Last week, Total Pro Sports brought you a list of this year’s top college football bowl snubs. Today, we bring you a list of the biggest snubs in the history of the college football Bowl Championship Series. And take it from us, even though the BCS has only been around since 1998, it was not hard to find candidates. It was difficult, however, to narrow it down to the top nine. So let us know what you think.
Now, before we get started, just a quick note as to what it means to be “snubbed”: not all bowl snubs mean that the teams who did play and win in a given bowl game weren’t deserving. Sometimes there are just other teams that also deserved a shot, that’s all. And because the BCS system didn’t give them a shot, we consider them snubbed.
So let’s get the ball rolling and see who comes in at #9, shall we?
One-loss Florida State played undefeated Oklahoma for the National Championship in 2001. Sounds reasonable, except that FSU's one loss came to another team that only lost one game: Miami. And who did Miami lose to? Yep, another one-loss team in Washington. So really, it was a toss-up as to whether Miami or Washington got more screwed over in 2001. Ultimately, I went with Miami, since they beat Washington. Either way, the system didn't sort things out as well as we would have liked.
9. Miami, 2000-01
This was probably the craziest college football season in at least 20 years. For two weeks in a row, late in the season, the #1 and #2 teams both lost. The goofy BCS ranking system therefore allowed for crazy leaps in rankings, with #5 going to #1 and #7 going to #2 in the last week. So if there was ever a season to go easy on the bowl selection committees, this would have been it.
Still, what happened to Missouri was silly. They were #1 in the BCS heading into the Big 12 Championship Game against Oklahoma. When they lost to the Sooners for the second time that season, they dropped to #6. Which is fair enough, but then the Tigers didn't even get awarded a BCS bowl! The Orange Bowl chose #8 Kansas over Missouri because KU only had 1 loss...to Missouri of course. Meanwhile, Missouri only had that second loss of the season to Oklahoma because they beat Kansas for the right to play an extra game for the Big 12 Championship.
Confused? Yeah, so was everyone else.
8. Missouri, 2007-08
Three BCS conference teams finished the 2003-04 season with one loss: Oklahoma, LSU, and USC. USC was ranked #2 in the human polls and their loss came early in the season. Meanwhile, Oklahoma's loss came at the hands of the 3-loss K-State Wildcats in the Big 12 Championship Game, so they were obviously ranked #3 in the human polls. Unfortunately, the BCS computers didn't place adequate weight on when a team's loss occurred, so Oklahoma got to play LSU for the National Championship. Of course, USC went on to beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, just adding fuel to the fire.
7. USC, 2003-04
As we said in the intro, just because we say a team got snubbed, it doesn't mean that the teams who did play in and/or win bowl games weren't deserving. And this is the case with #6 on our list, the 2004-05 Auburn Tigers.
There were 5 undefeated teams at the end of the 2004-05 regular season, with 3 being from major conferences. So, without a playoff system, someone was going to miss out. In the end, undefeated USC played undefeated Oklahoma for the national title, while SEC champions Auburn got matched up against #9 Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. USC and Auburn both won, which means an undefeated SEC football team didn't win a national championship. How often does that happen?
6. Auburn, 2004-05
In 2006-07, the Boise State Broncos were the only undefeated team at the end of the season, and they won one of the most thrilling games in the history of college football against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. You would have thought, therefore, that the next time they finished the season undefeated, they might get a crack at the National Championship, or at least another top-ranked opponent.
But if you thought this, you would have been wrong. In 2009-10, Boise State once again finished undefeated. But so did two teams from major conferences—Alabama and Texas. So, okay, Boise doesn't get to play for the National Championship, even though they opened a season with a win against eventual Pac-10 champ Oregon. We can live with that. And yes, they got to play in a BCS bowl again, which was nice. But they got matched against another "lowly" undefeated team, TCU, instead of a school from a major conference.
In an ideal world, there would only be one undefeated team at the end of a season. But short of that, it would at least be nice of the "big wigs" in college football didn't conspire to keep "the little guys" down. Right?
5. Boise State, 2009-10
Utah was one of only 2 undefeated teams heading into bowl selection weekend. Still, being from a weaker conference, there wasn't widespread support for the Utes getting a shot at the National Championship—which is a reasonable position to take, given the system we have to work with. But of course Utah went and proved us all wrong by trouncing 1-loss SEC power Alabama in the Sugar Bowl 31-17 and going undefeated for the season.
In retrospect, wouldn't you have liked to see what they could do against Florida?
4. Utah, 2008-09
The same season the Utah Utes went undefeated by pummeling the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, the Texas Longhorns got screwed over big-time by the Big 12's ridiculous tie-breaking system.
You see, Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech finished in a three-way tie at the top of the Big 12 South with one loss a piece. The winner of that subdivision would play a relatively weak Missouri for the overall Big 12 title with a spot in the National Championship Game on the line.
So how does the Big 12 break a three-way tie? They just listen to the BCS computers, which had Oklahoma ahead of Texas. So Oklahoma went on to play and defeat Missouri and got a shot at the National Championship. The only problem was, Texas beat Oklahoma earlier in the season. So how the hell does Oklahoma get put ahead of Texas?
Yeah, 2008-09 was a tough year in college football.
3. Texas, 2008-09
As we are learning from this list, hindsight is often 20-20. And here's another example.
In 2001-02, Nebraska was undefeated heading into their last regular season game against Colorado. If they won, they would have played another game for the Big 12 Championship. However, the Huskers didn't win. In fact, they got routed by Colorado, 62-36. That dropped them to #4 in the human polls, behind the one-loss Oregon Ducks
, the two-loss Colorado Buffaloes, and the undefeated Miami Hurricanes.
But did Oregon get to play for the National Championship? Nope. Nebraska did, and they were blown out. Meanwhile, Oregon played Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl, winning 38-16. It's almost enough to make you think that maybe common sense should prevail over computer algorithms.
Nice going, BCS.
2. Oregon, 2001-02
This bowl snub in the very first year of the BCS system was so bad that it actually prompted an official rule change
You see, the K-State Wildcats finished 3rd in the BCS rankings at the end of the season, suffering only one loss. Yet, because they weren't a "sexy pick," they got passed over by all the BCS Bowls in favor of #4 OSU and #8 Florida. As a result of this embarrassment, the BCS instituted the so-called "Kansas State rule," which guarantees a BCS Bowl spot to the #3 ranked team.
1. Kansas State, 1998-99
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