SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
11/25/2007 05:53:00 PM
Five Things We Learned This Weekend
Chase Daniel threw for 361 yards and three touchdows in the Tigers' win over previously unbeaten Kansas.
G. Newman Lowrence/Getty Images
1) That these are heady times for the spread offense. About three series into Saturday night's Kansas-Missouri game, I found that I was having trouble keeping up. The ball would be snapped and I'd still be writing down the results of the last play. That's when it occurred to me: This was the first game I'd ever covered where both teams ran a no-huddle, shotgun-spread. That's right: The one-time "gimmicky" invention has become such a fixture of the sport that both teams in the season's biggest game to date run it. If both the Tigers and West Virginia win next week, we'll be looking at the first national title game pitting two purely spread teams. If Dennis Dixon never got hurt, we might have had another such team, Oregon, in the game. And of course, last year's national champion, Florida, ran it as well.
Note that not all versions of the spread are the same. What the Mountaineers, Gators and Ducks run is the new-fangled "spread option," centered around a mobile quarterback making the "zone read" on running plays and deciding whether to hand off or run it himself. Watching Missouri's prolific attack Saturday night, it reminded me more of Purdue's old teams with Drew Brees, only with much better skill players. The Tigers don't often call designed runs for Chase Daniel, but his ability to scramble, buy time and throw on the run is very reminiscent of Brees. On Missouri's 11-yard touchdown to go up 14-0 Saturday night, Daniel rolled right and held on to the ball for about 10 seconds before throwing a dart to receiver Danario Alexander just in front of the end zone.
They say everything in football is cyclical, yet this spread craze has continued to grow for the past seven or eight years now with seemingly no end in sight. Presumably, at some point, defenses will come up with their own wrinkle (right now, the only sure-fire way to defend a good spread team is to disrupt the timing with blitzes or particularly fast pass-rushers), but in the meantime, I would think the copy-cats will only continue to grow. "The old theory was you couldn't win a championship with the spread offense," said West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez. "I think that's been dispelled."
2) That even Notre Dame could beat Stanford. Yes, the Irish ended their season on a certifiable tear, beating the 3-8 Cardinal 21-14 to avoid the indignity of a 10-loss season. But this item isn't about Notre Dame -- it's about USC.
Ever since the Trojans' Thanksgiving-night smackdown of then seventh-ranked Arizona State, it seems USC fans have reemerged from their two-month hibernation to resume thumping their chests. The general message (at least in my in-box and on my blog comments) is that the Trojans, finally at full strength, are back to their rightful place as the behemoths of college football and should be respected accordingly. I even heard an ESPN talking head proclaim that "no team in the country would be favored right now against USC on a neutral field." You know what? That may well be true. As Trojans LB Brian Cushing said after the Arizona State game, "We're starting to play like the team people thought we'd be." But they still shouldn't have lost to Stanford.
With the nation down to just four teams with one or no losses in this incredibly turbulent season, and with the possibility of a Missouri-West Virginia or West Virginia-Ohio State title game looming, I've noticed a bothersome trend surrounding much of the current banter. That is, many fans are starting to adopt the NFL mentality of placing undue emphasis on "who's playing the best right now." With all due respect to the aforementioned teams, it may well be that the two best teams in the country right now are USC and Georgia … but so what? If the Trojans wanted to play for the championship, they shouldn't have lost to arguably the worst team in their conference, just as the Dawgs shouldn't have gotten destroyed by Tennessee.
If and when we get to the point where we're rewarding teams that spent half the year mired in mediocrity, then finally kicked it into gear at the end, the long-held notion that "every week matters" goes sailing out the window.
3) That UCLA could reach the BCS. I'm sorry … what? Yes, it's true. Of all the strange postseason scenarios still floating around, I don't think you possibly find one any more bizarre than the fact that the Bruins, who just reached bowl eligibility this weekend, are still technically alive for the Rose Bowl.
Here's the deal: USC (9-2, 6-2 Pac-10) and Arizona State (9-2, 6-2) are currently tied for first in the Pac-10 standings, with the Trojans holding the tiebreaker following last Thursday's win. Oregon (8-3, 5-3) and UCLA (6-5, 5-3) sit a game behind following the Bruins' 16-0 win over the quarterback-depleted Ducks. If surging Arizona (5-6) upends the Sun Devils (not implausible) and KarlDorrell's Bruins pull another crosstown upset of the Trojans (highly unlikely), it would create either a three-way tie for first between USC, ASU and UCLA, all of which went 1-1 against each other, or a four-way tie with Oregon. In either case, the Bruins win the tiebreaker due to their victory over the Ducks. (If you dare to figure out how that is, read this).
The craziest part of all is, just as easily as the 6-5 Bruins could go to the Rose Bowl, they could also go to no bowl at all if they lose. If Arizona does beat ASU, it would give the Pac-10 seven bowl-eligible teams for six spots and almost assuredly restrict them to one BCS berth. Guess which would be the odd team out in that scenario? Yep -- the same team that's playing for a Rose Bowl berth next week.
4) That playing quarterback in the Pac-10 is a risky proposition. A little more detail on that 16-0 UCLA win over Oregon: The Bruins netted a grand total of 220 yards of offense, the Ducks 148. The only touchdown of the game came with 4:29 remaining. This was not the result of two epic defenses so much as it was that both teams are one more injury away from having to hold open tryouts at quarterback.
UCLA started the game with third-string, former receiver Omar Rasshan under center. After he failed to complete a pass the entire first half, the Bruins brought in still-hobbled Ben Olson for his first action since Oct. 6. He finished 4-of-10 for 64 yards. Meanwhile, a week after losing star Dixon for the rest of the season, Oregon watched replacement Brady Leaf go down in the first quarter, forcing it to use redshirt freshmen Cody Kempt and Justin Roper the rest of the way. They finished a combined 7-of-28 for 60 yards and three interceptions.
I weep for anyone who had to watch this game.
Even so, the injury trend has hardly been limited to the Bruins and Ducks. USC (John David Booty), Cal (Nate Longshore) and Washington (Jake Locker) have all had to play games without their top signal-callers as well, which helps explain how the conference race got so jumbled. It also helps explain why USC is in position to win an unprecedented sixth straight conference title next weekend: When Booty went down, the Trojans had the luxury of another former top-rated quarterback recruit, Mark Sanchez, waiting in the wings. Oregon's options after Dixon were apparently not quite as appealing; Saturday, they got shut out for the first time since 1985.
5) That Erik Ainge is the nation's most underappreciated quarterback. When Tennessee defenders brought down Kentucky's Andre Woodson short of the goal line to stop the Wildcats' two-point conversion attempt in quadruple overtime to earn a division-clinching 52-50 win Saturday, you could hear the groans all the way from Nashville to Athens, Ga., to Gainesville, Fla. Those lucky SOBs, the Vols, had done it again, this time advancing to the SEC title game. It marked their third win this season (the others: South Carolina and Vanderbilt) in which they needed a failed field-goal attempt from the opposition to survive (Kentucky's came in the second overtime).
Lost in all of Tennessee's bizarre heroics, however, have been some phenomenally clutch performances from the Vols' senior quarterback. No, he doesn't produce eye-popping numbers like Tim Tebow or Daniel, nor do you hear him mentioned alongside Matt Ryan, Brian Brohm or Colt Brennan when discussing the nation's top passers. But Ainge has had an indisputably solid season, completing 64.2 percent of his passes for 2,908 yards, 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He saved two of his biggest performances for the past two games, going 29-of-43 for 245 yards and three touchdowns in leading Tennessee back from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit against Vanderbilt, then throwing for 397 yards and seven touchdowns in Saturday's marathon victory.
I have to think even the blindest of Vols fans would acknowledge it took some extremely fortuitous circumstances for their team to make it to Atlanta (especially considering their two conference losses came by an average margin of 32 points), but imagine where they'd be without Ainge? Probably preparing for the Independence Bowl right now rather than the SEC championship game.
This year again proves why college produces a better game than the NFL. From one week to the next, the scenarios change so dramatically. No team is allowed a "mulligan" because any lose can mean the difference between a January trip to Pasadena or a December ride to Detriot. Thanks Stewart for ushering us through the wild ride thus far, I'm looking forward to the wacky finish ahead.
"many fans are starting to adopt the NFL mentality of placing undue emphasis on "who's playing the best right now."
Ok, is it just my imagination or did I not see Mandel use that very same rationale for some of his voting ballot decisions this year? And hey, whoever is playing the best right now is typically who wins playoff games and determines champions in just about every other sport, which seems to be what everyone wants in cf these days. Methinks thou dost protest too much.
I don't think I've seen anyone arguing that USC should be in the NC game at this point. I'm a pretty big Trojan fan, and even I would have to shake my head at anyone seriously suggesting that. I sure haven't seen it around here. It would be a hilarious end to an insane season if a rash of season ending top 10 losses put them there, but I think we all know that isn't going to happen, and no one seriously expects it to happen. Sounds more to me like Mandel is pulling out a straw man, for whatever his reasons. Saying the Trojans deserve some respect and a cessation of beating the dead horse of the overhyped loss to Stanford (how many top 10 teams have lost to unranked opponents now?) is not the same as saying they deserve to play in the NC game. I think Mandel made such a melodramatic "the sky is falling", "worst upset ever" spectacle after the Stanford game, he probably feels he must keep up the pretense to avoid looking silly. If that's the case, it's backfiring.
But Mandel isn't alone. The Trojans got very little love in the rankings this week, even after a completely convincing demolishing of ASU. I firmly believe they are the best 2-loss team in the country at least, and better than some of the 1 loss teams as well. They stand a good chance at yet another top 4 finish. Hey, fine. Same thing happened last year after the UCLA loss. And the critics were quickly forced to eat their words after the Rose Bowl. I'm thinking odds are the same will be the case this year too.
Stewart, the reason why you suddenly notice the fans' fixation with whose playing best "right now" is that ... well, it's because the system rewards recent success. The polls and pundits -- indeed, the BCS rankings -- place less emphasis on a loss early in the year than later. Even your "power" rankings emphasize recent play.
So you can tell me that every week counts, and to a degree you'd be right. But not every week counts the same. Bottom line, most fans think USC and GA would be a much better NC game than OU and, god forbid, Mizzouri -- and I think most fans are right on this one.
This system is so flawed it's almost funny. Please use your platform to advocate a playoff system -- every column, every year, push it. With great power comes great responsibility my man.
Right on the money. It makes no sense at all. And hey, I'm a Trojan fan, but I think the team that got the worst of it was Michigan losing to an unranked team and getting booted out of the rankings entirely.
LSU's continued top 5 ranking is just inexplicable.
From a diehard Ohio State fan: If we are the 1-loss team that doesn't make the national championship game (assuming missouri and west virginia win next week), I will not feel slighted because we did not win every game. If you win every game (other than hawaii) you should be playing for the title. Since we did not, I will take our bowl and set our sights on a bowl win. I will not complain (even if I think we could beat missouri or west virginia).
LSU lost in triple overtime to two pretty good teams. USC lost to one of the worst Pac-10 teams in recent memory, and Ohio State has beaten no one of consequence. Arkansas and Kentucky have two of the best players in the country leading their offenses, and while Williams is pretty good, the gap between who LSU lost to and who Ohio State and especially USC lost to is pretty wide.
Stew - Based on your reasoning, if OSU gets into the NC game is it all a joke? Didn't OSU just lose to Illinois - or does beating a average UM make up for it the next week? Also, didn't LSU just lose? How are they ranked so high losing at HOME to an unranked team two days ago?
Why can't you write about the need for these teams to play BCS quality teams in OOC games? Look at the top -yes Mizzou played Illinois - but that is it!! It should be mandatory that you play two BCS teams in OOC games if you want to be in a BCS Bowl game.
BTW, your predictions in the big games this week were not good - maybe you should start thinking about who is playing well now a pick those teams.
I'm hoping WV, OSU, and Missou all end with one loss. Then one is left out. If it is OSU, and I am not saying it should be, perhaps schools will be inclined to abandon the Youngstown, Kent St, Akron, Wash approach to ooc games. People wondering why there is so much strength of schedule talk this scenario is it.
Oregon State has had to play the last two games (and the Civil War next week against Oregon) without starting QB Sean Canfield. Backup Lyle Moevao has led the Beavers to wins over Washington and Washington St.
I'm sick of hearing Oregon fans whining like they're the only team in the history of the game to have important players go down with injuries. Look, Oregon St. has had 7 starters miss games, including two All-Americans who have , played a total of three games. Do injuries make life tough? You bet. But don't try and tell people you're the only team that's banged up.
While I understand the inevitability of playing "What If," (as a Mountaineer, I've been playing it since we lost to Florida Compasspoint), don't you think we've taken it a bit far when we start talking about teams that can't even PLAY in their conference championship being considered for a berth in the NC?
Gawja should be elimninated from discussion simply by virtue of its failure to even make it to its conference championship.
It'a a simple rule: you don't win your conference, you can't play in the NC. Period.
for chrth - It would save the Notre Dame season wouldn't it? This is a year for laughs. When doctors start containing the withdrawal symptoms and the power of speech is regained I am anxious to hear thoughts from Notre Dame fans as to what went wrong.
for bob kincaid - As they did last year when they bumped Fla over Mich when the moment of truth was reached I would hope they would consider additional issues and your comments on Georgia. The BCS is already thought of as a big enough joke without putting the SEC #3 in the NC. But SEC fans would have a strong argument as to the best conf if their #3 team is in the NC. Don't think you wouldn't hear it.
I must agree with the bias with LSU. They are a good team but they lost twice and once to a unranked team.
Of course the South Florida Bulls get no love anymore, a bias the other way b/c I guess we are the new kid on the block. We lost three games by a total of 12 points. The Bulls were in every game but gave two of them away. (UCONN - 450+ yards and only 15 points and Cincy with 8 turnovers and a blocked punt and we still almost won the game on the last two plays of the game) The coaches poll is the worst. We are not even ranked by them. They have a 4 loss Auburn team ahead of us! We have 3 losses and we beat Auburn in Auburn! I hope we make it to the Sun Bowl and beat a PAC 10 team and move up in the final polls!
Charlie - McFadden and Woodson are two of the best at their positions - period! But with that said, look at who Ark and Kentucky have played this year to appear "pretty good." Bottom line - they were both unranked.
I certainly wouldn't have thought the VOLS would be where they are today about a month ago. You've got to love the drama of it all though! I only wish that LSU had not lost last weekend so that TN would have been set up to do what LSU did to them in SEC title game in 2001, upset them and kill their national title shots. Bravo to the hogs though!!!
Yes you lost to a Florida compass point for the SECOND year in a row! South Florida has shut down both your "great players" two years in a row. South Florida is just as fast or faster than White and Slaton and that is why they get shut down by South Florida. I am sure WVU will be a little worried when South Florida comes to Morgantown next year and want be saying oh that Florida compasspoint school. When WVU actually beats s then talk smack until then shut up and enjoy beating Pitt and the NC game. Unlike you I give credit to good teams and will be routing for WVU and the Big East.
Stewart, thank you for giving Erik Ainge some credit. Those of us who are Tennessee fans have been wondering when someone would finally realize that he is a premier quarterback. No, he doesn't have numbers like Tebow or Daniel, but the NFL team that gets him next year will be very happy that they did. He has kept Tennesse fans coming back for more even though there were a few of weeks this season that we saw only darkness in the tunnel. Way to go Erik, Atlanta is going to be lucky to have you and the rest of the guys in town on Saturday!
mandel, what's wrong with the "2 best teams right now" battling for the title. it happens in every other sport in america. who wants to see lame match ups like the 2001 atrocity featuring nebraska (who got clocked by colorado and didn't win their conference)getting stomped by miami and the 2003 mess with oklahoma (also losing its conference championship game to K-State)getting clocked by lsu. the bcs must yield to a playoff system of conference champions and wild cards. why should ohio state benefit after ending their season on 11-17, when other SEC, big 12 and big east contenders risk conference championship battles into the month of december. your emphasis on the flawed refrain that "every game matters" fails to account for teams having to struggle through periods of freshman starters, injuries, suspensions and other snafus during a season, and gives undue weight to a flawed computer system and "beauty pageant" polls that eliminate deserving contenders for the title. Like in boxing and every other sport in this country, the "toughest one standing" in the end is crowned the champ. to provide for matchups to be predetermined by computers and polls is unamerican. the bcs is fatally flawed and must yield to a playoff system of conference champions and wild cards.
For all of those criticizing OSU's strength of schedule let's not forget these games get scheduled years in advance. When Washington was scheduled they were a pretty good PAC-10 team. The next two years we have USC, the year after Miami of FL. Will be Miami be back to top tier by then, who knows? OSU still has the best strength of schedule of the top 3 in the BCS at 42nd.
You could not be more correct about Eric Ainge. I am not particularly a UT fan but this kid has held a very young inexperienced team together through a roller coaster ride this season. It is hard to believe that the "rabid" UT fans were crying for Phil Fulmer's head a month ago.. I have a feeling there would have been a few schools who would love to have a coach of his caliber..
Yet again: OSU just finished a home-and-home with Texas. They start one with USC next year, followed by Miami, Cal, and then Virginia Tech. Stop acting like they schedule only cupcakes because it just isn't true.
What is wrong with a team maturing and improving throughout the season??? In football a good trouncing can cause the team (coaching staff) to take a look at themselves and make changes... sometimes it works...other times not, and occasionally the changes create a special team. Eric says "This year again proves why college produces a better game than the NFL. From one week to the next, the scenarios change so dramatically.". Ummm did you not watch the play-offs last year? You were not impressed with the re-emergence of Philly behind their back-up QB... or the fall of 14-2 San Diego to a team that was "the best team at that moment" ... not to mention the colts dramatic win.... Yes in the pros there may be some weeks early on that are bland... but if Div 1 had a play-off system we would gain so much more in the end... and oh by the way we could all agree at the end of the year that the best team is the National Champion. Look at Ohio State and Georgia... they can move to the National Championship by not even playing a game??? That is nothing but pathetic!
Don't forget that after USC and Miami - The Buckeyes will play VaTech and Oklahoma. How can WVU and Missouri be considered that much better than everyone else? The Big East is awful and don't get me started on the Big 12 South with the powerhouses of Nebraska and Colorado. Does anyone actually think this is a better conference than the Big Ten?
Sorry Stewart but I think your wrong re: UCLA's chances of going to the Rose Bowl. True if USC, ASU and OSU lose the four way tie breaks in their favor.
But if its a four way tie with OSU and not Oregon, it first becomes a three way tie between UCLA, USC, and ASU (OSU lost to all three) who all beat one and lost one to the other two. The next rule in the tie-breaker is to look at the record against the next highest placed team in the conference. Oregon and Arizona would both have 5-4 records so to determine which of THEM would be higher in the rankings you look at their record against each other and Arizona just beat Oregon.
USC beat Arizona, UCLA lost to Arizona and ASU would have lost to Arizona. USC is conference champion.
This in fact worsens UCLA's chance because OSU is likely to beat quarterback depleted Oregon next weekend.
I agree that with the teams they have scheduled for home-and-home series over the next several years, any criticism of soft scheduling toward OSU will be completely baseless. The last few years, this one included. . . not so much.
When people complain about the BCS they rarely take the time to compare it to what it replaced, which was not a playoff, and it's not like the BCS was chosen over a playoff, it was making the best of a non-playoff world.
The BCS solved the problem of two undefeated teams who could not play each other because of conference-bowl tie ins. It solved this problem well and gave us two great games, Texas vs. USC and Ohio St. vs. Miami that could not have happened under the old system.
Even the year when Auburn was left out, the old system would have prevented any of the undefeateds from playing each other and all three could have ended undefeated.
The BCS does no better than the old system at dealing with a messy year like this year. In fact, it makes things less entertaining because instead of many meaningful games, there is only one. For instance this year you could have Ohio St. vs. USC in the Rose, WVU v. LSU in the Sugar and Missouri v. Georgia in the Orange, with Hawaii vs. Kansas in the Fiesta. It would be possible that all of the one-loss teams could lose or none. The end would be a mess to be decided by the voters, but it would have been a really fun New Years Day (all the Bowls would have been played on one day under the old system which was much better for the fans) with lots of games that impacted the national championship.
It may be that the solution to the BCS is to only use it in years with two or more BCS conference undefeateds and forget about it in other years.
I will, note, however, that scheduling Texas - although they turned out not to be so great the last couple of years - was not soft-scheduling either. I mean, hey, USC scheduled Idaho, which as a Trojan fan, I didn't like at all.
Stating that we are not college fans if we want a playoff is moronic. Did you forget that there are playoffs in college football? It's just Division I - or whatever they want to call it. When you don't have teams playing eachother because of their respective conferences, we have no clear cut way of knowing who the best teams are. Think about last - everyine thought OSU and UM were the best two programs in CF. What happened?
Although Georgia did not make it to their conference game, that should not disqualify them from the NC. Two reasons - #1, they play in a conference that has a championship. In other conferences - that have no championship - they would be in a three way tie with LSU and Tenn. If you used other conferences tie-breaker, then the team with the highest BCS ranking would advance. Instead, one head-to-head loss kicks them out of the Championship, and in theory makes them the SEC #3, instead of the Co-champions of the entire conference (see Pac-10, Big-10).
#2 - look at their last five weeks that gave them zero breaks whatsoever: W vs. Florida (BCS 10) by 12, W vs. Troy (8-3, conference champs, beat OK State) by 10, W vs. Auburn by 25 (BCS 24), W vs. Kentucky by 11 (beat LSU in overtime, lost to Tenn in overtime), W vs. GA Tech by 14 (7-5 and bowl bound). All double-digit wins vs. quality opponents. Decent arguement if it comes down to all the #2's. LSU just lost, at home, to an unranked team. Oklahoma just lost to another unranked team. VA Tech plays in the ACC (how good are they?), but would have the best arguement against GA.
LSU lost to a 7-5 Kentucky that is today unranked, and an 8-4 Arkansas that is today unranked. Besides, is a 3-overtime loss to an unranked opponent supposed to be more impressive than a regulation loss to an unranked team? That's stupid!
Ohio State has beaten no one of consequence? Ohio State lost to a 9-3 Illinois that is ranked 15 in the BCS. Also, Ohio State's computer ranking is 3rd to LSU's 7th.
"If you can't win your conference, you can't play for the NC"
I guess the voters forgot that rule in 2003 when they voted Oklahoma in after they LOST their conf. title game by 28 points. And as far as everyone complaining about LSU losing to an unranked team....who hasn't this year. LSU, USC, OSU, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas, BC, all lost to unranked teams this year. And as good as they're playing now, I don't think UGA should play for the NC either. If you ask me, the 2 most deserving teams are ranked 1 and 2 already because Mizzou's and WVA's only losses were to ranked teams. I hope UGA wins their bowl so we can make our NC game run next year.
I will, note, however, that scheduling Texas - although they turned out not to be so great the last couple of years - was not soft-scheduling either.
Uh ... they won the National Championship the first year they played OSU.
I guess the voters forgot that rule in 2003 when they voted Oklahoma in after they LOST their conf. title game by 28 points.
That incident in 2003 is what caused them to rethink the whole thing (especially after OU lost in the NC). While they never officially passed a rule (afaik), I sincerely doubt they'd want a repeat of that debacle.
Charles, you can't be serious about UWV schedule. BTW, I like them and White/Slaton/Devine, but it is embarrassing that they know they are going to be a good team and yet fail to schedule tough teams. When was the last time Miss was tough. I'll give to OSU, they play SC, Texas, VT and others. I wish they play one more game like that, but who does? Well, maybe USC - they go against Virginia, OSU and ND (they suck but tradition).
OSU had the 2nd best strength of schedule in 2005, 38th best in 2006. Strength of schedule is only down this year due to the overall weakness of the Big-10 which OSU could not avoid. Only the bowl schedule will sort out whether SEC is over-rated or just has great parity. I believe having seen most of the Big 10 teams this year that the Big 10 will hold its own in the bowl games.
Florida has not lost to any unranked opponents this year, if you are going by current standings. BCS #4 , #7 and #24. But I am doubtful this is quite as important a factor as is being suggested in these discussions. I would not rank Fla ahead of USC right now even though the USC loss was a bad one. All must be placed in the context of the season and the times.
It is absolutely ridiculous that some conferences have to play a championship game and some don't. Look at this scenario: Mizzou loses to OU and Kansas ends up ranked higher than either team in the final BCS standings....total BS.
Secondly, WTF is going on ranking LSU so high? They lost at home (again) to an unranked team and they are the seventh best team in the country? What a joke. When they lose to Tennessee in the championship game, are they going to drop all the way to eighth?
Michael, OSU fan huh? Some of you can be really dumb. The Big East is not awful, the Big 10 is this year, and I am a Big 10 fan. To put a few things in perspective, here is a the records of the top 4 teams in each conference against other BCS teams with .500 or better records with the top 4 teams I used from the conferences in parentheses:
Big 10 (OSU, UM, UW, Ill.): 1-1 Big 12 (Tex, OU, Mizz., KU): 1-0 Big East (USF, WVU, UConn, Cincy): 4-1 Pac 10 (Ore., USC, ASU, Or St.): 1-1 ACC (BC, VT, UVa, Clem): 2-1 SEC (LSU, Fla, Tenn, UGa): 4-1
This is just a snapshot, but I think it shows that the Big East doesn't exactly schedule a whole lot of cream puffs. If anything that was the Big 12, aside from Mizzou. (OU did schedule the U, but the U was awful this year).
Finally, I am not using this to say one conference is better than the other, but don't bash teams for playing weak schedules if you don't have facts. I think 95% of us would agree that WVU and Mizzou deserve to play for the BCS title if they win next week. They have done the most.
I was questioning the "although they turned out not to be so great the last couple of years" comment. My point was Texas finished #1 the first year and top 20 (15?) the second year. The fact that they were not so great this year (and maybe a little not so great last year) doesn't change that fact.
Bias towards LSU? It's called schedule difficulty. Pac-10 doesn't have it (illustrated nicely by the dismal possibility, with one week left, of UCLA playing in the Rose Bowl); The SEC does (illustrated nicely by UGA's being the top two-loss team not enought to earn a shot at the SEC Championship). Schedule difficulty is the problem with the BCS, its not adequately compensated for. If Georgia should be discounted because it didn't get a shot to win its conference championship then Mizzoui should be for the mediocrity involved in winning its own. The fact is, we have a prospect of a EXTREMELY lackluster NC game. A WVU-OSU matchup would at least bring some credibility to the game, a sense of two of the best teams playing. However, I said "of the best"; the best team at the end of the season would be decided in a UGA-USC Rose Bowl. God we need a playoff system.
for diazrig - Your thoughts on the WV schedule are well spoken, and perhaps my bias is showing through a bit too much. I am an old timer who believes that if you want to claim the crown you beat numerous champions over time on the field. So I look at OSU and WV this year and they seem very close. But OSU and Tressel have been there and consistently stood with the best recently. That does not mean they would beat this WV team of course. It's just that they look so close right now that I look at history to decide. And when I look at recent history or current history I do not see titans or near titans that most other confs can boast. So there is the bias showing through again with the Big East teams that WV played. With their schedule and struggles this year in close games with Ill and MSU I am not proud to champion OSU for the NC. But I do give them the edge over WV and Missou. I hope this makes some sense. WV has done more to convince me than Missou, but again it is a slight edge. There's just too few quality wins for me to feel comfortable about anything.
I f college football had a playoff the last two teams would not be USC and Georgia. A lot of people are saying these are the two best teams right now but the odds are they would not end up in the NC game.
And why would OSU lend more credibility to the NC game? I wish people would just say that they want one of the traditional powers in the game and that they are biased. Why don't we tinker with the bCS to make sure a traditional power has to be in the NC game no matter what. The bias is there in the human polls and the fans anyway.
for ian - I've said it before and I am now reading it mentioned by writers, a 3-loss Fla team with Tebow may be more attractive to a BCS bowl than a 2-loss GA team. Fla, at its best, trampled Tenn and stayed even with LSU. GA lost to S. Car and Tenn. Both Fla and LSU struggled after they played each other and it was because of the beating they laid on each other. As a Fla fan I make no excuses for the GA loss and if GA is chosen ahead of Fla in the bowls, give whoever you play a taste of SEC misery. But I could see a bowl committee thinking Fla would play a better $$$game, and I myself think that a rested Fla with Tebow is a worthy opponent for WV, OSU, USC and any team the Big 12 names.
for sofl95 - If you were managing a chess team, could pick one member for the NC game, would you go with your traditional power, or a newcomer with about the same record? Right now I think USC and OSU should play in the NC, but that doesn't mean that Missou or WV wouldn't do better. For the NC game with all else being similar I pick traditional powers. I think WV needs to schedule home and home with a Texas team like OSU did. Beating Missou this year in the NC just looks to me like a big win in a pond not as big as it has been before.
Is the NC for traditional powers? You maybe right about WVU. The hardest team/game they played this year they lost (South Florida (2 years in a row)).
That is fine if people want a traditional team but lets call it what it is; bias against smaller or newer schools.
I like the Boise State game last year and hope Hawaii plays in the Sugar this year. I personally like some change rather than see the same old teams play again and again sometimes deserving it and sometimes on bias.
BTW...USC lost to STANFORD at home who lost to Notre Dame. No one who oses to one of the worst teams in college football should play for the NC. In college football you need to win all your games and if you lose not get embarrassed!
Once again here is the bias. USC loses to a pathetic team at home but evryone conveniently forgets!
USC lost at home to STANFORD! keep saying it and maybe it will finally sink in!
"It should be mandatory that you play two BCS teams in OOC games if you want to be in a BCS Bowl game."
I agree that strength of schedule is a critical factor in assessing a team's proper bowl placement, and I might be missing something, but how do you propose to ensure that a sufficient number of teams could meet the criteria you recommended? I'd appreciate it if 1) you could further define "BCS teams" and 2) perhaps you could give us a list of teams that currently meet your criteria. Thanks.
Every pre-season, all us college football fans argue about who's conference is the best, who's team, who's players and so on. Isn't amazing that we still don't have any answers. Is the tradionally powerful SEC really that good? LSU is the only program that has a quality win outside its conference. The Big 10 - well we haven't seen any. The Pac 10, I don't think Neb or ND qualify. The Big 12, can't think of one. Big East, well if Cincy beating Oregon St works for you.
Its time for us fans to start demanding more quality teams from our ADs and coaches. This is not what college football is suppose to be about - "lets play weak teams and hope to be undeated at the end of the season." It's a joke!!!
The BCS was created by the six football conferences that are the homes of the traditional powers. The only non-conference traditional power, Notre Dame, has (or had) unique qualifiers. And there is a qualifier for non-traditional conference teams like Hawaii or Boise State, but the BCS wasn't designed with them in mind.
As for comment below about having to play out of conference BCS teams, you missed the fact that WVU played and BEAT Miss St (2nd year in a row). Oh yeah, the same Miss St. that beat Kentucky in Lexington. Hmmmmmm, didn't LSU lose there?
WVU has 6 projected bowl teams on their schedule. If they take care of business vs. PITT, they will not have to make any excuses or feel bad about playing anyone for the "championship". See you in the BIG Sleazy.
First, I'd like to address a few comments made that belittle (only slightly) the accomplishments of WVU. I've done the math here, and if you go by the SI Power Rankings (which, though flawed to some degree, might provide the best comparison just by averages), WVU, out of the current top 5, has the 2nd most difficult schedule. Though this might seem wrong, I urge you to do the math if you don't believe me. The problem with some of the other schools is that they play one (or more than one) teams that don't even appear in the power rankings (i.e. Div. I-AA schools), and I automatically assigned these schools a 126 Power Ranking Number (because the lowest on the list is 125).
Now, on to the debate over a playoff...those who advocate for it fail to consider the people who really matter in college football-the players! If you add a playoff, you have to shorten the season by at least 2 games. A playoff means the national champion has to play 3 games if there are 8 teams and 4 games if there are 16, and 2 games if there are 4. Remember that college football players risk career-ending injuries every time they're on the field. Certainly, NFL players do as well, but they get paid to take the risk. Maybe it seems like that argument takes out some of the mystique of college football, but you can bet everything you have that college football players have those thoughts with some frequency.
re: "many fans are starting to adopt the NFL mentality of placing undue emphasis on "who's playing the best right now."
Helzapoppin, My sentiments exactly. Nicely done! Stewart Mandel had us in the Holiday Bowl less than a week ago, so maybe he's a little embarrassed. I don't usually reply, even if the message is right on, but I'm adding a link to a great PC story, on the chance you did not see it. I think they should organize a "Clockwork Orange" session for some of the Coliseum boo birds: hold their eye lids open and make them read this article:))
diazrig - I agree with playing 2 ooc games against BCS teams, but WVU and Mizzou have already met that requirement this year. Plain and simple, they have done more than OSU provided they win next week.
Oh Travis, what are you a college BCS president. I played college football and would have love to play more games. Again, do you realize playoffs exist in CF? And now that we have conference championships - some teams play 14 games. BTW, do you know how tough it is to play a bowl game after not playing for a month (in the Big 10 case - 2)?
Other people have already jumped on Mandel for it, but I just want to further question the "who's playing best right now" remark. If you don't want to emphasize who's playing best right now, then why have the two best teams (however they're determined) play a game against each other? By that logic, shouldn't we go back to the pre-BCS system of voting on whoever writers/coaches think the best team was over the course of the season?
It's hard to buy the argument that a playoff would diminish the regular season when current regular season games such as Kansas-Missouri get so hyped up -- the winner has a shot at the championship and the loser is out: that's just a poor man's poorly run playoff!
(I am sympathetic to alot of arguments against a playoff -- but not all of them).
A possibility of having UCLA in the Rose Bowl? Someone wake me up from this nightmare! I don't think UCLA fans would even dare consider that.
OSU v. USC though would be nice. A battle of two of the biggest programs of this decade. Too bad they play each other during the next two regular seasons. *yawn* All out defense v. all out defense. Final score: 17-14.
LSU won't be in the top 10 after next week, because they're going to lose to Tennessee. I mean, UT is happy to be playing that game while LSU's morale must be crushed. Not to mention that their coach is probably leaving for Michigan. So, I almost certainly expect UT to win.
Can we have a USC v. Georgia in a BCS bowl game? That should be a record ratings event.
Other bowl games I wanna see (my dream come true): Miss State v. Indiana (!!!) LSU v. ASU (Pac10 #2 v. SEC #2) BC (Acc champ) v. WVU (Big East champ) Illinois v. Florida OU v. Ohio State Kansas v. Hawaii (two of the last unbeatens) Arkansas v. Clemson (battle of the dual runningbacks) Texas Tech v. Purdue Wisconsin v. Texas (overrated v. overrated) Auburn v. Penn State (whoever reaches 10 points wins) S. Florida v. Cal (both were #2 for a week) FIU v. Utah State (someone's gotta win bowl)
Sprawl - agree. And to all you Mountaineer fans out there, I'm sorry I find your schedule untested by what I consider "tradional" powers. It's just that UWV has been good for a while, not just the past few seasons, and not going out and scheduling some tough traditional teams makes me think you want the best of both worlds. So - there you have it!
All teams should have an equal chance at playing in all bowls based on their performance ratings and not tradition or past years' results.
This year's bowls are for this year's teams based on their accomplishments. All those teams are made up of hard working dedicated student athletes who sacrifice a lot of time and pain to have a chance to appear in a post season bowl.
Please don't lose sight of that in all your debates.
Diazrig...no, I'm not a college BCS president. However, I am being mentored through law school by a former NFL agent who represented dozens of NFL players. You say you would have loved to play more college games, and I applaud that mentality. I know there are others who feel the same. And if college players were compensated in any way other than scholarships for the endorsements and advertising and jersey sales, etc., I'm sure most players would feel the same. But those who have an honest chance at a solid NFL career certainly worry about it. I've talked to players on both levels and know this to be a fact. I'm not implying that I'm the end all be all to the argument nor that this is a good mentality, but it is certainly something that should enter the discussion.
This debate is all pointless, when will the NCAA do away with all this BCS crap and mandate a playoff system?!!! I'm so tired of reading these idiots argue about which team is better and which is the stronger conference, etc...Also, pre-season polls are absolutely ridiculous and should be done away with. Polls shouldn't start until 5-6 weeks in to the season.
I am a HUGE college Football fan and I think there should be a playoff system. Use the BCS to get the TOP eight and have a playoff...Period...end of story. Teams with Freshman usually take a bit to get going and some are actually the best team in the country. Who would want to play Florida right now? Who? Nobody. On top of that,,,who in the sam hell would want to play UGA right now? Who? Out West where all the colleges play water polo...who wants to play USC? Nobody out there in water polo land... I'm not a huge UGA fan...but in my honest opinion that QB they have Stafford looks a WHOLE helluva lot like John Elway and has a rocket for an arm. Top that with that Freshman RB they have Moreno and they are pretty damn good. UGA is also #2 in the country in recruiting...Notre Dame is #1..only because everyone thinks they can start there...even some kids at Scottish Rite Hospital think they have a chance to play for Notre Dame...but that is another Story..
To anyone that thinks playoffs create boredom, look at the FCS playoffs this year. #1 ranked UNI needed a touchdown with 7 sec left to beat New Hampshire. Delaware played a Delaware St team that had avoided playing it once they moved up to the subdivision. #2 McNeese State got blown out by Eastern Washington. #3 Montana lost their first game to Wofford, the first team to beat App. St., in a thriller. App. St. (you may have heard of them) had a back and forth game with James Madison. And CAA champ UMass had a slugfest with Patriot champ Fordham.
It created massive drama during the regular season because Southern Illinois played UNI for the no. 1 seed and it was a great back and forth battle that UNI barely won at home. Also, most of the teams that made the playoffs played Football BS schools (and most of them won, too!). UNI beat ISU, SIU beat NIU, ASU beat UM, Delaware beat Navy, 2 of Eastern Illinois' loses came to FBS schools, Eastern Kentucky's only 2 loses came to FBS schools, etc. These teams actually go out and schedule the big boys happily. They need the experience to make it through the playoffs.
yes, of course. usc and their sorta return to something or another is derailed by they shouldn't have lost to stanford. stuff happens. this is college football. they shouldn't have lost to ucla last year, as well, but they did. lsu was supposed to whip arkansas this weekend but they couldn't pull it off. oregon turns out to be pathetic without dixon. plus, they just might be the notre dame of next season. unless the domers pull some sort of rabbit out of charlie's hat. yeah, and santa is making me a lottery winner. this is why we love the game. the college game. all of that and the curse of the number 2 continues.
yeah, LSU lost to two teams that seem to be mediocre. and they almost lost to a team that failed to beat Louisiana-Monroe. Ohio State lost to a team that seemed to be mediocre, but just may find themselves in the BCS. let's just agree to disagree that NO conference is dominant this year. this Big Ten, SEC battle could go on for years. for now you are just wasting your time arguing about it. i think the real controversy now is that everyone is touting a quarterback for the heisman trophy that cried over a loss on national television. the best player in the country should be a well-rounded team leader that can rally the troops around a tough loss. i am by no means an oregon fan, but what is there team able to do without their leader? absolutely nothing... injury or not, Dennis Dixon for heisman. LSU fans... OH NEAUX. haha Go Oklahoma, put us back into the championship! GEAUX BUCKEYES!
Why is Mandel so worked up over USC and Georgia? This season has been loaded with highly ranked teams losing to lowly unranked teams. Didn't 5 or 6 #2s do it? Why isn't Mandel indicting VTech for getting blown out by LSU and losing to BC? Why isn't he indicting Oklahoma for losing to a 6-6 Colorado team and an unranked Texas Tech team? Why is he so forgiving of a BC team that has managed to sneak back to #11 in the BCS standings after losing to Maryland and Florida State?
At least it's easy to explain USC's losses. The Stanford loss was the result of John David Booty foolishly playing with a broken finger. A close Oregon loss was largely due to a depleted offense playing in one of the country's most hostile stadiums.
It's hard to imagine what grudge Mandel has against the Trojans. Maybe it's just because he completely misread the ASU-USC matchup. Remember, his prediction was that ASU would win because USC lacks offensive firepower. 44 points later, it seems Mandel doesn't like eating his hat.
Trav - didn't mean to be rude. But I played where they have probably have put out the most NFL players, and I can honestly tell you when youre in season you don't think about an extra game. Think about the average college progam now, mandatory volunteer summer workouts have created a full year program. Or as one coach so infamously said "It's Big 12 football!!!"
Truthfully, a playoff system may not happen in my lifetime, but it is fun to dream.
If you want to get a playoff system in FBS, here are some simple to follow steps: 1. Stop wasting time on these blogs. 2. Create a petition. 3. Get thousands of people to sign it. 4. Send it to your local university president.
Continuously posting on these blogs about doing away with the BCS does absolutely nothing. Be vocal where it matters!
USC lost to Stanford. USC lost to Stanford. USC lost to Stanford. Keep saying it over and over and maybe it will sink in. USC lost to Stanford b/c of a broken finger? Weren't they like 40 point favorites? A team should not play for the national championship when they lose to the 95th best team in the country and it was a home game.
USC is good but they blew it when they lost to Stanford.
Rick: you missed one there, buddy. WVU also played, and stomped the life out of, Mississippi State, who happened to beat Alabama, Auburn and Ol' Miss (whom you cite as credibility for the Mizzou ooc sked).
SoFl95: I wasn't "talking smack" on you at all (wtf is this, the Jim Rome show?!).
There's no getting around the fact that y'all did us this year and last. We didn't deserve to win down there this year. When you put the ball on the ground six times, it's highly unlikely that a "W" will be the outcome. The biggest rap on the Mounties has been their occasionally uneven play. I hope those days are past, and that we'll destroy Pitt (after all, it's Pitt . . . The BackYard Brawl) and move into the NC spotlight. I'm sure USF will acquit itself quite well on the BE's behalf in its bowl game.
I've frequently noted that Jim Leavitt is one of the most over-looked, most deserving coaches in the country when it comes to moving up. I think he'd be a nice fit at Nebraska. or even Auburn, should Tuberville bolt for A&M.
If you have a playoff then why would a team play a hard OOC schedule? On the one hand it would not matter if you lose b/c only conference games would count for getting into the playoff system but why would a team want to play tough games outside of conference? You would want to save all your players for the conference games that count. And then what about ND if they ever get good again?
Sof95 - SC fans will be the first to say they DO NOT belong in the NC game. They may end up be the best team in the country but they know the system they signed up for. And they lost to Stanford - I assure you it has been repeated a few million times (have you seen the Pontiac commericals?). No other loss - more than App St over UM - has been brought up in the history of a season. :)
They may take the money happily, but they all dream of being able to knock of the big dogs. Also, you can't tell me that the opportunity to test their metal isn't a big factor. Look what happened to Montana, they did the FCS version of Hawaii's schedule and lost in the first round with a no. 3 seed. Whereas ASU, UNI, Wofford, and UMass all knew what they had after games with their FBS opponents and ended up winning games.
By the way, Navy also looks to finish with the same record as mighty Michigan.
In the 80s and early 90s, UGA played BYU, Cal, UCLA, Oregon, Pitt, etc. I'm sure everyone else played nationwide as well, and that was with 10-11 game max schedules.
Nobody wants to open their recruiting area to other schools. (Before anyone says anything, UGA does recruit nationwide - stud USC RB recruit from last year had UGA as no. 2 choice and national #1 TE, from CA, is at UGA now).
Hawaii had an open date this year, called Wisconsin (definite no) and USC (definite no - scheduled Idaho instead). Nobody wanted any part of that team, and now everyone thinks they are a joke because of their schedule. Oregon St. backed out of a scheduled game with UGA this year.
You can only play whoever is willing to play you.....
Does seem to be opening up a little. UGA has Ariz. St. on schedule in 2009.
I agree with you Jeremy and Go Navy! almost went to Annapolis last week to watch them but fell through.
Diazrig...USC cannot be the best team in the country precisely b/c they lost to #95 Stanford. That is my point. In college football there is no playoff so if you loe to #95 then you cannot be the best.
People belittle OSU and their schedule (i do too) but they won the games they were suppose to and lost to a good team.
Hawaii won (hopefully) all their games and deserve to go to the sugar.
USC may deserve to go to a BCS game but not the NC game.
Can you imagine if USC went and won? evryone would think USC as a NC is a joke (ecept USC fans) b/c they lost to Stanford.
The answer to your question regarding WVU's strength of schedule is incredibly simple. If you are a good SEC team with a legitimate shot at a solid ranking, and you already have SEC conference games scheduled, do you REALLY want to put WVU on your schedule? WVU can't schedule a tougher lineup because no one wants to play them.
j has a point. Some teams do not schedule hard teams outside their conference. South Florida is playing Miami for five years on Thanksgiving weekend starting in 2009 and playing Florida 2 times in the next five years (of course UF will not come to Tampa to play so both games are in the Swamp. What a joke! UF will only play away conference games and the Georgia game is always palyed in Jax, Fl which is a Gator town..I know, I lived there)
Maybe these schools are thinking that these games they scheduled may not end up in the win column like they thought they would.
You guys that say "no one wanted to schedule us - that's why we played who we played." - are wrong. I worked within the system and know you can put teams together if you want. I will agree that the SEC is generally harder to schedule with because they want you to come to their backyard (see how many schools out there play 8 home games and which conference they generally reside). But that doesn't mean there are not others out there that will be willing to do a home and away game. Remember OSU plays SC next year and UGA plays ASU. Just two to name.
you go Bob....not trying to point anyone out but when I lived in Miami evryone is a UM fan except that it is not that big of a school and costs a ton of maoney to attend. Then people would talk smack and crack on USF. I just found it annoying that at least I routed for the school i went to and not jumpped on any traditional power band wagon. I have stuck with south florida since 1995 when they hired the coach.
James...where does your insight about South Florida come from?
Have you been to the campus and been to the research facilities?
The University of South Florida has been designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the advancement of teaching as a "Research Universtity - Very High Research Activity" which is the highest level of classification given.
????????? Are you from Tampa...have you attended USF?
Some really good posting here, guys! And cordial! Nice job!
Mike, I think you've got some good games listed...very intriguing.
I also agree with Charles that Tebow's gotta be considered a HUGE draw for a bowl game...who wouldn't want him (much as it pains my Buckeye bones to say that).
Personally, I won't mind if Missouri and WV both win out; based on what I've seen they both are playing really well now, and it'd be a great game. I'm really proud of what OSU has done this year, and if anything think it might be just a TAD early for them to be in the NC game, especially if there are other teams more deserving...but watch out next year. Only two of our starters are seniors, so we should be very tough next year.
I also know a bunch of folks here in Columbus would very much love to go to Pasadena (and especially play USC) for a traditional Big 10/Pac 10 matchup in a venue that's loved by us (even though it certainly isn't a home field advantage!). I personally haven't been to the Rose Bowl, but friends have and they say it's great.
As crazy as this season is, one thing's for certain...it's been really interesting and entertaining, and I'm hoping to see a) some great bowl matchups, and b) my Big 10 teams do well.
Good luck to all of you and your teams.
P.S. To SOFl95...I'd assume PGADreamer's just trying to yank some chains...anyone in their right mind would see both Mizzou and WVU as VERY tough opponents. Disagree as you will with this, but it seems to me that the ONE Thing We've Learned This Year is that parity exists, and that for a certain number of teams it's an Any Given Saturday thing...with heart, motivation and drive the differentiator.
And for what it's worth, I went to grad school at OSU, undergrad at Purdue (I'll never stop loving my Boilers, nor hoping for greatness!).
That bias seems pervasive. I saw some live-blogging somewhere by some woman named Horne who was watching Nostre Domus vs. Stanford while WVU and UConn were duelling for the Big East Championship. Nary a peep about the BE, the 'Eers, or the Huskies.
That's OK, I guess, if you're a fan, but somehow, if someone's paying you to blog one of the biggest days on the college sked, waxing rhapsodic about a pair of cellar-dwellers shows a lack of, what, focus? Authenticity? Connection to reality?
You might want to disregard the obvious chain-yanking emails...the vast majority of the Buckeye Nation are happy simply that OSU has done what it's done this year.
As for your comment about the spread offense and Illinois, it was a one-touchdown game, with a really atrocious failure on OSU's part to challenge what was an obvious fumble. Not making excuses, just pointing out it wasn't a blowout like you're intimating. And I believe Tressel is a good enough coach that we'll be able to deal with that in the future as well.
BTW, I love WV (the state) and think you've got a great team. I'd love to see a standing OSU/WVU game every year as part of both of our schedules.
YEAH, ILLINOIS IS now RANKED HIGHER THAN KENTUCKY AND ARKANSAS... BUT WHO DID OHIO STATE beat????????? LSU got roughed up week after week, beating bowl team after bowl team. OSU only beat nancys and teams that are bowl-eligible from beating teams in the WEAK Big 10 Conference
Although the zone-read spread offense had indeed proven tough to beat, I think Oregon exposed that system's fatal flaw this year. Better have some bigtime depth at QB. Because if your top guy goes out, he may take the entire team with him.
Yeah, I'll go ahead and disagree with you on that one...the overwhelming majority of OSU fans I know (and I teach at OSU and see a lot of 'em) are, I think, about where I am, which is happy where we are, but not ridiculously arrogant. I think the problem (and it's true for any school) is that the most ridiculous homers are also the loudest, most obnoxious, and most grating, and unfortunately that's who we see from "the other side". I could be wrong.
Also, I'll throw something your way (not that it's relevant but hey)...one of my friends is on the USF faculty and he's probably the smartest guy I've ever met...also the best poker player. Good school for sure!
SoFl95, to be fair, I think a lot of folks just don't know where USF is, hence the "compasspoint," joke earlier.
There's Florida, Florida State, South Florida, Miami, Florida Atlantic, Florida International. It gets a little confusing because (a) FLorida's a big state and (b) nobody's helping with the school names.
I, for one, when I think of South Florida, at least geographically, tend to think of Miami, Homestead, The Everglades and The Keys. I tend to think of Tampa as West Florida. Then again, there's probably a University of West Florida, too.
It's geographic ignorance, and I'm familiar with it. WVU can't get through a game without some doofus announcer either calling us "Virginia" or remarking on the fact that he has "an aunt in Roanoke." So I completely sympathize. I really do.
I remember once trying to tell an Alabama grad student about the rather remarkable number of Rhodes scholars WVU has produced. His reply? "Ain't that that thang where they send people to study at one of those English fag schools?"
No kidding. It really happened. 1986. I think the bar where the conversation took place was bulldozed for the stadium expansion.
Sofl - thanks for giving me a little background on your school. Nope, I didn't even know it was in Tampa (yes, was there in 99 for the Final 4 and lots of golf). I have been to lots of major universities out there - and probably 40 of smalls ones. I use to collect sweatshirts - then my wife had enough. I will make it a point to one day visit USF.
SoFl95, don't lump all SEC fans into one bucket. I'm a proud UGA grad, but even I 1)don't believe UGA should even get a whiff of the NC game, 2)believe LSU is ridiculously ranked #5, 3) UGA is too highly ranked at #4, and 4)agree that SEC teams schedule too many cupcakes on their schedules...
Lot of UGA fans generally felt this was a reloading year for deep runs in 2008 and 2009. 7-4 or 8-3 would have been acceptable to us this year...and we'd be THRILLED with a Rose or Orange bowl bid this year.
We probably just have to disagree and not waste more blog space (sorry guys) but I do think you'll find plenty of level-headed comments from OSU fans on these blogs...it's just that the grating ones stand out. And don't you think there are (or were) plenty of exactly the same ones from USF fans earlier in the season? Seemed like a ton of "we can beat anyone in the country" comments from them...but again, probably just the loudest, and not what should be used to judge the rest. Probably the case with SEC comments as well...lots of levelheaded comments from them (e.g., SasQuatch) so I need to practice what I preach and tune out the yahoos...even though it's tough sometimes. :)
Just a couple of thoughts regarding my beloved alma mater and OOC play:
1) In-state, public institutions are on Ohio State's schedule to generate revenue for the state. Typically, those institutions are former Div. I-A from the MAC, but because of Tressel's tie to Youngstown State, they are on the schedule. And I hate to break this to some of you, but YSU is not any worse than some of the "Div. I-A" schools in Conf. USA, Mountain West, or Sun Belt... (Heck, I'll even throw the MAC in there this year...)
And technically, because it is "Div. I-A," the MAC (however weak it may be right now) IS a BCS conference. So if anyone is suggesting Ohio State played only one non-conference BCS game, he/she needs to clarify, because by my count OSU won three non-conference BCS games...
I'm ecstatic to see OSU in the running for the NC-- it's something I always hope for, but this year was honestly surprised to see. Conference strength aside, people hate Ohio State because they didn't lose they way they were expected to do in this "rebuilding" year. Oh well-- whether it's the Rose Bowl or the NC, we'll soon see how good (or bad) they are when compared to "quality" non-conference opponents...
2) Speaking of, most OOC games are played at the beginning of the year. What will determine legitimacy/quality in OOC play if teams are required to play two non-conference opponents? Would Ohio State suffice, even though they blew the NC last year? What about three-loss SEC teams? Are they still "quality"? Will we have to wait to play OOC games until mid-October when the BCS rankings are more solidified? How exactly would this system work?
Larry...I was definitley agreeing with you about most OSU fans and I agree with you about the OSU fans on this blog.
Yes sometimes I wish my school was not named South Florida b/c then people would not think of us being in Miami. There is a West Florida and that is in Pensacola, North Florida in Jax and Central Florida (our hated rivals who we always beat, 64-10 this year) in Orlando. FAU and FIU are the state schools in South Florida.
I do not know why they named the school in Tampa South Florida but I guess it is south of all the others (west, north and central)
Not to pick nits, but the MAC isn't a BCS conference. At best, it gets one of the "exceptions" similar to the WAC
I do understand about the in-state thing, however. Here in WV, the governor and the legislature rammed a Marshall rivalry down our throats on the basis of "Gauldangit, it'll be gauldanged good for the gauldanged economy." Never mind that these geniuses couldn't see that they were hanging (at least for the present discussion) a millstone around WVU's neck. Here we are, going out and scheduling SEC and Big 10 teams in our OOC (home and homes with Miss State, Auburn and Michigan State through 2011) and the stoopid legislature makes us waste a slot on Marshall.
OSU has, in the past, skedded outside the MAC. I hope they will again.
heh, yeah I wouldn't be surprised. It's great to hand someone a map and watch them find North Carolina and South Carolina, then start looking out past the Outer Banks like they're trying to find Atlantis or something.
You Play for the Championship in Sports! Every sports fan know, every sports writer know, and every coach and player know and would rather have a playoff system, rather than the formula being used today for the NCAA1 football championship. This is how you determined the true champion without so many questions. Now the televsion networks are faced with the dilema of not having good tv ratings if the wrong teams end up in the BCS Championship game. I am very surprise the NCAA1 has not made this change, especially since college football is the biggest money making revenue in all of college sports. Look at the money and excitement that March Madness brings in. Thats my opinion and story and I am sticking to it. A true college fan. The excitement of college sports blows professional sports away, no question about it.
In all fairness, I think this year was by far the heaviest in terms of in-state scheduling...again, I could be wrong but I think we'll typically play two (like a Cincy and Akron) in a given year. And to Buck-I-Girl's point, I also think they're probably comparable to other OOC games played by other major BCS conference schools. And while a big part of me says "what the heck are we doing this for", another part of me feels maybe there are some really good outcomes of these kinds of games--for the schools, for the state, and the people and players within. To your point, there's likely a good balance of all these factors that just needs to be met.
Shocking that SEC fans are hypocritical. Last year SEC fans (and Urban Meyer) were screaming until they were blue in the face that Michigan should not go to the BCS title game because they did not win their conference. Now they are suggesting that a 2 loss Georgia team deserves to go over other two loss teams that may be conference champions?
Someone earlier wrote, "Hawaii had an open date this year, called Wisconsin (definite no) and USC (definite no - scheduled Idaho instead). Nobody wanted any part of that team, and now everyone thinks they are a joke because of their schedule...You can only play whoever is willing to play you....."
That open date was created in the spring when Michigan State backed out on their deal (UH did play in East Lansing a couple of years ago). Those 2 I-AA schools were the ONLY schools willing to risk a trip to the islands. But all is ok 'cuz Hawai'i cracked the BCS 12 spot and needs only a win against Washington (cudos to the Dawgs for honoring their deal). Only other complaint is for the headcase who ranked the Mountain West Confederacy over the WAC...take a look at the interconference results since the secession and re-calculate. Hana Hou, Warriors!
I agree with Helzapoppin and Diazrig - USC fans who say they belong in the NC game are over the top. I'm a huge SC fan and would love to see us in the Rose Bowl - that's the game everyone wants to watch. Sure, a week later we'll tune in to whoever and whoever.
And if SC ends up in the NC game through who-knows-what scenario, which I can't imagine, and wins, that'd be cool - but no, if you want a national championship, you need to take care of business, every week.
And taking care of business consists of beating UCLA - that's all.
Why are you so anti USC? I don't think I have read an article by you in the past two to three years that does not include a put down of the Trojans. Yes SC fans have high expectations as one would expect with a great team and a terrific coach. Get off of our backs already! Yes they lost two games this year and the fans are not expecting a national championship but do not count the Trojans out as Pac Ten champs again and do not count them out to figure in the BCS next year whether you like them or not.
Why should VaTech jump Georgia? Georgia beat VaTech lat year 31-24! And BTW Georgia finish 1st in the SEC East standings! What if Ohio st. played in a conference division with Illinois?? Then they would not be conference champions either.
Big Ten Non-Conference in '07:UNLV, The Citadel, Notre Dame, Syracuse, N., W.,& E. Ill., Iowa State, ND State, Toledo, W., E. and Central Michigan, Toledo, Florida Int., Buffalo, Temple, Northeastern, Duke, Nevada, Fla Atlantic, Bowling Green, Akron, Indiana St., and finally Illinois played Missouri. Ths list reads like a who's who of the WORST college football has to offer.
The SEC had games with: West Viginia, Ga Tech, FSU(x2), Va Tech, Clemson, Louisville, UNC, Cal, Wake, Troy, OK St, Kansas St, S. Florida, & Missouri.
First, for the record, I'm a Missouri fan. Second, every year, there is ample grousing about the structure of the BCS formula. Everyone thinks playoffs would be cool, though there is no formula available that would prevent some messy outcomes. On the other hand, for all the computers involved in BCS rankings, the formula is really one-third integrated strength-of-schedule performance rankings (aggregating five methods of doing so) and two-thirds opinions of people who are hopefully educated about such matters; in short, opinions still matter a lot. Unfortunately, those opinions vary a bit, as has been recorded here, about what a ranking is supposed to mean; is it about "best play right now?", or "best chance to win a particular game?" or "best performance thus far?", or even "best performing solid program, not some weird fluke"? Since no one has seen fit to dictate an answer to that question, I strongly suspect that the opinion polls are a big mix of those four directions. However, I would like to note that Missouri has in fact risen to the top of the polls, and I make no apologies for it. In most areas of industry, culture and entertainment, there is friction between blue-blood traditionalists, innovative new-comers and lucky flashes in the pan; why shouldn't college football be the same way? If people don't want odd seasons when the blue-bloods don't perform as expected, they ought to come up with a blue-blood championship and only invite the traditional teams; otherwise, let the cards fall as they will. Third, if Mizzou wins or loses, I can certainly accept the outcome. But I do find it odd that Ohio State can sit idly by after 11 games and coast into the championship game if Mizzou loses their 14th game against OK, yet OK doesn't really benefit from beating Mizzou because they lost their 12th game while their star QB sat on the sidelines with a concussion, yet they came back the next week and won again...they're a blue-blooded program that has a strong season, would have to be playing well right now to beat Mizzou (and having just walloped OK St), and could surely play well against any opponent.
Did someone seriously use what happened last year as a reason to justify ranking Georgia ahead of VPI? Also, to clarify, USF got its name because it was the southernmost public university in the state at the time it was founded.
How many football teams beating LSU does it take to drop LSU out of the top 5? USC beats #6 Arizona State this week and leapfrogs several spots and over Oklahoma. If Oklahoma beats #1 Missouri this week and for the second time this season, can we expect Oklahoma to be ranked above USC?
I know "what-if's" don't mean a thing, but the latest BCS standings are really funny (where's a playoff when you really need it?): Va Tech ranked higher than LSU.
Yeah, LSU totally whipped Va Tech back in September; but the really funny part is that if not for 3 minutes at the end of the game against Boston College when the coaching staff made the stupid decision to go into a prevent against Matt Ryan (I mean, really, give him all the time he wants and he'll beat you every time), Va Tech could be in the BCS championship game if they were to beat Boston College in the ACC championship game.
Ain't that some irony for ya?
Frankly, the only game I'd really like to see is a rematch between LSU and Va Tech in one of the bowls; I don't care who'd win... that would just be fun to watch. There's almost no way that could happen, though. Pity.
College Football this year has to be considered the best sports entertainment next to March Madness. This weekend was incredible watching Darren McFadden running Hog wild over LSU. UT and KY in four OT's. Kansas coming back after being outplayed by Mizzu. It's been quite a year and there is still a week to go and anything can happen.
But to some finer points.
Hawaii belongs in BCS bowl,period. I believe any team from any conference that can go undefeated deserves this as a reward. I have felt this way for some time. Tulane in 1997 and Marshall in 1999were denied an opportunity that finally came last year to Boise State. The old adage that on any given Saturday and team can beat another team still applies in 2007.
Point number 2: For those that want to pooh pooh WVU, the Big East is a powerful conference for the past two years. This is a conference that has improved that subtractions of Boston College, MIami and VT has not hurt them. The Big East was smart to drop Temple as well.
As for the Fla Compass point, well folks the reality is the best talent east of the Miss. comes from FL. Look at rosters all up an down the east coast and you will find FL players on practically every team. Same goes for Texas and California. So South Fl has found a way to tap into the local talent pool just as Central Fl has done. THey may not yet catch up with FL, FL State or Miami year end and year out, but I think both South Fl and possibly UCF could beat Miami and possibly Fl State this year.
Now back to the WVU being a lesser opponent than say a 2 loss team from the SEC. Look at LSU. Barely beat Auburn who was beaten at home by South Fl. LSU Lost to KY who lost to Miss State which WVU ran over the week before. LSU barely beat Alabama who two weeks later lost to Louisanna-Monroe at home. LSU lost to FL who is rebuilding this year and to an Arkansas team that wanted to win more. LSU has been the most overrated team all year long.
More on WVU. Teams have to overcome injuries. WVU lost one came to South Fl with Pat White injured in the first half. They could not get the job done due to fumbles. Basically, WVU's night off was at South FL. Since then, they have gotten better each week. Their route of UConn was nothing short of a stellar performance. If WVU's A game shows up, and they don't turn the ball over, they can beat any team in the US as of today, including Georgia and USC. BTW, WVU did beat GA two years ago.
The reason WVU can play with anybody is speed on offense and defense, something they have not had as much of over the years. This speed has put WVU into the upper echelon of college football. That's how the SEC teams have done it for years. It is also why the Big Ten loses so many bowl games. They are big and physical, but are generally slower players.
I'm a Spartan fan up here (now that Satan has depated) and I was wondering if Mr Go Where The Big Bucks Are will recover for his first year humiliation! Lot of hype coming out of the gulf state that they will be West champs next year.
Of course I'm sure if that it all depends if someone will wave a 'dollar more' in front of his face.
I am a die-hard USC fan, and trust me we see and know about the Stanford loss plenty (watch ABC and see the Pontiac Game Changing performance every commercial). But, after the drubbing of ASU, I'd rank the Trojans behind WVU, Mizzou, OSU, Kansas and GA. However, it is not so much what I say, who watch the Trojans beat ASU by 20 points on the road, but what the computers say. If one peruses the computer rankings for this weeks BCS, they'll see USC ranked behind Arizona State in three of the six polls, and ranked tied for 10th while the Sun Devils are ranked 9th. What is this garbage? How are we to trust some mathematical equations formulated by humans to judge what's on the field? USC JUST beat them by 20, yet rank behind them? Explain this to me!!!
I don't know about bias, but five years ago, with the exception of Miami or Boston College, you would have never found a Big East team being ranked 1st or 2nd even if undefeated. The east cost media bias was really strong back then. If you want to talk bias, it's with the love affair with Notre Dame in all sports. The Midwest sports writers and coaches can not resist. I can almost guarantee you that a 7-5 Notre Dame team would be ranked in the top 15, even if those wins came against Duke, Navy, Air Force, Stanford, Northwestern, Michigan State, and Purdue..... all mediocre teams.
The other media bias seems to be the fascination with Oklahoma. It's been this way for years. Nebraska and Penn State use to get the same treatment. They can start out 3-0 against mid-american teams and all of a sudden they are top 10teams. It happens to almost all of the BCS conference teams that have traditional laden programs. The early polls never seem to be based on performance rather brand name. Personally, I don't think any poll should be put out until midway through the season. For example, until a team has played its 6th or 7th game, I would not issue any polls. It would make for a lot of fun I think and also stop all the free publicity that goes to these brand name schools when they beat up on Sunbelt, CUSA, and the MAC and WAC teams.
I would also like to know how LSU stays ranked so highly after losing yet again, and this time at home to an unranked team. They got exposed as hugely overrated but it seems nobody with a vote wants to admit it.
For the WVU fan's comment about the GOvernor cramming Marshall down your throats. Give it a break. WVU had a 10 year agreement to host a Mid-American conference school each year. They seldom ever had one big non-confernce game on their schedule....ever. They always had Maryland. They also scheduled a Mid-American school, and generally a Division 1-AA school and ,aybe one big game. The school that has appeared the most on their out of conference schedule has been East Carolina which if memory serves me right beat WVU several times.
I recall WVU playing Pacific, which I think may have dropped football all together. William and Mary appeared, Western Illinois, and I believe the Mighty Wofford Terriors before they became a decent football team in the Southern Conference.
As for Marshall, they led WVU at the half 13-6 this September before WVU's offense found its way. I was at the game and the Herd simply outplayed the Eers for most of the game.
And as for cramming it down WVU's throats, that game should be played. Look at the past attendance for the past 15 years. Compare games against Mid-American schools where attendance at 65,000 Stadium was barely over 40,000. They same for Temple. Marshall and WVU sold out last year and WVU sold more season ticket packages because of it. So financially MU helps WVU and WVU helps Marshall.
The problem with schools like WVU which I will root for being from the state, is they have fans that simply get the big head and say stupid stuff that is not back up by logic.
As a life-long WVU fan and Marshall alomni, I can count the "big" out of conference games WVU scheduled. Oklahoma in early 1990's. The Notre Dame home-home series, and the Ohio State home-home series. I dont recall, there may have been one trip to Wisconsin. However, it is safe to say that prior to the Marshall game, WVU did NOT regularly schedule tough out of confernce games year end and year out. That is a huge big one.
As for VA Tech it was a conference game. It was Va Tech who cancelled this game.
For the record, it was the additional 12th game that created the opportunity for WVU to play Marshall. My how times distorts peoples views.
This 12th game allowed 6-6 teams to be bowl eligible. It also forced schools like Michigan to have to schedule Appy State. So lets stop the pity WVU for having to play Marshall. Playing the Herd is a step up on your schedule and if this was the late 1990's and the two schools were playing, the Herd would have put a whuppin on you as they were at the top of their game while WVU was transitioning between Nehlen and Rodriguez.
I thought Mandel advocated a playoff. If so, that would mean USC would get into a championship playoff as the Pac-10 champion (if they beat UCLA next Saturday). Once USC was in the the playoff, they or Georgia would probably win the championship (Mandel says that those two are playing the best football now). If one wants to exclude USC from the national championship for a bad loss (to Stanford), one should NOT advocate a playoff system. In a playoff system, the bad loss would be irrelevant if it is overcome by a conference championship. Arizona State beat Stanford 51 to 3, and that fact did not help them from being thrashed by USC.
I thought Mandel advocated a playoff. If so, that would mean USC would get into a championship playoff as the Pac-10 champion (if they beat UCLA next Saturday). Once USC was in the the playoff, they or Georgia would probably win the championship (Mandel says they those two are playing the best football now). If one wants to exclude USC from the national championship for a bad loss (to Stanford), one should not advocate a playoff system. In a playoff system, the bad loss would be irrelevant if it is overcome by a conference championship. Arizona State beat Stanford 51 to 3, and that fact did not help them from being thrashed by USC.
Man, get over the cold crap. The same could be said with your boys coming down to play in the (damn near)100% humidity and 100+ heat down south. To top that I have had more than a few northerners complain vehemently about the wet cold down here being worse than the dry cold up north. So stuff that blizzard crap. I went up north in january and I wasn't impressed. I was actually pretty comfy in short sleeves outside in the wind.
My damn tigers lost a bad game to an up and down Arkansas team Friday. With the media crap surrounding Miles and a plethora of injuries I was pissed but not surprised. I don't think they will come out so flat against the Vols. And I wouldn't hesitate to pick them over any team in the BCS when the bowls get here. That despite the fact that we are playing with a QB that is average at best right now (his backup has even worse issues) and a defense that is playing with some pretty serious injuries right now. I would love to play OSU (or anyone) while getting the break that OSU had last year. I keep hearing about them being off too long, but Fla would have done worse to them if they had that kind of time to rest.
On the Out of Conference games....with so many conferences going to another conf game with 12 regular season games allowed now, it makes it that much harder for bcs teams to play each other. Also, the rule on how often "1-AA" victories can be used toward bowl eligibility has changed. Plus too often teams don't want to play 2 or more bcs teams in OOC when they have several difficult in-conference teams they have to worry about.....so if conference's went back to their previous number of in-conf games there would be at least the possibility of many more bcs teams playing each other in OOC
Charlie, regarding your comment: "LSU lost in triple overtime to two pretty good teams. USC lost to one of the worst Pac-10 teams in recent memory"
Enough with the spin, eh? Any fair minded fan would see that the Stanford win came under adverse circumstances for SC, injury wise...yet you act like that loss defined the quality of team USC is currently or beforehand.
Just WHEN does LSU get held accontable for being BEHIND in 3 games within the last 2 minutes..only to come back and win?
Shouldn't a top 5 team be more convincing than being taken to the limit so often, and even losing two games on to of those mentioned?
Guys like you who neglect the total body of work and solely harp on 'quality of losses' clearly have an agenda, which the quality of losses argument conveniently furthers.
Most of your PAC-10 comments are right on. However, you have not mentioned OSU which by beating the Ducks (and without a Duck QB, not implausable) this weekend with other scenarios could also be tied for first by the end of the season. More interesting scenarios. Furthermore, this Beaver fan would vote for the strength of USC. Other than turnovers, the only team that really "spanked" the Beavers. All other victors had a plethora of turnovers to thank for their wins.
" I keep hearing about them being off too long, but Fla would have done worse to them if they had that kind of time to rest."
You're kidding, right? Our team was rolling through a fantastic season, then had to sit on their a$$ for what, almost 2 months?.. and you dont' think thats a DISadvantage? You're either dense, or have never played any meaningful sports in your life. One week off, even two- no big deal...50 some odd days? Yea, kind of a big deal. And before anyone gets started- I'm not making excuses- but I AM disagreeing with anyone who is crazy enough to think that's an 'advantage'.
Ohio State lost Illinois who is currently ranked #15 and should have beaten Missouri (lost 40-34) earlier in the year. You can't say Kentucky and Arkansas would beat Illinois on any day, as a result they are stronger opponents. Ohio State losing to Illinois is no different than WVU losing to South Florida and Missouri losing to Oklahoma. Each team is deserving and if Missouri loses, and Ohio State vs WVU would be a great match up.
I'm stating the obvious here, but if you posted you're right. There are 185 comments to this article and everyone is right. I'm completely serious too, and not joking. Yes LSU choked at the wrong time. Yes OSU has a weak schedule. Yes Hawaii has an easier schedule than most CA and TX high school teams. Yes teams with past success get more credit in polls. yes the SEC beats up on one another. Yes, conference championship games are a money making joke. Yes it's unfair that Big 10 teams and Pac 10 teams don't have to play a conference championship game. Since I finally used the word unfair, let's discuss what is fair. What IS fair about the BCS?
What is fair about comparing teams that haven't played for 15 years, only based on the conference they play in? What is fair about having to win every game when you play better opponents? What is fair about winning every time you step on the field, but not being involved in the title picture? What is fair about having to defend schools you were tought from childhood to despise?
The last point is all that needs to be said about the stupidity of the BCS. In order to defend the credibility of your schools, you are forced to defend the credibilty of your conference. Any system that routinely forces an OSU fan to cheer for Michigan just to make their schedule look better, or a Florida fan to root for Tennessee so the SEC can keep its image needs to be scrapped completely. Ask an Alabama fan 20 years ago wheather they'd rather finish #2 with Auburn finishing 0-11 or finish #1 with Auburn finishing in the top 5 at 9-2 and they'd take a minute to think about it. The rivalry runs/ran that deep. Now they need Auburn to do well. The National Championship means so much now and is such a quixotic quest that fans are ready for wholesale changes after having a 2 or 3 loss season. How stupid is that?
I said before that I'm stating the obvious because everyone knows all this already. We know this and because of circumstances beyond our control, we can do nothing about it. College football is a business and no one runs their business more efficiently than they do. If any other sports league or business was half as nefarious and greedy as the NCAA and its sponsors are when it comes to football, then Congress and the Supreme court would make the Enron, Worldcom trials look tiny by comparison. How silly do we all look ignoring the obvious and continuing to support it? What are we going to do, stop supporting our schools? You'll have an easier time getting an OSU fan to defend Michigan.........
To all the complianers about the flawed BCS system. Please, Please, Please stop. The BCS system is NOT a system to find a true national champion. It is a system to distribute $500 million dolars. The only reason the BCS was formed 8 or so years ago was to appease all the complainers without upsetting the status quo of distributing all the money to the big schools. The BCS did not change its rules to allow the Boise States and Hawaii's a better shot without adding a 5th game that still gave the big schools their 14-17 million. The small schools did not puruse through the courts and congress an anti-monopoly agenda based on wanting a shot at the title. The basis for their tort was money. The BCS did not put in the Notre Dame rule becasue they thought Notre Dame would always be a top 10 team, they did it because of Notre Dame's TV deal, i.e.money, and the thought that a bowl game with ND will be better watched and better sponsered than the same bowl without ND, i.e. money. Last years OU/Boise State bowl game was one of the funest games I watched all year. But it was the worst "rated" major bowl game in TV history. TV (read that money) does not want that.
So if you want a true national playoff system then go get one. But you will never have one if it doesnt provide the same payout to the traditional BCS schools and conferences.
Netizen - LSU dropped to #7 after their Friday night loss. Unless you have a "Louisiana education" (and I have a several good friends who went to school in Louisiana and always joke about their "Louisiana education" so don't think I am unnecessarily picking on Louisiana) #7 is NOT part of the Top 5.
With parity becoming the norm and, this year at least, any team in the top 30 or 40 can be competitive against any top 5 team, it is definitely time for a playoff. Eight teams qualify - conference champions, however decided, from ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC 10 and SEC, plus the 3 highest ranked champs from Conf USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt and WAC. Notre Dame - join the Big East, they need another team anyway. Need three weeks - start in Nov with the NC game played the first weekend in December. Shorten the regular season by a game. Go back to the previous traditional bowl matchups on NY Day (e.g. Big Ten - Pac10 in the Rose).
Win your conference, you qualify. Play traditional BCS powers in your ooc games and lose - no downside, but good upside. You get to measure your team early in the season against the best programs. My Buckeyes, for example, could use the experience of defending against the spread offense (see results vs. FL and IL).
5 Things I learned this weekend: 1. Mizz is for real...but, 2. As an OSU alum, I'm now a BIG TIME Oklahoma fan. 3. LSU was the biggest Pretender of the year. 4. Connecticut was also over rated. 5. A lot of hot air since October gets us to today...but thank goodness the games are all played on the field.
As far as ooc scheduling, 1.) When the regular season is what matters why would you risk all of the money tied to BCS games by playing more strong ooc teams than you have to. 2.) Big schools set up their ooc game more than 5 years in advance in some cases, so you can't just schedule another strong team. For OSU Washington is a team from a BCS conference, OSU didn't know they would be having a bad year this year, in 2000 they were 10-1. Just like OSU didn't know when it scheduled Texas that it would be one of the top teams in the country at the time, OSU's next non conference BCS games over the next 4 years? @USC, USC, Miami(FL), @Miami(FL). Also on the future schedule are Cal and Oklahoma.. So it's not that teams are trying to only schedule games they'll win, but why schedule more than one strong ooc game, when most of what matters is how many wins you have at the end of the season? Why no schedule to get as many wins as you can?
muzz sch 09/01 at Illinois W 40-34 09/08 at Ole Miss W 38-25 09/15 W Michigan W 52-24 09/22 Illinois St W 38-17 10/06 #25 Nebraska W 41-6 10/13 at #6 Oklahoma L 41-31 10/20 #24 Texas Tech W 41-10 10/27 Iowa St W 42-28 11/03 at Colorado W 55-10 11/10 Texas A&M W 40-26 11/17 at Kansas St W 49-32 11/24 at #2 Kansas W 36-28 12/01 at #9 Oklahoma 8:00 PM
wv sch 09/01 W Michigan W 62-24 09/08 at Marshall W 48-23 09/13 at Maryland W 31-14 09/22 E Carolina W 48-7 09/28 at #18 S Florida L 21-13 10/06 at Syracuse W 55-14 10/20 Miss St W 38-13 10/27 at #25 Rutgers W 31-3 11/08 Louisville W 38-31 11/17 at #22 Cincy W 28-23 11/24 #20 UConn W 66-21
The Ohio State sch 09/01 YSU W 38-6 09/08 Akron W 20-2 09/15 at Washington W 33-14 09/22 N'western W 58-7 09/29 at Minnesota W 30-7 10/06 at #23 Purdue W 23-7 10/13 Kent St W 48-3 10/20 Mich St W 24-17 10/27 at #25 Penn State W 37-17 11/03 #21 Wisconsin W 38-17 11/10 Illinois L 28-21 11/17 at #21 Michigan W 14-3 you decide who played the tuffer sch ... the buckeyes beat mich in there house which is the best rivalry football game in the world.. to win in there house on a game like this is tuff ,, your record dosn't matter in this game when you have 108,000 fans there .. so this game is like #1 playing #2 every year...
sorry muzz okl is a 3.5 to 3 favorite and you guys are #1 ??? ouch..
where is Hawi'i in all of this??? am i dreaming about them being the only undefeated team left??? didnt the just beat a good Boise state team by 12? i think if they play well agianst Washington and win by say 10 they should have the chance to play in the nc. does anyone remember what boise did to oklahoma last year??
First off, I totally agree with Mandel in his Erik Ainge comment. Ainge has been through the fire and then some in his career at UT, only to win 2 SEC East championships and boast a 3-0 record against Georgia as a starter including 2 wins IN ATHENS. This season he has taken a team that shouldn't have finished better than 4th in the SEC east to the championship game and he deserves MAJOR credit for that. This UT team is as battle-tested and tenacious as any team in the nation. I fully expect them to come out and suprise a currently underachieving LSU squad which faces a possible coaching change as well as a rash of injuries. Secondly - please, somebody put Ohio State in the National championship so we can see how an overrated team can win out in a weak conference and totally fall apart on the big stage. I would love nothing more than to see Ohio St. get their butts handed to them in the title game for the second straight year. Thirdly - A team that doesn't win its division let alone their conference has no business in the National Championship. It's the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. You'd think if a team was worthy to play in it, they could at least take care of business in their own conference. Need I remind you that Georgia got absolutely rocked by Tennessee in Knoxville earlier this year. Plus, with all the time off their going to get between now and their bowl, don't you think their heads are getting a little swollen hearing all the talk about how they're a superior team? Fourthly - I would like to thank every college football analyst out there for not giving UT any credit all season long. It has actually motivated fat Phil and his team to do something special this year. Go ahead Lou Holtz, keep lisping it up about Georgia and how UT doesn't deserve to be in the SEC championship game. For the last month everyone has pretty much written UT off and all they've done is win. It wasn't always pretty but they're still W's in the stat book.