Like many of my fellow fans, I have experienced a somewhat strong distaste for Boise State this year. This is a relatively new sensation for me, as I have harbored no ill-will towards the "lesser" powers in previous seasons. I fancy myself a relatively rational individual, and have thus assumed that these newfound feelings were somehow couched in logic, that perhaps I was perturbed by the injustice implied in entertaining extending a national championship bid to a Boise outside of a few, very specific circumstances. However, in evaluating my rationale, I happened upon a curious fact: I was significantly less bothered by the prospect of TCU being given the golden opportunity. I assume that this is not a completely novel thought, as I have not heard anyone decrying TCU in the last few weeks, while we have repeatedly taken Boise to the woodshed.
Again, I assumed that this was somehow a logical stance. Nevermind the fact that this Boise State team (practically completely intact) beat TCU not nine months ago, TCU simply had to be the stronger team. So the first quesion I pose is this: Am I the only one that is less bothered by TCU than Boise? And the second question is: does this position make sense?
In my poor-man's analysis, I used three categories: Conference Strength, Strength of Schedule, and Common Opponents.
* Conference - Initially this was a no-brainer in favor of TCU. I mean, the WAC is... the friggin WAC, while the MWC has gained some well deserved attention for high quality wins of late (including one recent sugar bowl victory of which we do not speak). Though the MWC may still be a stronger conference overall, the implosion of BYU, coupled with the ascendance of Nevada lessens the gap.
Advantage - TCU
* Strength of Schedule - Again, this initially went to TCU. I have personally blasted Boise for having a lily-soft slate on several occasions, while giving yet another pass to TCU. I have not devoted the time or brainpower to get down to Saggarin ratings (I'll leave that to the experts with a much better understanding of these /looking at you Pete), but a cursory glance and the two schools' schedules reveals that TCU plays 2 schools that are currently ranked (Oregon State and Utah), while Boise plays 3 schools that are currently ranked (VT, OSU, and Nevada)
Advantage - Boise
* Common Opponents - The only overlap of note in this category is Oregon State (both teams play Wyoming, but that game most likely presents little in the way of quality data). In the Oregon state game, the two teams were pretty much equal in total defense (237 yds allowed, 255 yds allowed by BS and TCU, respectively) and total offense (469 yds and 453 yds, respectively), though Boise won by a higher point margin (13, 37-24, compared to 9, 30-21).
Advantage - Draw
In my estimation, the teams are basically dead even, unless you consider the prior year head to head as a tie-breaker, in which event Boise ekes ahead. Yet why, in the face of this information does TCU still seem more palatable? I'd like to think that it is something more than a kneejerk reaction against the media powers that have pushed Boise so hard, or spite against the "fly in the ointment" crowd that revel in every "little guy" victory, no matter how trivial. So please, if you have felt the same way about Boise/TCU, respond below with your personal justifications of the stance. My distaste for Boise has not subsided, but I feel I'm running out of ways to defend it.