Quick guide to coaching searches, KSU's desperation and more (cont.)
Not that it matters much at this point, but why is USC ranked ahead of Penn State by every major publication (including you)? Both share the same biggest win (Ohio State), not to mention the fact that Penn State blew out the team same Oregon State team that USC lost to. Is this just a matter of timing?
First and foremost, yes, it's a matter of timing. USC lost on Sept. 25; Penn State lost on Nov. 8. When the Nittany Lions lost to Iowa, they dropped behind a Trojans team that had worked its way back up the poll, presumably without much thought given to the respective teams' credentials.
That said, if a whole bunch of upsets were to occur above them and USC and Penn State actually wound up fighting for a BCS title spot, I can't see the voters reordering them despite the Oregon State factor. Rightly or wrongly, Penn State has been living with the shadow of Ohio State's recent big-stage debacles all season. From a perception standpoint, the fact that Penn State's "big" conference win was a 13-6 nail-biter over a Buckeyes team that USC blew off the field does not help the Nittany Lions.
Let's put it this way; If you were to take a public poll -- or better yet, ask Vegas -- who would win on a neutral field, USC or Penn State, I'm guessing the poll would go at least 80 percent to the Trojans, and the spread would be double-digits. If the Nittany Lions couldn't move the ball on Ohio State's defense, good luck against the best defense in the country.
Why is undefeated Boise State projected in such a mediocre early bowl (the Poinsettia Bowl), especially given their recent bowl pedigree? I can understand that they might not qualify for a BCS bowl, but assuming they beat Fresno State, they're a legitimate top-12 team at worst, and one would expect them to be playing December 31st if not in January.
First of all, I think we can all agree that we've reached a point where the date of the game no longer defines its level of prominence. The International Bowl is played in January. The Holiday Bowl is played in December. Which one are you more apt to watch?
Boise State's plight is the same as that of all non-BCS leagues, which is: Nearly every respectable bowl has chosen to align itself with one of the major conferences, locking them in to taking, say, the sixth-place team from the ACC, when in a year like this, a Boise State or TCU would be far more desirable. If it doesn't reach the BCS, the best a Boise State can hope for is to fill the spot of a bowl whose conference failed to qualify enough teams and play against a quality opponent.
To that end, the Broncos will actually end up faring pretty well if they get to fill the Pac-10's spot in the Poinsettia Bowl and play a ranked TCU or BYU team. Even though that bowl is fairly far down the pecking order and played at a very early date (Dec. 23), it might luck into a matchup of two top-15 teams.
Well, if you saw my bowl projections Monday, you know I'm picking the Beavers. I sure hope Kaitlin will let it slide in our Crush relationship. (She is, after all, married to a guy who writes episodes in which her character humiliates herself in every conceivable manner and is described by the other characters as "the useless chick.") I can't deal with any added heartbreak what with the show's season ending last week. (More on that later.)
As for the second part, as you well know, librarians across the country are part of a secret, underground network that conspires against anyone that is not an active, card-carrying library patron. My guess is that one of their moles uncovered the fact I haven't renewed mine since 1994 and sent out a notice that any library caught carrying my book would lose its index card privileges for a year.