Bruce Bits

Published 10:55 am Wednesday, December 22, 2004

By By Bruce Hixon Standard Sports
EditorAs the debate for which two Division I college football teams deserve the right to play for the national championship and what kind of format needs to be used rages on, who better to ask than former T.R. Miller Tigers and current college performers Patrick Byrne and Trent Davidson.
As players, Byrne a sophomore kicker at Memphis and Davidson a freshman tight end at Alabama, they are the ones who play the games. They know and understand the preparation involved. They know what is at stake every time they suit up.
This year's Bowl Championship Series championship debate centers around the fact that out of five undefeated teams (USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, Utah and Boise State), only USC and Oklahama will have a chance to play for the national championship.
"USC is ranked number one and Oklahoma is ranked number two in the BCS standings. In that respect, they do have the top two teams playing for the national championship. It's just the way it's all done that is wrong," Byrne said. "Maybe Auburn deserves that chance as well. Maybe not. What's wrong is they don't have the opportunity."
Playing for a school (Memphis) that competes in a mid-major conference, Conference-USA, Byrne sympathizes for Utah and Boise State. While Utah did earn a BCS berth and will play Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl, Boise State was shut out of the BCS picture and is relegated to a lesser bowl, the Liberty Bowl, where it will play Louisville.
"At least Utah did get into a BCS game. That gives hopes to schools in mid-major conferences like Memphis they can also make it to a BCS game in the future. Then there is Boise State. They also go undefeated and they are completely shut out of the BCS picture," Byrne said.
Playing in a state where its loyalties are divided between Alabama and Auburn, the Alabama portion of the rivalry may be glad Auburn has been shut out of the national championship picture. Davidson said that feeling does not exist within the Crimson Tide program.
"I don't think it does. Auburn has a great team. To go through the Southeastern Conference season undefeated
See BITS Page 8A