Monday, December 04, 2006

We Still Need a Play-Off

by the butler

So the Gators are in.

On the one hand, it's going to be nice to experience a year (actually the second year in a row) in college football where no team is bitching and moaning about how it should have been them in the National Championship game. Not one player or coach on that Michigan team will argue that they should be playing for the trophy instead of Florida. Both coaches talked about it endlessly before the Ohio St. Michigan game- each agreed that they needed to win in order to have a chance at #1.

Still,'s sports site is already dubbing the Rose Bowl match-up between USC and Michigan as "arguably the best bowl game of the season..." Immediately following with this sentence - "USC, helped by brand name recognition more than anything else, was pushed into the number two spot after Michigan lost to Ohio State, but failed to play up to that level in the loss to the Bruins."

Hmmmm. So it's not really the best bowl game, then?

As much pain as it might cause me to hear my Gator buddy calling me up, "hey man let's go down to Glendale, man...them Gator boys are hot!", in a way it's satisfying to see justice finally done. If USC hadn't choked Saturday, they would have been facing Ohio St. for the title. And it would have been WRONG! It would have been the third season out of four that an SEC team was snubbed in the BCS (LSU in '03, Auburn in '04).

For those who will inevitably arise and claim Michigan was snubbed this year-
(from my aforementioned Gator buddy)
1) FLA beat 9 teams projected to play in a bowl game, MICH beat 6.
2) FLA's 12 opponents had a combined record of 89-57. MICH's 12 had a record of 84-61.
3) Gators are 3-1 against ranked teams, beating then- No. 13 Tennessee, No. 9 LSU, and No. 8 Arkansas and losing at No. 11 Auburn. MICH went 1-1 against ranked opponents, beating then- No. 2 Notre Dame, and losing to Ohio St.
4) Since Michigan last played and lost at OSU, Florida has won at Florida State and against Arkansas in the SEC championship.
5) Michigan finished second in a tough Big Ten conference. Florida won a very tough SEC. Does anyone really want to see a team who finished second in their conference playing for the National Championship? What if Michigan won the game? Then they would technically be tied with OSU, needing a re-rematch, right?

Teams from conferences other than the SEC have been snubbed in the recent past as well (Kansas State in '99-'00, Colorado in '01 was possibly the worst snubbing in history). Oh yeah, and Boise State* (I can't bring myself to classify a Wiggity-Wiggity-WAC team as a legitimate case for a National Championship snubbing, sorry Broncs.)

So why can't THEY figure out a decent play-off system? I'm sure money and TV contracts and all that are the main reasons. Even if a play-off were implemented, I'm sure folks would find a way to bitch and moan about it, too. I can already hear it, "We were robbed of the two seed..."

So how cool would it be to watch a top 8 playoff? Since we can't, I'm going to pretend to predict a pretend play-off scenario -
I think a good pretend rule would be for the crappy conferences (WAC, Pac-2, Independant) to have to play against the good ones (Big Ten, SEC) in the first round. And I don't think Wisconsin, even though they are ranked #6, should be in my pretend play-off because they didn't beat a single ranked team all year.

Round 1

Ohio St. over Boise St.

Florida over Louisville

Michigan over Oklahoma

LSU over USC (don't even trip and say you would bet your own actual money on USC here)

Then Round 2 would match up:

Ohio St. vs. LSU

Florida vs. Michigan

Then OSU vs. Florida, right? Maybe, but it might just as easily end up LSU vs. Michigan. That's the point- We have no idea how Ohio State would do vs. LSU or how Florida would do vs. Michigan. Or if USC maybe was good enough to rebound from an embarassing loss to the boys in baby blue to make a play-off run?

You can also see that if my pretend 8-team play-off was reality, even more teams might have the right to cry "snub". What about Arkansas, a legit top-8 team until losing to Florida in the SEC title game? What about Auburn, if LSU and Oklahoma also have 2 L's, why don't they make the final 8? Notre Dame? Wisconsin? If we're allowing two-loss teams into our pretend play-off, then why not West Virginia, Va. Tech, Wake Forest, or even Rutgers?

Whatever, there must be some way for everyone to make all their money and still crown a TRUE National Champion. Every single year. Kum -bah -friggin'- yah.


C-lo said...

I hate the BCS (and not just because I got knocked out of it). How is it that playing an "extra" game in the season and losing knocks me out of the top 10? And puts a team I beat in there? I'm so confused.

SonDog said...

What about Cal? I though they were going all the way after they throttled Tennessee in the opening... wait...

the butler said...

I think it's safe to say we have one sports writer Randy Hill reading this blog. He at least paraphrased a bit. :)>1=8901