So much has been talked about in terms of the non automatic qualifiers for the BCS. TCU help put some of that conversation to rest today with a 21-19 win against Wisconsin. I’m not so sure of today’s validation given the fact that I don’t really believe that the Big Ten or the Badgers are as good as billed. Sure Iowa and Illinois won their respective games against second tier Big 12 teams, but the rest of the Big Ten got beat down today. The SEC was 3-0 today, Penn State lost to a much undermanned Florida Gators team (37-24), Miss State’s (52-14) win probably cemented Rich Rodriguez’ exit from Michigan, and Alabama (49-7) completely destroyed Michigan St, it wasn’t even close. Throw in a Northwestern loss to Texas Tech (45-38) and the Big Ten was 0-5 on New Year’s day and 2-5 for the bowl season, with Ohio State the lone hope left for an additional win against Arkansas.
I don’t think the Big Ten is what it use to be, the Wolverines beat only 2 quality teams this year, Ohio State 11-1 and Iowa 8-5. The rests of their schedule were cream puffs, Arizona State should’ve beaten them. The Big Ten lived up to its reputation of being a smash mouth conference, but once again the SEC’s speed outplayed their power. Adjustment really was the difference in the Rose Bowl game, TCU a team that likes balance, run to pass, needed to put the ball in the air more and utilize their speed, and they did so. Wisconsin was content to live with their game plan to pound it and wear them down, but TCU’s coaching staff made the necessary adjustments to use their speed and pressure to keep them off balance. Now the debate gets even more heated, because if TCU can eek out a win verses an automatic qualifier, we will begin to see more non automatic qualifiers invited to the party, and who wants to watch a Alabama, Auburn or reloaded Florida destroy a Boise State or TCU. The debate surely will go on, but this was not only a devastating day for the Big Ten and the Wolverines, but for the future of the BCS and how teams will qualify for the big BCS bowl games.