Today's/tonight's game between Boise State and Virginia Tech was a demonstration of why it is fun to watch college football sometimes. Boise State has long been a non-automatic BCS invitee whose record has suggested it ought to be included with the big boys -- the Alabamas, Ohio States, etc. But as a WAC member it's had to contend with strength-of-schedule perceptions and concerns. By playing #10 Virginia Tech, something of a perennial power of late, it put itself in a do-or-die situation -- win and be taken seriously, lose and not have a shot at the mythical national championship.
Well, Boise State came out strong, with Virginia Tech making uncharacteristic mistakes, and built a first-quarter 17-0 lead. But VT validated its own position and reputation by coming back and taking the lead -- twice. Finally Boise State had two minutes and a four-point deficit -- and marched down and scored a touchdown so quickly one wondered whether Virginia Tech would be able to score and with with 1:09 left. But Boise State's defense, which had been almost insuperable at the outset but had shown signs of fatigue, was strong enough to stifle Virginia Tech. Final score 33-30. Both teams did themselves proud, showing skill and resilience. A great game to watch.
My preferences in such match-ups are usually not strongly emotional but rooted in something resembling atavism. I tend to prefer the westernmost or southernmost team, so I wanted Boise State to win but would not have been heartbroken had they lost. In addition, I spent some time in Boise when researching my Ruby Ridge book and felt a mild connection. In eight years of living in Virginia in the 1970s, I don't think I ever got to Blacksburg.
A game that lived up to the hype. Love it!