Wait four weeks to hate on the BCS

FootballWe can be glad that common sense prevailed, and the voters put the more deserving team in the title game.

A rematch would have been disasterous for college football as a whole. If OSU had won, the country would have felt that Florida was cheated out of its shot. If UM had won, all it would have proven is that if you give a team with less talent enough chances, they might finally beat a slightly better, but less motivated, team that felt it had already proved its case.

Still, the flaws in the BCS system have been on display this weekend. To me, all the BCS hatred seems a bit premature. I think fans should let the games play themselves out. Consider the following:

WHAT IF: Florida beats OSU?

WHAT IF: USC wins the Rose?

WHAT IF: UM wins the Rose, but needs a miracle (or just looks sloppy)?

Any of the three outcomes would retroactively validate the BCS selections.

In short, if UM wants to convince the world that it was cheated out of Glendale, it had better destroy USC in the Rose Bowl. If Michigan truly is the number two team in the country, they should have no problem trouncing a team that just lost to unranked UCLA. Anything less, in my opinion, would validate Florida’s selection for the title game.


  1. It’s likely you wouldn’t have written such a post as this if Florida got the short end of the stick.

    Regardless, I’m going to take some valium and painkillers on January 8th and *inexplicably* root for the Buckeyes.

    I guess I felt better when an OSU alum and colleague said she was rooting for USC this weekend because she was “scared of playing Michigan again”. Rest easy, you’ll win by 60 against Florida. ’til next year, we’ll see ya on decent turf. 😉

  2. A rematch would have been great for college football. The best two teams would have played to determine the champion. Would it have been fair to the Buckeye’s? not really. They already beat Michigan, and beating a really good team twice is very difficult. And as much as you would like to think so, I don’t think Michigan is a team with less talent, both teams are extremely equal. What we have now is a great team against an OK team. OSU wins by 17 and the game is never that close. Then we get to hear how the Bucks didn’t play against the best team available and they should have won by that much anyway. Does it really matter? No, because the trophies will live in Columbus for eternity.

    Go Bucks
    Go Blue
    Go Big Ten

  3. baby jesus says

    Maybe the problem is that Michigan is overrated and Florida is underrated???? Nothing on Michigan schedule jumps out at you and they played close to pretty mediocre teams. Maybe the problem is that the media did a great job hyping michigan to being something their not…..One Eye Giant….

  4. oh c’mon, baby. I don’t think anyone is going to concede that Michigan is a “mediocre” team — what part of “#3 strength of schedule” don’t you understand? You’ve have to make the same argument for Ohio State — it’s moot.

    I’ll concede your point, though — nobody can say whether or not Florida is underrated or overrated (although I’m leaning toward “over”) — but I certainly hope that question is answered by O-State’s thorough BEAT DOWN of the Urban Crying Gang.

  5. Baby,

    Who has Florida played that is amazing? The only real impressive win was LSU and that was at home and maybe the Arkansas win. They lost to a seemingly mediocre Auburn team and barely beat a not that great Tennessee team. Michigan too beat a lot of upper mediocre teams as well. Just because a team is in the SEC doesn’t mean they’re good.

  6. I couldn\’t agree more. I can\’t believe people actually think Michigan should be in the title game at this point. Carr gets out-coached by Tressel time and time again. Florida has more wins. They have more wins against tougher opponents. Urban Meyer is head and shoulders above Carr as a coach.

    Look, of course things would different if Florida had not been selected, but that\’s the entire point. In this case, the BCS system DID THE RIGHT THING. If something else had happened, of course we\’d be saying that the system sucks.

    And just so you know, I am NOT an OSU fan. I just think Michigan fans and everyone who\’s crying about the BCS are a bunch of whiners.

  7. Finster, you wouldn’t be a Florida fan perchance would you?

    Urban Meyer himself, even last night after receiving a bid, was mentioning that sweeping changes were needed for the system. Even TRESSEL abstained because he knew how much of a mess it is/was/will eternally be.

  8. m@, I found it interesting that Tressel only abstained after USA today wouldn’t let him vote both UM and Fla #2 (which I guess there was a precedent on). They said no, so he asked to abstain.

    I don’t think his abstaining was in protest of the BCS “mess,” but rather because it would provide the ultimate bulletin board material for the loser.

  9. Woody Hayes says

    You know, after seeing all the voters who went out of their way to knock Michigan out of the #2 BCS spot I’m sort of inclined to feel Michigan got the shaft. Some guy voting Florida #1 in the Harris Poll I believe it was? Michigan being voted #4 in one of the polls?

  10. Woody – there’s no question this was a deliberate effort to keep UM out. Right or wrong, that’s what it was… the computers tied UM and Fla, and the human element was asked to weigh in on who should go.

    No question this was an issue of who “deserved” to go, rather than who was the second best team.

    Remember, the BCS is not about matching the two best teams. It’s about making sure numbers 1 and 2 meet in a title game.

    It’s the POLLS that determine who are numbers 1 and 2… not the BCS.

    The BCS was only designed to make sure that if numbers 1 and 2 were in different conferences, they could play each other (avoiding contractual bowl affiliations if necessary). That was the “problem” that the BCS committee met to solve… take 1996 for instance: OSU couldn’t play Florida because it was contractually obligated to play in the Rose. So it was unclear that year who was the best team. Same with the Wolverines in 1997… they were obligated to play a Pac10 team, even though everyone wanted to see them play Nebraska. The BCS was designed to address that “problem.”

    The whole “but who’s number one and two” issue didn’t become important until several years later.

  11. I preface my comments with:
    1) I am a Michigan fan & alum
    2) I did not want a rematch unless both USC & Florida lost
    3) I will be shocked if Ohio State does not beat Florida in the NCG by 10+ points

    This is a flawed system, totally dependent on emotion + timing + politics. The human element in this “beauty contest for #2” is the main issue. Both Florida and Michigan have robust claims to the #2 spot. Jim Tressel did the right thing in not voting. For every (non-biased) person with a solid point there is another equally valid counter-point.

    My question is this: If Ohio State had lost in November to Michigan, would the anti-rematch feeling by the rest of the country apply ? Do you think that Florida would have jumped a one-loss tOSU team on Sunday ? I think not.

    For the first time in my life — I am going to root for the Buckeyes against Florida in January. Urban Meyer and the SEC make me ill.

  12. Andy,

    I don’t know if the anti- (or pro- for that matter) rematch sentiment would have hit the same level if OSU lost. Despite the arguments that the game “wasn’t that close”, it came down to the last possession in Columbus. If OSU lost with the home-field advantage I don’t think many people would expect a different result at a neutral site.

    That said, I’d expect OSU to be ranked #3 after a home-field loss to Michigan — but I also think Tressel caused Fish to fumble that punt return. What can I say, I think the CIA shot JFK too. 😉

  13. ..and yet, none of the Michigan Whining Crew would be revved up if they had just taken care of business on 11/18/06.

    But they didn’t, and every excuse in the book has been thrown into the wind, praying to God that one of the excuses actually works and convinces somebody that they deserve another chance.

    It’s the turf!
    It’s the refs!
    It’s sportswriter bias!
    It’s not a rule that you have to win your conference!
    It’s the Evil Monkey in my closet!
    Urban Meyer said good things about his team!
    Neutral Field!
    Tressel cheated on the poll!
    Nobody told us we’d have to win our last game!
    But we beat Notre Dame three months ago!
    Vegas said Michigan would beat Florida!

  14. OK, so my theory works: After the November game in Columbus — had Ohio State lost to Michigan in a close game, they would have likely dropped to #3 behind USC. Once USC lost to UCLA, the Bucks would move up to #2 setting up a rematch. I don’t think there is any way the Gators would have jumped Ohio State on Sunday. The politics of this whole system stink.

  15. Andy – good question.

    When UM lost, it remained at number 2. But had UM won, OSU would have no doubt dropped below 2… my guess is #4 at best in the human polls. I don’t think it would have been #3, because the pollsters would have “punished” OSU for losing on its homefield.

    Plus, OSU’s computer numbers would have dropped much farther than UM’s numbers did. Up until Nov. 18th, OSU’s biggest victory was Texas, but then they laid an egg at the end of the season. So the computers would have dropped OSU like a rock (losing to UM and having Texas end up sucking).

    If OSU lost, its total BCS numbers would have dropped much farther than UM’s BCS numbers did, surely no better than #4. (#3 or 4 in the human polls, much worse in the computers, for a BCS average of #4 at best).

    So no doubt it would have been a fight for #2 between USC & Florida from November 19th on. OSU would have been rooting for USC to lose, to have a chance at a number 2 spot in the final standings (after beating USC in the Rose).

    Has anyone realized that, if OSU, UM, and Wisconsin win, the Big Ten could end up 1-2-3 in the final standings? How cool is that?

  16. Isn’t Florida number 2 in the AP poll? Since this poll has no effect on the BCS formula, doesn’t this lend some credibility to the rankings?

    If people say the Harris and Coaches Poll voters pushed Florida up to avoid a rematch, why did the AP voters do it too?

  17. Has anyone realized that, if OSU, UM, and Wisconsin win, the Big Ten could end up 1-2-3 in the final standings? How cool is that?

    This would make me very pleased.

    The real lesson in all of this for any Big 10 (or major conference) team: Win all your games and everything should take care of itself.

  18. sM: A 1-2-3 finish would, I hope, put the SEC pundits to rest for at least three weeks, but that’s wishful thinking. 🙂

  19. m@ – THREE weeks? Now you’re just being silly.

    Two and a half-weeks. Tops. 😉

  20. Scraper,

    Good point about the AP poll, I haven’t thought about it that way. The AP voters had no motivation to vote Florida ahead of Michigan, their vote had no implications on the BCSNC, yet they voted Florida #2 as well.

    Monkey, a 1-2-3 Big Ten would be quite enjoyable to see.

  21. The AP poll is much, much closer than either the coach’s or the Harris poll. Florida is #2 with 1529 total points while UM is 3rd with 1526. Basically suggesting that the voting was split dead near 50/50, with Florida having more recently played a game and being fresher in a few voters minds the difference. There are clearly plenty of AP voters out there who still consider UM #2.

  22. Steve dennis says

    Why don’t you stupid Big 10 , or is it twelve ,deal with the HTH against

  23. Steve dennis says

    If you take HTH games with SEC teams then you will see why the Big Ten or twelve ,or whatever is OVERRATED .Do the research, Then you will see the light. Your defenses move at the speed of smell! Count the # of bowl schools in the top 20 who has more?Florida has played against 8 team that are going to a bowl game.Also there are more SEC schools in the top 25 than Big Ten or twelve or whatever.Go ahead take the GATORS

  24. Steve – not sure what you mean… have you noticed that there are three Big Ten teams in the top five?

    Personally, I’ve never given the “# of bowl schools” much credence. There are 35 bowl games; so the top 70 teams in college football make it into bowls at the end of the year. Not a very high standard to say that your schedule included “x” number of those 70 teams.

    As for “overrated,” don’t forget that the SEC conference champion got beaten by an average Big East team last year in the Sugar bowl.


  1. […] back to the BCS. Almost exactly one year ago, we published our “Wait to hate on the BCS” post: “To me, all the BCS hatred seems a bit premature. I think fans should let the games […]

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