Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mass Chaos can ruin BCS

Here is a look at how the remainder of the season for the BCS top 12 shapes up followed by the best scenarios for foiling the BCS's party:

1). Texas

Remaining games:

at Oklahoma St., at Baylor, Kansas, at Texas A & M, Big 12 Championship


Texas is all but a sure thing to finish the regular season undefeated. Texas A & M is the only team that could even make it close with the Longhorns. Texas will be going to the Rose Bowl.

2). USC

Remaining games:

Washington St., Stanford, at California, Fresno St., UCLA


USC will clobber Wazzou and Stanford. Playing at Cal is no easy task but the Bears aren’t anywhere near as good as they have been in the last few years. Fresno St. will be outmatched athletically. UCLA is a good team but they’ve been playing an awful lot of close games in the Pac-10. USC will also be in the Rose Bowl.

3). Virginia Tech

Remaining games:

Boston College, Miami, @ Virginia, North Carolina, ACC Championship


From what I can tell, most people think Va. Tech will go undefeated. I don’t see it. The Hokies should have no problems beating BC, Virginia, and NC. However, Miami is a 50/50 proposition and a potential match up with Florida St. in the ACC Championship game is also a 50/50 proposition. I don’t see Va. Tech winning both games.

4). Georgia

Remaining games:

@ Florida, Auburn, Kentucky, at Georgia Tech, SEC Championship


Georgia could have some issues this week without D.J. Shockley. The good news for the Bulldogs is that their defense combined with Florida’s struggling offense should give them a good chance at beating Florida. However, I would be surprised if Georgia beat Florida and Auburn. Auburn is very good. Even if Georgia can survive the regular season undefeated, they get Alabama or LSU in the SEC Championship.

5). Alabama

Remaining games:

Utah St., at Mississippi St., LSU, at Auburn, SEC Championship


I don’t think there’s any way that Alabama beats LSU and wins at Auburn. If they somehow pull that off, they would then have to match up against Georgia in the SEC Championship game. There is no way Alabama finishes undefeated.

6). UCLA

Remaining games:

@ Stanford, @ Arizona, Arizona St., @ USC


UCLA should be 9-0 heading into the Arizona St. game. I would not be surprised if ASU knocks off UCLA. If UCLA can get by the Sun Devils, then that would set up the most important USC/UCLA game ever. I don’t see how UCLA can beat the Trojans on the road with such a talent discrepancy. I would be shocked if UCLA finishes the regular season undefeated.

7). Miami

Remaining games:

North Carolina, @ Virginia Tech, @ Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Virginia, ACC Championship


Miami has been on a roll lately. They’ve won five straight games by 20+ points and haven’t allowed a team to score over seven points in four straight games. Miami should be 6-1 heading to Blacksburg. If Miami can beat Virginia Tech, they will likely get a rematch with Florida St. in the ACC Championship game. Miami could finish # 3 in the BCS if they can win out. Also, if Texas or USC should lose, Miami would probably be in line for the Rose Bowl.

8). LSU

Remaining games:

N. Texas, Appalachian St., @ Alabama, @ Mississippi, Arkansas, SEC Championship


LSU only has one test left in the regular season and that is the big one at Alabama. With Tyrone Prothro out for the season, I think LSU is a better team than Alabama. If LSU can win in Tuscaloosa, they will have to play Georgia in the SEC Championship game. LSU could easily finish the regular season # 4 in the BCS if not higher.

9). Penn St.

Remaining games:

Purdue, Wisconsin, @ Michigan St


I want to think that Purdue could give PSU a game but Purdue is terrible. Penn St. should crush Purdue to set up two huge match-ups with Wisconsin and MSU. Penn St. would have to be the favorite over Wiscy at home but I’d put that game at 50/50. The Nittany Lions might not have enough firepower (with Derrick Williams out for the season) to beat Michigan St. Although, it’s possible that MSU has mailed in the rest of the season. We’ll know more this week.

10). Florida St.

Remaining games:

Maryland, NC State, @ Clemson, @ Florida


For a team that’s beaten Miami and BC, Florida St. doesn’t get much respect. Granted, that Miami win was a long time ago and wins against The Citadel, Syracuse, Duke, and Wake Forest don’t go a long way. But, Florida St. will get a chance to prove itself against quality competition down the stretch. If they beat Maryland, Clemson, and Florida, they will start opening some eyes. That would set up a battle with Va. Tech/Miami in the ACC Championship game. Florida St. probably has the best chance at impressing voters of any team in the top ten.

11). Oregon

Remaining games:

California, @Washington St., Oregon St


Oregon was looking like a sure bet to finish the regular season 10-1. But, with Kellen Clemens out for the season, Oregon could easily lose to California, if not WSU and OSU. If the Ducks can get average play from their QB, they may be able to run the table and finish 10-1 anyway.

12). Wisconsin

Remaining games:

@ Illinois, @ Penn St., Iowa, @ Hawaii


Wisconsin essentially has two games left. If they can beat both Penn St. and Iowa, they will likely win the Big Ten title outright and finish in the top five of the BCS. However, I would put Wiscy’s chances of winning both of those games at 25%

Mass Chaos Theory

If you are like me and want a playoff so bad that you sit up at night thinking of ways to convince the world that the NCAA is committing an atrocity by using the BCS, then you’re probably hoping for mass chaos for the rest of the season. Once Michigan blows their season (usually by September), I turn my focus to the BCS. I constantly try to figure out the biggest possible mess and then root for that. Usually the “biggest possible mess” can be attained in two ways. 1). As many undefeated teams as possible, or 2). No undefeated teams or one undefeated team with as many one-loss teams as possible.

As many undefeated teams as possible:

Right now, there are six undefeated teams in D-1 college football. Since UCLA plays USC and Alabama and Georgia would have to play, the highest number of possible undefeated teams at the end of the regular season is four. The easiest way for this to happen would be:

Texas wins out
USC/UCLA wins out
Va. Tech wins out
Georgia/Alabama wins out

The best possible scenario would be for there to be four undefeated teams with UCLA as one of the undefeated teams and not USC. UCLA would have every right to be in the BCS Championship game having beaten the two-time defending champs and finishing undefeated. But, UCLA would likely be behind Texas, Va. Tech, and Georgia in the BCS standings. Georgia would also be left out of the Championship game in this scenario leaving the SEC the odd-conference out two years in a row. That would make the SEC livid.

Even still, if there are four undefeated teams left and USC is one of them, that would leave Va. Tech and Georgia out of the picture which would make the ACC and SEC very unhappy. Regardless, if there are four undefeated teams, then the damage has been done.

Problems: The major problem that I see with this scenario is that there probably will only be two undefeated teams left at the end of the season (USC and Texas). Va. Tech will likely lose to either Miami or Florida St. Georgia has a rough schedule with Florida/Auburn, Ga. Tech and Alabama or LSU (SEC title game). That schedule becomes even more daunting if D.J. Shockley misses significant time. Alabama has an even rougher schedule with LSU/Auburn/Georgia (SEC title game). Chances are there will be two undefeated teams left in D-1 football at the end of the season, if any.

No undefeated teams with as many one-loss teams as possible:

Texas loses to Texas A & M or Nebraska (Big 12 title game)
USC loses to UCLA
Va. Tech loses to Miami or Florida St. (ACC title game)
Georgia loses to LSU (SEC title game)
Alabama loses to LSU (SEC title game)
UCLA loses to Arizona St.
Miami or Florida St. wins out
LSU wins out
Penn St. or Wisconsin wins out
Oregon wins out
Texas Tech wins out
West Virginia wins out
TCU wins out

This would give us 13 teams with one-loss. That would create mass hysteria in BCS-land. Hopefully, that would force the school Presidents to admit that the BCS is a ridiculous system that only exists because nobody wants to take the initiative to do what every other sport, college or pro, has done, which is have a playoff.

Problems: Hoping for Texas and USC to lose is asking for a lot. But, there is a good chance for a lot of teams to finish with one loss. The only teams on this list that will probably lose more than one game are Miami, LSU, Penn St., and Wisconsin. If Texas or USC loses, then there should be, at the very least, nine one-loss teams.

One undefeated team with as many one-loss teams as possible:

The above scenario still works even if there is one undefeated team. There would still be 12 one-loss teams. That would create chaos as to which one-loss team deserved to make the Rose Bowl. The worst case scenario is for Texas and USC to finish the season undefeated.

Problems: Again, I think Texas and USC will probably finish undefeated.

Two undefeated teams:

Believe it or not, there still could be mass chaos with two undefeated teams. They just have to be the right undefeated teams. If Texas finishes the season undefeated, then every BCS-hating, pro-playoff fan has to hope for UCLA to upset USC. If Texas and UCLA are the only two undefeated teams at the end of the season, then it is possible that Miami or LSU could have a higher BSC rating than UCLA. Even better would be if USC stayed ahead of UCLA in the BCS standings even though USC would have one loss and UCLA would be undefeated. That might be the best scenario of them all. Can you imagine a one-loss USC team getting in over an undefeated UCLA team when UCLA beat USC? That would be sweet. Regardless, if there are only two undefeated teams at the end of the season, and one of those teams doesn’t make the BCS game, all hell would break loose.

Problems: UCLA would have to beat USC on the road. And, a one-loss team would have to have a higher BCS rating than UCLA. Miami and LSU both have very tough schedules that could easily have their BCS rating higher than UCLA's assuming they win out. For the best scenario, USC would have to stay ahead of UCLA even after losing to the Bruins. I don't know if this is possible. USC has a pretty sizeable edge over UCLA right now so it could happen.

What will likely happen?

If you haven’t caught on yet, I think there’s a good chance that Texas and USC finish as the only two undefeated teams. Nobody else will be good enough to finish undefeated leaving the BCS looking as good as it’s ever looked. It makes me sick just thinking about it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow Texas fans are sweating right now down 28-19. Regardless of what they do that hurts a bit and now Va Tech even if Texas wins has a good chance with their schedule of pushing Texas out of the championship. I agree it will be difficult if not impossible for the Hokies to run the table, but if they do, they deserve a Rose Bowl spot. The ACC is far superior to the Lack 10.


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