Friday, December 22, 2006

The Lose-Lose Situation For The Oklahoma Sooners

The Lose-Lose Situation For The Oklahoma Sooners

Take a glance back at the 2006 season for the Oklahoma Sooners. The bad call on the field when the Sooners played the Oregon Ducks. Then, they lost to the Texas Longhorns. The season was done. There was no way Oklahoma could climb back into the Big 12 title race. Texas was a sure lock to go and represent the Big 12 South and win the Big 12. Well, not quite. What happened to Texas? Kansas State and Texas A&M is what happened to Texas. The Sooners were back in the Big 12 championship game. They won it by beating the Big 12 North champ Nebraska Cornhuskers. O.K. Enough of the recap. So, what awaits the Sooners?

Fan #1 is a huge Oklahoma Sooners fan. Fan #2 is just some college football fan that knows everything about the game. Well, almost everything.

Fan#1: Oklahoma gets a BCS bowl bid. They will play the Boise State Broncos in the Fiesta Bowl.

Fan #2: What’s wrong with that? Boise State has a 12 – 0 undefeated record. The Broncos have a good/great running back in Ian Johnson, and the quarterback, Jared Zabransky ain’t too bad either.

Fan #1: Well, its just Boise State.

Fan #2: Like I said, what’s wrong with that? The Broncos beat a good Oregon State team. They also beat a good Hawaii team, and Hawaii has that stud QB.

Fan #1: Still just Boise State.

Fan #2: You got to give them Broncos some kind of credit.

Fan #1: I ain’t got to give them nothing. If my Sooners beat the Broncos by one or by fifty, what will be said about the Sooners? People will say that the Sooners needed to beat a real team. If my Sooners lose by one or by fifty, people will say, “Man, Oklahoma surely sucks”. It doesn’t matter; it is a lose-lose deal for the Sooners.

Fan #2: What are you saying, man?

Fan#1: I am saying that we beat Nebraska in the Big 12 title game. We play Boise State in the bowl game and will get no props for beating them. Nebraska loses the Big 12 champs game and plays Auburn. If the Huskers beat Auburn, Big 12 folks will praise them up one side and down the other. Boise State ain’t in the BCS, and they shouldn’t be in a BCS bowl game.

Fan #2: You’re saying that Oklahoma will suffer if Boise State wins or loses.

Fan #1: You got it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Boston College Eagles

The Boston College Eagles

Better Than You Expect

Mention the Boston College Eagles and one thing comes to mind. The 1984 game against the Miami Hurricanes. The Eagles needed a touchdown to win the game. A few seconds left on the clock. Flutie takes the snap, scrambles around, and tosses a very long pass into the end zone. Some guy caught the ball. A player from BC hauled in the pass that would be labeled “Hail Mary”. Gerard Phelan caught the game winning touchdown pass. The BC Eagles stun the Miami Hurricanes 47 – 45. Yes, mention college football in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts and this is what you will hear about. Wait, there is more to Boston College than that.

What is the easiest way to reach a bowl game at the end of the season? Schedule some cupcake team from the division 1AA level of course. It is a victory nearly 100% of the time. Besides the games against division 1AA team Maine in 2006 and Massachusetts in 2004, the last time the Eagles played a division 1AA opponent was before the 1990’s. There are very few teams that can lay claim to that. The last bowl game loss the Eagles encountered was in 1999. From 2000 until the present, Boston College has beaten bowl teams from the PAC 10, ACC (when BC was a Big East member), and the SEC along with a list of victories over mid-major teams.

Don’t forget about the BC Eagles being Big East co-conference champs in 2004. They were in the race for the ACC crown in 2005 and 2006. They have 52 wins in the last 6 seasons. If that last stat doesn’t seem that impressive, please check it out. There are only 13 BCS teams that have accomplished this, and BC is one of them. Do you think Cal and Florida State have completed this task? How about Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, West Virginia, and Oregon? No. None of those teams make the list. We are talking about earning a little over 8.5 wins a season.

Look up the phrase "underrated BCS team" and the Boston College Eagles will be right beside the definition.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The BCS National Championship Game

The BCS National Championship Game

The Best Game Of The Bowl Season?

During the preseason, you make your predictions on the two teams that will face each other in the national championship game. You try to make yourself look like a college football guru. Outsmarting the media, the analysts, and the other college football geniuses are the goals you have set. Then, each week passes by, and the big game gets closer and closer. You can’t wait until the BCS national championship. The top two NCAA football teams in the country are going to square off. Well, the top two teams according to a bunch of polls and computer data. What? No playoff. Please don’t get me started.

The national championship game has just started… and it has just ended. Team A beat Team B something like 31 – 14, or maybe it was 28 – 6, or 45 – 18. Those scores hardly represent a good close battle between #1 and #2. It’s hard to believe, but that is what the outcome of the BCS national title game has looked like more times than I like. You remember the year that Miami killed Nebraska in the Rose Bowl. How can we forget the pasting that the Sooners received from the Trojans? I caught up on some much needed sleep the year that Oklahoma played Florida State in the Orange Bowl. When I awoke, I realized that I didn’t miss much with the final score being Oklahoma Sooners 13 and Florida State Seminoles 2. College football fans would love to have the exciting BCS champs games we witnessed when Texas defeated Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl in January 2006. A game like the multiple overtime thriller between Miami and Ohio State would also raise any college football fans’ blood pressure. The question I have is why can’t each BCS championship game live up to the hype?

Is it because of the long lay-off? Yes, I know that teams practice and study film on the upcoming opponent. But they don’t take part in a real game for close to 40 or 50 days. This type of break has to have a physical and mental effect on both teams.

Are the participating teams really the best two teams in the country? Well, the polls say so. The media says so. The computers say so. The coaches that voted say so. So, it must be true. Some of this information shows that Team “X” is .0425 ahead of Team “Y”. Team “Z” has been ranked #1 all season long, is undefeated, and plays in a BCS conference. These factors mean that Team “Z” is the best in the country. We have incorporated a system that relies on decimal points to pair up the two teams that will play in the division 1A college football championship game. All of the money that this sport brings in, and that is the best the NCAA reps can do. A team depends on some formula to place them in the big game.

Could the following parts make up some sort of solution? Part #1) No matter what, there should be NO preseason polls. Well, ones that don’t matter anyway. Some will argue that this was the reason Auburn got snubbed in 2004 after going undefeated and playing in the toughest conference in college football. They started too far down in the preseason polls. Is it fair for the Tigers to be blamed for this? Auburn didn’t rank themselves in the preseason #16 spot or whatever it was. Part #2) Games against division 1AA opponents should not count at all. Some rule exists where teams can count a win against a division 1AA opponent towards bowl eligibility every four years. Get rid of this rule and stop playing division 1AA teams. If it is not gotten rid of, then the division 1A team should receive a huge penalty in the standings. If teams were penalized a lot for playing division 1AA teams a few years ago, Auburn would have no argument in the 2004 BCS title game discussion. Part #3) Take the “whole” season into consideration. Don’t just look at the unexpected loss at the beginning of the season or the great win at the end. I know the BCS says it measures the entire season, but does it really? How can a two-loss Southern Cal team be ranked fifth in the BCS standings? The Trojans lost to two unranked teams. The Trojans beat some good opponents during the 2006 season. Were these teams just good and not great? Take a look at what Southern Cal’s opponents did this season. I mean, Arkansas and Nebraska lost their last game of the season. Name one quality team that Notre Dame beat this year. Cal and Oregon went in the tank also. Then, you have to consider the fact that Southern Cal lost their last game of the season to an unranked UCLA team. I always heard that a late loss hurts a team worse in the standings. It didn’t seem to hurt the Trojans too much. Who’s to say that LSU isn’t the best team right now? Take a look at the number one team, Ohio State. What did the Buckeyes do to earn that spot before the season even started? What did Wake Forest do to earn a spot out of the top 25, maybe even the top 50, in the preseason? Wait until a few games have been played and then rank the teams. Part #4) The college football season should end on the same day for each and every team. Remember the old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Is it possible to say that is what happened to Michigan this season? How did Michigan drop in the polls by not even playing a single game after the showdown with Ohio State? Florida, Southern Cal, and a few other teams played for two more weeks. It would only be fair to have each team end its season on the same day. Part #5) Judge what the team has done on the field. Rank each team on what it did. Wins and defeating teams with good records should mean a lot. Losses, losing to teams with bad records, and playing division 1AA teams and division 1A bottom-feeders should mean a lot also. It should mean a lot of negative points when figuring their spot in the polls.

A better game could take place if these things were considered when matching up the two teams to play in the BCS national championship game. I never mentioned the word "playoff". There will probably never be one. Many fans forget that the sole purpose of the BCS is to put #1 vs. #2 in a national title game. That's it. But has the BCS really done this every year?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The National CFB Top 25 Poll

I have created my own division 1A college football poll. This poll does not contain any coach or media bias. There is no percent of polls that count this way or that way. There are no computers to spit out unrelated information. Besides, when was the last time a computer watched a college football game?

However, this poll is a reflection of the entire season. This poll actually shows what a team has done (or not done) on the field. Isn't that where it counts?

The National CFB Poll is a system that awards points for wins, winning percentage, defeating quality teams, defeating elite teams, and a team not scheduling any division 1AA opponents. It also awards negative points for losses, scheduling and losing to division 1AA opponents.

The 2006 regular college football season is complete and the poll is shown below.

2006 National CFB Top 25 Poll

1. Ohio State (12-0) 62.50
2. Florida (12-1) 60.23
3. Michigan (11-1) 55.17
4. Southern Cal (10-2) 54.33
5. Louisville (11-1) 51.67
6. Oklahoma (11-2) 50.46
7. Notre Dame (10-2) 48.83
8. Boise State (12-0) 48.00
9. Wake Forest (11-2) 45.46
10. LSU (10-2) 44.84
11. Auburn (10-2) 44.83
12. Wisconsin (11-1) 43.17
13. Rutgers (10-2) 40.83
14. Virginia Tech (10-2) 39.84
15. West Virginia (10-2) 39.83
16. Tennessee (9-3) 39.50
17. Arkansas (10-3) 36.19
18. Boston College (9-3) 35.50
19. BYU (10-2) 35.33
20. Texas (9-3) 33.00
21. California (9-3) 32.00
22. Oregon State (9-4) 31.92
23. Texas A&M (9-3) 31.50
24. Hawaii (10-3) 30.69
25. TCU (10-2) 30.33

The Great College Football Debate: The BCS vs. A Playoff

The Great College Football Debate: The BCS vs. A Playoff

Go ahead and check it out. View any message board, newspaper article, blog, etc. and the biggest topic is a playoff for college football. Yes, we have heard it all before, the BCS sucks. It is wrong. It should be settled on the field. The arguments are more present now than ever. The whole Michigan/Florida who is number two debate is causing chaos. Then, you hear other fans saying that the BCS is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. All of the factors that have been tweaked year in and year out make up the BCS. The AP poll backs out one year, and the Harris Poll comes in. New BCS bowls are created to include the mid-majors. The BCS got it right in some seasons. But the seasons that the BCS got it right, the ordinary fan could have gotten the national championship right. The Southern Cal/Texas Rose Bowl game last season was a no-brainer. It did not take a nuclear physicist to create the Miami/Ohio State Fiesta bowl a few years ago. Yeah, which fan would have had trouble with coming up those match-ups? So, a playoff would change all of this? Well, yes it would.

So, we can argue the many facts and points against the BCS. Okay. Well, let’s get started.

Argument #1: It is called the Bowl Championship Series. The keyword there is “Series”. As it stands now, I do not see any “series” predicting one specific champion. Where is the true series that will give the NCAA division 1A football champ? What is the Bowl Championship Series? It is a series of bowls that makes a handful of schools a lot of money. The BCS also provides with a list of champions. Does it really matter if a team is Sugar Bowl champs if the national title is not played in the Sugar Bowl? To be honest, it says more to be conference champs than a bowl champ unless it is the national title game.

Argument #2: The BCS looks at the whole season, right? Or so they say. For example, a team loses the first game of the season due to injuries, tragedy, etc. Where does a team stand at the end of the season? The outside looking in is where they stand. What if that team shows great improvement during the rest of the season? What about the “whole” season that Wisconsin had? Some teams play cupcakes the first game of the season. Check out what Florida State and Miami have done the last couple of years. That was their first game of the season. More than likely, whichever team loses is out of the national title hunt.

Argument #3: The BCS could have been in real trouble for the 2006 season. I know it did not happen, but it was very close. What am I talking about? The very big BCS mess that could have occurred would have been a big topic. What if West Virginia would have gone undefeated? What if Florida, with that brutal schedule, had only one loss like they did? Then, Ohio State is undefeated. What about Boise State? They are undefeated. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the Wisconsin Badgers. They had only one loss to a very, very good team. Wait, where have I heard that before? Does 42 – 39 in Columbus, Ohio ring a bell? Correct. Michigan has only one loss. I know it is a bunch of what-ifs. If these events were true, what would the BCS have done with Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Boise State? Let the top two teams play it out. There could be arguments made about that statement. Now, what happens when each team has a loss going into bowl season? What other conflicts will arise when events like this “what-if” scenario occur?

Argument #4: First a team has to win its conference. Talk all you want about the BCS and the rematch that should have happened. But is it right for a team to be crowned NCAA national champs without being the conference champ? It could have happened when Nebraska didn’t even play in their conference title game but got a bid in the Rose Bowl to play the Miami Hurricanes. Oklahoma gets run over in the Big 12 title game by Kansas State, and the Sooners still play Southern Cal for the title. Plain and simple, win your conference first.

Argument #5: We won’t totally trash the BCS. The factors that determine the standings can still be used. It will have to be for teams like Notre Dame and Boise State to get in. Remind me again, why they are so special. Oh, that’s right one is based on the media hype, and one is based on a decision made by Congress. Let the six champs from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC 10, and SEC in. Then, include two at-large bids based on the BCS standings.

Argument #6: The money and other bowls will still be there. Okay. The conference champs are a lock and the two at-large teams are in the playoff. What happens with the rest of the teams? Why can’t the conference champs runner-ups have bowl tie-ins? Take this season for example. Throw Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Arkansas, Nebraska, Cal, and Michigan in the mix and come up with some bowl games with these teams playing each other. The lower bowls could still happen. Done deal. If the bowls are still there, then so is the money.

Argument #7: The fussing will continue. Every time a playoff is mentioned, fans have the same reply. Some team will get left out. This system only takes each conference champ and the two at-large teams. That is it.

So, the deal is done. The playoff that college football fans want. The BCS can be content with it also. This type of system still uses the BCS factors and standing to a certain degree.