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29 Nov 2007

Seventh Day Adventure: Silly Season

by Russell Levine

Oh sure, there's still another week to play in what has been an outstanding, dramatic college football season. But many schools have already moved on -- to the "silly season" of coaching changes.

To analyze the mayhem, and to figure out whether obsessively tracking flights online qualifies me as SEC fan material, I'm pleased to welcome back Orson Swindle of EDSBS.com to this week's podcast.

Games? You want games? Yeah, we've go those too. To wit:

Army (+14) vs. Navy (at Baltimore), 12 p.m. ET, CBS

You won't see the triple-option executed any better than Navy runs it under Paul Johnson. The Middies can score in bunches, but their defense is weak. Army is much worse on paper, but is coming off one of its best offensive performances of the year.

No. 6 Virginia Tech (-5) vs. No. 11 Boston College (ACC Championship at Jacksonville), 1 p.m. ET, ABC

Virginia Tech dominated all but the last few minutes of the first meeting between these teams. Unfortunately, that brief letdown killed the Hokies' national-title hopes and ever-so-briefly elevated Boston College into title-game contention and quarterback Matt Ryan to the top of the Heisman chase.

The teams' fortunes have been divergent since then, with Boston College dropping a pair of games while Virginia Tech is playing its best football of the season. To the winner goes a berth in the Orange Bowl, unless something really crazy happens.

No. 14 Tennessee (+7.5) vs. No. 7 LSU (SEC Championship at Atlanta), 4 p.m. ET, CBS

While No. 1 LSU against surging Georgia in the SEC championship had game-of-the-year potential, two-loss LSU against ho-hum Tennessee was little of the same allure. Still, the SEC title game tends to produce entertaining, surprising games, but not always close ones.

The big story has shifted from LSU's national-championship hopes -- now gone thanks to a three-overtime loss to Arkansas -- to the future of Les Miles. Michigan has now received permission to talk to the LSU coach about its opening, and the fact that the request was made public indicates that this is much more than a courtesy interview. It's likely that the Wolverines would have had to wait until after the national title game for a formal interview had LSU won last week, and may have even gone in another direction, so those in the Les-is-more camp in Ann Arbor have to be pretty happy.

As for me, I've been waffling on Miles for more than a year. Last week was another thumbs-down performance. Still, if hired, he will inject some badly needed attitude and excitement into a program that has become too staid.

UCLA (+20) at No. 8 USC, 4:30 p.m. ET, ABC

There's much less at stake this year for these cross-town rivals. Last year, USC was stunned by the Bruins in a result cheered by the masses in the Georgia Dome restrooms. The Trojans were forced to accept a Rose Bowl bid as a consolation prize rather than playing for the national title.

This time around, the Rose Bowl is the prize, and incredibly, UCLA remains alive despite a 6-5 record. If the Bruins win, and Arizona upsets Arizona State, UCLA wins the conference on a tie-breaker.

People were quick to proclaim the end of the USC era when they lost to Stanford earlier this year, but they overlooked the fact that the Trojans were battling injuries for much of the season. They're getting healthy, and looked every bit of a perennial power in dismantling Arizona State on Thanksgiving night.

Pittsburgh (+28) at No. 2 West Virginia, 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

Let's see. West Virginia is:

  • playing at home;
  • playing at night;
  • playing for a spot in the national title game;
  • a four-touchdown favorite over a bitter rival;
  • coming off its best performance of the year.

Suffice it to say that the Morgantown fire squad has its couch-extinguishing teams at the ready.

Arizona (+7) at No. 13 Arizona State, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2

When we last saw Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter, he was bleeding from the mouth after absorbing a savage beating from USC in a game in which the Sun Devils lost control of the Pac-10 race.

Now a promising season threatens to come undone if Arizona State can't rally emotionally and physically against pesky Arizona -- a team that has a little experience in pulling off upsets this year.

Arizona State will likely know the result of the USC-UCLA game by the time this game kicks off. A USC win could further deplete Arizona State's motivation for this rivalry game.

No. 9 Oklahoma (-3) vs. No. 1 Missouri (Big 12 Championship at San Antonio), 8 p.m. ET, ABC

The SEC has certainly been the nation's most exciting, dramatic conference, producing thrilling finishes seemingly every week. But for sheer excitement, the Big 12 isn't far behind, especially if you love offensive football.

There was nothing offensive about quarterback Chase Daniel's performance against Kansas last week. You can search far and wide for a better outing in a big game than Daniel's 40-of-49, 361-yard, three-touchdown day, but good luck finding one. Another such outing could be enough to edge Florida's Tim Tebow off the Heisman perch he currently occupies.

Another such day will probably also send No. 1 Missouri to the national championship game. A Missouri-West Virginia title match might not be the most traditional of pairings, but it would certainly be entertaining -- as should this game. Oklahoma's Sam Bradford can also fill the air with footballs and the Sooners beat Missouri by 10 in their first meeting of the year.

Washington (+14) at No. 12 Hawaii, 11:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

This game should serve as a three-hour (all right, four-hour, given June Jones's favored no-run offense) coronation for Hawaii before what is expected to be a rowdy, sold-out crowd at Aloha Stadium. A win all but guarantees a trip to the Sugar Bowl for the Warriors.

Weak schedule or no, it is impossible to overstate the job Jones has done at Hawaii. He inherited a team that had gone 0-12 in 1998, with fan apathy, poor facilities and a limited budget. That he has managed to build a WAC powerhouse at a school that sits a five-hour flight from its nearest rival is an amazing success story.

The Washington team Hawaii faces in this game looks little like the squad that started 2-0 with an upset of Boise State thrown in. They've gone 2-8 since, and quarterback Jake Locker is beaten up from a year-long pounding. If Hawaii's defensive effort against Boise last week is any indication, this could be another long, painful night for the Huskies. Hawaii fields a surprisingly fast, physical defense at what is thought to be a finesse school.

This is also the final home game for Colt Brennan, who has become an adopted son in the islands, and he and the crowd should be able to propel the Warriors to finish off their unbeaten year.


The SDA Podcast

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Orson Says Russell Says
Army +14 Navy Navy Army
Virginia Tech -5 Boston College Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Tennessee +7.5 LSU LSU LSU
UCLA +20 USC UCLA UCLA
Pittsburgh +28 West Virginia West Virginia* West Virginia
Arizona +7 Arizona State Arizona Arizona
Oklahoma -3 Missouri Missouri Oklahoma
Washington +14 Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii*
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Guest: Bruce 4-4-0 (0-0-0)    
Guests Composite     49-50-5 (2-9-1)
Russell 6-2-0 (0-1-0) 47-52-5 (6-5-2)

Posted by: Russell Levine on 29 Nov 2007

260 comments, Last at 04 Dec 2007, 1:34pm by JDog

Comments

1
by Fourth (not verified) :: Thu, 11/29/2007 - 10:32pm

You gotta love Orson, man can talk. A lot of consensus this week, I guess we should worry. I like Oklahoma over Mizzou too...not sure how much of that is straight up bias though.

Les Miles is really going to be Michigan's coach. Crazy. Mad even. The rivalry with OSU is about to get more interesting I think. Also...who will LSU hire? There's the Spurrier rumor but I don't think it fits. Who else?

2
by Fourth (not verified) :: Thu, 11/29/2007 - 10:58pm

Oh and if you really want to make (fake) money this week, take Army, VT, LSU, USC, Pitt, ASU, Oklahoma, and Washington.

3
by Gerry (not verified) :: Thu, 11/29/2007 - 11:02pm

I wonder if June Jones might like coaching in the SEC.

4
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 11/29/2007 - 11:15pm

Jack Del Rio to LSU rumors are around if Miles does leave.

5
by Fourth (not verified) :: Thu, 11/29/2007 - 11:23pm

Wouldn't Del Rio have to quit before the nfl season is over so he could recruit? And with the Jags going to the playoffs...that just doesn't seem likely.

6
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 11/29/2007 - 11:35pm

LSU can recruit by itself, everyone in that state wants to stay there, it is not rocket science (or whatever anti-Saban stories I hear)-they can just name Crowton interim head coach.

the past two hires have been coaches with some NFL coaching background coaching in a state where they are considered the "little brother" and have had success there....so Mike Riley I guess.

7
by Joe (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 12:20am

I was watching the Big Ten-ACC challenge last night and it occurred to me that it would be incredible if two conferences did a similar thing in football. How great would it be if 10 teams from the SEC played 10 teams from the Pac 10 on a Saturday in September?

I know it's not as easy logistically to set up football matchups as basketball and it would take 5 years to get the schedules cleared out, but if two conferences really wanted to do it, they could make it work.

8
by Fourth (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 12:41am

That would be so hot. It will never happen. Besides, too much risk that one or the other conference would be embarassed by only winning 1 game or something if all the breaks went one way.

9
by G_Man (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 2:21am

#8,

Like how the ACC always embarrasses the Big 10 in the Big 10-ACC challenge. Since it started like 8 years ago, I don't think the Big 10 has ever won it.

10
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 2:39am

Just so you know...

News stations around Arkansas are reporting in unison that Tuberville will accept Arkansas' offer to be head football coach of the Razorbacks. For the record, Tubby's agent denies it.

11
by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 2:49am

Unless there's a development out of Lincoln that I haven't heard about, expect Bo Pellini to be given the LSU job if Miles does leave -- he's held in higher regard than Les by many already -- which is a crock, but no one ever said Louisiana was a rational place, anyway.

12
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 2:54am

#11
I am not sure about that, LSU fans cannot stand Bo Pelini right now and go out of there way to cover for Les Miles down here, unless they just do that to me because I am an Alabama fan.

I saw the Tuberville to Arkansas rumors. I am sure he is telling everyone he is only leaving in a pine box.

Is the SEC the only conference this incestual?

13
by Fourth (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 3:00am

Re: 9
Except in Basketball, there's a postseason tournament and a shot at redemption, while in Football, that hypothetical losing conference is probably going to be left out of this 2 team playoff we have.

Re: 10
Who is more credible, the stations or the agent? Honest question.

14
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 3:02am

Tuberville's agent is Nick Saban's agent as well.....

15
by Fourth (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 3:14am

Well there you have it. Arkansas refuses to lay down for LSU/Aub/Bama, and the SEC continues to be an insane conference to try to win a championship in. Can't one of these high profile guys go to the ACC for once? Low hanging fruit and all that...

16
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 3:20am

Supposedly (and I say supposedly because who knows how true it is..) but it 6 million for a Tuberville buy out, already 3.5 million for the Nutt buy out, plus who knows what Tuberville's contract is going to look like, at any rate its nice to have Wal-Mart, Tyson food, and Jerry Jones around when you need some money

17
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 3:23am

7 I have thought that for a while. And if each conference had to play two other conferences, it would really really help rank the conferences.

B10 vs SEC BE
BE vs ACC P10
P10 vs BE B12

etc.

18
by Jon (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 4:06am

Tonight capped off an extremely disappointing year for Rutgers. There's not much one can do except hope that some more bounces go their way next year.

19
by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 4:26am

Unless there’s a development out of Lincoln that I haven’t heard about, expect Bo Pellini to be given the LSU job if Miles does leave — he’s held in higher regard than Les by many already — which is a crock, but no one ever said Louisiana was a rational place, anyway.

As a non-LSU fan who nevertheless lives in the greater New Orleans area, you can forget about Pelini getting the LSU job if (more like when) Miles leaves.

LSU fans were big on him for a while, but their relationship has definitely soured with him given the relative struggles their defense has had in the past couple of months. Particularly, they've really been upset the past couple of weeks. No one was happy about giving up 400+ yards to an impotent Ole Miss offense, and then people were really irate when they allowed Arkansas to run all over them. And in the three overtime periods, they allowed three touchdowns and a successful two-point conversion, not to mention allowing Casey Dick to convert a 4th and 10. They aren't happy one bit about it, and I cannot blame them one bit.

At this point, no one would be particularly upset if he left for Nebraska, so they certainly aren't promoting him to be the next head coach.

Moreover, as attractive of an opening as LSU will bring, there is no reason why they should be hiring someone with no head coaching experience whatsoever. That would be a major mistake on their part if they have to resort to that.

20
by GatorGriff (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 1:11pm

ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago reported last night that Arkansas is "going hard after Ron Zook." It should be noted that the person who reported this not a news guy, but rather, one of their talking heads. He said his source has proved to be very credible in the past on similar personnel issues. I think his source is someone with close ties to Illinois (or is in fact on the inside of the Illini program).

No idea if there is any truth to this...just thought I'd throw it out there.

21
by Dennis (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 2:55pm

#15: Can’t one of these high profile guys go to the ACC for once? Low hanging fruit and all that…

I'm sure the jobs in the SEC pay better than the ACC, and they are higher profile. The ACC (aside from Florida State and Miami) is a basketball conference and football is second fiddle.

22
by Chris M (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 2:59pm

18: You do realize how awesome it was that Rutgers had expectations that could be dissappointed, right?

I think they're in good position to be successful for a while - they'll have up seasons and down seasons, but they're a legit player now in a way they hadn't been in decades, which is pretty cool.

23
by Dave Glass (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 4:13pm

flightaware.com rocks :) I don't use it to track possible coach recruitments, but as a pilot it's great for tracking friends and family.

24
by MRH (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 5:03pm

Re #21 - add VA Tech to the football schools in the basketball conference

Re Army-Navy: it's on a neutral field (M&T Stadium in Baltimore). Yeah it's closer to Annapolis and Navy's actual homefield there, and it will be a pro-Navy crowd as, again, it's closer to Annapolis and a lot of Army fans will not bother to go given the disparity in the teams (like me, and I live just outside of DC), but the tickets are distributed evenly between the schools.

25
by Dean (not verified) :: Fri, 11/30/2007 - 7:56pm

RE#24: Tech? Nah. Let 'em win something first. Beating up on The Citadel every year, then choking when they play a real opponent doesn't count. Even though Miami and FSU are both having down years this year, they both still have more credibility then Tech.

26
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 2:44am

Pelini to Nebraska it looks like, should have been the guy the first time around.

27
by witless chum (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 3:08am

25:
Losing to Penn State in hoops means your a football school. Or you'd better be.

28
by Dan (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 5:48am

RE: Bo Pelini
It appears Bo Pelini will be given the Nebraska job either Sunday or Monday. Click on my name for a link.

29
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 1:38pm

ESPN is reporting Miles to Michigan.

What next for LSU? Jimbo Fisher is said to be the front runner, but if were LSU I'd look west- to Dennis Erickson. Last time the LSU job opened up, Erickson wanted it. In college, all Erickson does is win, and he supposedly wants an SEC job before he retires.

Also, it's rumored Tommy Tuberville will get the Saban-like deal he's wanted- from Arkansas.

30
by Justin (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 1:59pm

25: What counts as winning "something"? Virginia Tech is one win away from their 3rd BCS bowl in the last 9 years (yes, they lost the first two, but they were probably supposed to given that both were against higher-ranked, undefeated teams). If you're talking about strong out-of-conference wins, they won at West Virginia in 2005 (WVU's only loss that season) and vs. LSU in 2002. Tech has also beaten Miami 8 out of the last 12 years, dominating the series outside the 3-year stretch when the Hurricanes were the best team in college football. I would agree that VT has been overrated at times over the years by virtue of being in lousy football conferences. But I think you're setting the bar for winning "something" awfully high. (Then again, maybe you're just saying VT has not been a truly elite team over the last few years, which is fair enough - they're a step below that.)

31
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 3:07pm

Who is next for LSU?

It is not going to be Jimbo Fisher, Bo Pelini, or any other coordinator. For one, the LSU people soured on Fisher big-time last year (hence one of the major reasons he left), and Pelini is headed to Nebraska.

I don't know who LSU will get, but rest assured they will not be taking any chances on a coordinator. With a job that attractive, they will easily get a proven winner with a good deal of head-coaching experience.

32
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 3:50pm

#30

It is going to be Saban of course.....you didn't hear he was in Baton Rouge the other day.

Supposedly Tuberville is waiting to see if Les leaves for Michigan because he might go to LSU.

Les Miles may not be a perfect coach, but come on the man has won 10+ games in the SEC for 3 straight seasons, I know he has had some good talent, but I have seen plenty of coaches mess that up.

33
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 3:50pm

Ooh, now the scuttlebutt is that Miles has signed a $$$$ extension to stay at LSU.

34
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 3:59pm

So much for the scuttlebutt..

Miles is staying at LSU, and has agreed to a big extension. That is reported by the Ann Arbor News, not to mention a ton of LSU media outlets.

LSU has a press conference scheduled for 1:50 Eastern time in Atlanta.

35
by NickFantana (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 4:23pm

Is anyone watching the ACC Championship game? If so, can anyone get it in HD?

36
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 4:38pm

ESPN is now reporting that Miles is staying at LSU.

I'm a bit surprised, as this is very likely Miles once-in-a-lifetime chance to coach at his alma mater, which is a plum job.

Now what for Michigan? Ferentz?

37
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 4:46pm

Miles I think is getting Saban like money (rumor was around 3.75 million)...Tuberville is going to get Saban like money as well from whoever he is coaching for.

Tenuta might be the DC replacing Pelini....that is a big upgrade.

38
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 4:47pm

Is anyone watching the ACC Championship game? If so, can anyone get it in HD?

I'm in New Orleans and we're getting the game in HD.

Unfortunately, the HD picture on ABC's broadcast randomly gets blurry at times. It did it last week, and it's doing it again this week. I don't know if that's a national broadcast problem, or if it's a local deal.

39
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 5:09pm

Fifteen years ago Reggie White became a free agent. The Redskins and Niners were considered the elite teams in the NFL at the time, and they were offering White record-setting money.

Green Bay wanted Reggie, and realized the only way they would get him would be to shatter the salary scale. They did exactly that and got their man. Eight years later, the Texas Rangers replayed this scenario in order to snag Alex Rodriguez, but I digress.

There was a new saying in the NFL. Every time abig name free agent hit the market, you'd hear he wanted "Reggie White money". Anyone that followed the NFL knew what "Reggie White money" was.

Fifteen years later, we're constantly hearing "Nick Saban money". In the NFL, nobody actually GOT Reggie White money for a long time, so White's contract remained unique and the expression remained alive for some time.

I have the feeling we won't be hearing "Nick Saban money" for too long, as there are going to be many contracts similar to Saban's in the not too distant future.

40
by Bill (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 5:25pm

Wow, Kevin Smith has 401 carries with 5 1/2 quarters to go in his season.

Does the curse of 370 apply to college backs too?

41
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 5:28pm

Julio Jones quote (one of the best high school players in the country, likely to go to Alabama..)

"coaches call me trying to sell their offense to me, like oklahoma passing for 500 yards a game etc, but ya know, once bama gets a new QB in that system, they gonna be able to throw the ball too"

J.P. must be so excited to hear this. But really Alabama might have some of the best young WR talent in the country before Julio Jones even comes into the school. *neurotic Alabama fan mode* I still think the offense did not fully trust J.P. at QB and after the OL inconsistency occurred it definitely screwed things up.

42
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 6:01pm

Re #39
I asked at the Chicago book signing, and Aaron said they hadn't done any research into that issue. Note that he broke Marcus Allen's record, and Allen went on to have a decent NFL career. Note also that Allen only once had more than 275 carries in an NFL regular season, though that was a 380 year.

43
by Jimmy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 6:29pm

Is this the open discussion thread for college games?

If so can someone give a few pointers on players to look out for in the Virginia Tech/ Boston College game?

I know about big names like Ryan and Cheridous, but draw a blank pretty quickly after that.

Also what is the deal with the rotating QBs for Virginia Tech?

44
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 6:48pm

Virginia Tech defense has some talent: Chris Ellis, Xavier Adibi, Vince Hall, Macho Harris, and Brandon Flowers.

switching QBs-Tyrod Tyler is the better runner, Glennon is the better passer, but is prone to bad decisions/slump.

45
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 7:00pm

Here's an article SI's scout did on players to watch in the championship games today.

46
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 7:09pm

And LSU starts things off with...multiple penalties on the opening kickoff which gives the Vols the ball at around midfield. Can we say lack of focus? Oy...

And the Vols come out with an all-orange ensemble. Just shoot me now.

47
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 7:15pm

#45

Sounds like LSU this whole season.

48
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 7:39pm

And the Vols come out with an all-orange ensemble.

I like it.

49
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 7:42pm

This Oregon-Oregon St. game might make me dig my eyeballs out with a shrimp fork. OSU is in their orange socks-black-pants-white jersey with orange sports bra ensemble while the Ducks are wearing green pants and piss-yellow helmets and jerseys, with the added plus of green sleeves. Shazbot.

50
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 7:48pm

How big a penalty is having 12 men on the field? LSU just got called on it for 5 yards; Tulsa had a TD called back during the CUSA title game for 12 men, and they were moved back 15. Does it change if the play is run?

51
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 7:55pm

Re #49
LSU was called for "12 men in the huddle," while Tulsa was called for having 12 men on the field for a play. First is 5, second is 15.

52
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 8:03pm

#48... Really? I'm loving both teams' uniforms, especially the Beavers. The play on the field, OTOH, is pure ugly. Has a player ever GAINED more Heisman votes by not playing than Dennis Dixon? The Ducks offense is abysmal.

53
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 8:36pm

I have the feeling we won’t be hearing “Nick Saban money� for too long, as there are going to be many contracts similar to Saban’s in the not too distant future.

Exactly.

Saban cashed in, but he was just another bump in the road of a massive escalation in coaching salaries in college football. That escalation will not stop with Saban.

Miles, with his new deal, will likely get Saban-esque money. Tommy Tuberville will also probably get around 3 million. Kirk Ferentz already makes around 3 million at Iowa.

I predict that sometime in the next three years, you will see a coach go over the 5 million dollar per year mark. It was just three years ago that Saban was the highest paid coach in the country at LSU making just over 2 million per year. The huge inflation in coaching salaries will only continue.

54
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 9:11pm

And FAU upsets Troy on the road to win the Sun Belt and go to a bowl. It might not be a big deal to anyone else, but FAU is my mom's alma mater and I live bear Memphis and now the two teams will be playing each other in a bowl game. In a season in which my Fi8ns are going 0-16 and the Pats will be 19-0 this might be all I have to cling to. LOL

55
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 9:27pm

The SEC Championship game is the worst I've quite possibly ever seen.

Neither team is playing well. Lots of penalties, lots of burned timeouts. Both times are also missing assignments. Each kicker has missed a chip-shot field goal rather badly. And both touchdowns came on passes that should have been interceptions with even decent plays from the defense.

Though I suppose that since I've stated that this is the crappiest the SEC has been in ages, it's only fitting that the SEC Championship game be equally as crappy.

56
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 9:33pm

I'm kinda surprised that LSU was willing to break the bank, as it were, to keep Miles. Is he a decent coach? Yes. But is he an elite coach? I'm not so sure. On the other hand, Saban didn't exactly light the world on fire this year either.

57
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 9:37pm

On the other hand, Saban didn’t exactly light the world on fire this year either.

That's true, but Saban didn't have anywhere near the talent that LSU has either. I love my Crimson Tide, but being quite honest I imagine we have no more than three players that could start on LSU's team.

And I'm like you, Miles is good, but not great. I think it will be a bad decision from the LSU administration if he gets Saban-esque money. I believe he has done well enough to try to keep, but he hasn't done well enough to break the bank in an effort to keep him.

58
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 9:40pm

So...

Tennessee has it 1st and goal, and they put in the "running" quarterback, i.e. a very average-at-best mobility guy in Crompton. And then they proceed to run a quarterback keeper to the right which takes a couple of millenniums to develop, and naturally it is stuffed for no gain.

Could someone again explain to me exactly how Cutcliffe is an offensive genius?

59
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 10:25pm

So why is this thread so slow today?

60
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 10:31pm

Lack of Big 10 games?

61
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 10:46pm

FO IRC chatroom featuring several commenters, SDA thread most active when many games going on at once-when people are mostly watching the same game, commenting and reading comment threads are less interesting.

62
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 11:04pm

Or fewer games to comment on, period.

Kirk Herbstreit says Miles is headed to Michigan despite Miles' denial. Click my name for the link.

63
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 11:15pm

Belotti for JLS!

Game tied at 28. Ducks miss 53-yard game-winning FG but personal foul on Oregon State. 1st-and-10 at the 22 with 20 seconds to play and no timeouts for Oregon. They run a play to center the ball. Then, instead of spiking it on 2nd and kicking on 3rd, they rush the FG attempt and miss it wide right. And instead of leaving the field with a 31-28 win, they're going into OT. Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

64
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 11:30pm

And the Ducks lose in double OT. Sad. Sad. Sad.

65
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 11:45pm

Allen Patrick has a talent for losing games by himself... his fumble against Tech led to Bradford's concussion, and so far in the Big 12 championship game, he has 2 carries for -4 yards, a -2 yard catch, and a 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty.

66
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2007 - 11:58pm

Surely Miles doesn't go to Michigan now.

I will say this however... if he does go, every LSU fan can officially STFU about how big of a liar Saban is.

67
by TheWedge (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 12:46am

What in the hell is happening in the WVU game? I'm working so all I can see is the gamecast but how is Pitt. keeping it close?

68
by Chris Heinonen (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 12:58am

Belotti did earn himself the JLS trophy right there. While I no longer am sure what is considered a catch in college football now, that coaching move was just awful. Before the play, I had visions of LSU-Auburn and a sack sending the game to OT, but didn't think they would get Belotti to make that big a mistake.

It was a great win for OSU, though. Backup QB, backup RB, on the road, and now 8-4 on a good streak again. Not bad for this year.

69
by Jimmy (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 12:58am

Great play by Missouri going for two to level up.

But it wasn't a double reverse pass, it was a reverse end around pass. Sorry to nitpick.

70
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:05am

Wow... a Seahawks-Steelers Super Bowl level bad holding call wipes out a Pitt TD, and then they miss the FG. Still 10-7.

71
by Androo (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:13am

#65 .. I just started watching, but Pat White is out of the game, not even in pads. Pitt has done well keeping West Virginia's offense off the field in the third qtr so far - something like 25 plays to 3.

Questionable (to be kind) hold calls back a Pitt TD and WVU is still alive.

I'm rooting for the upsets now. Who would be the title game? tOSU and ... Georgia? As an ACC guy, I'm rooting for VaTech to sneak in, but I doubt it. This is the most fun I've had watching college football ever. What a great year it's been.

72
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:21am

How could Georgia or Virginia Tech be ranked ahead of LSU? The three teams all have two losses, and:

-LSU blew out VA Tech

-LSU won the SEC, Georgia did not.

It's not like Missouri and / or West Virginia have lost yet. Both games are close.

73
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:26am

Just please please please don't let USC sneak into the title game...

74
by TheWedge (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:26am

God, I really expected WVU to win by like...80. I mean Pitt sucks. Even if they pull this out it's still a pretty disappointing way to go into the NC, especially after the rout of UCONN last week.

75
by Androo (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:29am

#70 .. That's why I said I doubted it. And I just said Ohio St and Georgia because they are currently 3 and 4 in the BCS.

As for WVU, they finally get a couple of first downs and then QB fumble and Pitt takes over at the 17.

76
by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:35am

Wow, the official who called that holding didn't pull the flag out until a good second or two after the block was *disengaged*.

Pitt kicks a field goal, ensuring they will lose.

77
by Androo (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:37am

Huge WVU kickoff return ... and, my god, that's Pat White's music!

Seriously though, he's back in (with a dislocated right thumb).

78
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:42am

First and goal from the 4 for OU, 2 runs stuffed, a third one scores. TMQ will be pleased.

79
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:44am

#70, 73:
I agree you'd have to think the voters would move LSU up in the polls and into the title game, but some respected analysts (Stewart Mandel, for one) believe that it would be Ohio State vs. Georgia. Would Georgia being in the title game make for the most controversial BCS yet?

80
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:45am

Turner victimized twice by terrible, terrible holding calls. The first time cost Pitt a TD, this time they lose a first down that might have ended the game. He must have banged the side judge's daughter.

81
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:46am

What a horse**** holding penalty in the PITT-WVU game. Negates a PITT first down.

82
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:49am

78, 79:
Yeah, as much as I want to see West Virginia in the title game those calls actually have me rooting for Pitt to pull it out.

83
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:50am

Sooners up by 14 with 2:32 to play in the 3rd. That sound you hear is scrotums tightening all over Missouri.

84
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:54am

"Fuck me."
-- Rich Rodriguez after WVa turns the ball over on downs with 1:32 to play. Think that makes This Week in Quotes?

And the refs are doing everything they can to give this game to WVa. That is a BS celebration call.

85
by TheWedge (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:54am

So WVU pulls off one of the all time great choke-jobs and if the Mizzou-OU score holds we get perhaps the most controversial/most screwed up BCS scenario ever.

I figure we should just let Duke play for the title, it makes about as much sense as anything else.

86
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:57am

The only thing stunning is the fact Dave Wannstedt won a big game.

87
by Androo (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:58am

And Pitt finishes WVU off although I'm still waiting to see if they call Turner for another holding. ;)

88
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:01am

If OU holds on, it will be Ohio St. and USC.

89
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:02am

We're now just 1 quarter away complete BCS mayhem.

90
by Joe (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:03am

77: No more controversial than when Nebraska was in the championship when they didn't win their division.

91
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:05am

85:
I don't see any way USC makes it in. LSU, Georgia, and VT were all ranked ahead of them coming into today. If nothing else, Oklahoma should pass USC in the polls after knocking off the #1 team in the nation.

92
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:07am

88... I'm thinking the voters will recognize that USC lost both games with their backup QB and give them an adjustment tonight.

I'm a Notre Dame fan, so I could care less who makes it.

93
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:07am

Now that it's looking more likely that there is going to be a serious debate about this, who are the candidates for the second slot in the title game? These seem to be the candidates to me (rankings are from the BCS, with top 25 wins & all losses listed):

#4 Georgia: 10-2; W at #10 Florida, vs #24 Auburn; L vs South Carolina, at #14 Tennessee
#5 Kansas: 11-1; L vs #1 Missouri
#6 Virginia Tech: ACC Champion; 11-2; W vs #11 BC, at #16 Clemson, at #22 Virginia; L at #7 LSU, vs #11 BC
#7 LSU: SEC Champion; 11-2; W vs #6 Virginia Tech, vs #10 Florida, vs #14 Tennesee, vs #24 Auburn; L at Kentucky, vs Arkansas
#8 USC: PaC-10 Champion; 10-2; W at #13 Arizona St; L vs Stanford, at #17 Oregon
#9 Oklahoma: Big-12 Champion; 11-2; W vs #1 Missouri, vs #1 Missouri, at #20 Texas; L at Colorado, at Texas Tech

94
by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:12am

FWIW, assuming OU/MU holds up, the Colley computer rankings would appear to be:

1. LSU
2. Virginia Tech
3. OSU
4. UGA
5. Missouri
6. Oklahoma

Apparently his rankings don't rate head-to-head too strongly.

95
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:14am

It's also worth remembering that these rankings will change tomorrow because of the results today. Oh, and I listed Kansas because their ranking is in that group, but I think we can probably assume that they're not in consideration.

96
by Eric J (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:16am

Kirk just said that Oklahoma lost its swagger against Texas Tech. Apparently we now know what swagger means: starting quarterback.

97
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:16am

How many times can we say "can this seaon get any crazier"?

West Virginia is out, Mizzou is on the ropes. Ohio State is in.

If Mizzou loses it has to be LSU. Both losses in Triple OT vs good teams. Impressive wins. They won the conference GA couldn't. They killed VA Tech. They didn't lose to Stanford.

98
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:17am

89:
Actually, Booty played the whole game when USC lost to Stanford. And if we're going to make adjustments for teams losing without their starting QB, I should mention that Oklahoma lost their starting QB very early in the loss to Texas Tech.
Note: I am actually a Pac-10 fan, but I just don't see how USC could make it to the title game.

99
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:18am

For comparison:
Ohio State: Big 10 Champion; 11-1; W at #18 Wisconsin; L vs #15 Illinois

100
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:24am

#95... True. It's so crazy. I personally think USC is the best 2 loss team, but I clearly recognize that their resume doesn't match the other teams.

101
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:25am

Is this really happening? How the heck is this Ohio State team playing for the NC?

102
by jtp (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:30am

98:
Ohio State is playing for the national championship because apparently no one else wanted to. In fact, Ohio State is going to finish the season ranked #1 in the country and it turns out it truly was better for them to finish their season early and wait for the teams ahead of them to fall.

103
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:31am

All I can say is the BCS is so goddamn fucked right now it is insane.

Get ready for it... it will be Ohio State v. LSU for the national championship game.

104
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:41am

I personally don't see the quirky conference championship process as having an impact on the national title picture (except, of course, that it gives teams an extra chance to record quality wins).
Can we just agree that we hate Kentucky for blowing that game against Tennessee, thereby killing our chance to see LSU-Georgia in what would effectively have been a national semifinal? The debate would seem a lot more simple that way.

105
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:44am

#99: Unbelievable isn't it? Only this season could a team get into the title game by NOT playing. Basically the Big Ten lucked out by *not* having a conference title game. Personally I think conference title games need to be seriously re-examined and possibly abolished, and yes, I';ve felt this way for a long time. All they do is provide an extra opportunity for some teams to lose that others (coughBigTenteamscough) don't have to go through. Either make every conference play one or get rid of them all.

Why do I get the awful feeling that the Sooners will somehow mysteriously jump everyone to play TOSU for the title? It's not as if it's happened before...But at least they'll have won their conference unlike Georgia.

In my mind there is no "national champion" this season. Oh sure, there will be a game played where the winner will CLAIM to be champion, but I for one refuse to recognize it. I'd much rather say this season had no "national champion" since no team deserved it.

Playoffs, where art thou? I suppose all those opposed *want* the second participant in the sham of a title game to be randomly picked from the pool of 2-loss teams and think that's totally fair and reasonable? HA!!!

106
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:46am

Also I'm going to make it official: West Virginia just pulled the biggest choke job in all of sports history IMO. And by that I mean never in the history of sports has any other team with so much going in its favor and so much motivation to win managed to somehow squander it all like they did.

With a national title on the line, they LOST. At HOME. To WANNY!!!

Just for this, I say that the Mountaneers be permanantly barred from national title game consideration, even if they go 12-0 and every other team has 2 losses. You know, sorta like Hawaii.

107
by bradluen (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:46am

So if you look at the whole season, is there any reasonable case against LSU being in the championship game?

If you go by who's playing the best now, then you can make a case for your Georgias and VTs and USCs. But you shouldn't.

108
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:47am

Mizzou down by 21 with less than two minutes to play. 4th-and-1 at their own 33. Why are you punting?

109
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:58am

Ohio State in the national championship is a joke. What a terrible, terrible year. If its LSU-Ohio State what a terrible, terrible year....I am just hoping they cause a crapstorm and its Georgia-USC in it.

110
by PaulH (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:02am

So if you look at the whole season, is there any reasonable case against LSU being in the championship game?

Let me ask you another question...

Is there any reasonable case that any team deserves to be in the championship game?

111
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:04am

106: I think that's a key point here: Is the national championship the matchup of the best teams at the end of the season? Or of the teams with the best resume overall?
If it's the former, then all of these teams are legitimate choices.
If it's the latter, then I think we can exclude Virginia Tech, partly because of the nature of the loss to LSU, but at least because of too-narrow wins over ECU, Ohio, and UNC. They're playing great now, but there's little reason to believe that they were a top-20 team for the first five games (and I'm a Hokie fan). And we can eliminate USC due to the loss at home to Stanford and the lack of quality wins (see #92).

112
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:11am

105- Love ya, DollFan, happy for the Memphis v FAU thing, but you use the "choke" thing way too much.

108- I think this has been a great year.

101- I think *someone* may have wanted it.

14 - 0 Washington, Brennan is hurt. Maybe no Sugar for UH.

#1...is LSU. No question, IMO. Oklahoma may be #2. Will take a close look at OU vs OSU.

113
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:13am

I strongly dislike both Ohio State and LSU...the season has been fun, but the end result is going to be terrible.

114
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:15am

I'm watching ESPN right now...does anyone see why all of the announcers seem to think that USC belongs in this conversation, aside from their success in past seasons? Only one quality win and one truly terrible loss, plus some closer-than-they-should-be wins....I have no idea how their resume (see #92) is at all comparable to the other teams here. Was everyone that awed by the win over Arizona State?
108: To me, it is also not obvious at all that Ohio State deserves to be in the national championship game. I think if it were up to me, it would be LSU vs. Oklahoma.
109: Well, I think everyone agrees that there needs to be a playoff. But we don't have one, so we're left with this debate.

115
by bradluen (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:16am

In other news, after 11 games, the whole "no run defense" thing has finally caught up to Hawaii.

116
by Jimmy (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:21am

As someone who is new to college football, can I just say that it is fairly wierd that there isn't a proper way to determine who the winner is. Or even who gets to play to see who the winner might be.

Is the whole thing rigged to ensure as many people as possible sit in bars 'till the early hours arguing about who deserves a shot at the NC?

117
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:28am

Well, I think everyone agrees that there needs to be a playoff.

I don't. Today's games wouldn't matter if there were a playoff.

The two (arguably) greatest basketball programs of all time played today, and no one cared. If those teams are above average, you can use them for your bracket fun in March, and pay attention to that sport for all of three weekends.

I don't want college football to turn into that.

118
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:28am

"105- Love ya, DollFan, happy for the Memphis v FAU thing, but you use the “choke� thing way too much."

That's because teams keep choking. When they stop, then I'll stop using that word. Fair enough?

#112: At least the Vols lost, thank God. At this point the ONLY thing left that could go wrong is for a Big 12 team to mysteriously be shoehorned into the national title game yet AGAIN over everyone else. And don't think it can't happen.

Nice going Hawaii. This game just set the mid majors back 20 years. Now nobody will even vote a future 12-0 mid major team into the top 25, let alone the BCS. Idiots.

119
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:28am

In other news, after 11 games, the whole “no run defense� thing has finally caught up to Hawaii.

A feather in the cap of the FEI ratings, which had Washington at #39 and Hawaii at #46.

120
by snik75 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:29am

THERE IS NO "NATIONAL CHAMPION"! It is silly to think you can crown a single "winner" out of so many teams that do not play that many games in a season. Who picks the 8 teams that would be in a playoff? Is there ANY chance that there wouldn't be another team with a similar record, few common opponents, and therefore just as good a case, but would get left out? I like football, so I enjoy reading your comments, but there is NO ANSWER.

121
by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:33am

117 - Only those that play as awful a schedule as Hawaii. Troy's OOC this year - at Arkansas, at Florida, at Georgia, vs. Oklahoma State. If they went 12-0, I suspect they'd be ranked pretty high.

Of course, they didn't come close.

122
by snik75 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:33am

Well, no answer unless you split up the division. With a smaller number of teams, either voting or a type of playoff could work. But 160 or so? I don't think so.

123
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:36am

#116: What DO you want college football to turn into then? A big ol' pile of mediocrity where two teams are picked to play for the "national title" by a process that apparently involves Wiccans conducting magic rituals? Because that's what we've got now.

I have a question for all you "regular season would be meaningless with playoffs" people. How can you justify Virginia Tech being ranked above LSU? How can you justify Georgia possibly being ranked above both of them? Because the last time I checked, LSU walloped VT, and Georgia didn't win its division due to being hammered by the Vols. Do those games suddenly not count now?

124
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:38am

That’s because teams keep choking. When they stop, then I’ll stop using that word. Fair enough?

You use it repetitively and inapropriately. Fair enough?

THERE IS NO “NATIONAL CHAMPION�! It is silly to think you can crown a single “winner� out of so many teams that do not play that many games in a season.

But there is a National Champion. Anything else is subject to your imagination.

115 was great. College Football is great, mystifying fun when you're new to it.

And to think, all of the arguments will be settled in 24 hours. My guess is that we'll see LSU vs Ohio State in the NCS.

125
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:39am

#117: Nope, the people who find out Hawaii got massacred by Washington will refuse to take any team from any non-BCS conference seriously ever again, because they're all lumped together in their minds. Hawaii just ruined it for all of them--emphatically.

Speaking opf which, I'm no longer watching that game. Hawaii's second fumble when down 21-0 was the final straw for me.

Losing is one thing. Getting completely demolished at home by a 4-8 team playing its 13th game (so much for extra games being bad for 'student-athletes" eh?) and having a concussion-riddled QB batter through your D like a hot knife through butter is on a completely different scale. A scale so new it hasn't even been named yet.

126
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:41am

How can you justify Virginia Tech being ranked above LSU? How can you justify Georgia possibly being ranked above both of them? Because the last time I checked, LSU walloped VT, and Georgia didn’t win its division due to being hammered by the Vols. Do those games suddenly not count now?

I agree, and I'll be screaming bloody murder alongside you if that happens.

Let's wait for it to happen before we do.

127
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:43am

#123: Nope, the word choke fits perfectly when a team has everything going in its favor, every motivation to win, is playing at home, is favored by something like 30, the other coach is DAVE FREAKING WANNSTEDT and despite all that they lose anyway. Choking is when EVERY SINGLE TEAM that gets ranked #2 during a season somehow finds a way to immediately lose--even though they know that every other team in their situation has lost.

What else would you call it?

Either you have to say all those teams choked or you have to admit that none of them were really that good to begin with, in which case you'd also have to admit that nobody deserves this year's "national title".

128
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:44am

119: See, but there is a "National Champion". Last year, it was Florida. Two years ago, it was Texas. Those teams will always be known as "National Champions". And this year, the winner of the game on January 7 will get that designation.

So if that designation is going to be made, I think it's reasonable to want the process used to do so to do the best possible job of recognizing the "best" team (whatever that means). And I think most people would agree that the BCS is not that system. No one complains about the outcome of the college basketball season. It would be the same with a playoff in football. There might be arguments about who should get the final slot (#8 or #16 or whatever) at the time the decision is made, but no one would care or remember three or four weeks later when the national champion is crowned.

129
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:45am

BYU is wondering if they should move out of the top 25 now or later....

Hawaii is higher then they should be at any rate.

130
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:49am

126- Wow. You win, bud. All of those teams "choked".

131
by Woz (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:50am

Remember, for the BCS computers, a win is a win is a win. Whether you blow out a team or you win on a last second field goal. Likewise, a loss is a loss.

So, the fact that LSU lost two games in triple overtime is irrelevant to the computers. They have two losses, just like Georgia, Virginia Tech, and Oklahoma. It will matter to the voters, but given that LSU was 5th (in the Harris) and 7th (in the USA Today), they cannot go up that much. Also, Virginia Tech is just as close (7th in the Harris, 5th in the USA Today). Oklahoma got to go further (8th in both polls), but they did take out the #1 Harris/#2 USA Today team convincingly.

Actually, LSU stands to be in the worst shape from the computers' standpoint, since they only beat a 9-3 Tennessee (#15 in both polls, #13 for the computers). Boston College was 12th in both polls, but 8th for the computers. Finally, the computers loved Missouri.

So, while I'm not saying it will happen, it wouldn't surprise me if Oklahoma or Virginia Tech got past LSU. Then again, Georgia could hang on (I don't really see how, given that the pollsters are going to bump up the teams that played over them so that they can potentially get there).

132
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:55am

Ohio State hopes Washington knocks of Hawaii...only makes them look better.

Someone please tell me there is a way Ohio State is not playing in the national championship game.....

133
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:57am

131- There's a way...

I don't see it happening, though.

(It's called pollsters taking a close look at things. They won't.)

134
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 4:02am

Just playing the devil's advocate here, I'm guessing the polls are trying to measure who is the best team right now rather than the best performance over the course of the season. So they're probably looking at the recent performances of VT & Georgia (and the fact that LSU lost in that time):
at Georgia Tech, W 27-3
Florida State, W 40-21
Miami (FL), W 44-14
at (16) Virginia, W 33-21
at (12) Boston College, W 30-16
(9) Florida, W 42-30
Troy, W 44-34
(18) Auburn, W 45-20
(22) Kentucky, W 24-13
at Georgia Tech, W 31-17
Now, I don't really agree with this as a methodology for the national championship. It matters to me (even as a Hokie fan) that VT got hammered at LSU. It doesn't really matter to me that Georgia didn't win the SEC, but it does matter to me that they got beaten badly at Tennessee. LSU never had a loss like that.

135
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 4:06am

Actually, while we're denigrating some of the top teams for crappy road losses, I think it's worth pointing out LSU's road outcomes this year:

at Mississippi State, W 45-0
at Tulane, W 34-9
at (17) Kentucky, L 37-43
at (17) Alabama, W 41-34
at Mississippi, W 41-24

Something less than impressive, huh? It would be nice if they weren't going to play the national championship game at home, too...

136
by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 4:11am

Obviously we should just go back to the traditional bowl tie-ins.

Rose: USC vs OSU
Orange: OU vs VT/WVU
Sugar: LSU vs at-large (GA/VT/WVU)

Seriously, is that any worse?

137
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 4:12am

#135

nope since its probably going to be a split champion anyway.

138
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 4:20am

Everyone take a deep breath and say it with me RELEGATION.

Imagine how much more interesting college FB would be if you broke the 120 teams into say 4 leagues of 30.

Then in A West (or North if you are into the whole civil war thing) you would have 15 teams would play a 14 game schedule against each other.

Then in A East/South the teams could play a 14 game schedule against each other.

Than top from one division play top from the other for the title. Simple as could be, and instead of any team having 3 or 4 competitive games a year they would have 15!

Then teams Which finished in say bottom 3 in their division get bumped down and and 6 teams from the top of B move up.

Yay. Clear national titles, more competitive football. Probably better preparation for the Pro game as well.

Also a team like Hawaii could go ahead and win the D league and have fun getting thrashed around in C league the next year.

139
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 4:23am

I'm with #135. Especially this year, when doing it old school would actually make MORE sense than whatever the BCS is going to spit out at us.

And I still say the real methodology they use is Wiccans casting spells. Because computers can't produce results that are as irrational as VT over LSU. Can they?

Again, it's amazing how some games in a season count and others don't, and which games fall into which category is determined completely at random. And some people claim playoffs are going to ruin this how?

Thank God the Vols lost. Seriously. because had THEY won this mess would be even WORSE, and we'd see the absolute worst possible title game voting result from my POV, Sooners VS Luckeyes.

BTW does anyone doubt that if TOSU *had* played today they'd have either lost or come damn close to it?

140
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 4:25am

Oh, not to mention the whole "playoffs would only reward the teams that happen to be hot at the right time" argument. Isn't that a strong possibility now anyway with Georgia?

141
by _null_dude_ (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 4:25am

While no one was looking, Hawaii has crept back in this thing. If they pull it out, they do have something going for them getting a shot at Ohio State: they were the only team not to lose, in a season where everyone else lost.

142
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 4:28am

And somehow, *after* I stopped watching of course, Hawaii closes to within 7 at the half. I think I'll keep right on not watching.

143
by bradluen (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 6:18am

And Hawaii gets their 20 years back. Terrific finish.

144
by _null_dude_ (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 6:21am

Although they played a pathetic schedule, there remains the fact that Hawaii was the only team to go undefeated in I-A. They won't get a shot at the title, but they do deserve at least some consideration.

145
by peachy (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 6:32am

If Hawaii is lavishly rewarded for getting through the season without a loss, then schedule strength clearly means nothing. What's to stop Traditional Power U from joining the Sun Belt, running off a series of 12-0 seasons, and demanding a spot in the title game every year?

146
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 6:38am

#144
Ohio State is about to find out. Sorry, the Big Ten was the worse BCS conference this year and their non-conference schedule was not killer either.

147
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 6:42am

#144: Oh I don't know, something about Traditional Power U losing a ton of money and recruits and prestige perhaps?

I am not making this up: the score when I turned off the Tv in disgust was Washington 21 Hawaii zip. Hawaii outscored them 35-7 when I wasn't watching.

Yes, I am expecting a sizeable share of the BCS money. No, I'm not making that up either.

148
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 6:47am

BTW I am going to watch the replay of WVA-Pitt, since I didn't see a second of it the first time. I'm too amped to sleep and I'm boycotting NFL football, so I might as well.

Or not, seeing as my DirecTV guide lied and NFL Matchup is on instead at a time when nobody in the entire nation is going to watch it. Nice one, ESPN mediots!!!

149
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 7:34am

Oh NOW it's on??? The hell???

Ah well, the 4th quarter is the best part anyway.

No, I'm really not drunk. I wish I was actually. Then I could go to sleep.

150
by DragonFireKai (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 8:31am

Hawaii's gonna get destroyed by whomever they play in the BCS game. If you need a fourth quarter comeback and officiating bad enough to make the pac 10 blush to pull out the win over a 4 win team, you simply aren't that good. Hawaii was a better team last year.

151
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 9:47am

#149: All I know is that Hawaii did something the #2 team in the nation couldn't--beat a 4-win team at home.

If you ask me, no college football team is really better than any other team, except for your really bad mid majors.

Congrats to FIU for finally getting off the schneid after 23 straight losses BTW, gotta love that.

You can't deny Hawaii a shot, especially with all the 2-loss teams out there.

152
by jebmak (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 9:47am

GO BSC! Always churning out some kind of Bull **** Champion!

153
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:45am

I was disappointed in BC's second half performance. Just all around poor work by both the players and coaches. Yes VT is a good team with a fine defense. But it's not like this should be NEWS to BC.

But of course the story has GOT to be West Virginia going down in flames. Pittsburgh gave up 48 points AT HOME to South Florida last week. Now granted that game was close for a half as Pitt hung in there but South Florida just rolled them in the second half. So here is the same team playing a HIGHLY conservative offense and they flat out PUNKED West Virginia.

And spare me the "Pat White was hurt" nonsense. Slaton is supposed to be all that and a bag of chips. WVU crows about their "incredible team speed". So White goes out and the whole offense becomes a collection of spazes? And the defense? How can you give up 3 points much less 13 to a Pittsburgh offense afraid of its own shadow?

Not to mention some hometown cooking by a ref. Anyone notice it was THE SAME GUY all night yanking out the flag twenty minutes after the play was over? How can this be ignored? In this day of constant video how can folks turn away from a guy BLATANTLY flouting his responsibilities? And where is the rest of the crew? Can't ANYBODY say, "Um, Joe, what's going on? I think we need to pick up that flag." What's he going to do? Pick up and go home? Single-handedly enforce penalties?

Anyway, good for Pitt. The team tackling was superb, the defensive play-calling was outstanding and I sincerely hope the next time folks rave about Rich R. as a game coach folks yank out the video from this game.

Good teams find a way. Pittsburgh was overmatched at about 13 different positions on the field. And kicked WVU's *ss.

Congrats to Pitt.............

154
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 12:10pm

And as a follow up using an easy example, when WI lost both starting WRs and four defensive starters halfway through the season the consensus was that WI stunk, not that they banged up.

And folks were right. Good teams should find a way.

155
by snik75 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 12:28pm

I just do not believe that if a team in a league or division goes undefeated, including any sort of post-season, that any other team can be called the "champion" over them. Not that I think Hawaii is the best team in the nation by any stretch. But perceived strength of a team or of their schedule should not, in my mind, be used to determine a champion. Does that mean a play-off system? If you must have a "national champion" a play-off is the only fair way to call it. But I am perfectly happy with my team heading to a bowl game when they are good, and forgetting about the national title angle altogether. When the majority of teams start the year with NO chance to win the "National Championship" the term is meaningless, and has been for years. Who needs it?

156
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 12:40pm

I was working and didn't watch the game, but, having grown up in West Virginia and having a father who went to Pitt, I don't think you guys realize the depth of emotion that goes into this rivalry game. Although I don't know if it's quite the same now, but a few decades back, there were plenty of people in W. Va. who would have felt that a 1-9 season was a success if the 1 win was over Pittsburgh. Or, more cogently, that a 9-1 season was an utter failure if the 1 loss was to Pitt. I'm sure plenty of Pitt fans had the converse (or is it contrapositive? or opposite? anyway, you know what I mean) opinion. The depth of emotion that goes into the rivalry games might be the thing that makes college football special. I have a hard time calling it "choking" (again, I didn't see the game and the performance might have justified that remark) when you lose a rivalry game, simply because the underdog has the huge motivation of justifying their entire season. Ask an Alabama fan about their goals for next season. Ask Lloyd Carr about his accomplishments at Michigan. Rivalry games, to me at least, cannot be evaluated with the same "BCS, polls, who's number 1" mentality that we legitimately bring to the rest of the season.

157
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 12:49pm

yc:

As a follower of the WI/MN I understand what you are writing. MN was horrible this year but put up 500 yards in offense in almost beating WI. But Minny was playing at home against an ok but still banged up Wisco team. And WI wasn't playing for no national championship berth.

I find it hard to fathom that the combo of rivalry game and an injury to ONE player excuses in ANY way an allegedly Really Good team losing to an undermanned, hobbled and questionably coached squad AT HOME.

That's inexcusable in the extreme.

158
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 12:54pm

And I write "questionably coached" in reference to Dave Wannstadt's history as opposed to THIS game where the defense played extraordinarily well. Helped along by the limited playcalling of WVU.

As a long-time Packer fan, I feel somewhat qualified in assessing "Wanny's" coaching ability. Umm, he has some issues.

But for one night he was Knute Rockne. Good for him.

And WVU deserves to not only lose out on a chance to play for the big prize but to fall out of the top ten. I really cannot stress how little I think of this team after watching the game last night. Just a dreadful, dreadful effort ESPECIALLY when one factors in the absolutely ridiculous if not criminal officiating at key junctures of the game. If WVU had won this game Pitt would have every right to scream bloody murder.

159
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 12:56pm

I meant "top twenty". If Michigan can fall out of good grace for losing at home to App St. and Wisco can drop from 5 to 19 for losing on the road to Illinois then WVU should be absolutely and completely HAMMERED by the pollsters for this stink bomb.

I think both recent voting history and the context of the game justifies this stance.

160
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:13pm

151- Yeah, "always". Name one.

Question: Why is it unacceptable for an NCAA football team to have two losses and win the national title while it is acceptable for a basketball team to have over ten losses, an NFL team to have six losses, etc?

Answer: Because people will say anything to get their precious playoff. Truth, consistency, or logic get thrown out the window.

161
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:14pm

150- I don't know if Hawaii "deserves" a shot at a BCS bowl, but for my own entertainment purposes I'd like to see how they'd do against a real team (likely Georgia). I think they'll get splattered, but I said that about Boise last year. Then again, 2006 Boise is better than 2007 Hawaii, and 2007 Georgia is better than 2006 Oklahoma.

162
by peachy (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:30pm

re: 144, 145

The team that inspired that scenario was FSU in the '90s - of course they didn't change leagues, but there was no need with the ACC so consistently feeble. Blowing through it year after year didn't seem to hurt either their recruiting or their competitiveness (it was the combination of Bobby losing the plot and the league expanding that eventually took care of that.)

163
by Joe (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:33pm

#144: What's to stop a traditional power from playing four crap non-conference opponents, then winning a really bad conference with one loss and demanding a spot in the national championship?

If OSU goes to the national championship, then Hawaii deserves to go to. The only difference between them is Hawaii is undefeated and OSU isn't.

164
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:40pm

Here's My Meaningless Top 25:

1. LSU
2. Ohio State
3. Oklahoma
4. Southern Cal
5. Georgia
6. Missouri
7. Virginia Tech
8. Kansas
9. West Virginia
10. Arizona State
11. Florida
12. Boston College
13. Illinois
14. Tennessee
15. Cincinnati
16. Clemson
17. Hawaii
18. South Florida
19. Wisconsin
20. Texas
21. Auburn
22. BYU
23. Virginia
24. Arkansas
25. UConn

To say that I can't wait for the real rankings to come out is an understatement. I think the real ones will have OSU #1, LSU #2.

I seriously considered making Oklahoma #2 over Ohio State, but their relative strengths of schedule just didn't warrant putting a two loss team over a one loss team. The Big 12 South was down, and OU's best non conference win was against Miami.

BOWL PREDICTIONS:

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: LSU vs Ohio State. Everyone will complain about the system, but if they tab these two teams, guess what- the system worked.

ROSE BOWL: USC v ILLINOIS- for the first time, a three loss non-conference champion gets into a BCS Bowl. Illinois' first Rose Bowl in eons.

ORANGE BOWL: VA TECH vs WEST VIRGINIA

FIESTA BOWL: OKLAHOMA v ARIZONA STATE- the Big 12's flagrant politicking for Kansas during last night's game goes unnoticed by the Fiesta.

SUGAR BOWL: GEORGIA v HAWAII- as I said earlier, I'm looking forward to seeing what Hawaii can do. However, I do think Missouri is more deserving of this spot.

165
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:43pm

162: Please. Hawaii hasn't played ANY impressive teams. The Big West stinks, Hawaii's non-conference schedule stinks....seriously, where would Hawaii have finished in the Big 10? Ya think Ohio State- and a lot of other teams- would be 12 - 0 with Hawaii's schedule?

166
by JDog (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:54pm

RE 159 The difference is that the winner of the NFL or NCAA Basketball playoff has won their title "on the field." Football shouldn't be like ice skating or cheerleading where a bunch of judges watch the games and vote on who's performance they liked the most. The Olympics don't just award the 100M Gold to whomever had the fastest time that year, they make them actually go out there and outrun the best in the world.

Some years, the BCS lucks out and there are two clear-cut picks for the championship game. This is not one of those years. You could make a legitimate argument for at least 8 different teams.

167
by Fergasun (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 1:59pm

The argument against Hawaii is ridiculous. They took care of business for what, 12 weeks? Whereas some of the other contenders lost to the likes of Pittsburgh and Illinois? Are you kidding me? In a year when no one consistently was taking care of business, they did it the whole time.

At least they'll probably end up in a BCS Bowl, but if they do win that BCS bowl things get interesting (especially in the future given Boise State last year).

168
by rich (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:00pm

The championship game should be Ohio State v. Hawaii. LSU could have gone, but they lost to Arkansas when it counted and lost to freakin' Kentucky! Virginia Tech lost to LSU and BC. Georgia, they didn't even win their conference. And Oklahoma lost to Texas Tech (they couldn't stop Tech all day!) when it counted and freakin' Colorado. How can you deny a group of kids, who go out there and do everything you tell them to do (i.e., win all your games, win your conference), an opportunity to play for the chamionship, when every other team couldn't do what they did? If Hawaii doesn't get a chance to play in the championship game this year, then teams in that conference and similar conferences should just call it quits and set up their own league.

169
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:06pm

77: No more controversial than when Nebraska was in the championship when they didn’t win their division.

This is one of those entrenched myths, but Nebraska won the co-championship of their division that year. They got the exact same trophy Colorado did.

So if that designation is going to be made, I think it’s reasonable to want the process used to do so to do the best possible job of recognizing the “best� team (whatever that means).

I agree.

And I think most people would agree that the BCS is not that system.

The BCS has done a great job. No clear errors since its inception.

No one complains about the outcome of the college basketball season. It would be the same with a playoff in football.

Are you kidding? Everyone I know who advocate a playoff admits that the best team would rarely win. The best team frequent doesn't win the Super Bowl, or the World Series. College basketball? How often do the four best teams make it to the Final Four (note: George Mason was not one of the best four teams that year).

The argument for a playoff has never been that it selects the best team. It doesn't . The argument is that, although arbitrary, it does select a champion. Well, the BCS is arbitrary (at least this year), and it will select a champion. I don't see any difference between the two systems this year.

If we had an 8 team playoff, Missouri and Oklahoma would probably both make it. Can you imagine if they met in a championship game and Missouri beat Oklahoma 28-27? Would anyone believe that the best team had won? A team should never have to beat another team three times to win the championship.

170
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:15pm

Scott:

"A team should never have to beat another team three times to win the championship."

This happens in the NFL when a team will face a divisional rival in the playoffs. Was your statement specific to collegiate football or do you believe the same applies to the pros?

Just curious.

And if you looking for examples the Packers beat the Vikings twice in the 2004 regular season and then lost to MN in the playoffs. And I am sure others could provide additional examples.

171
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:18pm

165: They do settle on the field- just with fewer teams.

For those unaware, NCAA Basketball also has it's own committee that determines what teams are allowed to participate in their tournament.

So they have their own "beauty contest".

172
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 2:24pm

If Hawaii doesn’t get a chance to play in the championship game this year, then teams in that conference and similar conferences should just call it quits and set up their own league.

The major conferences would welcome that.

And what would be the result? Maybe they could have a playoff that would generate all kinds of interest. Sort of like the D-1AA tournament that started yesterday, and has YET TO GET ONE SINGLE MENTION IN THIS ENTIRE THREAD.

173
by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:32pm

171 - App State is still alive - Michigan could set history by losing to two national champions in the same season! (Cue Russell groaning.)

174
by Justin (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:37pm

168: The BCS has done a great job. No clear errors since its inception.

Let's see...

2000-2001: BCS chooses one-loss Florida State over one-loss Miami (who beat FSU) or one-loss Washington (who beat Miami). Oklahoma handily beats FSU for the championship. Miami & Washington easily win their bowl games.

2001-2002: BCS chooses one-loss Nebraska, who lost 62-36 at Colorado in the last game of their season, over one-loss Oregon. Miami demolishes Nebraska in the national title game while Oregon blasted Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl.

2003-2004: BCS chooses Oklahoma, coming off a 35-7 loss to Kansas St in the Big 12 Championship game, and one-loss LSU over one-loss USC for the National Championship game. LSU beats Oklahoma, leading by 2 TDs for much of the 2nd half, while USC handily beats Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

2004-2005: Three BCS conference teams - USC, Oklahoma, & Auburn - finish undefeated. The BCS chooses the former two, and USC dominates 55-19. Auburn finishes the first undefeated SEC season in six years with a win over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

Since the championship game is the last game of the season, we will never have the proverbial smoking gun to know for sure, but none of those choices looked particularly good in hindsight. So I think you're setting your definition of "clear error" a little high.

175
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:44pm

Kevin11--this is going to sound like snark, but it isn't; I'm asking a legitimate question: are your arguments against a football division 1 playoff generalizable? Since every (or virtually every, I haven't actually done the research on fencing, crew, etc.) other NCAA sport has a playoff system, do you think a sort of BCS system should replace playoffs in those sports? Are there inherent problems in playoffs that could or should be solved by instituting a BCS type system in baseball, softball, IAA football, etc.? If you don't think that is appropriate, what aspects of major college football are unique, so that it should have a unique system for determining a champion? Finally, are those unique aspects (major contenders almost never playing each other unless they are in the same conference, losses earlier in the year "counting less" than games lost later, "slotting" in the polls, reputation counting for too much in the polls, out-of conference games too often being vrs. Cupcake College or Solid State University, etc.) actually part of the problem? I'd be interested in discussing this and I think your views would be among the most interesting and thoughtful that would be expressed in such a discussion--most of the posters on this thread seem reasonably good at avoiding the death spiral of denunciation that all too often ruins the NFL threads on FO.

176
by Tiresias (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 3:44pm

Re 159:

I'll name one. Undefeated, SEC champion Auburn doesn't play for the championship.

The reality is that given the nature of scheduling it's not possible to subjectively select (and subjective selection is the cornerstone of the BCS) the best team. So...why are we still trying (quixotically) to pick the best team. We don't need the champion to be the best team, we need a more objective determination of the champion, i.e. a playoff.

In my mind, it's better that a lesser team win and be crowned champion than a deserving team never have a chance to even play for the win.

177
by DragonFireKai (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 4:48pm

People are talking about something like OSU losing to Illinois as justification for Hawaii. The idea of the BCS and the polls aren't to select two undefeated teams, it's to select the two best teams. And the W/L record alone doesn't determine the best team. Hawaii has not played impressively against the best teams on the schedule, and the best teams on their schedule suck. An overtime win against a 5 win mid major is less impressive than a 7 win loss to a 9 win BCS conference team because you have to play worse to win that close against that bad of a team than to lose close against that good of a team.

178
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 4:53pm

174: No snark taken, bud.

I don't think any other sport should do what college football does, although from a puely competitive standpoint I would like to see other sports make the regular seaon more meaningful by allowing fewer teams into the playoffs.

College Football is unique for two reasons: for one, it has a far shorter season than other sports.

Secondly, it has tradition. I'm a Tennessee Vols fan, and I'm excited over the prospect of playing Missouri or Kansas in the Cottom Bowl. The Cotton has tradition, and I can't recall the Vols playing against either team.

Other sports don't have, nor can they manufacture such tradition, and I agree it would be silly to see the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros in a baseball bowl.

Just as I don't think the NFL or the NBA needs to be like college football, I don't think college football needs to be like those leagues.

Addressing your latter point, here are my radical ideas to make college football better.

1. CREATE A COMMITTEE TO RELEASE AN OFFICIAL WEEKLY TOP 25. Get rid of the BCS polls, and ignore the human polls. Every Sunday, have a committee (much like NCAA basketball does before the tournament) meet and create a Top 25. Tell them what criteria to use and not use. Have them use the computer polls for assistance and guidance. The one question they should ask, especially today, is "what team had the best 2007?", followed by "what team had the second best?", etc, all the way down to 25.

2. CREATE A BOWL DRAFT. This would be HUGE, far bigger than the NFL Draft. After announcing the National Championship Game, have the Sugar Bowl rep walk up to the podium and select his team. then the Rose, then the Fiesta, etc, until those four slots are filled. Then, slot the remaining bowls via payout, and allow them to pick. Say the Cotton Bowl is the #6 bowl- have a rep walk up and announce the two teams that have been selected for the Cotton. Next comes the Citrus, Chick-Fil-A, etc, all the way down to the International or the New Orleans Bowls. It would be a wild show, and we'd see more interesting matchups than the current bowl tie-ins provide.

Thanks for the question, and I'll post this again on the next CFB thread.

179
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 5:01pm

175- But does that make 2004 Southern Cal a BS champion? I don't think so.

There have been controversies, but the only time the BCS got it "wrong" was when it picked Florida State in 2000. Miami had one loss and beat FSU, Washington had one loss and it beat Miami...so it should have been Oklahoma vs Washington.

180
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 5:09pm

Kevin11, good answer--your points about the short season and tradition are good ones. Along with your two suggestions, maybe we could have something like a requirement that every div 1 team that aspires to a major bowl cannot play more than one "mid-major," or perhaps rotate out of conference games such that one year the Big Ten teams must play Big East teams, the Pac 10 must play ACC, the Big 12 must play SEC,then the next year Big 10 plays ACC, etc. etc. Exceptions could be made for historical rivalries, major independents (are any left besides ND?) and the like. Although there would be a rush to schedule the Dukes and Stanfords rather than Virginia Techs and USC's, eventually someone would have to stumble onto a worthy opponent! And, of course, if you schedule Stanford a few years in advance and then John Elway enrolls, well, hello!

Your weekly top 25 committee, if it was made up of knowledgeable and upright members, could take into account the quality of opponents, etc. in establishing the rankings. There might still be problems with bias (a year when the Big 10 is down, the Big 10 winner might still get too much respect, but, hey, that's happening right now too), but it is an intriguing idea.

181
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 5:10pm

BREAKING NEWS: It'll be Ohio State vs LSU.

They got it right.

182
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 7:17pm

no they didn't.

183
by jdog (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 7:47pm

RE:177 Your points are well taken, however, I view the short season as more of a reason FOR a playoff than against one. At the end of the season, there are much fewer games for teams to have established their "pecking order" than in the other sports. It is harder to get a true measure of a team over 11 games than 30 or 40.

Also, just because something is "traditional" doesn't always mean that it is the best method or the most fair.

184
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 9:01pm

Well well well...looks like I'm not the only one around here who thinks WVA choked, Kevin11. Imagine that.

Didn't know you were a Vols fan before, that explains a lot :-)

Okay, here's my proposal: Either EVERY conference get a title game or have every member play every other member a la the Pac 10, or abolish all conference title games. No more of this "Big Ten ends its season before Thanksgiving and sits around watching other teams lose" nonsense. I'm sure the Big Ten would gladly get on board, considering the still widely held perception that Michigan's idleness cost them a spot in last season's title game, not to mention the infamous "long layoff" excuse for the Buckeyes :-)

An 8-team playoff involving ONLY conference champions. That way all those title games actually matter. The champs of the 6 BCS conferences and two at-larges (Hawaii and Georgia/Mizzou/KU would be it this year).

The BCS is still in play--but only as a ranking system for the playoff seeds. For example this year Hawaii would be the 8th seed and play top-seeded TOSU in the first round. Remember, nobody except conference champs and 2 at larges allowed.

OR...just reclassify all non-BCS conferences into another division since none of them will ever be allowed to play for the 1A title anyway, thus ending the hypocrisy. In which case, Georgia and either Mizzou/KU become the at-large playoff entries in the scenario described above.

And there you go. Oh, also no preseason polls, and no polls at lal until 4 games have been played and the BCS rankings come out at their usual time.

185
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 9:37pm

183- I'm a Vols fan and a Patriots fan.

Please don't hate me because my teams are beautiful :)

186
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 10:03pm

#184: Actually the Vols have been pretty ugly this season :-)

I'm guessing there are no mirrors in your house, since there's no way you could possibly look at yourself in them :-)

All teasing aside, what do you think of my proposal?

187
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 10:13pm

185- I'm actually pleased with my beloved Vols this year. If you had told me in August they'd win nine, win the the East, and play in the Cotton (not official yet), I'd be happy. Not happy about getting blown out by Florida, Bama, and Cal, but overall...happy.

Your proposal would not be *bad*, but IMOHO there's a better way. Give the teams the freedom to govern their own regular season schedules, and let them be evaluated fairly. Wanna schedule non-conference cupcakes? That's your right, but it may harm you in a National Title race.

And...teams like Hawaii would rather be I-A than re-classified, even if means they don't have a shot at the title with UH's schedule. Believe me, Hawaii is happier playing in the Sugar than participating in a D-1AA playoff no one cares about.

188
by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 10:35pm

"Your proposal would not be *bad*, but IMOHO there’s a better way. Give the teams the freedom to govern their own regular season schedules, and let them be evaluated fairly. Wanna schedule non-conference cupcakes? That’s your right, but it may harm you in a National Title race."

That's why I'd like to see strength of schedule included in the formula again. The pollsters don't pay attention to SOS (see Kansas being #2 in the country). I'm not sure exactly how to weight SOS, but it should be a factor.

189
by Joe (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 10:46pm

This is one of those entrenched myths, but Nebraska won the co-championship of their division that year. They got the exact same trophy Colorado did.

I don't care what trophy they got, they didn't play in the conference championship, ergo they didn't win their division.

190
by Joe (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 10:50pm

162: Please. Hawaii hasn’t played ANY impressive teams. The Big West stinks, Hawaii’s non-conference schedule stinks….seriously, where would Hawaii have finished in the Big 10? Ya think Ohio State- and a lot of other teams- would be 12 - 0 with Hawaii’s schedule?

And ya think Michigan would beat a 1-AA school at home. If OSU gets to play for the national championship, then strength of schedule means nothing, it's because they only have 1 loss. Hawaii has no losses, they deserve to be there just as much if not more.

191
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 10:50pm

Supposed BCS bowls:
NCG: LSU v OSU
Sugar: UGA v Hawaii
Fiesta: OU v KU
Rose: USC v Illinois
Orange: West Virginia v VT

almost none of these on paper are watchable.

192
by Phil (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 10:52pm

Re 186:Your proposal would not be *bad*, but IMOHO there’s a better way. Give the teams the freedom to govern their own regular season schedules, and let them be evaluated fairly. Wanna schedule non-conference cupcakes? That’s your right, but it may harm you in a National Title race.

Apparently not if OSU is in the championship. The message is clear: play a bunch of crappy non-conference teams and win a crappy conference and you go to the championship. Unless you're a mid-major, then you should just withdraw from I-A because you'll never get a fair shake.

193
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 10:57pm

exactly, the Big Ten was terrible this season and Ohio State was king crap of crap mountain. Georgia, Florida, LSU, Auburn, and probably Arkansas and Tennessee would have finished with undefeated or with a similar record as Ohio State this season with the same schedule...

194
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:12pm

#186: I could've sworn teams already did have the freedom to make their own schedules, and that scheduling patsies harmed their chances for a national title (unless they had the right name of course).

#187: The only reason KU got to #2 was because everyone ahead of them kept losing. Voters tried like hell to rank them as low as possible precisely BECAUSE their SOS was so weak.

In fact SOS is the second biggest factor in human polls next to a team's name.

195
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:14pm

#190: For whatever strange reason, I've always wanted to see the Mountaneers and Hokies face off in a bowl. Must be the whole Virginia-West Virginia thing. I think they used to play each other fairly regularly back in the day.

But yeah, the rest of those bowls do look like clunkers.

196
by Dave in St. Louis (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:16pm

Mizzou gets screwed. How can you put Kansas, who Mizzou beat last week, in the BCS ahead of Mizzou?

197
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:17pm

well, reports were wrong.

Its West Virginia-Oklahoma and Kansas-Virginia Tech. Pretty damn terrible either way.

198
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:19pm

#195

Because Mizzou lost twice or something. Hell Illinois is in a Rose Bowl, of course this is the best way to pick a national champion....

199
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:20pm

"I think they used to play each other fairly regularly back in the day."

And by "back in the day" I meant "every year from 1973-2005". Whoops...

#195: Probably because KU has fewer losses? At this point who the hell knows.

#196: Just think--those could've been playoff games! WOOHOO!!!

200
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:22pm

#195: You've gotta love the Rose Bowl's insistence on having a 3-loss Big Ten team over one of the massive pile of 2-loss BCS teams. Hard to see how Illinois-USC won;t suck.

201
by Dave in St. Louis (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:25pm

The Illinois thing doesn't rankle so much because that was at the beginning of the year, BUT Kansas lost to Mizzou Last Week.

202
by CA (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:27pm

If not for the BCS, we would have the two best teams in the country, Ohio State and USC, playing a classic Rose Bowl.

203
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:28pm

So if Kansas blows out Virginia Tech and LSU barely beats Ohio State, Kansas is getting a part of the championship right?

Fun season ruined by an arbitrary reason to pick champions-a playoff would have made this season so much better.

204
by CA (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:29pm

Re: 192 exactly, the Big Ten was terrible this season and Ohio State was king crap of crap mountain.

I think you're getting confused with last year.

205
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:30pm

Do people really think Ohio State is one of the best teams in the country? I think they are good and Tressel did a great job with this team, but I am not that impressed by them.

206
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:34pm

#202: You can't be serious! A playoff would've totally ruined the regular season and made it meaningless! Or something. LOL

#203: Um...no. If anything the Big Ten is worse this year. Last year remember they had three 11-win teams. This year? Um...er...well...Plus there's the giant pit of suckitude that is this year's Golden Gophers.

207
by CA (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:39pm

Re: 205 If anything the Big Ten is worse this year. Last year remember they had three 11-win teams

They had three 11 win teams last year only because the rest of the conference was so weak. I've been following Big Ten football closely for 15 years, and the Big Ten was by far the weakest I've ever seen it in 2006. I'm not going to pretend that the conference was particularly strong in 2007, but it wasn't the embarassment that it was last year.

208
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:43pm

204- That's not the issue.

Can you put forward an argument that a team has had a better 2007 than Ohio State or LSU?

IMO you can't.

209
by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:44pm

195- I agree: Missouri is more worthy than Kansas.

210
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:50pm

What was Ohio State's best win this season? The victory over the P.J. Hill-less Wisconsin or the victory over the sort of healthy Henne/Hart Michigan team?

I would take Georgia over Ohio State

211
by CA (not verified) :: Sun, 12/02/2007 - 11:54pm

Re: 209 What was Ohio State’s best win this season?

That's easy: Blowing out Penn State in Beaver Stadium. Penn State is a superb home team, and I didn't think any team in the country could win at Penn State this year. Ohio State looked extremely impressive. They're the real deal (or as real as you're going to get by 2007 standards) and a better team than they were last season but not as good as they were in 2005. JMHO.

212
by Justin (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:03am

207: That’s not the issue. Can you put forward an argument that a team has had a better 2007 than Ohio State or LSU? IMO you can’t.

Let's take a look. Here's an update of the table in #92 using the new BCS rankings:

#1 Ohio State: Big 10 Champion; 11-1; W at #18 Wisconsin; L vs #13 Illinois
#2 LSU: SEC Champion; 11-2; W vs #3 Virginia Tech, vs #12 Florida, vs #16 Tennesee, vs #23 Auburn; L at Kentucky, vs Arkansas
#3 Virginia Tech: ACC Champion; 11-2; W vs #14 BC, at #15 Clemson, at #20 Virginia; L at #2 LSU, vs #14 BC
#4 Oklahoma: Big-12 Champion; 11-2; W vs #6 Missouri, vs #6 Missouri, at #19 Texas; L at Colorado, at Texas Tech
#5 Georgia: 10-2; W at #12 Florida, vs #23 Auburn; L vs South Carolina, at #16 Tennessee
#6 Missouri: 11-2; W at #13 Illinois, at #8 Kansas; L at #4 Oklahoma, vs #4 Oklahoma
#7 USC: Pac-10 Champion; 10-2; W at #11 Arizona St; L vs Stanford, at Oregon
#8 Kansas: 11-1; L vs #6 Missouri

It's hard to make the argument that LSU isn't in the top 2. Ohio St on the other hand... I take Oklahoma's resume over theirs, and I think you could also make an argument for Virginia Tech, Georgia, or Missouri, as well.

The fact is that it's hard to say for sure because Ohio State has played a ridiculous dearth of quality teams. The only 2 top-25 teams they played were at home, and they lost one of them.

213
by Justin (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:08am

Looks like I made a couple mistakes - the OSU/Wisconsin game was in Columbus (as I noted in my comments) and the Georgia/Florida game was in Atlanta.

214
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:09am

Final official BCS standings linked in my name.

Gotta love how Mizzou and WVA enter Saturday ranked 1 and 2 and neither team gets into a BCS bowl even though Mizzou finished 6th in the final standings. Also gotta love how the Rose Bowl (who has a long history of being stubborn and childish and screwing things up for everyone) just HAD to have a three-loss Illinois team.

215
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:21am

#212
Georgia-Florida is in Jacksonville at a "neutral" site.

216
by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:33am

Also gotta love how the Rose Bowl (who has a long history of being stubborn and childish and screwing things up for everyone) just HAD to have a three-loss Illinois team.

As an Illinois grad, I love it :) First Rose Bowl in 24 years. It makes up for missing out a few years ago when we won the Big 10 and had to play LSU in the Sugar Bowl because the Rose Bowl had the championship.

217
by bradluen (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:44am

Five BCS matches, five mismatches (if West Virginia play anywhere near as badly as they did yesterday).

Which of course this season, means five upsets.

218
by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:45am

Re 211: Illinois-Missouri was at a neutral site.

219
by bradluen (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:47am

On the plus side, Missouri vs Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl should be awesome.

220
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:52am

#216: Yeah really. Only the bowl games could screw up what otherwise would (and should) be playoff games. Why is it so important to keep an ever-bloated series of postseason games who seemingly go out of their way to create horrible matchups again?

221
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:56am

Bowl matchups, I am an Alabama fan, but I am probably not taking the trip to Shreveport this year...but I will likely try to go to the awesomely named Papajohns.com Bowl.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia
Utah vs. Navy San Diego Dec. 20, 9 p.m.
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic New Orleans Dec. 21, 8 p.m.
Papajohns.com Bowl
Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati Birmingham, Ala. Dec. 22, 1 p.m.
New Mexico
Nevada vs. New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M. Dec. 22, 4:30 p.m.
Pioneer Las Vegas
UCLA vs. BYU Las Vegas Dec. 22, 8 p.m.
Sheraton Hawaii
Boise State vs. East Carolina Honolulu Dec. 23, 8 p.m.
Motor City
Purdue vs. Central Michigan Detroit Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Pacific Life Holiday
Arizona State vs. Texas San Diego Dec. 27, 8 p.m.
Champs Sports
Boston College vs. Michigan State Orlando, Fla. Dec. 28, 5 p.m.
Texas
TCU vs. Houston Houston Dec. 28, 8 p.m.
Emerald
Maryland vs. Oregon State San Francisco Dec. 28, 8:30 p.m.
Meineke Car Care
UConn vs. Wake Forest Charlotte, N.C. Dec. 29, 1 p.m.
AutoZone Liberty
UCF vs. Mississippi State Memphis, Tenn. Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m.
Valero Alamo
Penn State vs. Texas A&M San Antonio Dec. 29, 8 p.m.
PetroSun Independence
Alabama vs. Colorado Shreveport, La. Dec. 30, 8 p.m.
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
California vs. Air Force Fort Worth, Texas Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m.
Roady's Humanitarian
Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State Boise, Idaho Dec. 31, 2 p.m.
Brut Sun
South Florida vs. Oregon El Paso, Texas Dec. 31, 2 p.m.
Gaylord Hotels Music City
Kentucky vs. Florida State Nashville, Tenn. Dec. 31, 4 p.m.
Insight
Indiana vs. Oklahoma State Tempe, Ariz. Dec. 31, 6 p.m.
Chick-fil-A
Clemson vs. Auburn Atlanta Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m.
Outback
Wisconsin vs. Tennessee Tampa, Fla. Jan. 1, 2008, 11 a.m.
AT&T Cotton
Missouri vs. Arkansas Dallas Jan. 1, 2008, 11:30 a.m.
Gator
Texas Tech vs. Virginia Jacksonville, Fla. Jan. 1, 2008, 1 p.m.
Capital One
Michigan vs. Florida Orlando, Fla. Jan. 1, 2008, 1 p.m.
Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Illinois vs. USC Pasadena, Calif. Jan. 1, 2008, 4:30 p.m.
Allstate Sugar
Hawaii vs. Georgia New Orleans Jan. 1, 2008, 8:30 p.m.
Tostitos Fiesta
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia Glendale, Ariz. Jan. 2, 2008, 8 p.m.
FedEx Orange
Virginia Tech vs. Kansas Miami Jan. 3, 2008, 8 p.m.
International
Rutgers vs. Ball State Toronto Jan. 5, 2008, Noon
GMAC
Bowling Green vs. Tulsa Mobile, Ala. Jan. 6, 2008, 8 p.m.
Allstate BCS Championship Game
LSU vs. Ohio State

222
by bradluen (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 1:04am

Cal's gone from #2 to playing Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. Ouch.

And if they played this week, Air Force might be favorites.

223
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 1:05am

Keep the New Orleans bowl but cut out all the rest, they're worthless :-)

224
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 1:06am

#221: Cal is EXTREMELY lucky to be in a bow game at all, I think they lost their last 5 or 5 of their last 6, something like that.

225
by DoubleB (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 1:10am

206:

The Big Ten had 3 good, if flawed, teams last year in OSU, Michigan, and Wisconsin. This year they have only one of those teams in Ohio State.

What's the best non-conference win by ANY Big Ten this year? It might be the exact same as the WAC's--Washington. The conference beat no team currently ranked OR receiving votes in the AP Poll.

In the meantime, some of the losses were incredible: Minnesota getting completely dominated by North Dakota State--a conditional I-AA team, Duke's win over Northwestern, Iowa's loss to Western Michigan to close the year and the loss to Iowa State early in the year (a team that went 4-4 in the conference and of course Appalachian State.

Last year, the conference had no depth. This year, it's just bad across the board.

226
by Justin (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 1:18am

214, 217: D'oh, stupid Yahoo. Hopefully this is correct now:

#1 Ohio State: Big 10 Champion; 11-1; W vs #18 Wisconsin; L vs #13 Illinois
#2 LSU: SEC Champion; 11-2; W vs #3 Virginia Tech, vs #12 Florida, n #16 Tennesee, vs #23 Auburn; L at Kentucky, vs Arkansas
#3 Virginia Tech: ACC Champion; 11-2; W n #14 BC, at #15 Clemson, at #20 Virginia; L at #2 LSU, vs #14 BC
#4 Oklahoma: Big-12 Champion; 11-2; W n #6 Missouri, vs #6 Missouri, at #19 Texas; L at Colorado, at Texas Tech
#5 Georgia: 10-2; W n #12 Florida, vs #23 Auburn; L vs South Carolina, at #16 Tennessee
#6 Missouri: 11-2; W n #13 Illinois, n #8 Kansas; L at #4 Oklahoma, n #4 Oklahoma
#7 USC: Pac-10 Champion; 10-2; W at #11 Arizona St; L vs Stanford, at Oregon
#8 Kansas: 11-1; L n #6 Missouri

227
by CA (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 2:46am

Re: 224

Here's my take on this year's Big Ten teams v. last year's:

Ohio State: 2007 > 2006
Illinois: 2007 >> 2006
Michigan: 2007 2006
Iowa: 2007 > 2006
Indiana: 2007 >> 2006
Michigan State: 2007 >> 2006
Purdue: 2007 > 2006
Northwestern: 2007 >> 2006
Minnesota: 2007

228
by CA (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 2:49am

Shoot! The end of my post got cut off! Let's try this again:

Minnesota: 2007 much worse than 2006.

Michigan and Wisconsin are slightly worse than last year's versions. Minnesota has become terrible. Otherwise, I believe every team has improved, in some cases dramatically. Last year, I'd say the Big Ten had only five of the top 60 teams in the country (Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, and Purdue -- and I'm probably being generous by including Purdue). This year, I believe the conference has nine (all but Northwestern and Minnesota). I also believe this year's Illinois and Wisconsin teams are at least comparable to last year's Michigan team (the worst of the Big 3 last season), so I disagree with your claim that the Big Ten has only one good team this year. I don't think people fathom how awful the Big Ten was last year below Penn State. This year's Northwestern team, the second worst team in the conference, probably should be favored against any of the bottom six or seven teams from 2006 in a hypothetical meeting. I might even take 2007 Minnesota over 2006 Illinois, Michigan State, and Northwestern. Again, this is JMHO.

229
by CA (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 2:59am

... and now I see that a couple of the teams were cut as well. What a mess! Filling in the blanks:

Michigan: 2007 worse than 2006
Wisconsin: 2007 worse than 2006
Penn State: 2007 better than 2006

230
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 3:38am

But would you take Northwestern at home against Duke?

I still think any SEC team not named Ole Miss would have won 8+ games in the Big Ten this year. Ole Miss would have won 6.

231
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 4:44am

How sad is the Big Ten? Ron Zook got to a BCS bowl there! RON ZOOK!!! The same guy who kept leading the Gators to 5-loss season after 5-loss season! The guy who got Croomed BEFORE Mississippi State was anywhere near a bowl team! And HE succeeded in the Big Ten!

I rest my case.

232
by Pierre (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 6:09am

Cat someone explain to me the reasoning behind the argument: " A playoff would make the regular season meaningless"

233
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 8:14am

DolFan, As much as I hate to point it out to you, last time I saw a study, which was admittedly several years ago, of how the SEC does in Bowl game, IIRC they were no better than anyone else.

Also one of the complaints about the Big Ten teams is that they go to better bowls than they should, and yet I think as a conference they do about average, which is not what you would expect if they were playing better competition than they should.

234
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:00pm

This happens in the NFL when a team will face a divisional rival in the playoffs. Was your statement specific to collegiate football or do you believe the same applies to the pros?

Pro football is just a sport, so it's less of a problem. College football is life itself.

235
by DoubleB (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:02pm

227:

"I also believe this year’s Illinois and Wisconsin teams are at least comparable to last year’s Michigan team (the worst of the Big 3 last season)."

Didn't Michigan beat Wisconsin 17-3 last year?

Considering this year's Illinois team couldn't beat this year's Michigan team at home, I find it hard to believe they are comparable to last year's Michigan team.

I think 2007 Wisconsin is the worst 9 win BCS team in college football history.

236
by DoubleB (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:05pm

232:

The Big Ten is 11-17 the last 4 years in bowl games (the worst of the BCS conferences).

237
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:06pm

2000-2001: BCS chooses one-loss Florida State over one-loss Miami (who beat FSU) or one-loss Washington (who beat Miami). Oklahoma handily beats FSU for the championship. Miami & Washington easily win their bowl games.

This was the correct decision. If you have several teams with one loss, you pick the team who lost to the strongest team (assuming schedules are broadly comparable).

If you don’t think that is appropriate, what aspects of major college football are unique, so that it should have a unique system for determining a champion?

If you grew up in a place like Nebraska or another traditional college football hotbed, you wouldn't have to ask that. College football is unique. It's not the team playing out there on Saturday, it's the entire state. No other sport can make that claim.

238
by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:26pm

This was the correct decision. If you have several teams with one loss, you pick the team who lost to the strongest team (assuming schedules are broadly comparable).

I disagree. If you have several teams with one loss, head to head should be the first tiebreaker. The playoff opponents keep saying that college football is "so special" because every game counts. But when Miami beats Florida State and FSU goes to the national championship over Miami, then the Miami-FSU game didn't count.

239
by mactbone (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:57pm

My comment was eaten because the pages don't load half the time and I'm not going to type it again. Basically, I watched a lot games to see if teams would lose on their way to the NC, many of those games turned out meaningless after the fact, but with a playoff system they would be meaningless before the game started.

This site is becoming largele unworkable and if I can't get pages to load without refreshing it 20 times I'm not going to continue bashing my head against the wall.

240
by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 1:25pm

Re 238: How are all the games meaningless if there's a playoff? Teams would still have to get in the playoffs. The number of "meaningful" games would increas with a playoff because more teams would have a chance to qualify for the top 8 or 16 than currently have a chance to qualify for the top 2. Plus you'd have 7 or 15 games that would be much more meaningful than any games currently being played.

241
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 2:34pm

largest free-fall from midseason:

Cal 5-0 ranked #2--ends up 6-6

South Carolina 6-1, ranked 6th--ends up 6-6

242
by Woz (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 2:37pm

RE 183: An 8-team playoff involving ONLY conference champions. That way all those title games actually matter. The champs of the 6 BCS conferences and two at-larges (Hawaii and Georgia/Mizzou/KU would be it this year).

Why not **just** conference champions? Yes, invite the lowly Florida Atlantic (Sun Belt champions) along with the rest of the mid-majors. If you don't win your conference, why should you get a shot at the title game? Sucks to be you. All of the regular season games matter (want a shot? win your conference, it's as simple as that).

So, you now have an 11 team bracket. Hmm, somewhat unbalanced? Well, you give five teams a bye and six teams have a "wildcard/play-in" weekend. The seeding should be done by strength of CONFERENCE (method chosen can be debated). I used Sagarin's ratings, just because he rates the conferences as well as the individual teams (simple arithmetic mean, not central mean ... if you want central mean, then you switch West Virginia and USC below, along with Central Florida and Florida Atlantic).

PLAY IN GAMES
11 Florida Atlantic @ 6 Ohio State
- Sorry, Buckeye fans, that's the luck when the league is down.
10 Central Florida @ 7 Brigham Young
9 Central Michigan @ 8 Hawaii

QUARTERFINAL GAMES
5 Virginia Tech @ 4 Oklahoma
WINNER OF 11-6 @ 3 West Virginia
WINNER OF 10-7 @ 2 Southern California
WINNER OF 9-8 @ 1 Louisiana State

SEMIFINAL GAMES [home game for higher ranked team]
WINNER OF 9-8/1 v WINNER OF 5-4
WINNER OF 10-7/2 v WINNER OF 11-6/3

CHAMPIONSHIP [**NEUTRAL FIELD**]
WINNER OF EACH SEMIFINAL GAME

Looks good to me. Wait, isn't this the way they do it in I-AA? Oh, it must be garbage then.

243
by Woz (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 3:10pm

RE 199: You’ve gotta love the Rose Bowl’s insistence on having a 3-loss Big Ten team over one of the massive pile of 2-loss BCS teams.

If you are going to have a bowl system, does it surprise you that some bowls stick with traditional matchups? I mean, who should have gotten in ahead of Illinois? Georgia? Sugar Bowl would claim geographical reasons why they should have them. Kansas? A team that played no one until Missouri and lost? Missouri? A team that, prior to this year, has not seen a "9" in the win column since 1969 (again, remember "tradition" is the watch word)? Let's not even consider Hawaii, as every one of the major bowls looks at them like a diseased leper (the Sugar Bowl got "stuck" with them).

The only team that you might have an argument for is West Virginia. However, I think the Rose Bowl committee would tell you that choking at home to a 4 touchdown underdog is a reason they passed them up. Simple justification? You betcha. But they are looking for a Big Ten / Pac-10 matchup, so they'll do what they have to.

244
by AlexSmithJoe (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 5:29pm

#231:

It's not that the regular season would be "meaningless", so much as it is that it would be diminished, the degree being open for debate. If we assume an 8-team playoff format, most of the field would have been set going into this final weekend. Seeding could have been affected, and some teams in the 7-8 spots could have been "on the bubble" but most of the field would have been known (think Week 17 of the NFL). The fact that we had a doomsday scenario play out is what made it so interesting, and thus voters had to look at a team's entire resume when making out their ballots. With a playoff system, it'd be like "ooh, they dropped from the 2 seed to the 7 seed, but they're still in in the mix." Missouri and West Virginia would have been in the title game had they taken care of business in their respective conference title games. They didn't. Do we allow a team that didn't win its conference title game into the hypothetical tournament? Imagine the ensuing controversy if one of them went on to win via a playoff system: champions of the nation, but not the Big 12/Big East. They lost their "playoff games" this past weekend. When USC lost to Stanford, you should have gotten the feeling that even if they ran the table from there, that loss was a huge black eye to their title hopes (likely unforgivable). Michigan lost its shot at the National title on opening week with its own unforgivable loss (although they wouldn't have made a field of eight, what if they HAD gone undefeated from there?). When LSU lost to Arkansas, they lost control of their own destiny (and wouldn't have been in had Missouri and WV taken care of business). Under a playoff scenario, LSU would have had a spot locked up with a win in the SEC title game (and maybe had a spot regardless). Those are just some examples of how the regular season is so meaningful because we DON'T have a playoff system. As it is right now, EVERY week counts, not just the stretch run in the month of November.

As it is right now, college football is basically a three-month double elimination tournament to decide who plays for the national title (this year being a bit more loose than in other years). No system is going to be perfect. I can see a plus-one format being worth exploring, so that football could have its own Final Four. It might also give an undefeated mid-major enough wiggle room to get an occasional crack at the title. It'd certainly be better to be talking about which 5th best team got snubbed rather than what 3rd best team got snubbed. Anything more than four teams is likely playing with fire. I would assume that playoff spots/additional bowls are much easier to add than to take away, so the people running things need to think long and hard before opening up a new Pandora's Box. (since the BCS has been SO well received...)

245
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 5:36pm

DoubleB:

If you are going to take your swipes at least be accurate with your facts.

"Didn’t Michigan beat Wisconsin 17-3 last year?"

Michigan won 27-13 at Michigan. The game was tied at halftime 10-10.

"I think 2007 Wisconsin is the worst 9 win BCS team in college football history."

Shades of Craig James declaring Wisconsin the "worst Big Ten representative to ever go to the Rose Bowl" and predicting Wisconsin would lose by 3 touchdowns. Wisconsin beat UCLA.

You do know that Wisconsin was one of two Big 10 teams to beat an SEC team last bowl season, correct? Wisconsin beat Arkansas. And now I expect 73 SEC fans to explain why it was the terrible quarterbacking of Arkansas that was the issue and that Wisconsin was just an innocent bystander.

And Wisconsin beat the LIVING SH*T out of Auburn the previous year. 24-10 and it wasn't that close. Go ahead. Check for yourself. Here's a link to the game report of that helps any:

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=382200

Again, take your shots. Wisconsin is NOT a great team nor even a particularly good team on most days. But time and time and time again folks like yourself make sweeping pronouncements on how much the Badgers S*CK.

And all Wisconsin does is win bowl games.

When you or someone else can reconcile all that you let me know......

246
by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 6:23pm

Do we allow a team that didn’t win its conference title game into the hypothetical tournament? Imagine the ensuing controversy if one of them went on to win via a playoff system: champions of the nation, but not the Big 12/Big East.

You're right - letting a team that didn't win its conference play in an 8 team playoff is much more controversial than letting a team that didn't win its conference (or even play in its conference championship) play in the national championship game.

247
by Pete (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 6:27pm

How long until Bowl + 1? Maybe sooner than later...

I actually like how exciting college football is. We have lots to talk about. Of course, I like how the polls can take into account strength of schedule, current strength of team, margin of victory, etc. Whether they do so consistently may be another question. I wish the computer rankings could use margin of victory (17-point victory means 3 scores, which is more impressive than a 1-point victory or a victory in overtime). This might also take into account the home field advantage and respect earned for a team who almost beats a great team (or almost loses to a terrible team).

248
by DoubleB (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 6:28pm

244:

I was talking about this year's Wisconsin team. Not last year's. Not the 1999 Rose Bowl champions. Instead of extrapolating my comments to the entire history of Big Ten football and general Midwestern sensibilities, why don't we stick to what the comment actually stated:

"I think 2007 Wisconsin is the worst 9 win BCS team in college football history."

I'll start by acknowledging the incorrect final score of the UM-Wisky game last year. My point was that a previous commenter stated Michigan was the worst of those 3 teams (2006 OSU, UM, and Wisky) which I disputed based on the fact Michigan beat them straight up.

Were you impressed with Wisconsin this year? This was a Big Ten preseason pick to compete for a conference title and they looked like anything but in all but maybe two games: Indiana and Michigan. I watched a number of Wisconsin games this year and I couldn't have been more unimpressed. Their linebacking corps is horrible. Unblocked guys would shy away from hitting the backs.

Good luck in the Outback Bowl against Tennessee.

249
by Pete (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 6:34pm

Conference champ? Remember that not all conferences include a championship or guaranteed matchup (Iowa might be conference champ with 2 OOC losses, but never play #1 in the country, Ohio State). Imagine if UT-Florida were both undefeated and their game was canceled due to weather (Hurricane Katrina-like occasion).

The current system could allow for these teams to play in the BCS Championship game. Many voters might prefer not to see a non-champion play and could vote lower if they thought it was necessary.

Even better, IMO, would be a Bowl + 1 where the championship teams would be decided January 2nd. This could retain the historical bowl games (Ohio State vs. USC, Oklahoma against Kansas? Georgia?, LSU vs. Hawaii?, WVa vs. VaTech). It could also slip easily into some of the benefits of the playoff system (teams like Ohio State and Kansas are forced to play a tough OOC team, teams like Hawaii or Boise State would allowed to prove just how strong their case is).

250
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 6:37pm

Why not **just** conference champions?

Because the non-BCS conferences don't deserve it. A playoff would generate a large amount of money, primarily because of the fanbases of the BCS conferences, primarily because those teams spend a ton of money on resources to maintain a decent team. Giving money earned by the BCS teams to the non-BCS conferences, whose budgets are a small fraction of the larger teams, is just unfair.

That's why the BCS, as it is, exists. The Rose Bowl made a ton of money because people wanted to see the PAC-10 and Big Ten - not because of the Rose Bowl itself. If the Rose Bowl started having C-USA vs WAC teams each year, it'd generate a tiny fraction of the money. The BCS is a coalition of the conferences who were generating the majority of the money in the bowl season.

A "fair" playoff system would just be a handout to schools that can't afford or don't want to keep up with the BCS conferences. Yes, it would be "fairer" as a sport, but the majority of college football fans aren't interested in the game as a sport. They're interested in it for their alma mater.

251
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 6:43pm

Double B:

Well, I DID stick to what you wrote as I stated in my earlier post.

And I was using the other items as examples of OTHERES who also made emphatic statements about the quality of Wisconsin football teams past and were proven incorrect. Just trying to provide some perspective.

And since reading my posts doesn't seem to be a focus here is what I wroter earlier:

"Wisconsin is NOT a great team nor even a particularly good team on most days."

I am hopeful that answers your question.

And the well wishing does me no good. I am not playing. I do not personally identify with teams like others who constantly refer to "we" or "us".

But I do know that should Wisconsin lose you will be the first one to seek me out in whatever thread exists following the bowls. And I doubt the nature of the posts will be very pleasant.

So be it. As long as you and other posters are factually correct I have no issue seeing Wisconsin being the target of ridicule.

I do know all the "smart guys" who branded Wisco as a bad team weren't writing all that much once the bowl season was completed. I can only hope for future similar levels of silence.

252
by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 8:03pm

Because the non-BCS conferences don’t deserve it.

Then kick them out of I-A or whatever it's called now and end the hypocrisy.

I do find the difference in attitudes towards football and basketball to be quite interesting. In regards to basketball, nobody says "the small schools don't spend as much as the big schools so they don't deserve an opportunity in the tournament because it's just a handout". The attitude is "upsets like Princeton over UCLA and Bucknell over Kansas are what make march madness great!"

Giving money earned by the BCS teams to the non-BCS conferences, whose budgets are a small fraction of the larger teams, is just unfair.

Yet that's exactly what happens in basketball and everyone raves how great the tourney is.

253
by jdog (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 8:05pm

RE:231 You gave the example that Michigan lost their first game so they were out of the picture from game 2 on. Under the current system, the entire rest of their season was then "meaningless". However, if there were a playoff, you could argue that the importance of their remaining games would dramatically increase.

I agree that, theoretically, there would be SOME regular season games that would go from "do or die" to "really important." However, for every one of those games, there would be 8 more that would INCREASE in importance.

I would grant, however, that there are diminishing returns on this concept. My "gut" tells me that an 8-16 team playoff would generate the most "total interest" in all games. If you went beyond that, (to 32 teams, for example) the negative effect on the regular season would be bigger than the overall positives.

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by Tiresias (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 8:31pm

Re: 251
It would be a mistake to equate the finances of college basketball and college football.

255
by DoubleB (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 9:04pm

250:

"But I do know that should Wisconsin lose you will be the first one to seek me out in whatever thread exists following the bowls. And I doubt the nature of the posts will be very pleasant."

I have no idea what that could possibly be based on. I don't recall "seeking you out" previously and I can't imagine doing it in the future.

What others have stated in the past about Wisconsin football is irrelevant to my opinion about this 2007 team which is based solely on me watching it play this year.

Based on your comment about Wisconsin not being a "particular good team on most days" it seems like you agree with me more than disagree about this year's squad. If so, then why the rant?

256
by AlexSmithJoe (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 10:00pm

252#:

Michigan could have still won the Big Ten, and that would not have been "meaningless" by any stretch, especially if they had beaten Ohio State along the way. They could have still gone to the Rose Bowl and had a mostly successful season with that one ugly blemish. However. . .I don't think the voters would have ever forgiven Michigan for that opening week loss and allowed them back into the national title discussion. Just because a team loses its chance to play for the national title early doesn't make its season a meaningless failure. And you really can't effectively argue that the importance of their remaining games would have increased under a playoff system because it increased anyway with their first loss.

I'm sorry, but if you lose a game at home to a 1-AA team (even a very good one), you're out of the national title picture. Period. Are there people here in favor of a system that lets them back in it after that? Isn't the national freaking championship supposed to mean something?

At least we can agree that 32 teams is TOO many, but I think even 16 is really pushing it. Think about it: that's (presumably) the 6 BCS conference champions and 10 at large bids. And how many of those spots would have been decided before this past weekend? Not all of them, but MANY of them. West Virginia and Missouri would have still been in. Georgia, Ohio State, Kansas, LSU all in. Oklahoma, USC: in with a win (maybe even a loss). It would have been much less compelling that both of them lost on Saturday if they were already guaranteed a spot in a playoff. Doesn't that just lower the intensity of the final few games in November? This is where the regular season would really be diminished by a playoff.

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by Pierre (not verified) :: Mon, 12/03/2007 - 11:18pm

I think we all realize that there are some serious issues with the way college football "picks" its winners and losers! We need for everyone to let go of tradition for a little while so that we can fix this flawed system. Friggin Pac-10 threatened to pull out of BCS if playoffs were used!

#255

You told me that college football is like double elimination-- but that playoffs make the season unimportant (or less important) Does that make Michigan's season unimportant after the loss to Oregon?

258
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/04/2007 - 3:54am

#244: Just letting you know I'm reconciling all that, and here's how.

Sure, give the Badgers credit for winning their last two bowl games against SEC opponents. Even though it really WAS the terrible quarterbacking of Arkansas that was the issue and Wisconsin was just an innocent bystander. Seriously, did you SEE that game? One of the ugliest wins by any football team, NFL or college, I've ever seen. If that win was a chick, she'd NEVER get a date.

But what about before that? I severely doubt BadgerT1000 will ever mention that before their cute little 2-bowl win streak, Wisconsin was just 8-8 in bowls all-time. And 0-5 against SEC opponents. Want proof? The link's in my name.

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by AlexSmithJoe (not verified) :: Tue, 12/04/2007 - 4:21am

256#

Michigan started 0-2, which under normal circumstances would have put them out of the national title picture (I still feel that loss to Appy State was unforgivable). It should be noted that both of those losses were non-conference losses, so my points in 255# about Michigan still having their traditional goals to play for remained even though they got their second loss. But from a national perspective, those two losses put them out at the time. I wouldn't call Michigan's season "unimportant" when they could have knocked off Ohio State to end the Buckeyes' slim chance at the national title. As I said in my previous post, they had things to play for even at 0-2, but at that point one had to remove them from national title consideration.

Having said that. . .this was such a wild season though that if Michigan had run the table from the 0-2 start, including a decisive victory over Ohio State to cap the season they may actually have been able to get national title consideration. But normally teams don't relinquish their 1# or 2# spot as easily as they did this year.

I stand by my earlier points that a playoff would diminish the regular season. The regular season drama surrounding a serious contender losing in early October is just too compelling. I also stand by my points about how under the usually suggested 8-team format that a number of the spots would probably be locked in a week or two before the season ended.

I don't want to say any more on this topic, but I'll add that I'm not hard-line, anti-playoff. I'm just not someone who wants to have a playoff system for the sake of having one, and until someone can sensibly sort through the scheduling of this postseason tournament (specifically, when it would be played in relation to the non-BCS bowl season), what would become of the traditional bowls (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, etc), and the guidelines for selecting teams into this playoff tournament, I'm just not jumping back on this bandwagon again. I think my comments above should suggest that I'm not convinced a playoff is going to do more good than harm, and college football has too much tradition to implement a radical change like this lightly. I say keep tweaking what we've got, maybe do a plus-one (to at least avoid another Auburn situation) game for a few years, and then see where we're at.

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by JDog (not verified) :: Tue, 12/04/2007 - 1:34pm

#258: Your post is well thought out and reasoned. I respectfully disagree, however. There are simply too many D1 FBS schools (119 or so) that play too few games with too little interconnectivity to provide anything close to a clear picture of who "deserves" the national title to settle it by a vote or even a single "#1 vs #2" game.

I say 16 teams. 11 conference winners plus the 5 highest ranked non-division winners. (Caveat - if the highest-ranked independent team is in the top 16, they get auto-bid.)

Standard #1 vs #16 seeding by BCS rank.

Rd 1 - 1st weekend December @ higher seed's home field
Rd 2 - 3rd weekend December
Semi - New Year's weekish
Final - Jan 10ish in prime time.

BCS Bowl locations rotate through championship, semi, and occasional quarterfinals. Use "second tier" bowls exclusively in quarters (Cotton, etc.) "Third tier" bowls do whatever they want with the leftovers.

Benefits: Huge advantage to being in top 8. Everyone starts season with theoretical chance to get in. Cash cow Notre Dame has a way in (if they deserve it.) Two week delay after round 1 gives time to arrange schedule/travel. Big bowls likely get the best games. Conferences can crown their champions however they want.

Downsides: Big bowls don't get to hand-pick the teams that will make them the most money. MAC, Conference USA, etc winner will get in over stronger 2nd or 3rd place teams in power conferences. Conference championships will have to be finished before 1st weekend in December.