We make no apologies for being selected by the Sugar Bowl, and fuck you for implying that we should.
The criteria for at-large selections by BCS bowls are very clear. The teams eligible for selection after all automatic bids are filled must have at least nine wins and must be ranked in the top 14 of the final BCS rankings. Virginia Tech fulfilled both of these requirements. There is no arguing that fact.
The word I've heard thrown around most over the last 48 hours is "deserve." Every hack trying to make an op-ed name for himself is screaming that Virginia Tech doesn't "deserve" to be in the Sugar Bowl, or that Kansas State or Boise State "deserve" to be there more. In response to that noise, Will Munny said it best.
|Deserve's got nothing to do with it.|
Make no mistake, Kansas State had a phenomenal year. They are a very good football team worthy or recognition and acclaim. But they do not "deserve" to be in the Sugar Bowl more than we do because there is nothing to be found anywhere in any of the bylaws of the Bowl Championship Series that when making at-large selections the bowl committees should look at the resumes of the teams they are considering. All of this feigned moral indignation is a play to fill broadcasting hours and grab ratings, or the bitter rumblings of anti-BCS curmudgeons like Dan Wetzel.
Look, don't get me wrong. I don't particularly like the BCS. I think it's a pretty ridiculous method of crowning a national champion. But I don't exacerbate the problem by trying to make it more than it is. It isn't a playoff. Outside of the national championship game it is in no way designed to reward the best teams in college football. It's a bunch of bowls that have a contractual agreement with each other, and like all bowls they try to select participants that make for interesting matchups that guarantee sellout crowds and high television ratings. In pairing Virginia Tech and Michigan for their first ever meeting on the field, the Sugar Bowl committee hit a grand slam. Virginia Tech is the overall winningest team over the past sixteen years. Michigan is one of the most storied programs in the history of college football. And the Sugar Bowl has put them on the same football field for the first time ever. This is a great matchup and a great storyline.
There are six teams playing in a BCS bowl this year that actually "deserve" to be there: LSU, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Clemson. Those are your automatic qualifiers. They did what it took to guarantee their spot at the big money table: they won their conference. Outside of those six teams, it's a popularity contest. And this time around Virginia Tech is the cool kid with the keys to the convertible, while K-State and Boise are sitting in their mom's basement playing Dungeons and Dragons.