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Fiesta Bowl matchup smacks of conspiracy

I’ve never been much of a conspiracy guy. I believe Oswald acted alone, that battleships don’t suddenly disappear in foggy weather off the coast of Philadelphia, that the quality control people really believed the new Coke tasted better than the old Coke and never planned to reintroduce the latter to sell even more Coke.

However, when it comes to the Bowl Championship Series, my eyebrow raises like the late, great John Belushi’s.

The Fiesta Bowl could talk until the last bag of Tostitos went stale about its salty matchup of BCS-busting Boise State and Texas Christian. But my conspiracy antenna was up. If one of the party crashers barely beat the other and fellow unbeaten Cincinnati got boat-raced by Florida in the Sugar Bowl, it would silence talk of a playoff tournament for at least 15 minutes.

That’s exactly what happened. The Gators handed coach Urban Meyer a stress-free 51-24 victory, and Boise used a gadget play — what else? — in a tie game to turn TCU’s perfect season into frog legs. So outside of Idaho and the boyhood home of Colt McCoy, no one really has a problem with Alabama being anointed the undisputed king of college football. And the BCS conferences have gone back to counting their money with sinister little smiles.

Meanwhile, new BCS chief Bill Hancock and three bowl directors disguised as hobos are throwing the football around Dealey Plaza without a care in the world, as we check for who’s swinging for the fences in local sports and who’s popping up with the bases loaded.


WINN-WIN SITUATION: Former Las Vegas High standout Billy Winn began the college football season by tackling Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount in the end zone for a safety. He ended it by having his name mentioned several times on the Fiesta Bowl broadcast for stopping TCU ball-carriers in their tracks as Boise State capped a 14-0 campaign. In between, he was named second team All-Western Athletic Conference and played six games on a blue carpet. This is what you call an outstanding season for a 300-pound sophomore defensive tackle.

REBEL YELL: You had to be paying attention, but UNLV was mentioned in context of a BCS game. When TCU quarterback Andy Dalton was shaken up in the Fiesta Bowl, the announcers said his replacement, Marcus Jackson, hadn’t set foot on the field "since the UNLV game on Oct. 31." The reason this falls under the "up" heading is because the announcers didn’t say the Horned Frogs were ahead 41-0 at the time.

WALLACE WORLD: In honor of Kendall Wallace’s 3-point shooting in the Rebels’ 74-62 upset victory at New Mexico on Saturday, I’m thinking about changing the name of this column to "Ten Up, Seven Down" until further notice.


ROPE-A-DOPES: If I’m going to pay good money to watch two guys beat each other up on television, I prefer they wear shoes. But in deference to the mixed martial arts guys, I can’t recall one demanding of the other he submit to 38 blood tests before they start beating each other up.

‘DOG EAT FROG: His constituents having gone 4-0 to begin the bowl season, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson was all set to call BCS headquarters — collect — and demand an automatic invitation to its little $125 million tea party. Then heavily favored TCU lost to heavily motivated Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. You don’t suppose that Bill Hancock guy will respond to a kindly worded text, do you?

STRIPELESS ZEBRAS: First, the NFL allows its referees to wear uniforms that look like hand-me-downs from those "Rollerball" movies. Now, Mountain West basketball officials are sporting gray shirts with stripes so subtle, you can barely see them. This saddens me, because if traditional referee shirts become fashion faux pas, what are the cocktail waitresses at Palace Station going to wear during Monday Night Football?

Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Ron Kantowski can be reached at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352.

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