You can thank the 1987 Fiesta Bowl. You can thank Don Myers. You can thank Sunkist. Hell, you can even thank Penn State and Miami. The highest rated game in the history of college football put the BCS on the map and controversy on the horizon.
For the past 6-8 years, teams from non-BCS conferences have started to make some noise: Utah, Boise State, BYU, Hawaii and TCU for the most part. These teams have started to match the perennial powers of college football and even win against them. These teams are so intimidating that 2 teams from non-BCS conferences were ranked in the top 6 for the first time in BCS existence. Are they deserving of such a ranking? Perhaps. And to a lot of college coaches, preseason rankings are irrelevant, and for the most part they are correct. The BCS conferences flux during the season; rarely do a handful of teams run the tables.
However, a non-BCS conference team such as this year’s Boise State and TCU are very likely to go undefeated. The competition of their respective conferences is somewhat pitiful. This means for these teams, preseason rankings are everything. Boise has a clear path to the national title game, as does TCU. No BCS conference team can say that.