“Should Boise State be in the national championship discussion?”
Throughout the preseason and, especially, after Boise State’s 33-30 win over Virginia Tech Monday night, that’s a question that’s been asked of a Broncos team that’s suddenly turned from Cinderella to the wicked stepmother of college football.
From fans’ comments on this site to gallons of ink being spilled by major newspaper columnists to talking heads on TV/radio, everyone seems to have two copper Lincolns as to Boise State’s worthiness in being mentioned amongst the big boys and their pursuit of the BcS crystal.
You can now count Nick Saban amongst the everyone.
Speaking on his weekly radio show, the Alabama head coach took a shot at Boise State, hinting that if the Broncos were in his conference and had to run through their gauntlet of league foes — not just one game against the Hokies — it might be a different story.
He noted that Alabama defeated Virginia Tech in its 2009 opener and defeated “six other teams that were the caliber of Virginia Tech, or maybe better. And maybe more than that if you throw in Texas and Florida in the SEC Championship Game. …”
“It’s the full body of work. It’s not just that you can beat one team, but if you have to beat six or seven other teams and have to play with consistency to do it, I think that goes a long way in saying a lot about what kind of football team that you have. And that’s no disrespect that you have, because they may certainly be able to do the same thing if they were put in that circumstance.”
First of all, who were these six presumably SEC teams in 2009 — in addition to Florida and Texas — that Saban’s team hurdled en route to the national title and were equal to or better than the Hokies? LSU? Georgia? Ole Miss or Arkansas? Tennessee under Kiffin? Please with your six-plus, Coach Woodcock.
Certainly I have a very, very high opinion of the SEC, too high based on some of the comments in many of my posts; Saban’s, however, is the reason a good chunk of college football despises the conference.
Secondly, and to address Saban’s quasi-quality final thought, you simply don’t know what would happen if Boise State were to be dropped into the middle of the SEC. Or the Big Ten. Or the Pac-10 (The Big East is another story, though; that’s a league title and automatic BcS berth right there). Certainly there can be conjecture, but the “put them in the (conference name) and they wouldn’t even finish .500″ take is one of the most patently asinine arguments in the sports world today. Such a concrete statement on a what-if argument is a stance of the feeble-minded, too weak to wrap their heads around anything but the most simplistic of concepts and too self-centered to realize that football is played at a very high level outside the South/Midwest/Texas.
Of course, there is a one way that this argument could be solved, at least in part.
Oops, never mind. The weak of mind can’t wrap their heads around that simple concept, either.