Saturday, January 3, 2009

How Good Are Mid-Majors?

I'm not talking about Villanova or George Mason or Davidson. I'm not talking about the Missouri Valley Conference or the Colonial Athletic Conference.

But I am talking about Utah and Boise State and Hawaii. I am talking about the Mountain West and the WAC. And, yes, I am talking about mid-majors.

Mid-majors, by name are only half a major, and thus only half a good, right? Right? Wrong.

Just ask Alabama or Oklahoma or even Michigan. And Nick Saban, Bob Stoops and Lloyd Carr will tell you that these litte "Davids" are Goliaths.

Many viewed these small little schools as just another win on the schedule, a mere bump in the road rather than a ten-car pile-up. But as Utah has proved, that is wrong.

Utah absolutely manhandled and outplayed and outphysicaled Alabama, known for their toughness and physical play. They never trailed in an easy Sugar Bowl win over the vividly and obviously overmatched SEC team. Alabama never could get on track while the Utes' constant rush pressured John Parker Wilson into sacks and bad throws. So maybe not all the speed is in the SEC.

And while Utah and Boise State are nice stories, lets still remember Hawaii. Hawaii's Sugar Bowl flop last year against the SEC's Georgia still reminds us not all schools are created equal.

Even darling TCU, who defeated this year's undefeated Boise State, got blown out by powerhouse Oklahoma. So even if these mid-majors are a nice story, they still aren't in the top tier of the college football.

Because that tier is reserved for the Big East, Big Ten and ACC.

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