Shouts of joy were heard from the Giants training facility as the announcement was made. The Giants are Super Bowl bound. "This is great. I can't believe we have this opportunity again," said Giants quarterback Eli Manning "We worked so hard for this. I'm glad it happened."
Though the Cardinals made a strong push at the end of the season, their Super Bowl bid ultimately fell short as they did not measure up in the eyes of many voters. "The Giants are simply the better team. I feel the Giants would beat the Cardinals head to head and I have to vote that way," said one anonymous voter.
The decision to utilize BCS rankings to determine the Super Bowl teams, and ultimately the NFL Champion, was mildly controversial but was implemented to ensure that the teams who have had the best regular seasons play for the Championship. "It's not perfect, but it's the best system we have," remarked BCS voter Len Pasquarelli. Another voter, Peter King who writes for Sports Illustrated, explained his vote for the Giants by pointing out "If the Cardinals want to be taken seriously, they need to play a tougher schedule."
The strength of schedule factored heavily into the computer rankings and gave the Giants a wide lead that the Cardinals could not overcome even with their impressive playoff run. "Arizona only has a few quality wins on their schedule, they even got beat by the Giants, so I don't see how you can put the Cardinals in the Super Bowl over an NFC East powerhouse like the Giants," remarked BCS voter Michael Silver.
The disappointment was palpable at the Cardinals facility when they learned they would not be playing in the Super Bowl despite their victory over the Eagles to secure the NFC Championship. "I don't know what more we have to prove. In our eyes we deserve to play in the Super Bowl, but I guess the voters see it differently," said a teary Kurt Warner.
Other voters who were contacted gave other reasons for the why the Giants were placed ahead of the Cardinals in the BCS rankings. "Come on, if the Cardinals played in the NFC East they'd go 6-10, 7-9 at best. The Giants might be undefeated if they played in the NFC West."
Arash Markazi of SI gave the following reason for voting the Giants ahead of the Cardianls: "Most people outside of Arizona can agree that it would be unfair to treat a team that plays the likes of San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis twice a year the same way as one that plays in the NFC East or AFC South."
"There's just such a gap in the quality of play between the NFC East and the NFC West. Most of the backups of the Giants would start for any team in the NFC West. There's no way Arizona can match up with the physicallity of the NFC East for a full season" contended Sportline.com writer Mike Freeman.
Students at the University of Texas also agreed with the BCS decision. "If you beat someone head to head, you should go to the title game before them. It's that simple."
"Maybe in a few years, if Arizona and the NFC West as a whole improve and show they can consistenly beat teams like the Eagles then they'll deserve a shot at the Super Bowl, but for now, no one wants to watch a team that lost 7 games and was nearly beaten by San Francisco in the Super Bowl. They just haven't earned the right to contend for a Championship yet," declared BCS voter, and Giants Head coach, Tom Coughlin.