I'm happy for the University of Connecticut. There. I said it.
It's not their fault they play in the worst BCS conference in the country. I mean, someone had to win that conference, right? If you think the 8-4 Huskies playing in the Fiesta Bowl is a joke (which it is), blame Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia - the conference's three established football "powers" - for not winning the conference when clearly the opportunity was there this season. Don't blame UConn.
It has been six years since BC left for the ACC, and in each of the last five, those established football programs have let a "new" Big East team either win outright or share a piece of the conference title (Louisville, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Connecticut). Only in 2007 did West Virginia represent the Big East in the BCS.
If you are irked by the fact that 11-1 Boise State, 11-1 Michigan State or 10-2 LSU were shut out of this year's big money bowl games, blame the entire flawed BCS system. Don't blame Connecticut. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
It's a nice enough story: the upstart college football program, playing in the college football wasteland known as New England, reaches a BCS bowl game in just their 10th year of playing Division I-A football. It's certainly no Rudy story. It's not even a Mark Herzlich story. There won't be a movie chronicling the improbable run of the 2010 UConn Huskies football program, but it's a nice little story. I'll give them that. So, congrats.
But when the more junior New England college football outfit achieves even a modicum of success, those irritating comparisons start in earnest. You know, those comparisons that compare the upstart to the more established program in New England - Boston College.
This, however, is the type of article I'd imagine reading in the Hartford Courant, not the Boston Globe.
"The Huskies did that. And as ugly as their record may be, as many shots as the conference might take - people with short memories forget that Cincinnati was unbeaten and ranked No. 3 in the BCS standings last season - the Huskies' football program has reached a pinnacle of success that former Big East member Boston College is still attempting to achieve."
So, by "pinnacle of success," do you mean an eight win season, with two-three WTF losses in a season, Blaudschun? Because if you do, then I believe BC has in fact also reached this "pinnacle of success" ... in each of the last nine seasons.
Bash the Big East if you want, but you have a "short memory" because you forget that Cincinnati was number 3 in the final regular season BCS rankings just a year ago. Blauds must also have a short memory, though, since he fails to mention that BC was ranked no. 2 in the country just three seasons ago, and finished the season with an 11-3 record, the most wins since 1940. Sure, BC didn't finish the job, but the Eagles play in a much tougher BCS conference and have an extra hurdle -- the ACC Championship Game -- to get to the Orange Bowl.
Further, while it's technically true that UConn was the first New England school to appear in a BCS bowl, it's not like BC hasn't played on college football's biggest stages in the past. They just weren't called "BCS" bowls back then. Back when UConn football was still in diapers -- playing in something called the NCAA Small College Division -- BC appeared in both the Sugar and Orange Bowls back in the 1940s.
Like I said, I tip my hat to UConn. Congratulations. Enjoy your 30 point beatdown at the hands of Oklahoma. Or don't, and prove us all wrong by pulling yet another fast one over on Big Game Bob Stoops and the Sooners. Either way. But by no means do I think that this tips the New England college football scales in favor of UConn, nor do I really think that you guys truly believe that either.