Breaking Down the Current BCS Championship Game Situation

Who will make it to New Orleans?

The BCS standings currently have LSU at No. 1 and Alabama at No. 2. There is a lot of speculation currently on sports message boards and in the media about who will get the No. 2 spot in the BCS championship game should all the teams in the BCS top 6 win out. So, being one to follow the crowd, I’ve decided to share my thoughts on the subject. Here’s how I see it playing it out if everyone wins their next games with only Alabama done for the regular season.

LSU vs. Houston
This would be my personal choice for the game, but I know it’s not going to happen. Houston has not had a schedule that is comparable to the other teams in the Top 5. Their toughest test is their game with against Southern Mississippi, which hasn’t happened yet. The win over UCLA might seem good, considering that UCLA is in the historically powerful Pac 10 (I’m using the old names because I’m old), but UCLA is 6-6 and was manhandled by Texas. However, the main reason this won’t happen is that the BCS voters believe that it will not earn the ratings, attendance, or revenue the BCS is seeking.

LSU vs. Alabama
This is not likely to happen despite Alabama’s resume, which includes strong wins against Penn State, Arkansas and Auburn. Normally, the mistakes of a young quarterback would not mean much in most games, but the fact that McCarron came up short against LSU at home will be used as the reason that Alabama should not be in the game. The real reason, however, is that LSU vs. Alabama would end up being too regional and not the moneymaker that the BCS seeks, even though they have as much right as Oklahoma State (and some would argue more right) to play in the game.

LSU vs. Oklahoma State
This is the most likely scenario. Unlike LSU vs. Alabama, the game will have nationwide appeal and Oklahoma State’s resume is very similar to Alabama’s. They will have only one loss, to Iowa State, and when people make what I consider silly arguments that losing to a team ranked in the Top 30 is exactly the same as losing to a team ranked #1, then Oklahoma State is the top choice. Also, they will have beaten Oklahoma, which is a tough team, whereas Alabama will have been idle and a lot of these rankings are based on recent history.

LSU vs. Stanford
This is a long shot. Stanford, too, has only lost one game. I would argue that their loss is better because it was to a team ranked in the Top 10 at the time, whereas Oklahoma State’s wasn’t. I am firmly of the belief that not all losses are equal, much like Sagarin or Kenpom. This game would also have nationwide appeal, which is good for revenues. However, the perception that the Big 12 Conference schedule is tougher than the Pac 10 schedule and the fact that Stanford despite its 1-loss record will not be playing in the Pac 10 championship game is what will hold Stanford back, even though Stanford has also beaten a number of teams in the Top 50.

LSU vs. Virginia Tech
Hahahahahahahaha. The only way this would happen would be if every team ahead of them lost and Houston was given the death penalty by the NCAA next Saturday. I am probably the only person who is not a Hokie fan that would like to see this matchup only because of Virginia Tech’s history of blowing BCS Bowl Games. At least this time, it would be against the No. 1 team in the nation.

Final thoughts
So, there you have it. That’s how I see it all playing out should all teams win out. But, I don’t see that happening. I believe that Southern Miss will upset Houston and that Oklahoma will upset Oklahoma State. Then you have Stanford, Alabama and Virginia Tech all in the spotlight because Houston is the kind of team where 1 loss is equal to two losses in the Big 6 conferences. At that point, Stanford’s stock will rise and people will be clamoring for them to get in over Alabama. Will the BCS listen? Probably. It’s all about the money, after all.

Luke Warm Linkage

This poor guy doesn’t have a good head on his shoulders.

EJSIC College Football Top 25 — Week 11

AP Poll

Coaches Poll

Week 11 was an exercise in horse-shoes and hand-grenades, as #1 Oregon nearly lost to California and #3 TCU got a major scare from San Diego St. In the end, though, our top 10 remained largely unchanged (aside from a couple ties) for the first time this season. Here’s to a more eventful Week 12.

Here are the week eleven rankings. If you disagree with them, feel free to cry about it in the comments section.

1. Oregon 10-0 (100 – 4)
This week: vs #22 Arizona

2. Auburn 11-0 (94)
This week: @ #10 Alabama

3. TCU 11-0 (87)
This week: @ New Mexico

3. Boise St. 9-0 (87)
This week: vs Fresno St.

5. Wisconsin 9-1 (83)
This week: @ Michigan

6. Stanford 9-1 (81)
This week: @ California

7. LSU 9-1 (79)
This week: vs Ole Miss

8. Ohio St. 9-1 (75)
This week: @ #19 Iowa

9. Nebraska 9-1 (70)
This week: @ #19 Texas A&M

10. Alabama 8-2 (59)
This week: vs. #2 Auburn

10. Oklahoma St. 9-1 (59)
This week: @ Kansas

12. Michigan St. 9-1 (58)
This week: vs Purdue

13. Arkansas 8-2 (52)
This week: @ #21 Mississippi St.

14. Virginia Tech 8-2 (47)
This week: @ #25 Miami FL

15. Oklahoma 8-2 (44)
This week: @ Baylor

16. Missouri 8-2 (35)
This week: @ Iowa St.

17. South Carolina 7-3 (33)
This week: vs Troy

18. Nevada 9-1 (32)
This week: vs New Mexico St.

19. Iowa 7-3 (26)
This week: vs. #8 Ohio St.

19. Texas A&M 7-3 (26)
This week: vs #9 Nebraska

21. Mississippi St. 7-3 (21)
This week: vs #13 Arkansas

22. Arizona 7-3 (15)
This week: @ #1 Oregon

23. Utah 8-2 (13)
This week: @ San Diego St.

24. USC 7-3 (9)
This week: @ Oregon St.

25. Miami (FL) 7-3 (7)
This week: vs #14 Virginia Tech

Others receiving votes: NC State (5), Florida (1), Northwestern (1), Florida St. (1)

Luke Warm Linkage

Parenting: It’s harder than it looks.

College Football Expansion Hoopla V2.0

Will the USC Song Girls cheer for the Trojans or the Longhorns in the 2012 Pac-10 Championship Game?

This topic has consumed about 70% of my sports related attention this month and Expansion Hoopla V1.0 got a lot of hits, so let’s do it again…

A lot has changed in a week (actually not really; the only thing that has changed is my mind).  This super-long post lacks pictures or graphics and is broken down into several text-heavy sections.  If you just want to bitch about the conference or the Pod I put your school in, scroll to the bottom and comment.  If you are a conference expansion junkie like me, sit back and enjoy my rambling inferences and analysis.

The first part of this post explains what I have inferred based on recent comments from relevant conference commissioners, university Presidents, AD’s, and insiders.

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-Maryland and North Carolina have likely both told the Big Ten to pound sand.  They like the ACC for now.

-Texas probably isn’t going to the Big Ten either.  They are more interested in merging the cream of the crop from the Big Twelve with the Pac-10, possibly as a simple six team addition to form the Pac-16 and possibly as a “Western Alliance” with a looser conference connection and as many as 24 schools.

-Nebraska and Missouri are dying to be invited to the Big Ten.  Even Tom Osbourne issued a statement saying as much.  Both schools’ Presidents are already on record as being very interested.

-Oklahoma and Oklahoma State want an SEC invite.  They might get invited to the Pac-16 with Texas or they might not.  They prefer the certainty and immediate prestige the SEC brings.

-Kansas is on the fence between the Big Ten and the Texas led Pac-16.  Either way, they’ll probably be in a better position than they are now.  There is a slim chance that they could end up homeless if the Big Ten invites Missouri and Nebraska and the Pac-10 and Texas don’t invite them to be one of the five teams to join the Pac-16.

-Utah is probably going to the Pac-10 / Pac-12 / Pac-16  regardless of what else happens.

-Boise State to the MWC is a done deal.  Makes sense for all parties and the MWC will need someone to replace Utah if they leave for the Pac-10 or BYU if they leave for the Western Alliance.  Expect this announcement in June.

-Rutgers to the Big Ten is a done deal.  Paul Taglibue’s disparaging comments about the potential Long Island television audience for a Rutgers-Minnesota game reek of bitterness.  If this announcement is made in June then Rutgers will be able to play Big Ten football in 2012.

-Pittsburgh, Syracuse,  and Connecticut would all love a Big Ten invite.  Each has serious drawbacks, but each brings added East Coast viewers.  Pitt’s drawback is that is brings the fewest viewers since Penn State already owns the Pennsylvania market.  Syracuse’s problem is that they are a medium sized private school that doesn’t do much research and has a horrible football stadium.  Connecticut is not a member of the AAU and Continue reading

The BCS Championship

Tonight, BCS #1 Alabama and #2 Texas play for the college football national championship*. I don’t intend to fill this post with rehashed analysis such as the staunch Alabama defense, Heisman winners in the big game, SEC vs Big XII in bowl games, etc. Instead, I want to rant and rave like a possessed two year old with the knowledge from the beginning that a playoff is unlikely in the near future.

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But as a native Southerner, my friends always ask me: “How can you like the NFL better than college football?” Then they lists the various reasons: 100,000 seat stadiums, nasty rivalries, kids playing for the name on the front of the jersey rather than the back (I disagree, but that’s another discussion), and so forth. All great reasons. In fact, I want to like college football more than the NFL. I want to love it.

I really want to, but I can’t. How can I put faith into a sport more scripted than the WWE? Four to five teams a year have a shot at playing for the championship and those few teams are hand-picked by sportswriters before a game is ever played. How asinine is that?

We can all argue ’til we drop dead about strength of schedule, conference affiliation, etc., but hasn’t Boise State done enough to deserve some attention? They’ve beaten mighty Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. They’ve beaten another undefeated, non-BCS team in TCU just the other night. They went to Oregon a year ago and won. They hosted the Ducks on the blue turf last August and won again. They’re playing Oregon State and Virginia Tech next season. And arguably, BSU will have the best team on paper then. But, will they ever be given a chance?

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The game of college football has evolved. It will no longer be dominated by USC, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, etc. Sure, those programs will still put forth good teams, but now they will contend with non-traditional powers. And it isn’t time we adapt along with the game?

Meyer Chooses Health, Family Over Football

Geez… You spend one day away shopping for bedroom furniture and all Hell breaks loose.

The most successful college football coach in the country, in recent years at least, has decided to call it quits.

Citing concerns for his health and family, University of Florida Head Football Coach Urban Meyer has resigned. The Gators’ Sugar Bowl match-up with Cincinnati will be Meyers last game at the helm. Wow.

After reading statements from both Meyer and those around him, it seems there’s not a hint of ulterior motives in his reasoning. Assuming he is prioritizing his health and family above personal success and career fulfillment, you can’t help but admire the coach’s decision to part ways with the Gators at the peak of his reign over college football.

At 45, Meyer’s .841 winning percentage leads all  active coaches with at least 5 years experience. A head coach leaving the game at his age and with his credentials has to be unprecedented in big time athletics.

TCU Coach Gary Patterson was equal parts stunned and proud in his interview with The Quad.

“You’ve got to give the guy a lot of credit, I think, for making this kind of decision because for us as football coaches, it’s always been about the game,” Patterson said. “For him to make a decision to decide at this point in time to hang it up and do it for his health and his family, I think shows the strength of him as a man.

“He’s 45 years old and wants to get a chance to see his family grow up and do things. Some of us haven’t made those decisions in our lives. He’s as strong as he is because he put family and health in front of something that he truly loves to do.”

Even as an admitted “Gator-Hater”, I can’t help but echo Patterson’s sentiments. For a man in Meyer’s position to make this decision at this point in his career, you have to believe that he truly has his life perspective in order.

In a coaching landscape where “succession plans” and “forced retirements” have become common place, it’s refreshing to see a coach decide he’s had enough long before everyone else decides he’s had enough.

As far as a possible replacement for Meyer goes, names like Stoops, Petrino, Peterson, Shanahan, Mullen and Strong have all been thrown around.

Regardless of who succeeds Meyer at Florida, it’s hard to imagine anyone leading the Gators to more success than he has over the past 5 seasons.

It’s even harder to imagine any of those coaches stepping away from it all afterwards.