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Fiesta Bowl analyst Haden liked life without the BCS

by Mel Bracht Published: December 27, 2007
As Pat Haden prepares to broadcast the Fiesta Bowl for Fox Sports, he thinks college football would be better off without the BCS — the way it was when he quarterbacked USC to the 1974 national championship with an 18-17 victory over Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.

The Trojans actually won a split national title, earning the coaches' vote in the UPI poll while Oklahoma was picked by the writers and broadcasters in The Associated Press poll.

Without the BCS, Haden believes the Sooners would still have a good opportunity at winning the 2007 national title.

"Absolutely,” Haden said. "A blowout win over a really good West Virginia team, someone else loses and a close win by LSU or whoever. Under the old system, they really would have a chance.

"The way we're set up in the BCS championship game, some of these games have lost some luster. I don't know if the Oklahoma players and fans think, ‘Oh, another Fiesta Bowl.' USC, my alma mater, is going to the Rose Bowl for the third straight year.”

Haden, who will be joined by Matt Vasgerian and Terry Donahue in the three-man booth, has dubbed this the "what-if bowl” because of how OU and West Virginia nearly reached the BCS final.

"The Fiesta Bowl is a nice BCS game, but what-if West Virginia had beaten Pittsburgh and what-if Sam Bradford hadn't gotten injured (in the loss to Texas Tech),” Haden said.

Haden said the Sooners deserve the favorite's role, even before coach Rich Rodriguez bolted to take the Michigan job.

"This is a very good Oklahoma team and a young Oklahoma team,” he said.

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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Analyst Pat Haden is not a fan of the BCS system. Courtesy NBC Sports


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