Monday, November 05, 2007

Monday Poll Bashin'/Morgan Trent needs to run faster

For the first time this year, nothing too crazy happened in college football other than Darren McFadden rushing for 321 yards, Jim Brandstatter saying that Terrance Taylor—possibly the strongest player in Michigan football history—needs to get stronger, and George Blaha saying that Morgan Trent “isn’t as fast as you’d like him to be.” I don’t think anyone was too shocked with the Florida St. upset of Boston College. BC had no business being ranked #2 and it was just a matter of time before one of the mediocre teams left on the schedule beat them. The results of this week cleared up the BCS picture big-time. The way I see it, we’re looking at a three-team race to the BCS Championship game. Oregon has a relatively easy three-game stretch against Arizona, UCLA, and Washington St. If either LSU or Ohio St. falters, then Oregon will likely sneak into the top two. LSU has a fairly easy three-game finish of its own against La. Tech, Ole Miss, and Arkansas. The SEC Championship game makes things a little more difficult but LSU should be able to handle Georgia or Tennessee. If Florida sneaks in, then LSU has problems. Ohio St. should take care of Illinois and Michigan. So, the BCS Championship game will very likely be a combination of Ohio St., LSU and Oregon. There is a pretty good chance that West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Boston College will have one-loss each which would create a nightmare for the BCS (woo hoo!) But—as Kirk Herbstreit points out—the BCS is perfect because the regular season is a playoff. Unless—of course— the BCS prevents five one-loss teams from playing for the championship because of “public perception”. That definitely sounds like a playoff to me.

There is another situation that could happen that would create a media hurricane. Let’s assume that LSU and Ohio St. win-out creating a Tigers-Buckeyes BCS Championship game. Then, let’s assume that Oregon wins out. For the final ingredient, let’s also assume that Lloyd Carr retires after the Ohio St. game. That situation would create three monstrous storylines that would get beaten to death by the MSM.

1). Oregon would be left out of the BCS Championship game for the second time because of the fabulous BCS system that Herbstreit thinks is so fair. Many people—including around 45% of voters—feel that Oregon is better than LSU. This would be the biggest blow to the BCS, yet. Herbstreit’s non-playoff playoff idea of a “plus-one” game would very much be on the table after a debacle like that.

2). Much has been made of the 51-day layoff that Ohio St. has between the “The Game” and the BCS Championship game. That number becomes more interesting if Lloyd Carr retires and LSU plays in the BCS Championship game. That’s 51 days that Les Miles will have to field daily questions about his interest in the Michigan job. The Michigan media will obviously be all over that story for the majority of those 51 days. If this scenario plays out, things are going to get very interesting. However, I’m guessing that Carr would wait until after the bowl games to help Michigan’s recruiting efforts and to keep Miles from having to go through 51 days of hell. Carr is considerate like that.

3). As if storyline #2 isn’t already crazy enough, Miles could be coaching against Michigan’s all-time nemesis in the BCS Championship game. If Miles beats Tressel in the BCS Championship and then leaves Baton Rouge for Ann Arbor, you can expect Miles to be crowned the Ohio St.-killer the second he steps foot into town. He would have all of the fanfare that Tressel had after he beat Michigan for the first time without having coached a single game at Michigan.

The polls weren’t too ludicrous this week but there is some weak rationalizing going on. So, here goes…

BC over ASU

Boston College really had no business being ranked four spots ahead of Arizona St. last week. Both teams were undefeated. Neither team had faced a particularly daunting schedule. After this weekend, BC has no business being ranked ahead of Arizona St. at all. BC lost to an unranked Florida St. team by 10 at home. Arizona St. lost to the #3 team in the country on the road by 12. Which one is more impressive to you?

Alabama over FSU

Florida St. should be ranked ahead of Alabama. Both teams are 6-3. Florida St. beat Boston College on the road which is more impressive than any Alabama-win. Florida St. also beat Alabama.

Missouri and Kansas are ranked too high

Hawaii has no business being ranked for obvious reasons. However, if you’re buying that, then you should probably buy Kansas not deserving to be ranked in the top 15. Kansas has the 107th toughest schedule in the country according to the Sagarin ratings. Kansas hasn’t beaten a single team with less than four losses. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Kansas is a top-ten team. Missouri has faced an equally inept schedule with the minor exception that Mizzou had to play Oklahoma and Kansas doesn’t. Not surprisingly, Missouri lost to Oklahoma by 10. Kansas and Missouri have combined to beat zero ranked teams. I wish the pollsters would have the self-control to withhold judgment on these two teams until they actually beat a formidable team. However, with Hawaii ranked #14, I guess I should be surprised that Kansas isn’t ranked #2. If beating nobody gets you into the top-five, then Illinois should separate from the Big Ten, become and Independent, and schedule 12 non-BCS schools and get into the top-ten every year. Texas A&M might want to think about that, too. In fact, everyone but Ohio St—they obviously don’t need to—should do that.

Texas jumps Michigan for no reason

I’m not a believer in the idea that “it doesn’t matter how you get something right, it just matters that you get it right.” For example, just because the AP moved Michigan ahead of Texas this week—which is the way it should be—doesn’t mean it made sense to do it. Texas was inexplicably ranked ahead of Michigan last week—and for every week previous—despite Texas having zero wins over ranked teams or a team that could even remotely be considered good. Michigan’s wins over Illinois, Penn St., and Purdue—albeit not the greatest collection of wins—are all better than any of Texas’ wins. This week, Texas beat Oklahoma St. on the road by three. Michigan beat Michigan St. on the road by four. Oklahoma St. is viewed by most as a better team than Michigan St. So, how does Michigan leap Texas? It’s not like a couple voters changed their minds either. Michigan picked up 50 votes on Texas just this week alone. Are we to believe that Texas was finally exposed as being resume-challenged by beating Okie St. on the road by three—its best win of the year by far—while Michigan was credited for a courageous four-point win on the road against Sparty? Michigan should be ranked ahead of Texas but not because of what happened this week.

Va. Tech, Florida over Auburn, Hawaii

Instead of wasting a bunch of time and space on things that have been constants in my Monday Poll Bashin’ posts, I’ll just quickly bunch these together. Va. Tech has a weak resume and should be outside of the top-15. Auburn beat Florida on the road and has the same record. Auburn should be ranked ahead of Florida. Hawaii has the easiest schedule of all-time (or something like that) and needed overtime to beat La. Tech and San Jose St.

1 comment:

susieandrew said...

i think the most deliciously chaotic situation (and one that also satisfies my Michigan fandom) is one in which ohio state loses one game. Even supposing they lose to Illinois and beat Michigan, OSU would still be one of the many 1-loss teams clamoring for a shot at the title which they would have all but lost by losing late in the season. I mean, Illinois is probably on the same level as Kentucky, Cal, and others.

Of course, what I really want in my heart of hearts is for Michigan to win out (over Wiscy, osu, and the Rose Bowl) and somehow finish the season ranked ahead of ohio state despite losing to a I-AA team.


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