Ladies and gentlemen, this is the moment that we have been waiting for.*
Tomorrow night, at 8 p.m., the UConn Huskies will take the field against the South Florida Bulls with the Big East Title and a trip to the BCS hanging in the balance. And despite several compelling narratives -- the growing program that went from 1-AA to the BCS in 10 years, a comeback group that struggled to get off the ground before taking over the end of conference play, and a group pulling together for what would have been the senior season of a slain teammate -- everyone who isn't a Husky fan wants UConn to lose.
Critics say UConn will be the worst team to ever play in the BCS. UConn lost to Michigan and Temple they scream. Louisville shut them out they declare. And the win over West Virginia? Well UConn needed six Mountaineer fumbles to pull that out. Objectively that's all true, but I don't give a damn.
You see folks, UConn can't live the buttoned down life like the rest of college football. The Huskies want it all! The terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles! Sure, they might offend a few of the blue-noses with their cocky stride and musky odors. Oh, they'll never be the darling of the so-called ‘City Fathers' who cluck their tongues, stroke their beards, and talk about what's to be done with these UConn Huskies? But goddamnit, they'll go to the BCS anyway.
I was raised a UConn fan. I'm not sure I even know college football existed before I was ten years old. I distinctly remember the time in my youth when I asked my father how they determined the football national champion and marveling at his response "they vote on it." That system, which made no sense, has been replaced by the BCS, which has given us a nominal national championship game, but really is just a set of rules set up to make a cabal of rich and powerful schools more rich and powerful.
The BCS is a corrupt and broken system, but you know what? It is the corrupt and broken system we're stuck with, so I have only one message for the critics: screw you. Who are you to say UConn "doesn't deserve" to play in the BCS? Yeah, the Huskies lost to Michigan and Temple (with, by the way, a team that isn't playing football at nearly the level the squad you'll see tomorrow is), but those were non-conference games, and in the BCS system, unless you're one of the top three or four schools in the country, non-conference games might as well be preseason games. And yes, the Big East is objectively terrible this year, but it's still one of the six conferences that gets an auto-bid, so suck it up and deal with it. We've had good teams in the past, we'll have them in the future, this is just a down year.
The complaint that angers me the most is that somehow UConn doesn't deserve this because they got to play Pittsburgh and West Virginia at home, and especially in the case of WVU, "lucked into" the wins. First, you can only play the schedule you're given, and that means if you want to win a conference, you'll have to win on the road. Second, yes, West Virginia fumbled six times in Rentschler Field, but you know what? WEST VIRGINIA FUMBLED SIX TIMES! That's inexcusable and the Mountaineers deserved to lose that game. If they wanted a shot at the BCS, they shouldn't have stunk out the joint in one of their two biggest games of the year.
Barring a couple of bizarre upsets, a UConn loss tomorrow means they won't go to the BCS. I'll be disappointed as a fan, but I'll be okay with it, because it'll mean the Huskies didn't do what they had to do to earn the conference title. But if UConn wins, I don't want to hear a second of whining about the Huskies being "undeserving." The Huskies will have done exactly what they needed to do. They will have beaten every "top" team in the Big East, and they will have earned all the tiebreakers they'll use to launch themselves over Pittsburgh and West Virginia and into the BCS.
The Bowl Championship Series has existed in the top-level of college football for longer than UConn has. The Huskies didn't make the rules, they just play by them. Cheer your Huskies on tomorrow because if they win, they'll be exactly where they deserve to be, at the top of the Big East and inside of the BCS. Go Huskies.
*Kind of. One of our most faithful readers has a signature calling for the end of the football program. And our traffic from football season goes way up on basketball game days. But still, I want to go to the BCS.