The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Breaking the Bowl Conference Series’ glass ceiling

In the Red Zone
 Breaking the Bowl Conference Series glass ceiling
Breaking the Bowl Conference Series’ glass ceiling

Breaking the Bowl Conference Series’ glass ceiling

At some point someone will do it. They will put together anundefeated season that has enough quality wins to make everyonenotice. They will scream “Let Me in Now!” like Nelly inCountry Grammar and the decision makers will have no choice but todo it.

I’m speaking of a team from a non-BCS conference, the WAC,Mountain West or Conference-USA. A team that puts together anundefeated season and gains entrance into one of the big four BCSbowls that pays out in excess of $10 million to each team.

Why does this matter to you, the SMU student? It matters becausewhen SMU gets turned around it would be nice if another smallconference team has paved the way and allowed for the little guy toget respect.

This year, there are six little guys that have flexed theirmuscles and won games against big name opponents. One of the thingslittle guys have to overcome is that anytime they beat a bigconference team, people automatically assume that the team theybeat is no good.

It was said when Utah trounced Texas A&M 41-21 to start theseason, but A&M has thumped Wyoming 31-0 and 25th rankedClemson 27-6 since then, legitimizing the Utes victory.

Hopefully, this retroactive validation will not be needed andwins will because the winning team is a good team.

Here is a look at the six teams ranked by their BCS chances andthe games that could trip them up:

 

6. Southern Mississippi (1-0)

The Golden Eagles did something no non-conference team had donesince 1991 when it beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln.

The win 13 years ago sparked Washington to a National Title, andSouthern Miss hopes its win can be the centerpiece of a specialseason.

Coach Jeff Bower’s team is built around his patentedswarming defense that forced five turnovers against Nebraska.All-Conference-USA linebacker Michael Bolley is a ball hawk whoalso shares leadership duties with quarterback Dustin Almond.

The Golden Eagles also have the unfair advantage of the bustlingHattiesburg, Miss. nightlife to distract visiting opponents thenight before a game.

Key Tests: at Memphis, at TCU, vs. No. 9 California

BCS Chances: With the tough schedule and sputteringoffense, the Golden Eagles chances of crashing the BCS bash is slimto none, and slim left town a long time ago.

 

5. No. 22 Louisville (2-0)

Louisville has built an offensive juggernaut around quarterbackStefan LeFors and running back/quarterback Michael Bush(don’t ask).

This team seems to have an unlimited supply of offensiveweapons. At the quarterback position alone, the Cardinals haveConference-USA first-teamer LeFors, the electric Bush andballyhooed freshman Brian Brohm (who has already seen time).

They throw to an array of receivers led by junior BroderickClark.

The defense is sturdy as well and they have already pitched ashutout against archrival Kentucky.

Key Tests: at North Carolina, at No. 4 Miami, atMemphis

BCS Chances: Depends how good you think the Cardinalsare. Either the schedule will kill them or they will win all threeroad tests and contend for the national title. So option‘A’ it is.

 

4. No. 21 Boise State (3-0)

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Broncos withthe loss of superstar quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie, but Head CoachDan Hawkins has the Broncos picking up right where they left offlast season.

The Broncos are riding sophomore quarterback Jared Zabransky whohas led the offense to an astounding 55 points a game as Boise St.has extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 14games.

The Broncos defense has struggled as it has given up over 30points to both Oregon State and UTEP and how much it improves willdecide how far this team goes.

Key Tests: vs. BYU, vs. Fresno State

BCS Chances: Good, Should be 6-0 when it faces fellow BCScrasher Fresno St. in a game that will decide the WAC champion andwho earns an eight-figure payday for the conference.

 

3. Memphis (3-0)

When a team returns all 11 starters on offense after going 9-4the year before, the nation should hear about it, right? Evidentlythese Tigers got lost in the shuffle, but quarterback DannyWimprine and running back DeAngelo Williams are the catalysts for ateam that has already entered the Top 25 this season but fell outafter winning at Arkansas State.

If Memphis goes unbeaten the team will be the poster child formid-major attackers because of their weak schedule which wasdiminished by Mississippi’s off-year (Memphis beat the Rebelsfor the second straight season).

Key Tests: at UAB, vs. No. 22 Louisville, vs. SouthernMississippi

BCS Chances: If the Tigers can get used to playing withthe bullseye of being the favorite (Alabama-Birmingham is the onlysemi-threat they play away from Beale Street), the BCS is verypossible.

 

2. No. 14 Utah (3-0)

It took Urban Meyer one season to turn around the Utes (10-2last season), and now they’ve got the entire country (ormaybe just Texas) running scared.

That’s right, the Longhorns just pulled out of athree-year contract with the Utes because evidently they are toogood to play, and that’s because of a defense that has heldopponents to 11 points a game and the high-powered Urban Legendoffense.

Meyer puts his faith in junior quarterback, and economics gradstudent, Alex Smith who has thrown for six touchdowns and run forthree.

Also, if there is any place crazier than Hattiesburg it’sSalt Lake City.

If I were a coach, I wouldn’t take any chances and bringmy team to Utah on game day because no one can resist the allure ofthe Salt Lake social scene.

Key Tests: at New Mexico, vs. North Carolina, at San DiegoState.

BCS Chances: The Utes will be favored weekly, but theymust overcome precedent as only Brigham Young in 2001 has amassedan undefeated conference record in Mountain West history.

 

1. No. 17 Fresno State (3-0)

The fact that the Bulldogs are only ranked at No. 17 right nowis all the evidence needed to question the pollsters (see lastweek’s column) as valid decision makers.

Quarterback Paul Pinegar can make any throw in the playbook,Bryson Sumlin and Dwayne Wright carry the mail, and Head Coach PatHill is single-handedly bringing back the handlebar moustache.

Fresno physically dominated both Washington and Kansas State ontheir fields, and nobody has a defense that makes more plays orscores more touchdowns (4 on the year).

The Bulldogs will play and beat anybody, anywhere, andthat’s why No. 1 USC pulled out of a game slated for thisseason against the Bulldogs.

Key Test: at No. 21 Boise State

BCS Chances: All I know is that I’m not bettingagainst this team. Pat Hill knows this is his chance to finallybust down the door and it will hinge on the only test his team hasleft, in Boise.

 

Trent Redden is a junior finance and public policy major. Hecan be reached at [email protected].

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