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SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
11/18/2007 12:16:00 AM

Saturday Observations, Part III

Nick Saban
Pat White and West Virginia figured to benefit from Oklahoma's loss in Lubbock.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

So long, Oklahoma. Welcome back, West Virginia.

In the latest wrinkle to this year's ever-changing national title race, the 9-1 Mountaineers not only got a much-needed road win at Cincinnati on Saturday night but benefited greatly from the Sooners' 34-27 loss at Texas Tech. Now, West Virginia, which figures to move up to No. 4 in the new BCS Standings following its 28-23 win at Cincinnati, needs those same Sooners to turn around and win the Big 12 championship.

Such is the unique nature of the nation's new pecking order following the latest, BCS-bending upset Saturday night in Lubbock, Texas.

With 9-2 Oklahoma going down, the top three come Sunday will be No. 1 LSU (10-1), No. 2 Kansas (11-0) and No. 3 Missouri (10-1) -- and Nos. 2 and 3 square off next weekend. Meanwhile, if the Sooners can recover in time to handle rival Oklahoma State next week (which may depend on whether QB Sam Bradford can return from the concussion that sidelined him for all but one series Saturday night), they'll get the chance to play spoiler against the Jayhawks-Tigers winner in the Dec. 1 Big 12 title game.

At last, we have some clarity in this thing. If both LSU (which faces 7-4 Arkansas next week and either 8-3 Tennessee or 9-2 Georgia in the SEC championship game) and the Kansas-Missouri victor win out, they'll meet in New Orleans on Jan. 7. If either LSU loses one of its last two games or the Kansas-Missouri winner loses in San Antonio, West Virginia will rise up to take their place.

That is, unless the Mountaineers trip up at home against either 9-2 UConn or 4-6 rival Pittsburgh, in which case former No. 1 Ohio State will rise back up to No. 2.

Got all that?

That West Virginia remains in contention today and Oklahoma does not can be traced to one essential difference: The veteran Mountaineers were unfazed on the road while the more youthful Sooners were dazed.

Saturday night, Pat White and Co. walked into Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium (which, admittedly, seemed to be filled as much by Mountaineers fans as Bearcats followers) and asserted themselves early, jumping to a 21-10 halftime lead and going up 28-10 early in the fourth quarter. It's a good thing they did, too, because much like last week's Louisville game, White nearly gave the game away with two fourth-quarter fumbles, but buddy Steve Slaton bailed him out by picking up two first downs to run out the clock.

Conversely, the Sooners went into jacked up Jones Stadium, returned a Graham Harrell interception for a touchdown in the game's opening minutes, then, much like in Oregon's loss Thursday night at Arizona, imploded as soon as they lost their star quarterback. OU's offense couldn't pick up first downs, and their defense couldn't stop either Harrell (47-of-72, 420 yards, two TDs) or electrifying receiver Michael Crabtree (12 catches, 154 yards, one TD), whose 60-yard catch-and-run through traffic to set up the Red Raiders' first touchdown was one of the most impressive displays of athleticism I've seen all season.

Just like in that Oregon game, Oklahoma eventually settled down, but not before botching a fake punt early in the third quarter, upon which Tech added another touchdown to go up 34-10. The Sooners mounted an admirable comeback and might even have come all the way back if not for yet another controversial replay decision going against Oklahoma. It snuffed out what might have been a Manuel Johnson touchdown catch with 3:15 remaining that would have cut the deficit to 34-27. The Sooners ended up getting that score eventually, but by then it was too late.

Between coach Mike Leach's fiery tirade against the officials after last week's Texas loss, a national prime-time audience and the injury to Bradford, it was another one of those perfect storms that seem to be victimizing so many highly ranked teams this season. Whichever two teams manage to avoid a similar fate over the next two weeks will earn a coveted ticket to New Orleans.

· Meanwhile, at Clemson, Tigers players donned wristbands for Saturday night's Boston College game inscribed with the initials "FTJ" -- Finish The Job. Signs in the stands proclaimed, "Finish The Job."

Clemson, in what has become a Groundhog's Day phenomenon for that program, did not finish the job.

Even after Eagles QB Matt Ryan's latest, heroic touchdown pass -- an amazing 43-yard bomb to receiver Rich Gunnell to go up 20-17 with 1:46 remaining -- the Tigers had no shortage of opportunities to tie or win the game. But receiver Aaron Kelly dropped his own potential wide-open touchdown catch with 42 seconds left, and QB Cullen Harper managed to get sacked with five seconds remaining to push back Mark Buchholz's game-tying field-goal attempt from 48 yards to 54 yards.

His miss sealed an extremely significant win for BC, which advances to the ACC championship game in just its third season in the conference and in coach Jeff Jagodzinski's first season at the school. Clemson counterpart Tommy Bowden can claim no such accomplishment despite getting an eight-year head start.
posted by Stewart Mandel | View comments |


Posted: 12:42 AM   by C. David
Stew - let's not forget the possibility that given all the upsets necessary, Arizona St passes the idle Buckeyes as they beat a resurgent USC team. Could happen, so I think the buckeyes need an ASU loss as well to really a-seal-a-the-deal
Posted: 12:45 AM   by Root
What an incredible college football season....

LSU will probably lose to one of their last opponents, Missouri will probably beat Kansas, Missouri will probably lose to Oklahoma again....

That leaves West Virginia vs. Ohio State/Arizona State?

Amazing, anyone had that called at the begining of the season...
Posted: 1:27 AM   by Mike
I'm confused as to why you think that WVU has an easy road ahead....they have to play UConn, who is no slouch, and then Pitt in the Backyard Brawl.

I think one of the following happens:

1) LSU gets beat, either by Arkansas or in the SEC CCG(right now Tenn., could also be UGA).

2) WVU loses one of their remaining two games.

3) OSU passes WVU this week, due to the difference in their wins- OSU dominating TSUN, and WVU struggling with Cincy.

In those cases, OSU has a very good shot at returning to the title game, because I believe that Oklahoma will win both against Okie St. and in the Big XII conference championship game.

The Rose Bowl is clinched, but the Bucks still have a decent shot at going to the BCS NCG- I'd say 30-40 % chance.
Posted: 1:36 AM   by JCsuperstar
This is the best season yet to indict the current BCS system. How are WVU, KU, MU more deserving of being in the BCS NC game than OSU. WVU has two wins against top 25 opponents; KU, 1; MU, 2. Buckeyes? 4. LSU has had a tougher schedule and if it wins out, deseerves their spot. I'm not saying the Buckeyes are a clear cut #2, just that none of the teams I mention above are. This is what is wrong with college football.

I'm tired of hearing that a playoff will never happen, that college presidents will never go for it. It makes absolutely no sense to not have one. You can have a playoff with 16 teams while still maintaining a bowl system, giving schools from lesser known conferences an opportunity to compete, and not even adding many games to the season schedule. There have been college playoffs in DII and DIII for years. Rather than continuing to have bowls be played so late the champion should be determined prior to holiday break as it is in DIII. This would give students more time to concentrate on school.

And don't get me started on the special treatment of ND in the current BCS system. They are chosen due to fan base over better teams and then are summarily dismissed by better opponents. If they refuse to join a conference due to their NBC contract, then why should they get money as if they are in a conference each year whether they make it to the BCS or not?
Posted: 1:39 AM   by gatorchomp

Most of the galaxy worked out on Ohio State because of their weak schedule but what do you make of WVU's as we approach the BCS decisons? Read below:

Western Michigan
East Carolina
South Florida
MS State
Division IIIA just started their 32team college football playoff today!! Their is no reason why Division I cannot have an 8-16 team playoff system at a minimum. The BCS is succeding in a very detrimental way to college football. It succeeds only in pitting conferences, teams, fans and alumni and the media all against each other....because we don't play it out on the field!!! Compare college basketball's March Madness, Division III A"s playoffs and the NFL playoffs with the current BCS mess...it is quickly clear what is very wrong with the BCS!!!
Posted: 2:05 AM   by mike
USC beats ASU next week. Oregon can probably loses another since it's without Dennis Dixon and Oregon's offense is quite nonthreatening without him. So, I see USC going into the Rose Bowl against OSU. 2 top defenses, and 2 sleep-inducing offenses. What a Rose Bowl... oh, and a rematch later in 2008 season between the 2. Boring! btw, USC v. OSU is the MATCH that we all wanted last season...
Posted: 2:30 AM   by Nabil
The "drama" unfolding at the end of this season is pretty much like a playoff (only a lot longer): You lose, you're out of contention..... unless the playoff goes on for so long that everyone loses, then you get another life. Losing late is definitely worse than losing early. So think of it as kind of a double-elimination playoff in the first half of the season and it becomes single-elimination at the end.

And can we please stop fretting over who played who and who deserved what. Y'all sound like a bunch of lawyers pleading the case that your client (team) may suck but not as badly as the others and that there are mitigating factors that should be considered.

Just enjoy the damn GAMES and let's comment on how incredible a particular play or player or team was in a game rather than whether team A or conference X is better than the other.
Posted: 2:33 AM   by gatorchomp

OSU and USC is a matchup that can do nothing but strengthen the Rose Bowl. A classic matchup between two good teams and storied programs will hopefully put the BCS garbage in perspective and lead to a playoff.
Posted: 2:43 AM   by Netizen
Stewart, I have to remind myself that despite the fact you write for Sports Illustrated, yours is still just one man's opinion.

Yes, your West Virginia scenario is plausible, but so is any scenario for Ohio State.

In the current BCS standings, the computers ranked Ohio State 6th and West Virginia 8th, and I think that it will to favor the Bucks over the 'Neers.

As for the coaches and media, they ranked West Virginia 5th and Ohio State 7th. However, I think the Bucks will get credit for handling Michigan and the 'Neers only for surviving at Cincinnati.

Therefore, I'm betting Ohio State moves from 7 to 4 and West Virginia from 6 to 5. After either Kansas or Missouri loses the Bucks are only one upset from being back in the championship.
Posted: 2:52 AM   by EersNC
Go suck a big buckcock Netizen. IT IS 'EERS, not "Neers." OS"Who" lost to ILLINOIS AT HOME!!! You do not deserve to sniff WVU's jock strap.
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How is the picture getting clearer? OSU, West Virginia and Arizona State are now back in the picture for the BCS championship game. You could have LSU, WVU, OSU and ASU all with one loss. While LSU would clearly be in as the #1 team, there will be a lot of debate about the #2 team. Then let the politicking begin. Split national title, here we come!

Everyone hates the BCS and its special treatment of Notre Dame. My hatred was increased last week when I found out that Notre Dame gets BCS money EVEN IF THEY DON'T PLAY IN A BCS GAME! Apparently beating Duke and UCLA was worth $1.4 million to Notre Dame. Disgusting
Posted: 3:00 AM   by God King
How about I settle it for all you "wanna be's" out there (ie, Ohio State, West Virginny, etc).

Mizzou beats Kansas (at Arrowhead Stadium, basically a neutral site), then beats Oklahoma or Texas (won't matter, being played at a neutral site also).

Mizzou vs "whomever".
Posted: 4:04 AM   by SL2700
Ohio State will not pass WVU.. they are done for the year.. WVU has 2 more games left..
Posted: 4:04 AM   by Blanco
I for once totally agree with Mandel's idea here. The 'EERs (honestly, who is dumb enough to call them the 'NEERs)Have both their next games at home, and while Uconn may be tough, and rivalry games are hard (pitt), wvu has the easiest schedule out of the teams ahead of them. Missouri and Kansas don't have a chance against a Bradford led Sooner team, and poor LSU has not just has to deal with one of the top heisman hopeful, but the SEC champ game.

About the teams below wvu... I doubt ASU beats usc (just an opinion, who knows), and once the computers see wins against cinnci and uconn, wvu should outrank the buckeyes in all ways possible. BTW, does anyone actually think Michigan is better than Cinnci? Especially a Michigan team with out henne and hart?
Posted: 4:38 AM   by SasQuatch
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Posted: 4:54 AM   by Blanco
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Posted: 5:07 AM   by ryan
So blanco how is it that Mizzou would "not have a chance" against oklahoma. They lost by 10 in norman, and entered the 4th quarter with the lead. It is one thing to say you think oklahoma will win but to say it is a given is pretty ridiculous.

Oh, and Daniel for Heisman, had to get that one in there.
Posted: 7:43 AM   by jdavis
I am tired of hearing all of these SEC fans whine about their tough conference. It took WVU all of a quarter to run up a 31-0 lead on Mississippi State. Ask them if WVU is legit. Ask Auburn, who lost to S. Florida at home, if the Big East can hang. Then Alabama, which took #1 LSU to the wire, loses to UL-Monroe. Yeah that SEC is dominating! The bottom line is that the top teams from the BCS conferences are all on pretty equal footing.
Posted: 8:02 AM   by JonBoy418

If West Virginia, Missouri or Kansas win out, I can tell you they would be much more deserving than OSU, hands down.

I don't know where you come up with OSU beating 4 top 25 teams. I scan the AP poll and I see one lone win against Wisconsin. Penn State losing to MSU, and Michigan losing will knock them away from the top 25. (Still not sure where you get #4, seeing OSU lost to the Illini).

However, if the Missouri/KU winner beats (assumingly) OU in the Big 12 championship, they would have notched 2 wins over top 25 teams, one being in the top 10.

Still not sure where you got OSU's 4 wins over top 25 teams. You do need to present fact into your arguement.
How 'bout those Texas Tech Red Raiders, Stewart? That's what I'm talkin' about -- A little DEE-fense and these guys can move from pretender/spoiler to contender. It was a very uncharacteristic TTU game, however. I noticed that, with 8 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, TTU was still leading by four minutes in total time of possession. Midway through the 2nd quarter, after several 3-and-outs from their offense, the Oklahoma "D" had already been standing around with hands on hips, trying to catch their breath. And, for much of the first half, Graham Harrell had displayed uncharacteristic mobility and, compared to the OU pass rush, exhibited pretty decent speed. Last night, Harrel joined B.J. Simmons and Cliff Kingsberry as one of three Tech quarterbacks in recent memory to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a single season. Of the three, Simmons probably appeared to have the sturdiest build and maybe even the strongest arm, but for this game, at least, Harrell appeared to be the most mobile of the three and a much more savvy runner than he had shown us, to date (btw, he's still wearing that knee brace, as I recall). All things considered, I thought OU got a decent game out of Halzle, their backup QB. He threw for two TDs and only one interception. So, aside from OU losing Bradford to an early concussion, I think that some big stops by the defense (holding the OU offense to just two field goals in the first half) and the added dimension of a mobile, scrambling Tech quarterback were the difference in this ball game. It bodes well for the Red Raiders that they will lose only one player, receiver Danny Amendola, to graduation and, of course, everyone in Raider Land needs to keep his/her fingers crossed and hope that Michael Crabtree doesn't decide to turn pro before his sophomore year. Otherwise, congrats to Texas Tech on a great, great win!
Correction to my previous post -- The Oklahoma offense managed only one (1) FG in the first half. A Red Raiders TD early in the 3rd quarter made it 34-10, after which OU got their second FG.
Posted: 8:30 AM   by Charles
For JCsuperstar - The problem for you and other OSU fans is our need to be politically correct. We live in an age where it matters not who you beat but only if you win. After yesterday I see no one with a body of work that would lead me to place it above OSU in choosing one to go against LSU. Kansas' best win is over a mediocre team and Missou has little more on its record to boast. OSU, WV or Ariz St (if it handles USC easily) is a close call. None of these teams have distinguished themselves ooc and that is the saddest part of all, but if I were picking the best opponent for LSU and having to back it with my money I pick OSU.
I will add that I think LSU is the only elite team this year and that Fla and USC are probably as good as any Big Ten or Big 12 team. OSU lost to an unranked team and that last happened during the Eisenhower administration. They are loaded with talent, but have not improved as a team this year because their starters have been sitting on the bench during the second half so the score is not run up against weak opponents. I think with the maturity Tressel will have a team next year closer to what OSU has been in the past, and that this year's team will appear very flawed in comparison. That is something I would put money on.
Posted: 8:43 AM   by Rosy
I think that everyone has it all wrong. College football doesn't deserve 25 ranked teams. In all reality why are there so many Big 12 teams at the top of the polls? At the beginning of the year everyone kept saying that the Big 12 is the weakest conference out there, and at the beginning of the week we had 3 in the top 5 (Kansas, Missou, and Oklahoma).

Most of the teams in the top 5 this year (with the exception of Kansas and LSU) are teams based on the play of 1 or 2 players. The fact that OK and OR both lost because their starting (and in OK's case back-up) QB leave due to injury is case enough to dump them from the top 10 (taking care of 1 Big 12 team). Not to mention Pat White and WVU are on their way to being #3.

Then you take Missou, and you look at their 9-1 record: Wins against: Ole Miss, WMU, Illinois State, Nebraska, TTU, Iowa State, Colorado, Texas A&M, and Kansas State. Not one team in there is a top 20 team in the country. The only real test that Missou ever had was OK and they blew the game. Not to mention there is a big difference in being 10-0 and 9-1. So lets put this powder puff team at 15.

Kansas, although they haven't played a difficult schedule, are standouts. This team, while functionally different, reminds me of the Boise State team of years prior. The only difference is they are in a big name conference (albeit a weak one). Let's put them at 2 for next week, and expect them to roll over Missou.

With all this said and done, who deserves to fill in the blanks? Nobody! I think we need to leave blanks in there because there aren't 25 teams playing right now that deserve to be ranked. I say, of 25 there are 18 spots filled, mostly on the low end of the totem pole. Even high and mighty LSU doesn't deserve the #1 ranking... they've had 3 games come down to the final seconds with teams that aren't that great (Alabama for one).

So, in my limited opinion, the #1 ranking is still up for grabs. It's just too bad OSU won't have a chance to prove it... haha.
Posted: 9:01 AM   by Charles
Rosy - If you can say that Kansas reminds you of Boise St teams of the past, and not get nauseous, that speaks volumes. Boise has played three ranked teams (when they played) in the past three years losing two of them. They point to the victory over OK as certifying their greatness, but Stanford could do the same with USC and Ariz could do the same with Oreg.
Boise typically ranks 65th in recruitment and almost always plays teams even worse in the rankings. I suggest that is the real secret of their success.
In spite of many laughs provided by Hawaii (such as trying to play Mich excuses them for their weak schedule and we should pretend they beat Mich; & June Jones saying that the 2-point win over powderpuff Nevada without Brennan was proof that Hawaii is loaded with stars)my biggest laugh came when a Kansas fan said that snce Toledo beat Kans last year that game became a special challenge this year. Fla circled LSU, Mich circled OSU, OK circled Tx and Kansas circled Toledo. What a joke.
Posted: 9:17 AM   by Red Bird
You left out that Missouri beat Illinois, which is a top twenty team. If MU wins out they will have played 4 top twenty teams.
Posted: 9:20 AM   by CG
Without a play-off I think I'm one of the few pro BCS people out there. Anybody wants/thinks their home/favorite team is "the best" (just look at some of these posts.) The BCS takes out all this emotion and tries as well as anybody to consider schedule and the fact that no matter who you play you have to win (if your a ranked team). Except ND of course. CGM
Posted: 9:22 AM   by kevin
why does everyone keep saying LSU is going to lose? Fools, good teams find a way to win even if it is late in the fourth quarter. Everybody hates a winner....bite it all you losers....go tigers!!!!
Posted: 9:25 AM   by Rosy
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Posted: 9:30 AM   by Red Bird
Here is MU's schedule and results:

Sep 1 @Illinois Won 40-34
Sep 8 @Mississippi Won 38-25
Sep 15 W. Michigan Won 52-24
Sep 22 Illinois State Won 38-17
Oct 6 Nebraska Won 41-6
Oct 13 @Oklahoma Lost 31-41
Oct 20 Texas Tech Won 41-10
Oct 27 Iowa St. Won 42-28
Nov 3 @Colorado Won 55-10
Nov 10 Texas A&M Won 40-26
Nov 17 @Kansas St. Won 49-32
Nov 24 @Kansas 8:00pm

If you look at the first line you'll see that MU beat Illinois 40-34 on Sept. 1
Posted: 9:31 AM   by Red Bird
Also, Missouri is 10-1 not 9-1
Posted: 9:59 AM   by Charles
for Red bird - Any evaluation of the competition needs to be placed in perspective. I do not see four Top 20 teams in the Missou schedule. There are good victories, such as beating Tex Tech and Illinois, but nobody in their right mind brags about beating A&M or Nebr. Tex Tech has one quality win on its resume, and losses to teams their fans think should easily have been beaten. Tell me Leach has not had a rough year. If you think A&M & Nebr are Top 20 teams please don't make the mistake of mentioning it to their fans or the administrators unless you are on the telephone. Otherwise you risk having room being made for you on the same rail as the coaches when they are escorted out of town.
Both Colorado and K-St have had some good moments, but probably none of their fans would desire another year like this year. If things don't improve considerably neither of those coaches will last much longer. Neither has enjoyed a Top 25 season by any stretch.
In my opinion you are bragging about beating teams that are making their fans unhappy. Not a strong case.
Posted: 10:08 AM   by JCsuperstar
Jon Boy, to clarify. I was basing the 4 teams OSU beat based on what they were ranked when they played. Same for all the other teasm, not where they are ranked now. And I am not saying that OSU deserves to be #2 and in the BCS game, just that they have as good of an argument as any of the others. This is the problem with the BCS.

Wouldn't we all be a little happer if we were arguing over the at large teams that would join conference champions in a playoff rather than the #2 team in the country.
Lets talk about the big ten and the little east ..come on the little east is like the mac WV better then The Ohio State give me a brake.. its just like south florida being #2 lets get real here... cinci gave wv a shot and and there loses are louisville 5-6 , Pitt 4-6 and now wv 9-1 , wv lost to s.florida who is 8-3 ,21-13 s Florida lost to Rutgers, Uconn, and cincy they have all light sch,, Ohio st..lost to ILL 9-3 28-21 Ill lost to # 6 missouri,40-34, Iowa 6-6 10-6 and mich 8-4 27-17 ..
Sorry wv, but by my calculations ohio st is the better team to put wv in the league with OSU is a joke and we all know it... I think they just want OSU back in the rose bowl to pump it back up so what if fla beat them last year a whole different team this year..... 11-1 this year and 12-1 last tells you something dosn't it they have to win and OSU has the best coach right now in any league Jim Tressel is his name... right now buckeyes you are #2 just behind LSU Sugar Bowl;;OSU vs ? at this time
Posted: 10:12 AM   by Keith
Take a look at the Sagarin ELO Chess ratings today. WVU is ahead of OSU and Missouri in the *unbiased* Bayesian system because they beat the teams that beat the teams, etc..

And the good news is that with a win next week over UConn, WVU's Sagarin rating will go *up*, while OSU will stay right where it is..
Posted: 10:13 AM   by Larry
It does seem that things are STILL pretty darn murky, but they should clear up quite a bit in the next week or two for sure. Like others, I think LSU is probably the best team out there right now, but I don't think ANY team this year can be considered "elite". Elite teams, IMHO, are those that handle their opponents with relative ease and never really let you feel like the game is at risk, and I don't think anyone is that way this year (I'm sure some of you will disagree! :) That said, I do think LSU is the best of about 15-20 "any given Saturday" teams.

Just a thought, but while we're "debating" and throwing batteries at each other about teams and conference strength and superiority :) , it also seems to me that we've been blessed with a really interesting season of football. What I see from this year is:

1) Nobody has had a "lock" on the top of the heap, and teams keep knocking each other off of it.

2) Some extraordinary stories about talent, leadership, etc.

3) A realization that with increasing parity, it's as much about the "heart" as it is about speed, type of defense, etc.

4) As hard as it is to stomach for some folks, some pretty good representation of conferences in the top 25 throughout the season (and especially as we finish).

5) The potential for a lot of really interesting bowl games, given the above.

At least to me, this has been a heck of a season, with some great games. Regardless of how OSU (and my beloved Boilermakers!) do this year, I'll be proud of them at the same time I'm anticipating some really great bowl games! Good luck to all!
Posted: 10:18 AM   by Charles
For Kansas supporters - Tex, OK ,Missou and Tex Tech clearly have the best records in the Big 12right now. How has Kansas fared against this solid competition?
Posted: 10:22 AM   by Red Bird
I wasn't talking about Nebraska, A&M or Colorado, and I didn't say that MU had played 4 top twenty schools. What I said was: "If MU wins out they will have played 4 top twenty teams."

Those teams will be: Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, and either Texas or Oklahoma again.

Perhaps I shouldn't count OU twice, or maybe I should have said: If MU wins out, they will have played 4 games against top twenty schools.

While one can hardly crow about beating Nebraska or A&M this season, it is possible to look at Missouri's results and see that MU is not only beating those teams, they are beating most of their rivals easily sometimes on the road.

People keep saying that Nebraska, A&M and Colorado etc. are down this year, but this is partly because these teams are losing to KU and MU. Colorado would look like a better team if they hadn't been soundly beaten at home by MU, and also beaten by KU.

Other than that, one can hardly blame Missouri for the state of rival Big 12 programs. MU had a very impossing schedule that included games agaisnt a SEC team, a Big 10 team, in addition to 8 games against Big 12 teams.
Posted: 10:23 AM   by SteveL
Stewart, your claim that Oklahoma lost on the road because they were “dazed” while West Virginia won because they remained “unfazed” sounds presumptuous and false. How could you possibly know what was going on in the minds of the Sooner or Mountaineer players? An equally likely scenario is that the Sooners kept their poise, in spite of losing their star quarterback and that this gave an inexperienced quarterback time get into a rhythm and work the offense back into the game. They were able to overcome a huge deficit and had at least a chance of pulling it out at the end.

Other possible explanations for the Sooners loss and West Virginia’s win seem more likely to me. These include. But are not necessarily limited to the following: 1. West Virginia may be a better team than Oklahoma. 2. Texas Tech may be a better team than Cincinnati 3. Oklahoma lost their most valuable player at the outset of the game while West Virginia did not. Of course we have no way of knowing if any of the above are true or the extent to which any of them explain the outcomes of the games. However, your explanation that the difference in the outcomes of these games resulted from the fact that the Sooner’s somehow choked is baseless.
Posted: 10:24 AM   by will
jdavis -- nice post. Probably the one comment thread in Mandel's blog all season that doesn't devolve into SEC vs. everyone and you still have to complain.

This has been a great season. The only clarity I see is that there is one less week games to shake things up. Personally, I think the Tennessee-Kentucky game this week has the biggest national championship implications. If UT wins, LSU has a pretty manageable path the title if game. If UT loses, I don't like LSU's chances against Georgia in the Georgia Dome. If LSU does get through those two games, I think they'll cruise in the title game -- they've been beat up all season with their high ranking drawing the best games out of all their opponents. After a month of recovery, I would not be surprised to see them back to the Va. Tech crushing form they started the season in.

I also can't wait for this Missouri-Kansas game. Missouri fans have been rivaling SEC and buckeyes fans for smack talking. It will be interesting to see if they can back it up.
Posted: 10:31 AM   by Charles
For Red Bird - My apologies. I misunderstood your post. Clearly Missou would have beaten 3 Top 20 teams if they win out, although Illinois has improved over the season and may not have been Top 25 when they played. Anyone who does not count beating OK twice as two very good results is an idiot.
Kansas has not played the four best Big 12 teams, and has played one of the weakest ooc schedules imaginable. Can we agree that they have done almost nothing to justify being placed in the Top 25? At this point in the season shouldn't a Top 25 team have at least one quality result in its resume?
But if Missou wins out, along with Ariz St, OSU and WV I think they deserve serious consideration for the spot next to LSU, assuming LSU can handle GA, if Tenn loses. Your thoughts?
Posted: 10:35 AM   by r3979m
do they play high school football in oklahoma? how about all the ou coaches that run onto the field when they run for 9 yds. highly emotional coaches can be great for a college team but it can also hurt you. how many road games have they played this year and what were the results?
Posted: 10:42 AM   by WVUJosh
Ohio State sucks. They make me vomit in my mouth. Michigan is horrible. Sounds like OSU barely got by with a scorching win of 14-3 over a team who lost to a Div II school. Big ten football is more boring than taking a dump
Posted: 10:48 AM   by SteveL
Stewart, your claim that Oklahoma lost because they were “dazed” while West Virginia remained “unfazed” sounds presumptuous and false. How could you possibly know what was going on in the minds of the Sooner or Mountaineer players? An equally likely scenario is that the Sooners kept their poise, in spite of losing their star quarterback and that this gave an inexperienced quarterback time get into a rhythm and work the offense back into the game. They were able to overcome a huge deficit and had at least a chance of pulling it out at the end.

Other possible explanations for the Sooners loss and West Virginia’s win seem more likely to me. These include. But are not necessarily limited to the following: 1. West Virginia may be a better team than Oklahoma. 2. Texas Tech may be a better team than Cincinnati 3. Oklahoma lost their most valuable player at the outset of the game while West Virginia did not. Of course we have no way of knowing if any of the above are true or the extent to which any of them explain the outcomes of the games. However, your explanation that the difference in the outcomes of these games resulted from the fact that the Sooner’s somehow choked seems less plausible than the other possibilities.
Posted: 10:51 AM   by Charles
for wvujosh - Thank you for your intelligent and compelling arguments regarding the Big Ten. I am sure that WV and Big East fans and alum are proud to have your support. May I quote you?
Posted: 10:59 AM   by Red Bird
I’ll agree that Kansas played an embarrassingly weak non-conference schedule, but many BCS conference teams do the same thing. For example, Southern Cal has played a weaker schedule. Prior to playing Illinois and Michigan, OSU’s schedule was also weaker than Kansas’s. Ironically, OSU rode that weak Schedule all the way to #1.

Keep in mind that Kansas doesn’t control its conference schedule. It’s just luck that they didn’t play OU or Texas. But like the Missouri Tigers, if KU wins out, they’ll have to beat Missouri and either OU or Texas. They won’t reach the BCS title game without facing stiffer tests than they have met so far.

Do they deserve to be in the top 25? Kansas plays in a major conference that can boast one third of the top 12 teams in the BCS standings; they are undefeated and have won four road games against solid (admittedly not great) big 12 teams.

Is that enough to qualify for a spot in the top 25? Yes, I think it is.
Posted: 11:04 AM   by Red Bird
If Missouri wins out, they will play in the BCS Championship. Same thing for Kansas.

If both lose, then WV, OSU or ASU.
Posted: 11:18 AM   by Red Bird

I think Missouri will defeat Kansas in the Border War next week, beat Oklahoma in the Big Twelve Championship game, and play either LSU or OSU for the BCS Title.
Posted: 11:29 AM   by Charles
Saying a team plays in a conf with some very good teams when it hasn't played any of those teams reminds of the child who said 'Oh yeah, just wait til my big brother hears about that.'
It's insulting for you to mention Kansas and USC in the same sentence. USC played Nebr, Ark & ND last year, and Nebr & ND this year. There was every expectation that those games would add to an already difficult Pac Ten schedule in which Pac Ten teams cannot enjoy the 'luck' that Kansas has enjoyed. Are you really going to suggest that Kans had reason to think that Cent Mich, SE La, Toledo, or FIU would provide worthy competition? I don't ask you to blame Kansas for its schedule, but don't ask me to vote them high in spite of it.
In boxing a champion who is crowned without beating the champion is called a paper champion until a body of work suggests the paper title should be dropped. More than that another fighter who only beats a paper champion will be reminded of that fact until a body of work brings an end to it. Kansas may beat Missou and then OK, and have earned a BCS bid in the process, but I shudder to think that they will go to the NC game and encourage schools like USC and others to adopt their powderpuff scheduling. Schools should be encouraged by the voting to schedule in the opposite direction, or will you argue with that comment?
Posted: 11:33 AM   by SwingGuru
ELO_CHESS is flawed. Only winning matters. In PREDICTOR (WHITE_OWL) it goes like this: Kansas (1), OSU(2), etc, etc.... BCS standings are just a bunch of flawed statistics and human error voting. Once a team has a high ranking, as Ohio State did last year, they pulled up the rest of the conference, just like LSU is doing this year in the SEC.

But would if the polls are wrong? Then the wrong teams are ranked at the top, and the whole system is flawed.

Not saying that LSU isn't deserving this year, but clearly last year Florida was a nasty team come the end of the season, and the better team on the field.

Not saying they would have beaten USC last year though... totall different defense then OSU's young weak defense.

Every year is different, but one thing remains the same: outside of the conferences, we really have no idea who is the best team coming into the end of the season...

That is why bowl games are nice... but they could be better, via the playoff system.

But who gets to the playoffs.... once again, human error factors into it in choosing the rankings during the season.
Does anyone else get the feeling that College Football just won't be the same after this season? It seems like all the upsets this year will turn out to be the rule from now on and not the exception. I think the difference is that all the talent is so spread out between schools. You aren't going to see unbeatable USC, Oklahoma, OSU, etc. anymore. If you are a player in High School right now, why on earth would you go to Florida and sit on the bench for 2 years just to get a chance to play your Junior year, when you could go to South Florida and play your Freshman year? Or go to USC when you could play your first year at UCLA? Or anywhere else?
Posted: 11:48 AM   by Doneagain
Yeah, about Ohio State...

Does anyone really want to see them get their arse handed to them again by another SEC team in the national title game. OSU did not "dominate" Michigan. It was 14-3. You got lucky that you played a banged up Michigan team that was pre-occupied with thoughts about their coach retiring. Maybe an 11 point win is a blow out in the offense-challenged Big 11, but that just goes to show how slow OSU is on offense... and adds further evidence as to why OSU would get their butts scorched by an SEC team. Nobody wants to watch another snooze-fest Big 11 team in a bowl. LSU would run past you slow defense and their defense would shut down you sloth-like offense. You had one guy that was fast last year, Ted Ginn, and look how that turned out. OSU has ZERO business playing in any... ANY ... national title game with an SEC team.

At least West Virginia, Missouir, Kansas or Arizona State have guys that can run the 40 in under 6 seconds. Any one of those games would be WAY better than the annual SEC-thrashing of another O-V-E-R R-A-T-E-D Big 11 team in a bowl game.

The Big 11 is a glorified MAC. Any conversation about the Big 11 should start and end with "Over-Rated." The Big 11 is a joke. YOu are not even smart enough to count how many team their actually are in your conference. If it weren't for home town goo-slurpers like Herbstreit over-hyping OSU every year, the rest of the country who sleeps through the coma enducing games played in the Big 11 wouldn't be voting for the Big 11 for anything, but since they can't stay awake long enough to watch that crap they end up taking Herbstreit's word for it that OSU is actually capable of doing anything. Ohio State is a joke and Glenn Dorsey would hold Beanie Wells to negative yards rushing. OSU is not even worthy to step on the same field as LSU, let alone be matched up in the title game with them.

Your pathetic conference makes me laugh.
Posted: 11:51 AM   by Jose
what is everyones thoughts on Arizona St. I find A lot of posters just don't think ASU is worthy of their ranking, Why is that? I know ASU got handled well at Autzen by the Ducks, but I don't believe we got demolished and if that game were to be played on a neutral field, it may have been a lot closer. Im an obvious Sun Devil fan, though I know the U$C game will be a huge and difficult game for the Devils, Im not thinking the Trojans come into Tempe and just roll the Devils. I believe the game will be close and the out come in my opinion will be a toss up. The team which executes its game plan the best will win this game. For all you Pac10 fans out there, do you feel its good to finally have some more parity in the pac? Its no longer U$C and the 9 dwarfs.
Posted: 11:54 AM   by Red Bird
Charles, I said that Kansas has played an embarrassing non-conference schedule. But just as USC could not predict a Nebraska collapse this season or that Notre Dame would be terrible, Kansas could hardly predict that Nebraska, Kansas State and Colorado would be also-rans this year.

I agree 100% that BCS schools should be encouraged to play tougher schedule. The trend towards lining up 3 or 4 non-conference cup-cakes is unsightly. But as long as a victory against Middle Tennessee State improves your ranking while a loss to USC ruins you chance at a BCS bowl, we can expect that trend to continue.
Posted: 12:04 PM   by Dink
As the joke goes...if Ohio State sucks then WVU Blows. People usually vomit from their mouth so that statement is a keen sense of the obvious. As for boring football, thats your opinion but running up and down the field and scoring a bunch of points says nothing for football teams either. Big 10 football isn't about putting big numbers on the scoreboard, it is about controlling the game, grinding it out of the ground and working the clock. That is the true physical, down in the trenches bruising game football was designed to be. Its too bad that the game has changed to running up and down the field, putting a lot of points on the board and whoever has the ball last probably wins in that scenario. Although I can't support your assessment, I'm not going to deny you your right to your what is football opinion. Just remember before you comment: I doubt very much that any other teams would have put up significantly larger scoring numbers under those weather and field conditions. Besides, Tressel, by showing the class he did, didn't run the score up to make people like you happy...but then again it had to do with class...something you need to learn something about.
For all the people saying "Does anyone want to see Ohio State get whipped by an SEC team" let's remember that people were saying that before the Miami game in 2002. Leaving aside the controversial calls in the game, Ohio State was not "waxed" by a very good Miami team.

Also, this is the last season in which anyone should assume team A will beat team B.

Now, I need to figure a way for Georgia to get into the title game...
Posted: 12:08 PM   by Micah
I guess we learned this week that it is hard to win on the road in the SEC ... unless, of course, you are an unranked sub-.500 team from the Sun Belt.
Posted: 12:08 PM   by Tre4434
I love how West Virginia sneaks quietly back into the national title picture 1 week at a time (like I told you they would, Stewart, back after the USF loss,) now everyone wants to talk about their schedule. Their schedule is no easier than OSU, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, etc,etc.etc. Get over it, this is not the 1970's any longer. The Big East has several good teams, 5 of which have been in the top 25 at some point this season, 4 have been in the TOP 10 at some point this season. If Ohio State wants to cry about not passing them, they should have thought about that before Juice lit them up last week. I'm sorry if that Michigan win doesn't carry the water it normally would (thanks to another group of Mountaineers.
Posted: 12:12 PM   by Trung
All I have to say is I don't want to see Ohio State in the NC game again. That Mich/Ohio St game was terrible; it seemed like I was watching a football game from back in the 70's. If OSU somehow manages to sneak into the NC game, we'll all be watching another first half blowout.
Posted: 12:14 PM   by Dink

Are you still trumpeting your SOS and SEC superiority argument? That went out the window when the SEC went 1-2 in the bowls last year to a "much weaker" Big 10 conference. Only SEC fans are in denial about that, the rest of the country recognizes the significance of head-to-head competition verses speculation.

It doesn't matter if your #4 played their #3 etc. If the SEC is so much better and superior, they shouldn't have lost. The reality is that they did.

If head-to-head isn't the bottom line then Ohio State is the true national champion from last year because they finished with the same record as Florida, beat 2 #2 teams and lost to a much higher ranked team than did Florida.

Pick your poison, but to be credible, you must apply the argument points on both sides of the equation. The SEC didn't deserve their hype last year and probably don't deserve it this year either. Denial is a powerful thing.
Posted: 12:16 PM   by mizzoufan
There are entirely too many MINE IS BIGGER THAN YOURS posts...with so much still to be determined this late in the season, this rates as one of the most entertaining college football seasons ever! Enjoy the ride and stop whining from the back seat ARE WE THERE YET...when the best part of the trip is yet to come. My thanks to all of the players and coaches who make the effort every week...YOU ARE ALL WINNERS!!!
Posted: 12:25 PM   by Charles
For dink - The three best teams in the SEC stomped on their bowl opponents last year and the other SEC teams were 2 - 2. The two best Big Ten teams got stomped and the others were, what 2 - 1, 2-2 . See the difference? Shouldn't have to draw you a picture here.
Posted: 12:26 PM   by Abhishekh
IMHO whatever be it the BCS national title must have the Big 12- champions (one of Kansas, Missouri, Okhlahama) and the reason one of them is the most deserving is whoever it is they will have to be beating a ranked top 3 eam (note it is would be the end of season so rank does matter).

About the others

LSU - certainly deserve to be in national title contention as their only loss until now was in OT.

OSU - dont deserve to be in national title contention as their schedule was really weak and they are done with their regular season. And other conference play one game more that too at the end of seasion which means it is strongly contested.

WVU - might not count them out if one of LSU or Big 12 champions dont end up there.
Posted: 12:28 PM   by WVUFan
Say what you want, but just wait and see - Let's go Mountaineers!!
Iowa loses to Western Michigan
Minnesota loses to N Dakota State
Alabama loses to Louisiana Monroe
Oklahoma St loses to TROY

Big 10 and Big 12 stink!!

SEC overrated, WVU killed MSU
and USF won at Auburn
Posted: 12:50 PM   by gatorchomp
It would have been very interesting to watch an SEC or warm-weather PAC10 team play Ohio State under yesterday's weather conditions in Ann Arbor. There is a time and a place for old-fashioned smash-mouth football and cold rain and snow is the time. My money says that most SEC teams would have been whimpering about the cold yesterday.

Can we leave OSU's schedule behind now? Their season is over and they are for all practical purposes out of the title chase. Why aren't we harping on West Virginias?
Posted: 12:53 PM   by David
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 12:53 PM   by whlinder
Arizona St if they finish with 1 loss, should be ranked ahead of 1-loss OSU or 1-loss WVU.
Posted: 1:00 PM   by Root

I take a little exception on the comment on OSU, implying that other conferences are more deserving because they have a conference title game. The Big Ten does have a title game, 43 out of 102 times it was called the Ohio State vs. Michigan game. That is why it is the greatest rivalry in college football, because you can't name another one that has decided more.

Still, I do agree with your assessment. LSU should be unquestioned if it wins out. I could see Kansas certainly if it wins out, and Missouri as well. I don't think Oklahoma gets it because of two losses.

West Virginia would be my third choice if the Big Twelve eliminates each other. I don't see Arizona State getting past USC, so that arguement is academic.
Posted: 1:02 PM   by David
I'm as big a proponent of "SEC is the best" as anybody, but seeing Bama lose to ULM is worth hearing people say the SEC is overrated.

Saban-Nation, huh?

Ha. Ha. Ha.

On another note, anyone else think that Georgia might secretly be hoping Tennessee wins vs. Kentucky so they don't have to face LSU in the title game and can instead be guaranteed a BCS (most likely Sugar) bowl?
good comment c david...the Devils are far from done..we get the vulnerable Trojans in our sold out house...SC barely beat us last year after leading 21-0...we are planning a roast..a rematch against the Buckeyes in the Rose would be a dream come true...the Devils have been overachieving all year...we are ready...Go Devils!!
Posted: 1:11 PM   by J.R.
Can anyone give me an example of a Top 5 team that lost its starting quarterback during a game and still won that game and stayed in contention for the National Title? What happened to Oregon and Oklahoma was very unfortunate, and I know if any of the other teams lost their starting quarterbacks, it would be no different.
Posted: 1:38 PM   by Kulik
West Virginia does not deserve a spot in the BCS Championship under any scenario. Year in and year out they fail to play a quality out of conference schedule. Then take into consideration that although the Big East is improved, top-to-bottom it is not comparable to the SEC, Big 10, Big 12 or Pac 10, there level of competition can be called nothing but weak. My prediction for the national championship is lsu vs. ohio state. Arizona state will lose to USC and then the mizzou/kansas winner will lose in the Big 12 championship.
Posted: 1:40 PM   by beet
I agree j.r. With Dixon in their, the ducks scored once and had another touchdown intercepted after it bounced off an oregon reciever's chest in the endzone on their firts two tripa. Without him, the duck offense flopped around on the field for much of the game. If the ducks hadnt had all the injurys this year, i think they would be one of the greatest teams in the country of this decade. Take a look at all their injuries:

starting qb (dixon), 2 best wrs (paysinger and colvin), backup rb who timeshared with stewart (j johnson), 2 starting lbs (tuitele and bacon), and the starting fs (forgot his name, happened at beginning of the year). thats 7 starters, aka one third of the team
Posted: 1:41 PM   by The Crew

Is there any doubt that Michael Crabtree should be first team all-american?????????
Posted: 1:44 PM   by Michael
Funny that people are critical of WVU's schedule in their arguments for OSU. WVU currently sits at 9-1 having only played 4 home games and they'll only play 6 games at home this year. OSU had 8 home games, one of which was a loss to unranked Illinois. You can be critical all you want, but no other ranked BCS team (SEC, BigTen or Big12 to be sure) has played the bulk of their schedule on the road.
Posted: 1:46 PM   by Sean
jcsuperstar...Is that Jesus being a superstar? Yes He is...anyway. I do agree with you that the BCS is questionable at best. Actually the way it is, it is unAmerican. No real way to sort out the best team on the field. However, D1 football is very historical in its philosophy of championships. Conferences got established because of regional attraction. In my mind, that is still the biggest reason for conferences - it is not just football. It is about winning your conference. Bowl games were additions from way back. It used to be 4 bowl games when I was a "young-un". More communities wanted to get on board and hosted bowl games. Every bowl and city hosting it wants to get as much exposure as any other. Businesses sponsor bowls to get exposure and more profits, they sponsor parades for the same reason. People donate their time to bowls (and parades) because they believe in their community. I don't like the idea of a basketball tournament champion (NCAA) - it still does not crown the best team just the tournament champion, similar is the NFL, and all other pro sports. The best division teams can loose to a wildcard, etc. There will never ever be a way of crowing a perfect winner and champion in any system. We deal with people who make mistakes and teams do by default. I can understand why conferences go to championship games (more exposure = money) and others do not. If the Pensacola bowl (hypothetical bowl) hosts a Rutgers team vs a Middle Tennesee they will not get the return that they are hoping for. The NC pits similar teams (I am not saying teams like those are not or would not be worthy, but I am making a point). Those two teams might not draw the crowd that a Michigan or LSU or a USC or Alabama would so there are not as many fans coming to the Pensacola bowl as there could be. Subsequently, there is less people going to restaurants, movies, activities and less exposure on TV for business from outside the Pensacola area (ATT, IBM, etc.) to "buy time" on national TV, which goes into the local community. In the end everyone involved looses out on "potential". In the end, people want to invest in proven track records more than they do in new ideas as a way of getting more return. "People root for the underdog, but follow the topdog" is an old saying that best says it. That is the way of the tape. We see though that anyone can become a ND type of team by consistently winning and putting out great products. BTW, that is what also sells papers, TV slots, radion slots, and selling sports shows.

Going to an eight or 16 team playoff does nothing to help D1 football put out the "best" team. It will still the big boys playing because that is who will get ranked first. There is nothing wrong with the old system of four bowls or the new with 32 bowls. The teams on the bubble for bowls will be the same teams on the bubble for the football tournament, but they could beat a better team on any given day.

BTW, great job to my BUCKEYES yesterday...
Posted: 1:57 PM   by KEVIN
Posted: 2:09 PM   by Realist
As an OSU fan I wish that we would finally be dropped from the mythical, Jerry Springeresque national title discussion. As a matter of fact, I wish that the Big Ten and PAC 10 would leave the BCS and meet every year in the Rose Bowl. Most Ohio St. fans I know find it beneath our standards to be mentioned in the same breath as teams like West Virginia. To have to compete with a mistake prone team that barely escaped against Cincinnati, the state of Ohio's version of Fresno St., is ridiculous. And LSU? They gave up almost 500 yards to Ole Miss on the same day that OSU gave up 90 to Michigan. The BCS is a joke and more and more of us want no part of it.
Hey! Maybe there will be Missouri vs. West Virginia NC game! Yawn.
Posted: 2:11 PM   by JonBoy418

I can give you an example from 1998. Florida State lost Chris Weinke during the Virgina game. Then Marcus Outzen came in, beat the Cavaliers. Then beat a top 5 Florida team the following week. Went to the national championship Fiesta Bowl and lost to Tennessee.
Posted: 2:15 PM   by KEVIN

Posted: 2:15 PM   by Brian
Say what you want about OSU deserving or not deserving a shot at the national title, but you have to admit--number 50 on OSU has the biggest cannons on anyone I've seen. Good lord. That said, Tigers all the way.

As a Native Athenian and UGA alumni stuck in DC, maybe i am high off the beaurocratic hot air but why would UGA want to go to the SEC Championship? As I figure, we go and lose we go to Sugar, we go and beat LSU unless KU, Mizz, et al above us lose between now and then we still go to Sugar, and if we dont go and LSU beats Tenn then we still go to the Sugar... So with the exception of winning pawnable championship rings, whats in it for UGA???

Posted: 2:26 PM   by KEVIN
Posted: 2:29 PM   by Tucker
Can I please stop hearing about how the buckeyes should get a chance to play for the national championship after they lost to unranked illinois at home late in the season. Do we really want to see them get stomped by LSU like they got last year by Florida. Go WVU.
Also, even as a native Dawg... If Chance doesnt get the Heisman nod...even as a soph a belive that Tebow is a phenom, unexplainable phenom, a michael vick in a TE body...

As for folks bringing up the once and a while one big east/acc/wac upset against an SEC team..that happens every saturday and has since 1896 at Hearty Field...

An Auburn loss to SF or a SF spanking of Auburn , how ever you label it, was just that, but with the parity with scholorships, and the small schools wisely investing their "play us" money and recruiting the boys that would normally go to a Penn State or FSU or Miami... Plan on seeing lots of one and two loss top fives....

Posted: 2:33 PM   by Matt
beet: Injuries happen. If you want to play the "if so-and-so hadn't gotten injured card", we'd be looking at a no-loss USC and a one or two-loss UCLA (KD notwithstanding). USC and UCLA racked up injuries that no other team endured this year. Seriously, USC has had over a dozen major injuries this year and UCLA quietly got bit even worse (4th-string QB? - come on). The Ducks definitely benefitted from massive injuries to opposing teams. The point is, it happens. To everyone. Coulda shoulda woulda doesn't figure into it.
Posted: 2:35 PM   by Matt
Posted: 2:38 PM   by Charles
For Native Dawg - If LSU is in the NC game then I think the Sugar gets its choice of SEC teams. If GA loses the SEC championship game then they have 3 losses like a lot of other SEC Teams. If Tebow keeps going I would not be surprised for the Sugar to pick Fla over GA. You assume because GA beat Fla it gets the call, but the Sugar people are interested in $$$$. If Tenn gets in the championship game and loses to LSU I still would not be surprised to have Fla selected over GA.
I've finally warmed to the idea of a playoff, now that "tradition" is out the window with the Cotton Bowl being an also-ran and the bowl names sounding like the client roster of a Madison Avenue firm. I think an 8-team playoff after an 11-game max regular season would do the trick. That would potentially keep alive two loss teams like Georgia if they finish strong (who would want to play Georgia right now in a playoff?), and it would give one-loss teams and the occasional undefeated mid major a shot at the title.
Posted: 2:49 PM   by SL2700
Id rather see WVU vs LSU, KU VS LSU, or KU VS WVU then ohio state in the title game. illinois was the best offense Ohio State had to face all year. Just think what LSU or WVU would do them.
Posted: 2:53 PM   by Charles
for Samuel - My point exactly. Ga Bulldogs are on one channel, Tebow and the Gators on another. Who do you watch? Me, too. The Sugar Bowl is about money and with no LSU picks the Gators 11 times out of ten over GA.
Posted: 3:14 PM   by gatorchomp
I did not mean to imply that WVU did not deserve to be in the NC title game. If they win out I'd love to see them play LSU and believe that they would have the best chance of beating them (instead of MIzzou or KS). However, WVU's problem is the same as Ohio State's. They just do not face the level of competition that LSU faces week-in and week-out. It isn't that David cannot slay Goliath (examples: Ohio State in 2003, Texas in 2006), but a team has to be very well prepared and well-coached. A couple of breaks always helps, too.
Posted: 3:15 PM   by Blanco
Why are people making excuses for Oklahoma and Oregon for their losses caused by the injuries of their superstar QBs, but WVU does not get the same treatment when their one loss was to at the time #18 USF where Pat White got hurt in the 2nd quarter?
Posted: 3:22 PM   by KEVIN
Sorry folks, I didn't know CAPS where offensive. My apologies.
Thanks Matt.
Posted: 3:23 PM   by OSUROCKS
I think it is now quite obvious that THE Ohio State Buckeyes are the #1 team in the country. The biggest rivalry of all of sports (not just my opinion, but the opinion of any credible expert), just played out with the bucks crushing the wolverines. With only one loss that only happened because we didn't challenge the fumble, is all that seperates us from another perfect season.

#1 Buckeyes
#2 Lspeww

Good thoughts! I am just reading on all these CF sports siotes that UGA is destined for suger cause Sugar comm wont pick Tenn. I think if Tenn goes to Champ its still UGA in the Sugar. Florida fans anbd their money will stay in a Florida based bowl like outback et al.

As a true SEC'er I will watch all SEC games. I think Tebow is awesome, of course who do you match them with to make it interesting...?

With no "have to picks" BCS committee's will go for the money.

I think this will be one of the fll outs of so many 2 loss teams. Bowls will start asking early. Especially those that care not to get stuck with Tenn... So we will watch.

I have a lot of folks saying GA has fresher legs and more momentum and ould upset LSU, which goes back to my question a win over LSU just hurts the SEC showing and does nothing for UGA or UF....

Good thoughts! I am just reading on all these CF sports siotes that UGA is destined for suger cause Sugar comm wont pick Tenn. I think if Tenn goes to Champ its still UGA in the Sugar. Florida fans anbd their money will stay in a Florida based bowl like outback et al.

As a true SEC'er I will watch all SEC games. I think Tebow is awesome, of course who do you match them with to make it interesting...?

With no "have to picks" BCS committee's will go for the money.

I think this will be one of the fll outs of so many 2 loss teams. Bowls will start asking early. Especially those that care not to get stuck with Tenn... So we will watch.

I have a lot of folks saying GA has fresher legs and more momentum and ould upset LSU, which goes back to my question a win over LSU just hurts the SEC showing and does nothing for UGA or UF....
Posted: 3:29 PM   by larrywp
Give me a break with this latest poll. Did any of you guys watch that OU-Texas Tech game?? OU ain't no top ten team. Not anymore. You gotta be kidding me with this.
Posted: 3:30 PM   by Rick

I noticed one interesting twist in last week's BCS poll. West Virginia was ranked 6th, one spot above Ohio State. However, they were two spots higher than Ohio State in the human polls, and trailed Ohio State in the computer computation. It may be possible that if Ohio State is only one step lower than West Virgina in the human polls, but remains well above them in the computer ranking, they could jump West Virginia. It will be interesting to see if this is a factor in today's BCS poll.
Posted: 3:30 PM   by OSUROCKS
I dont seem to be hearing too much from the gator fans out there, could it be because they have lost 3 games this year (and counting)
They were a "flash in the pan" last year, where as my Bucks are contending year in and year out. Me thinks florida is green with envy.
Posted: 3:31 PM   by gatorchomp

I agree with you on the rivalry and was impressed that the Buckeyes prevailed in such a convincing fashion in a hostile environment and under dismal weather/field conditions. However, I do not agree with you that they are #1. You could convince me that the could beat WVU, Mizzou, or Kansas but they'd have a rough time with LSU (unless LSU took them for granted and Les Miles would NEVER let that happen).
Posted: 3:51 PM   by KEVIN
Ohio State give it a rest. Join the list of one-loss teams making their case. If we had a play-off system pitting conference champs we would clearly see what team is the best.

As far as Tim Tebow, he's okay at best. Being able to run into linebackers and linemen only increases his probability of getting hurt sooner. Over the years many have been critical of quarterbacks(most of them black)who play with that style. The hype sometimes doesn't tell the truth.(i.e Eric Crouch, Troy Smith, all of Oklahomas Qbs, to name a few).
Posted: 3:54 PM   by Charles
for native dawg - I was looking forward to Fla vs Mich, but the last two weeks have relegated Mich to something else. If OSU makes the NC I doubt the Rose will risk another game like last year. Perhaps Pn St or Wisc.
As an SEC fan I am rooting for Tn against Kent to lighten the path for LSU. If Kent wins and LSU shows up fully armed I don't give GA much of a chance. Then you have a 3-loss GA and a 3-loss Fla to pick from. I think the Sugar would match Fla with WV unless the Big East has an Orange commitment. Still the voters might take WV over OSU if the choice is there and there won't be much for the Sugar to choose from. It is my understanding though if one of our powderpuff heroes like Hawaii earns a bid the Sugar will be stuck with the last pick.
Posted: 3:55 PM   by Darrell C
Ohio State fans, you want some cheese with your whine?

All OSU had to do was take care of Illinois at home and they couldn't do it, so now you have no gripe that teams that are continuing to win (Kansas, Missouri, West Virginia) are ahead of you.

It's a testimony to how far ACC football has fallen when two teams who barely sniffed a Big East championship in 10 years of membership (BC, VPI) are now about to play for their new league's championship.

And gatorchomp, you don't get to rag on anyone's schedule when your team is playing Florida Atlantic in the last week of the season - after fattening up earlier on Western Kentucky and Troy. And you certainly don't get to rag on the Big East schedule because WVU doesn't get to choose who they play in conference - Unlike the SEC, all Big East teams have to play every other Big East team in order to win the championship, and Florida got to play Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
Posted: 4:05 PM   by KEVIN
The day of the perfect season in college football has passed. Competition in conferences have all but ensured that someone will take a loss. Having a playoff sysytem is the only fair way to arrive at 'true champion'. Why would it be hard to believe a undefeated Hawaii team could beat a Florida or LSU? Didn't Appalacian St beat Michigan @ home? Let's have a playoff and see.
Posted: 4:13 PM   by rt
Hey Stewart;

When it comes to the best conference or the best team I've got the following observations.

1)Any college team can beat any other team on any given day.
2)College football has achieved parity.
3)There are great players on every team.
4)H.S. recruits are choosing schools on how soon they will play and how they fit in with the team.
5)There are good coaches at every level in this country who are smart and hungry and who understand how to make the best use of their players.
6)Many games are decided by a few points and the game often goes to the team that has the best focus and plays the whole 60 minutes.
7)If you're a team ranked in the top 5 then better bring your A game becuase your opponents certainly will.

And finally Geaux Tigers :-)
Posted: 4:13 PM   by rt
Hey Stewart;

When it comes to the best conference or the best team I've got the following observations.

1)Any college team can beat any other team on any given day.
2)College football has achieved parity.
3)There are great players on every team.
4)H.S. recruits are choosing schools on how soon they will play and how they fit in with the team.
5)There are good coaches at every level in this country who are smart and hungry and who understand how to make the best use of their players.
6)Many games are decided by a few points and the game often goes to the team that has the best focus and plays the whole 60 minutes.
7)If you're a team ranked in the top 5 then better bring your A game becuase your opponents certainly will.

And finally Geaux Tigers :-)
I believe that in two weeks the top 5 is going to change considerably. I think we are all in for a rather big surprise. It is going to be a rather funny NC game which I believe not too many people will waste their time watching. The BCS is going to be a laughing stock. We are getting very near to some form of playoff.
Posted: 4:21 PM   by Red Bird
Details would be a good idea here hindsight.
Posted: 4:27 PM   by Charles
Kevin - It's hard for a Hawaii to beat an elite team because of lack of talent. But the small fries manage it occasionally. You have TCU beating OK two years ago, beating Tx Tech last year, and even playing Texas close for a half this year. But getting up for the big game takes the life out of the small fry and TCU immediately lost the next game after those three big games. Fresno St played USC close two years ago and lost their next game. Boise St tried to manage GA two years ago, couldn't and lost their next game also.
The only chance the small fry have is to schedule a BCS middle of the pack team, or worse, then hope to go undefeated.
Remember last year Montana St got up for Colorado week one then lost to an even lower ranked Chadwick in week two. It happens occasionally.
Boise St has beaten one team that was ranked when they played these past three years. If Tressel or Meyer or any of them produced a resume of one win over a ranked team in the next three years fans would be saying they lost it.
You will recall that when Gonzaga started scoring a victory or two in the tournament they were pressured into playing a tougher schedule. With it cames losses, but enough wins to earn respect. When Boise or Hawaii start playing a schedule like Utah played this season then maybe I will take them seriously. Until then they are just powderpuff heroes who brag that a 2 point victory over a Nevada without Brennan means they are loaded with stars.
Posted: 4:49 PM   by smb513
To Jon Boy:
ohio state has won games over a purdue team that was ranked 25th, penn state who was ranked 25th,wisconsin who was ranked 25th and michigan who was ranked 21st....thats four wins over top 25 teams..2 on the road and 2 away...as for the loss to illinois, they gave mizzou a run for their money and would give kansas and west virginia a run for theirs as well....Ohio state would dominate west virginia because they have no defense and are too small up front..west v has an explosive offense but the loss to illinois would greatly aid us in a game with west v....GO BUCKS!!!
Posted: 4:59 PM   by Odell's BBQ
SEC in BCS games since 2001 = 7-1.
Only one-loss teams to win a national champioship since the BCS = 2 SEC teams (UF and LSU)
AS for SEC's schedule, we'll learn a lot next weekend in the annual SEC/ACC rivalries (UGA/GT, FSU/UF, USC/Clemson and, this year, Vandy/Wake).
Why is the SEC the best? Every West Division team has had at least one 10 win season in the past decade. Also, name the last time that an SEC team repeated as SEC champions. When's the last time an SEC team lost in the title game? As for you Big-10/11 fans, what's your BCS record? How's the depth in your league? As for the Big East, you're still living on the WVU win over UGA three years ago. I know you went undefeated in your bowl games last year, but have you looked at your bowl tie-ins and who you played? It's a joke.
Posted: 4:59 PM   by smb513
you are a fool to believe we wouldn't beat mizzouri,kansas or west virginia...The loss to illinois only helped the buckeyes..it was what we needed to become a better team..LSU is a good team but in big games they give up alot of points(i.e kentucky,bama, and even auburn)The bucks would destroy usc and arizona st.Yuo need to stop smokin that stuff
Posted: 5:01 PM   by BCSBusters
What happened to Arizona State? They have the best chance to end up with 1 loss and you have completely forgotten about them?
Posted: 5:06 PM   by chasrhd
osu lost to a unranked ill,and the strength of schedule thing dont hold water,the big east went 5-0 in bowl games last year,ohio st is done lsu-wv ncg
Posted: 5:09 PM   by KEVIN
Charles- What I'm addressing is how flawed the system is. If the idea is to when all the games in your conference, then why shouldn't you be rewarded. Is Kansas more worthy because they play in the Big 12? The media and our own personal bias sometimes hampers our judgements. Their are many examples of Davids vs Goliaths. That's the reason why a Gonzaga is no longer considered a cream puff. Come'on did you really believe that Boise St would lay over 30 points on Oklahoma let alone beat them?
Posted: 5:10 PM   by Odell's BBQ
Oh, and my point of the repeat SEC champs was in response to the Big-10 poster's statement that 43 out of the past 100 or whatever years the conference championship was Michigan vs. Ohio State. To me, that's not something to brag about, but something that shows the lack of competitiveness in the Big-10/11. When Iowa, Purdue, Wisconsin, et. al. win the Big-10, they inevitably miss OSU, Michigan, or both. At least, the PAC-10 and Big East play a full round-robin. For the 12 team conferences (Big 12/SEC), they have a championship game to avoid such matters.
Posted: 5:12 PM   by Charles
for bcsbusters - I think there are two reasons no one is talking about Ariz St. One is the mystique of USC and Ariz St must win that game. Secondly, and not as important as #1, Ariz St has not lit a fire with voters with its schedule and victories. Probably many are like me. If Ariz St handles USC easily then put them up there with OSU and WV for a shot against LSU. If Missou manhandles Tex or OK I would be inclined to add them to the list.
Posted: 5:13 PM   by Odell's BBQ
David vs. Goliaths - it hasn't worked very often in the title game of the NCAA Men's Bball tournament. The upsets tend to happen when the other team is sleeping/underestimating the other team. In championship games, it is rare to find a team not respecting the other (ala Boise St last year).
Posted: 5:17 PM   by Stacey
ASU blows and should never get a shot at the national title game let alone a BCS game. Ohio State 4 Secretary of Defense!
Posted: 5:24 PM   by Charles
Analyze the small school vs big school games for a moment. TCU players see their schedule for the first time, and oh my, we play Texas. No one from Texas says oh my god we play TCU. They have OK in the near future and that is their big game. For TCU it is a chance for national recognition. Texas can win nothing but a black eye. TCU is sky high playing up to their full potential and they play Texas close for a half. But unlike Texas Tech and OK from years before Texas has what it takes to take control.
Ditto for Appal St vs Michigan, but there is much more. We have Mich in the midst of a four game slump and not just any slump. We have a team wrongfully deprived of a re-match with OSU so they think. They head west, but carry the troubles with them and get spanked by USC. Now everyone says they had no business playing OSU again. They start the season in disarray against a weakling. But the weakling is one of the better weaklings and its offense matches well with Mich. Combined with its troublesome offense Appal St has enough quickness to keep Mich off balance so they never feel the full thrust of the Mich power. And barely, Appal St upsets Mich. These things can happen, but no way do I see a small school surviving the Alab, LSU, Aub, GA marathon that Fla played last year. And that is why Vandy often plays Fla close. They play Fla after the marathon.
Posted: 5:36 PM   by madmountie
Ohio State fans, please stop about how good the Big 10 is. Any conference with THREE, yes THREE losses to Division IAA teams is not a good conference. Your best win is against Wisconsin, who like you, played NO ONE out of conference. And just like you, Wisconsin barely beat those pathetic non-conference schools. Unless of course you consider a four-point victory over IAA VMI impressive.

Maybe you should actually schedule a non-MAC school next season, then you will not have to worry about it. Until then,no ones wants to see you get beat by 30 when you finally play someone, just like we had to last season.
Posted: 5:42 PM   by Jennifer
This year proves how ridiculous the BCS is. There either needs to be a playoff OR a return to a Poll and Bowl based system where it is purely subjective and teams can be happy with a 10-1 season and a win in the Cotton Bowl.

I think most can agree that over the past 2 - 3 seasons the SEC has been the deepest conference and the SEC champ (as long as they have no more than one loss) should be in the BCS game this year. But try telling either Ohio State or West Virginia that the other school belongs in the BCS. WV lost to South Florida (not such a great loss in retrospect) and OSU lost to Illinois (a program on the rise). And I really find it hard to belive the Big 12 has (had) three teams in the top five. The conference is not that good. BUT, if Kansas wins out they HAVE to be in the BCS title game. But why should a one lost Big 12 team be ahead of OSU, WV, or Arizona St. for that matter. This system stinks. I would prefer a return to the era when an SEC team could get excited about winning the Sugar Bowl, a Big Ten team could get excited about winning the Rose Bowl, etc. Or, there has to be a playoff. This system might be good for talk radio and the networks but that is it.
Posted: 5:43 PM   by ali
#1 Ohio State vs. #2 USC for the BCS Title - the rose bowl in new orleans.

Mizzou beats Kansas, gets nod for Big12 title game and loses to Oklahoma.

West Virginia loses to UConn

USC beats ASU & UCLA.

Oregon loses a game.

Arkansas beats LSU who beats Georgia in the SEC title game.

for good measure, VaTech loses to Virgina.

It could happen!
Posted: 5:43 PM   by sprawlnuts
A few notes...

1) Aside from LSU, whoever finishes with 1 loss (or none for KU) I really don't think there is that much difference in schedules. Does anyone really think that OSU's schedule is that much tougher than WVU's, or KU, Mizzou, ASU for that matter?

2) LSU is NOT the best team by far despite what SEC homers say. Most talented, maybe, but not the best. So many close calls and not so well played games (see Miss yesterday) establish a pattern. You are what your play says you are.

3) OSU fans, take a closer look at what happened yesterday. Yes, your defense was great, but Henne was awful. It was obvious his injury was bothering him and he shouldn't have played. The one series Mallett was in there, the UM offense looked a bit better. I still don't think UM would have won. Don't use a convincing win over a mediocre UM team with significant injuries as justification to be in the title game. However, Wells and Gholston are still studs.

4) Hawaii should not be a BCS team. I was at the game on Fri. (and the NV-BSU game last year) Brennan being out had no impact on the game because UH's backup is pretty good himself. However, if NV's coach doesn't butcher the clock in the last 5 minutes or has the balls to go for a 4th and 4 at the UH 38 with 2 minutes, NV wins. Last year's BSU game wasn't even close, 38-7 or something. It could have easily been 63-0. BSU was that good last year. UH isn't close to that. The only reason UH will play in a BCS game is because the teams in the BCS leagues are falling all over themselves.
Posted: 5:49 PM   by Jennifer
Sprawlnuts: I agree to a point. Henne was hurt and it definitely affected his play. But Tressel totally let up on the pedal and there is no way of knowing if they could have scored 28 if they wanted to. How many times did they throw in the second half? Maybe 3? There were many what-ifs in this game on both sides but I don't think you can fault the OSU offense. Tressel was very content to hand off and punt the entire second half.
Posted: 5:53 PM   by Jennifer
Hey Madmountie: OSU played Texas two years in a row (away as well, something a SEC team would NEVER do). Not good enough for an out of conference opponent?? Who knew Washington would stink this year when it was scheduled.

I do agree that the Big 10 needs to start scheduling fewer MAC teams and more Louisiana-Monroes and Louisiana-Lafayettes because the SEC and pollsters seem to really be impressed by them.
Posted: 6:06 PM   by sprawlnuts
Jennifer: I don't think OSU would have scored that much more even if Boeckman was throwing. He wasn't sharp either. However, my main point was that OSU doesn't deserve a shot over WVU or any other one loss team just because they beat UM. Just goes to my point #1. I just wanted to address that directly.
Posted: 6:18 PM   by okkoske
Honestly, you can't compare OU to WVU. Everyone was healthy during WVU game. Can't say the same for OU. You actually think that OU came not focused. I'll give TTU credit, our defense stunk it up but it didn't help that the OU offense couldn't not sustain a drive leaving the defense on way more than it should have been. That game played again with Bradford, different outcome. Yes championship teams find a way to win but you take out the one person who got OU there then it's a different story. You just don't lose the #1 QB in efficiency and it not have any effect in the game. I hate Oregon but I know how it feels now. WVU shouldn't even be catagorized with OU.
Posted: 6:21 PM   by okkoske
Sorry, WVU fans not really picking on you with the catagorizing comment just venting. Mainly I'm directing my comment to Mandel.
Boomer Sooners!!!!
Posted: 6:22 PM   by Stacey
#1 University of Arizona
#2 Ohio State
#3 The Rest Of You Suckers

Thankyou That Is All...
Mike Thomas 4 Heisman
Posted: 6:42 PM   by Charles
for Jennifer - Fla plays FSU home and away every year. SC plays Clemson, Kentucky plays Louisville. Your theory that SEC teams never play home and away has more than a few holes in it.
Posted: 6:43 PM   by Charles
For Jennifer - GA & Ga Tech also play home and away. Had you said that SEC ooc games leave much to be desired I would have agreed with you.
Posted: 6:48 PM   by JP
Let me preface this comment by saying I am an OSU fan.

Personally I would welcome an opportunity to play LSU and think OSU matches up very well against their style of play. OSU has lost exactly twice in the last two years to the exact same style of read option offense. Last time I checked Matt Flynn was not as fast as Juice, and poses no threat of running out of the backfield. If there is a WR on LSU that is significantly faster than Malcom Jenkins or Anderson Russell I'd like to see him.

IMO it would be a fantastic low scoring game with two great defenses and two great running attacks. I think that game would come down to special teams play.

Glenn Dorsey is a monster and would look mighty fine in a Brownies uniform. Had to throw that in there. (Wishful thinking I know).
Posted: 6:50 PM   by Dink
Last year in head-to-head competition the SEC went 1-2 in the bowls against a lowely, slow and inferior Big 10.

Say all you want SEC fans but the proof is in the pudding and you had to regurgitate last year.....obviously you didn't learn from LOSING to the Big 10 last year.

You're full of hot air, in denial and can't recognize the truth when it is right in front of you (1-2 vs B10 head-to-head). SEC is good but you ain't anything like you think you are, otherwise you would have went 3-0 vs the B10 last year.

Oh, save your breath about the SEC #4 vs the B10 #3 thing because that is irrelevant if you are oh so far superior as you think you are.

I think you are the biggest joke in college football today and you just keep making the joke worse.

Keep up the good work Senseless Egotistical Conference fans!
If ASU beat SC and UA it's pretty much impossible for them not to leapfrog OSU. Their schedule is far more difficult than OSUs, they beat their common opponent by more, and their loss was to Oregon, not Illinois, and was an awful lot closer Michigan came to beating them. At least it was close. Oregon made Michigan look like a high school team, at Michigan. OSU barely beat them at home.

This is a Dennis Erickson team, not some upstart program. Remember Erickson's Oregon State teams? Nobody wanted to play them. ASU would most likely stomp OSU, even resorting to smash-mouth ball in the snow. Those old Beaver teams put serious woodshed whoopins on "old school" programs regularly. Just ask Notre Dame.
Posted: 6:59 PM   by Charles
for Dink - When you trumpet two close contests between the Big Ten and the SEC and ignore everything else it does appear that you are in denial. It's a sure sign that Big Ten miseries have left you in need of serious counseling. Good luck.
Posted: 7:05 PM   by phork
Being an ND fan I would hardly say that since you beat ND, the win stands as quality. Especially over the last 10+ years.
Heres what I see happening:

Tenn loses to UK, thus shoving (rightfully) Georgia into the title game with LSU. LSU will lose.
Kansas or Mizzou will lose, then the winner will lose to OU.
WVA vs OSU in the NC game.

And Mandel will cry in his beer, when OSU pulls down another NC trophy.
Posted: 7:22 PM   by Daniel
Ohio State in another title game? Makes me cringe. I sure hope it doesn't come down to that. And so does half the country I would assume. Their schedule this year has been as weak as it gets, and the only team they have played with a pulse was an unranked Illinois. If they make it to the title game, they would be absolutely destroyed by anyone right now in the top 10, with the exception of maybe a still highly overrated Oregon or Arizona St.
Posted: 7:38 PM   by Blanco
OSU would have major problems against WVU. In a face to face match up, WVU would win. Why?

1. Illnois is the poor man's WVU. They run a spread offense much like WVU's, which seems to give "traditional teams" problems (OSU, Michigan). If you think Juice is good, watch some video's of PATTY WHITE. He makes Juice look like Drew Bledsoe.

2. Our defense is much improved. Look at the stats. Were atleast in the top 15 in most defensive categories.

3. OSU would take WVU for granted. No offense, but OSU and most traditional teams tend to have a superiority complex against the Big East (I don't blame them when a nontraditional team like Uconn could potentially win the conference). Unfortunately for them, the Big East is legit.

This is why as a WVU fan I pray LSU loses to ark./ga, Oklahoma runs the table, and USC rises again. LSU is a scary team for anyone to face with that talent, Mizz and ASU are legit, and Kansas is really an unknown at this point. OSU on the other hand, in my opinion, would make a fun patsy for us to beat and allow me to have fun at the game and not worry.
Posted: 7:47 PM   by Daniel
Pat White against a very bewildered OSU defense would be entertaining indeed.
I think everyone other than the brainwashed in Columbus would enjoy to see that.
Posted: 7:52 PM   by Buckeyeboy9
@Steve Edwards
If you are referring to or comparing the OSU/Michigan game and the Oregon/Michigan to make a case for ASU being better than Ohio State, well get your facts straight before you post dumbass. Ohio State played @ Michigan just like Oregon did. In case you didn't notice it was 36 degrees and raining. Both teams were struggling to produce offense in the tough conditions. Ohio State clearly was better and could have scored near the end of the game but took two knees with more than a minute on the clock (gentleman Jim Tressel around these parts).

As for the "common opponent" nonsense, you had Washington at home and won by 24. We played Washington at their house in week 2 and easily beat them by 19 points. They were beating you at halftime. Ohio State was never in doubt against them.

I hope you go to the Rose Bowl so we can mop the floor with your phony asses.
Posted: 8:04 PM   by Buckeyeboy9
The two wins were only close on the scoreboard. Penn State ran the ball down Tennesee's throat. Wisconsin dispatched Arkansas. I particularly loved the play where Darren McFadden was caught from behind by Jack Ikegwuonu. You can get it on You Tube. Such slow Big Ten boys.
Over the last five years the Big Ten and the SEC have squared off in 14 bowl games which always pit the conference elite against each other. Not once has our #2 played your #6 or vice versa.
What's the record Charles? Do you know or do you not want facts to get in the way of your fantasy life.
Big Ten 8 SEC 6. Get lost.
Posted: 8:04 PM   by Charles
for buckeyeboy9 - You may be displeased with comments from an Ariz St fan who presumes ASU could stand with OSU, but there is no reason to get insulting. OSU was pretty insulting about what they had in store for Florida last year and, well, give that some thought.
I agree with any statement that ASU has yet to prove it belongs in the NC game. But the opportunity is there for them with USC coming up. Let's withhold judgment until ASU passes that hurdle. But hurl the insults if you wish. Those insults are why Fla and SEC fans have been feeding you crow all year. You can't want to continue that diet for another year.
Posted: 8:12 PM   by Blanco
As a WVU fan, I will even admit, a win over USC and at a rival like arizona will help ASU alot to leap frog WVU. The only question now is how far does their one loss drop. If they end up unranked, it'll be like WVU's loss to eventual #2 USF and make it extremely tough to judge. If Oregon holds on and stays in the top ten, even I'll admit ASU deserves a shot at the NC.
Posted: 8:13 PM   by Buckeyeboy9
I don't know who was insulting last year or not. Certainly not me. The moment FL was announced as our opponent I sounded the most cautionary note with everyone I spoke to.
Why you might ask. They had the nations most dominating defense. When the bowl season comes around CHarles look for the teams with strong defenses and you will generally find the winner. Offense suffers from the layoff...51 days for us.
2006 Ohio State was an offense first and foremost. Their d was good to very good but we were 12-0 because we could score and score in bunches.
Florida did to us what we did to Miami in 02. Our d was #1 in cf that year and the layoff left Dorsey & Co out of sorts.
This is another reason why there should be a playoff. THe layoffs are not good for offensive teams.
Posted: 8:13 PM   by SEC_Rules
Well well well LSU is still #1 (no surprise there) sitting at the top and just waiting on whichever patsy team comes to play them in the NC game. I really hope it is a Little Ten team who went 2-6 in last years bowls while the mighty SEC went 6-3.

All you wannabes keep drinking the kool-aid cause it is almost hammer time. Remember what happened to Oh-hum State last year? Well it is going to be worse this year!

Posted: 8:13 PM   by SEC_Rules
Well well well LSU is still #1 (no surprise there) sitting at the top and just waiting on whichever patsy team comes to play them in the NC game. I really hope it is a Little Ten team who went 2-6 in last years bowls while the mighty SEC went 6-3.

All you wannabes keep drinking the kool-aid cause it is almost hammer time. Remember what happened to Oh-hum State last year? Well it is going to be worse this year!

Posted: 8:21 PM   by Charles
for buckeyeboy9 -If the 51 days off were so important then I don't understand why you are touting your glory now. You are again asking for misery. Pac Ten teams play two more games, as do all those confs with a title game. The only hope for OSU, if what you say is true, is that they reach the NC game against WV.
What you say about Fla's defense was true. Add to that they lost their best defensive player late in the season.
As for insults you called a blogger a dumbass. I guess you are used to that and don't see it as insulting. To each his own.
Posted: 8:23 PM   by Chad
Count me as one of the few who thinks they should stop keeping score at individual games. Remove the end zones and goal posts, and just have the esteemed media vote on who they think played better. Maybe they can even watch a quarter before casting their ballots. Or better yet, screw the games, man! Just vote based on favorite colors and alma maters. The whole game thing is a giant waste of time anyway.
Posted: 8:29 PM   by Buckeyeboy9
yea he was a dumbass. Read his post. It is filled with innaccuarcies. Ohio State played @ Michigan not in Columbus. As for anyone who saw the game (he obviously did not) they would have known that weather played a huge role in the score of the game.
His statements about our common opponent were also factually misleading.
So yea he is a dumbass. As for insulting what do you call this:

"...It's a sure sign that Big Ten miseries have left you in need of serious counseling. Good luck.

6:59 PM

That is your posting to Dink.
Posted: 8:38 PM   by Charles
For buckeyeboy9 - Please review previous comments by Dink. If you do I think you will agree with me that he has been consuming too much of the post toasties that only he knows how to flavor. If you still think my suggestion that he seek counseling lacks sincerity then I will offer apologies. What about you and Steve? In my view he was just praising his own team. If he was overzealous remember that ASU has not been in this position very often. OSU has, but instead of feeling good and sticking to the facts about their success as a program, and they have been most successful, you sling mud.
Posted: 8:47 PM   by Buckeyeboy9
Calling someone a dumbass and calling someone "crazy" or whatever someone is when he/she needs counseling is the same thing. I guess I am just a little more direct than you. But I have no tolerance for folks who ignore FACTS.
If you want to get off the namecalling stuff, I would be interested in hearing what you think of the SEC/Big 10 match ups this year. Everyone is clammoring for Illinois and FL to square off.
Have you seen Illinois play?
What is the other likely match up, I have heard Tennesee/Michigan. Personally I think Wisconsin should represent us as Michigan is just abysmal.
Posted: 9:02 PM   by Jennifer
For Charles - I meant leaving the state or region, not driving a few hours on a bus for an away game. Ohio State went to Washington this year, to Texas last year, had Texas at home the year before, and (I'll get the exact years wrong) but in very recent memory have traveled to NC State, Miami, and UCLA. Next year they play at USC. I fully acknowledge that this year's OOC was weak. But it's not like they are actively ducking tougher competition. I think most OSU fans think an ideal OOC would be one strong team (Texas, USC) one lower team from a BCS conference (Mississippi, Stanford) and one MAC team. Trust me, no one was happy having to pay to see Youngstown State, Akron, and Kent State in the same year.
Posted: 9:05 PM   by Charles
for buckeyeboy9 - I would love to discuss potential Big Ten/SEC bowl matches, but since both confs have gone out of their way to schedule powderpuffs I don't see that we have many facts to go on.
For most of the season I have expressed the fact that the bulk of SEC teams have been ranked during any one week, and that the Big Ten has been fortunate to have two ranked teams. I thought it curious to read that if OSU gets the NC bid that no Big Ten might qualify for the Rose Bowl to replace them. Did you know that?
What I have been reduced to is projecting how teams might do based upon their best games, and what consistency they have shown. But where do you start? IF LSU merits being #1, I said IF, then I look at the Fla result at LSU as evidence that Fla is not far behind (at their best). LSU came out of that game beat up and lost to a weaker Kent the next week. So I think Fla has a good chance to beat any Big Ten team. I see GA maybe staying with OSU, but holding its own against the rest. I think of S. Car, Kent, & Aub as having a good chance to finish in the upper half of the Big Ten standings(not the top), but would not make that claim for Miss St, Alab or Tenn.
There, I have no real facts except the voting. What do you think?
Posted: 9:17 PM   by Charles
Jennifer - I agree with most everything you said. I think the voting should favor teams that play two BCS non-conf games who show merit in those games as opposed to teams that play only one. If you haven't just eaten take a look at the LSU non-conf schedule next year. Pathetic and I hope it comes back to haunt them, just as it did Auburn a few years ago.
I think OSU losing to Texas two years ago should not necessarily have placed them below a team with one less defeat. It was not a bad loss. But the Texas loss to OSU last year left something to be desired. I realize that this is highly subjective, but if we publish criteria and expect voters to fall in line it can be accomplished.
The problem is that playing Nebr, ND and Ark last year as non-conf games can drag a team down. I believe that was a factor in the USC losses later in the season. Unless all teams get in line schedules will not be modified, unless voters ignore those who line up the powderpuffs. The real problem is that Hawaii has done nothing in the way of quality wins to earn a place in the Top 25, and Kansas has done almost nothing. When I was growing up someone who scheduled Cent Mich, Toledo, SE La, and FIU would be called a bully. Now we want to call them champions.
Posted: 9:22 PM   by JCsuperstar
This website proposes a 16 game playoff. Each D1 conference champ is in as well as 5 at-large teams. Notice that ND is not guaranteed anything just because of NBC contract, fan base, or tradition like they are in the BCS.

How amazing would it be to have Mizzou v. OSU and WVU v. ASU in quarterfinal games (as well as KU v. UGA and LSU v. Va Tech)? Then we can know which team deserves to be in a Nt. Champ game.

Posted: 9:24 PM   by Jennifer
The thing that's getting really ridiculous about conference strength and the BCS is that it's getting purely political. It's all based on perception which is based on who yells the loudest and longest. SEC fans think the fact Florida destroyed OSU proves the SEC is better and the two other bowl losses to the Big 10 are meaningless. Big 10 fans think the fact they won 2 of 3 is more meaningful than the fact that the Big 10's conference champ was plastered by the SEC champ.

But I think we can ALL agree that the Big East is a joke and that West Virginia would finish 5 or 6 in the SEC and 3 or 4 in the Big 10.
Posted: 9:31 PM   by Jennifer
Remember when Cal was in the hunt for the BCS title earlier in the year??
Posted: 9:32 PM   by Charles
Jennifer - I do not discount the fact that #4 and #5 SEC teams lost to Big Ten teams in bowls. I agree that Fla over OSU is just one impressive result that can speak to NOTHING about conf strength. It's just one game.
What I see is that the three best SEC teams dominated their opponents in the bowls and the rest went 2 - 2. The best two Big Ten teams were dominated and the rest split their games I believe.
Now if the three top Big Ten teams dominate their foes in the coming bowl season, and 4 others go 2 - 2, don't tell me you won't be using that as evidence of Big Ten superiority. And if I pop up to say wait a minute, you know those two games your conf lost were to Tenn & S. Car. That means the SEC is better you would get a good laugh right?
Posted: 9:34 PM   by Buckeyeboy9
Watched way to much cf this year. Particularly SEC. I think i have seen LSU play at least 4 games from start to finish. Watched every minute of Auburn/SFL, Auburn/FL, AL/Ark and have seen many parts of many other games that were aired on Sat night.
My take is that the SEC is the deepest conf in the country. I don't know if they are the best but they certainly are deep. I think LSU is the most talented team in the country. I don't know if they are clearly the best, but I think the NFL will take more talent in off that squad than any other in cf.
Bowl games are all about match ups. As you know if you played the game or if you study the game, the biggest falacy is the daisy chain argument that team A beat team B; team B beat team C, ergo team A is better than team C. How many times have we seen that get blown to bits this year.
Its all about match ups. Like I said earlier, I was one Buckeye who did not like the match up last year and said so to everyone i jawed with right up to the game. The match up heavily favored Florida because of their smothering defense and because Ohio State's offense was gonna take 50+ days off. I for one think the result would have been the same regardless of whether Ted Ginn played the game or not. FL was on a mission, Ohio State was heading to their "coronation".
I would have rather played USC as we matched up much better against them.
2007 Bowl Match-ups:
Capital One: ILL/Fl. Great match up between two offensive minded teams. Team that takes care of the ball (and has the ball last) wins. Kind of like the TX/USC NC game two years ago. SEC fans will be stunned at the speed of Illinois and the weapons they have. As the year played out they kept getting better and better. The opening game of the year was against Missouri and if there was three more minutes in the game they would have won. Look at the box score when you have a chance. Juice Williams was knocked out in the 1st quarter and they played with McGee the whole way. They are all coming back and should challenge Ohio State for the B10 next year. Zook also has and is landing another stellar class of recruits.
Outback Bowl: Wisconsin/Tenn Flip a coin. You might send GA instead of Tenn in which case SEC will prevail. Knowshon Moreno and PJ Hill would provide a entertaining ground game.
Once all the bowl games play out I want to see all the haters come back here (with their same names) and take it like a man.
I have a feeling that the Big Ten is going to fool some folks.
Posted: 9:53 PM   by Charles
For buckeyeboy9 - I have been saying for several weeks that Illinois has improved and that the Missou win should be viewed in that context. I don't see it as a win that certifies anything for Missou.
Flip a coin with Tenn/Wisc if you like but if I was forced to put money on it I would pick Wisc. This is one of those rare cases where I agree it is significant to note that Wisc has found a way to win (even though the troubles were often of their own doing). Going into that game as a true SEC fan I would be praying that Tenn did not wet its pants. GA is much like Illinois and seems to be improving. I would switch sides in that case, but hope no one would want me to put big money on GA.
That's the problem. Wisc has not really been tested by its ooc games. I think it had a lackadaisical attitude towards weak opponents to start the season and had to scramble. Instead of building confidence I think the ooc schedule shook Wisc a bit and they are now getting closer to pre-season expectations.
Fla/Ill would be one heck of a match given the coaching history. If Ill could beat Fla I would very humbly eat whatever crow you toss my way. And you would hear zero about OSU or the past. You would only hear me say wait until next year.
Posted: 10:49 PM   by Red Bird
SO Illinois has gotten better? Good grief Charles. Help yourself to a bowl of rationalizations. Don't forget that any set of facts can be twisted to fit your needs.

Why do you think Illinois has gotten better? Because if they haven't then it suggests rather strongly that Missouri is a better team the OSU. And if that makes it harder to dismiss MU doesn't it.
Posted: 10:56 PM   by Red Bird
it is interesting how people here will go to almost any extreme to justify an opinion.

Well, XCU beat FU and FU beat SS and since SSC plays in the WAF that proves that the SEC is a better conference than the WAF. So even though CCU has a better record than DFU, DFU is more deserving because as I've just proven the SEC is better than the WAF.
Posted: 11:00 PM   by Red Bird
It's also plain that DFU is better than GLU because DFU plays in the powerfull WAF and even though GLU beat the piss out of CBU and CBU beat DFU that GLU victory over CBU was in the first week of the season and doesn't count because they're not as good now.
Posted: 11:04 PM   by Larry
Wow...some serious smack talk on here this weekend...guess we're getting close to the end and emotions are running high, huh? Better pace yourself, folks...you don't want to run out of air too quickly.

For those of you who post regularly and have interesting posts (e.g., Charles), thanks. I don't always agree and sometimes I think you're COMPLETELY out to lunch, but NONE of us here including me are experts and everybody's got an opinion. Unfortunately, we get some people like "doneagain" that try to be antagonistic in a grade-school kind of way, but come off as...well...stupid. Oh well...

My big question is how many serious smack talkers will be here after the bowl games? I'll be here, I know Charles will be here, and some others, to talk amicably and admit if we were wrong. My statement right now is that the Big 10 is going to surprise people this year...we're better than most of you think, and I believe your coaches will feel the same way. You think ANY coach is going to underestimate OSU, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Penn State, etc.? Nope. And what you seem to not realize is that last year was last year, and our teams have something to prove this year. There is talent in ALL the conferences (Doneagain's idiotic statements to the contrary) and the differentiator this year is going to be HEART. Bottom line is we're in for some really interesting bowl games this year!
Posted: 11:12 PM   by Red Bird
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 11:18 PM   by Larry

Great point about the critical nature of the actual "matchup" between the teams themselves...something easily forgotten in the more "blustery" moments on these blogs. Illinois and Florida would be a REALLY neat game to watch, BTW. I've also watched a lot of SEC ball (and yeah, way too much CFB) and agree they're the deepest this year, and also that LSU is probably the most talented team this year, but everybody and I mean everybody is beatable...if there's ever been an "Any Given Saturday" year this is it, and trash talkers from ALL conferences should realize that.

With Dixon out, Tebow seems the obvious Heisman choice if for no other reason than to think about where they'd be without him, and of course he's also a REALLY talented player, and seemingly a good person as well.
Posted: 11:39 PM   by gatorchomp
>>>OSU would have major problems against WVU. In a face to face match up, WVU would win. Why?

Now that the nation witnessed WVU holding off that perennial powerhouse Cincinnati by all of 5 points I am sure that everyone agrees. Now, if only WVU can get by the UConn and Pitt juggernauts they'll have any easy time with LSU. How could LSU possibly compete with a battled-hardened team that had to fight its way through Western Michigan, Marshall, Maryland, East Carolina, South Florida, Mississippi State, Rutgers, and Louisville? At this point I'd have to say that WVU is the best team in the history of college football. Fold your tents now, the BCS NC was determined on the field in Cincinnati last night.
Posted: 12:03 AM   by bgault
People...my head hurts...so I'm going to break it down really easily for you...

All sports, college football included, are about matchups. Now, as any good scientist knows, statistics can be manipulated to say whatever we want them to. I believe it was another poster who already said that Big Ten people love 2-1 while SEC people love 44-10. Anyway, my point is this --

To say that Team A would kill Team B come bowl time means nothing. And to say that beating said team at bowl time proves conference superiority also means nothing. Most midwesterners are sick and tired of hearing how great the "speed" conferences are when compared to other conferences. Ummm...that speed is negated in snow, so you can't really build a team solely for speed in Michigan or Ohio or Pennsylvania. Which leads to my point about matchups...

Would OSU beat UF outdoors, in January, in Columbus (or some other neutral northern site)...we'll never know, because except for the Motor City Bowl, I don't know of a single bowl played in the north. This is of course due to weather, TV, and the almighty dollar...but come on...do you really believe that winning a "home" game, as a lot of these bowls are for west coast and southern teams are proves you have the bigger balls?

A lot of posters use NFL draft statistics to prove superiority, and I suppose that's a good indication of whether you're turning out NFL product...but it doesn't mean you have a better team.

So, while trying to make good TV to make money for the bowls...you sometimes get some bad matchups, which make for non-competitive games. Do you REALLY, truly believe that Bama is worse than LA-Monroe, or UM worse than App State? If you answered yes to either, you're fooling yourselves...And don't forget -- all those people who raved how the SEC (read: LSU) beat up on ND in last year's bowl game...who whipped them the year before? Oh yeah, that's right...a Big Ten team.

So, can we PLEASE cut this "my dad has a bigger penis than your dad" crap out and enjoy the most competitive season college football has EVER seen?
Posted: 12:17 AM   by gatorchomp
>>>So, can we PLEASE cut this "my dad has a bigger penis than your dad" crap out

Hell, we can't do that! The blog would die.
Posted: 12:24 AM   by bgault
gatorchomp said...
">>>So, can we PLEASE cut this "my dad has a bigger penis than your dad" crap out

Hell, we can't do that! The blog would die.

12:17 AM"

I think that's one of the most intelligent things I've seen posted all night. :-)
Posted: 12:29 AM   by gatorchomp
Amazing what we produce when we sharpen our intellectual pencils!
Posted: 9:17 PM   by Dan in SC
Undeniable Facts:

- The Big Can't Count Confernce (BCCC), also know as the Big 10, is booooooorrrrrrinnnggggg.
- No one outside the MidWest gives a crap about the BCCC.
- The BCCC is soooo weak, and is only a shadow of it's former self.
- The Big East would easily win any round robin schedule with the BCCC.
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