. They just can't. In fact, they'd be hard-pressed to make that claim about the Mountain West, a non-BCS league that not only includes TCU but also features a Utah team that stomped Alabama in the Sugar Bowl last season--an Alabama team that had taken Florida to the wire a few weeks earlier. Sadly, most of my gutless colleagues who vote in the AP poll decided to play the role of sheep and voted for Florida over Utah in last season's final poll when they had the option not to do so.

Perhaps the case can be made that the Western Athletic Conference, top to bottom, isn't as good as the BCS leagues, but in Boise State's one chance to play a team from one of the so-called power conferences this year, it beat Oregon--the champion of the second-strongest league in the country. So anyone who claims that they know Texas is better than the other three unbeatens also has some oceanfront land in Nebraska to sell you."




Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2009 4:17 pm
 

The "Fix" was actually in the Orange Bowl

Quick, of all the ten teams in the BCS (Bama, Florida, Texas, TCU, BSU, Oregon, Ohio State, Iowa, Cincy) which would think that GaTech would be favored against, and would have a good chance of winning?  Yeah, that would be Iowa.

The Orange Bowl had 4 teams to chose from, and they picked the ONE TEAM in the group that the team they already had might actually beat.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.  The Orange wanted to protect it's Conference Partner.  It wanted to give the ACC the best chance possible to win a BCS game and be 2-8 for the decade and not 1-9.

The Fiesta basically took the highest ranked team that was geographically "close" (close be a relative term in this case) both times.  That is understandable and honestly, to be commended and praised.

The Orange took the lowest ranked team, with the worst record, that they could.  WHY?  To protect their conference partner.  They are wed to the ACC, and so it is better for them both if the ACC wins.  And the Orange had a chance to pick teams that would certainly beat Ga Tech (TCU) or probably beat Ga Tech (Cincy and Boise) or probably lose to Ga Tech (Iowa) ... and they took Iowa.

Wouldn't it be great if the designated sacrifical lamb who was only there to bring fans to be fleeced, actually won the game!

GOOOOOO Hawkeyes!!!!



Since: Nov 2, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2009 3:17 pm
 

The Fiesta Bowl situation

I'd have to agree.  Their division is so incredibly bad how they managed to get two BCS births is beyond me....



Since: Dec 6, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2009 2:26 pm
 

The Fiesta Bowl situation

Might I add, I will be watching the Fiesta Bowl. I will not be watching the Iowa game. Frankly, the word "Iowa" almost puts me to sleep. I can't think of a single reason I would want anything to do with Iowa, on TV or otherwise. I think that if people with shovels literally dug Iowa off the map I still wouldn't be interested. That's how boring the state is. I really don't care what the national ratings are for either game. I would be willing to bed, though, that a TCU-Florida game would pull in enormous ratings.

The bottom line here is that we'll never know who would have won between TCU or Boise and one of these major schools. Hopefully the BCS will get it right next time, but judging by the nature of the beast (Step one: make as much money as possible. Step two: protect your own so the have credibility to make more money in the future) we shouldn't hold our breath.


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