Two themes are becoming increasingly clear this holiday season: ABC Family's made-for-TV Christmas movies are unintentionally hilarious, and everyone and their mother is picking TCU to win the Fiesta Bowl.
Chris Dufresne from the LA Times seems like the only one refusing to play along. So what is all the media seeing that Dufresne is not? Find out after the jump how Dufresne made his choice, what his prediction said, and weigh in on how you think the media sees this matchup.
Shun the unbelievers
CBS Sports compiled a panel of experts ("experts" being a loose term considering the group consists of Gregg Doyel and someone whose title is "on-air talent") to weigh in with picks for all 34 of the bowl games (HT: Finloopio). Among their unanimous picks were Central Michigan, Ohio University, Texas Tech, and good old TCU.
- J. Darin Darst: TCU
- Dennis Dodd: TCU
- Gregg Doyel: TCU
- Jason Horowitz: TCU
- Johnny Rosenstein: TCU
USA Today's Erick Smith also graced the Internet with his 34 bowl predictions, including a Fiesta Bowl nod for the Horned Frogs. Judging from his explanation, do you think he has watched any Boise State games this year?
There was a strong argument to be made that the Horned Frogs were more deserving of a title shot than their Texas neighbors in Austin. TCU is so good because it has been dominant in all three phases. The Broncos will have to play as well as they did against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl three years ago to win. TCU 28, Boise State 21.
The Horned Frogs are still favored by 7 points by the oddsmakers, and it seems like everyday someone new comes out with a prediction of a TCU win. Any ideas why?
OBNUG reader Loque had an interesting theory.
I can see how Boise can beat TCU. I mean, they have a chance. But even I know it’d be ridiculous to "predict" a Boise win. Both teams match up very well on both sides of the ball and this game is really a pick ‘em. Of course, TCU gets the lean due to the media touting of the "other team from Texas." I would be very surprised to see anyone pick Boise. If it’s a pick ’em game, the odds are against us Broncos.
The media does love their Texas football teams, and with the Horned Frogs being closer to national championship consideration at the end of the year than the Broncos were, it makes sense that predictions would go TCU's way if people are indeed viewing the Fiesta Bowl as a pick 'em.
What other theories do you have? Does the media view TCU as a far superior team to Boise State? Is the matchup one-sided in a lot of people's eyes? How much does TCU hype have to do with these picks?
Save us, Chris Dufresne
Fortunately, not everyone is riding the TCU bandwagon. Los Angeles Times writer Chris Dufresne, a Boise State fan all season long, is siding with the Broncos for the Fiesta Bowl.
Boise State (13-0) vs. TCU (12-0) -- Boise State out to avenge last year's one-point Poinsettia loss and position team for national title run in 2010. Winner: Boise State
Dufresne's methodology provides an interesting thought on the matchup. He chooses games based on a "want to be there" factor. The teams that think too highly of themselves and come in with a sense of entitlement are the ones he typically picks to lose. For instance, when a BCS team with January bowl aspirations gets stuck playing a non-BCS team before Christmas, Dufresne would pick the upset (in this case, Utah over Cal). Dufresne is wise enough to admit that the system doesn't always work, but in a lot of ways his methodology makes sense.
Can you use the "want to be there" factor for TCU in the Fiesta Bowl? Some might argue that TCU feels it belongs in the national championship game and that a Fiesta Bowl trip is an inadequate runner's up award. In that sense, you could reason that the Broncos stand a good shot at upsetting the Horned Frogs who may not play 100 percent come January 4.
Will this happen with TCU? What do you think? No doubt Gary Patterson will do his best to prevent this from happening, but as Dufresne points out, these college rosters are filled with teenagers and twentysomethings. In many ways, it will be up to the players on how they respond.
What do you think about Dufresne's reasoning? Why do you think the rest of the media is siding with TCU? Share your thoughts in the comments.