- The Washington Times - Monday, December 7, 2009

Alabama and Texas get to play in a national title game. For TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State, the math doesn’t quite add up, but they still get a spot in a BCS bowl.

The quirky, imperfect method of choosing a national champion succeeded Sunday in matching top-ranked Alabama against No. 2 Texas in the BCS championship - a Jan. 7 game between undefeated teams that will bring together Heisman Trophy hopefuls Colt McCoy of the Longhorns and Mark Ingram of the Crimson Tide.

And, of course, it also produced plenty for the little guys to get upset about.

No. 3 TCU, No. 4 Cincinnati and No. 6 Boise State also finished undefeated. All three were included in the BCS, but none will play for the title - a predictable result that will renew the annual debate about college football’s way of determining the best team in the land.

“It’s a fair question,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said. “The fact is that the charge of the BCS is to match 1 and 2 in the bowl system. It’s a limited charge. It’s what the BCS is designed to do. Based on the season’s play, we’re confident we’ve matched 1 and 2.”

Seeking its first national title since 1992, Alabama opens as a three-point favorite for the game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. That’s the place where Vince Young almost single-handedly led Texas to a victory over Southern California in 2006 to claim the national title.

The other BCS matchups: Oregon against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, Iowa against Georgia Tech in the Orange, Florida against Cincinnati in the Sugar and TCU against Boise State in the Fiesta.

The TCU-Boise State game also will pit a pair of undefeateds against each other, two teams from small conferences that don’t always get automatic spots in the BCS. This is the first time in BCS history that two of the small schools have been selected. Both should be expected to use the title-game snub as motivation.

“We’re here to prove a point,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “I voted for us No. 2 in polls today when we voted. We believe we have a great football team, and we’re out to show we could be the No. 1 team in the nation.”

Missouri announced Sunday its football team will face off against Navy in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 31 in Houston.

The Texas Bowl had the final selection of teams from the Big 12, and once the Insight Bowl passed over Missouri (8-4) for Iowa State (6-6), the faceoff with Navy (8-4) at Reliant Stadium was set.

Missouri is 2-0 all-time against Navy, with the last meeting in 1961 at the Orange Bowl, where the Tigers defeated the Midshipmen 21-14 to cap an 11-0 season.

No. 12 Virginia Tech of the ACC will face Tennessee from the SEC in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31.

Bowl officials said the Hokies (9-3) and Volunteers (7-5) will meet at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The two teams last met in the 1994 Gator Bowl, which the Vols won 45-23.

Virginia Tech played in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2006, losing to Georgia, and is making its fourth appearance in the bowl. It will be Tennessee’s fifth appearance; most recently the Vols lost to Clemson in 2004.

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