Ten Better Ways to Label the ‘Non-AQ' Teams

The BCS coined the phrase ‘Non-AQ' as a label to describe the 55 teams that do not belong to a BCS conference. It took a few years but the mainstream media (ESPN primarily) has picked up on the phrase and now it is everywhere. But really, how unimaginative is ‘Non-AQ'? Certainly there were a lot better options out there. I thought I'd throw the BCS honchos some suggestions.

Instead of ‘Non-AQ', how about calling the 55 teams who don't call the SEC, Big 12, Big 10, Big East, ACC, and PAC-10 home any of the following:

‘The Others' – In a tribute to the mysterious and isolated pack of island natives from the ABC hit "Lost", this would be a fitting title for a bunch of teams that might as well be stranded in a remote, parallel universe.

‘The Also-Rans' – Technically this phrase is used to describe horses that do not finish first, second or third. For BCS purposes, however, finishing in the ‘show' position doesn't even get you into the featured race at the track in Glendale.

‘The Red-Headed Stepchildren' – My apologies to TCU quarterback Andy Dalton (don't know if he is a stepchild) but this was just too obvious to pass up.

‘The Nonessentials' – Typically used to describe substances other than what your body already provides for itself. This would work because we know how essential it is to have either an SEC or Big 12 team in the BCS Championship Game. Even though there are six BCS conferences, at least one representative from either of these two ‘elite' conferences has appeared in 11 of the 12 championship games thus far.

‘The Bulls in a China Shop' – No matter what BCS team Boise State touches, they usually destroy them so this is very appropriate. I mean why else don't the Oklahoma's and Alabama's of the world schedule the Broncos or TCU? They are just so annoying. Maybe if they ignore them, they will just go away.

‘Little Sisters of the Poor' – Professed sisters of the poor actually don't use their own names – they usually take the name of a saint. So I guess in BCS terms that would mean that in 1998 the Tulane Crimson Tide went undefeated and wasn't invited to the championship game.

‘Second-rate Citizens' – I couldn't actually put this list together without a naval reference. ‘Second-rate' is a term that used to describe ships in the British Royal Navy that were essentially smaller and cheaper versions of the three-decker first rate ones. The only shot Navy would ever have of winning a national title is if they went undefeated and they were included in a 16-team playoff. Of course that hasn't stopped the Mids from beating up on BCS opponents. Is there a Big East team better than Navy this year? Syracuse could be playing in a BCS game.

‘Excess Baggage' – According to one major airliner, excess baggage is "only transported on a space-available basis" and "restrictions apply." Yes, Marshall University, we are talking to you. At 12-0, we hope your 1999 team enjoyed its flight to the Motor City Bowl where you beat BYU.

‘The Mr. Irrelevants' – 12 of the last 14 Mr. Irrelevants (last player taken in the NFL draft) have come from non-BCS conferences. Is that a coincidence? Of course not, and that's why it makes sense to call all of the 55 other schools by this name.

‘The Party Crashers' – Probably one of the more popular choices because there is nothing that the BCS hates more than a Hawaii team that decides to invite themselves to a party without being on the official guest list. Just about every year now, some nerd from the Mountain West or WAC thinks that if they get past the BCS security guards, then they can enter the frat house. Maybe if they are lucky they can get into one of the smaller rooms where they are serving the non-alcoholic beverages. But good luck making it past the brawny bouncer protecting the keg in the VIP-only room…sorry, that's reserved for Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Auburn and somebody else whose name doesn't start with ‘non.'   

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