Friday, November 03, 2006

BCS Mania: Why Louisville is Worthy

Friday A.M. Quickie here.

My question for those who watched L'ville's win over WVA last night: Were you impressed enough with Louisville that, if they run the table, you'll be satisfied if they're the second team in the BCS title game?

I was. No team is going to be able to stop Ohio St.* But at least we know Louisville can score on them -- on anyone -- with as explosive an offense as there is in college football. Giving Bobby Petrino a month to scheme for an offensive game plan for the title game seems unfair.

Louisville will presumably jump to No. 3 – taking WVA's place -- in all the major polls, including the only one that counts: The BCS poll. Then, all L'ville has to do is:

(1) Take care of their own business. (And that's no gimme: I cannot WAIT for Louisville at Rutgers next Thursday in primetime.

(2) Wait for a loser to emerge from Ohio St-Michigan.

(3) Hope to god that a 1-loss SEC champ doesn't out-rate them in the final BCS poll. (I suspect it won't, even with an Auburn-Florida SEC title game. But it'll be close.)

But if you had any concerns before (or, like me, presumptions that WVA was going to win last night), fans can feel good about this Louisville team being BCS title-game worthy. As one commenter pointed out, I'm a year late in picking Louisville to run the table via the Big East and make the BCS title game. I had them pegged for that result LAST season. D'oh.

(That said, please keep in mind my sentiment below: Who DOESN'T want to see Rutgers beat Louisville, win out and crash the BCS title game? America's Team!)

-- D.S.

(* - Too presumptuous? I'm sorry: Michigan's offense doesn't scare me as much as Ohio State's offense does. Meanwhile, I think if any team can put points up on Michigan's sick D, it's Louisville.)


Geoff-Detroit said...

Neither of these teams are BCS title game worthy. I would take a 1-loss SEC team or the loser of the Michigan/OSU game instead. I mean, congrats on running the table in a horrible conference and all and enjoy going to a lesser BCS game. But either of these teams get destroyed by a major conference powerhouse.

Gerard L. Callan said...

why is the big east viewed as 'horrible'

west virginia, louisville, rutgers, pitt... these are all good teams and IF someone can emerge undefeated then they've earned the right to play for a title.

if rutgers wins out they will be screwed by the inertia of the polls.

Unknown said...


Shanoff...Giving Petrino a month?

How about giving Tressel a month to gameplan his defense?
Did a good job against Miami a few years ago..ND last year (better offense than UL this year).
Naw..Louisville would put up no more than 17 on Ohio State. Ohio State would put up 42 on L'ville.

Geoff-Detroit said...

Pitt is not a good team. Yeah, they beat up on The Citadel and Toldeo. But they got destroyed at home by MSU, possibly the worst Big Ten team.

rukrusher said...


I admit, not a great fight song but is what we have.

March, men of Rutgers,
Down the field today,
March to another score,
Foward to the fray,
Fight! men of Rutgers
As in days gone by,
Fight! for the Scarlet flag
Over the rest must fly.

I hope the RU defense that played Pitt shows up next week.

Richard said...

Lets say for a second that Louisville makes the title game and plays say Ohio State. If you want a different team in the title game you might have to decide between:

Auburn that got demolished by an unranked team.

Florida that lost to a team that Arkansas beat.

Tennessee that lost to Florida

Notre Dame that couldnt beat a ranked team all year.

Michigan which already lost to Ohio State.

Cal which got pummeled by Tennessee

Or you can stop begging for teams that have lost games and accept a title game between unbeatens Ohio State and Louisville/Boise State.

Personally, I'd say that putting in a one loss team over an undefeated team is a massive injustice. It would be the equivalant of putting the Colts in the Super Bowl over Pittsburgh last year.

For the BCS supporters that say the regular season is a giant playoff, quit your bitching and accept the undefeated team that survives as your national champion. If you want to see Florida in the title game, you might want to start demanding a playoff. Until then, it's not happening.

JoeBB said...

gerard - thank you. someone had to say it. the Big East is not a great conference, but it is a decent one. still worthy of the bid.

geoff - wait to say that until they play WVU and L'ville. they are a good team. Blades and Palko are among the best at their positions.

i guess having three teams in the top 15 is a bad conference. the rest of the conference might not be the best but still at least average teams, they just dont have the big name appeal as the sec and acc.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Quick name the biggest out of conference win in the Big East.

It's 5-3 Miami (who has only 1 win over a D-IA opponent who has a win over a D-IA opponent, thank you Houston).

Outside Louisville's Miami win (who is a good team, but not great), name the big win for the Big East.

Maryland? Decent, I wouldn't hang my season on it because it's a BAD ACC.

Indiana? See Maryland

The Big East has FIVE out of conference games they have the schedule that means 8 more chances to beat a big conference team (or 16 if you look at the Pac -10's 9 game schedule).

I'm just not buying the Big East, it's a better conference than the MWC, MAC, C-USA...but it is nowhere near an Big 10, SEC, or Pac 10

Joe (Dayton)

ndyanksfan05 said...

ND beat Georgia Tech...FYI. And they still play USC.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Going undefeated against BAD teams is not impressive - I don't care what conference you are in. Playing a tough schedule and losing to a very good team one week is better than playing garbage teams and winning out. Period. Lville has no shot of beating OSU, Michigan, Texas or Florida. Lville's "high powered attack" put up the following:
24 v K State
23 v Cinci
28 v Syracuse

And they are going to put up points on OSU?? Seriously? They whupped up on Temple though...go cards

ToddTheJackass said...

I'm sorry Dan, but watching that game didn't give me the sense that Louisville was worthy of being in the BCS Championship, it only showed me that the Big East is horrendously overrated. I'm sorry, but you can't tell me that you weren't thinking that half of the teams in SEC could man-handle either of those teams.

Both teams looked sloppy at times, and showed a complete inability to play defense (esepcially West Virginia). Their respective offenses are good, but I'm not so sure either scheme would do well in the Big Ten or the SEC.

I still think from top to bottom the ACC is better than the Big East this year, or at the least it's a lot, lot closer than people think.

-Todd (Boston)

BLUE said...

give me a break that ND last year had a better offense then Louisville. They don't even come close. And honestly if I was an NFL coach, i'd rather have Brohm then Quinn in a heartbeat.

Liberal Arts Majors said...

We wanted to put that in the "quickie", but thought no one would see it as this gets updated throughout the day. Funny stuff!

Anonymous said...

So if 'Ville goes unscathed, most people think that's not worthy enough to get them to the NC? I call bullshit on that. No matter what your conference, if you come out undefeated, you should AT LEAST be considered for the national championship. Trying to win games in your conference is hard, why do you think USC lost to Oregon St? Conference games are tough and there will only be three (maybe) remaining undefeateds in 1-A. They should get to go. I highly doubt that Louisville will get through Rutgers & Pitt with two wins, and I do think Rutgers will lose one game also. So really, if that's the case, what happens when we're left with just OSU/Mich undefeated and Boise St. undefeated? I say OSU/Mich plays the 1-loss SEC champ. Boise St. should get a BCS bid and they will.

And Dan, with picking Louisville last year, wouldn't you be a year EARLY on your prediction?

FutureLegendVinceYoung said...

An Ohio St. vs. Louisville matchup will be a huge blowout. Ohio St. will beat Louisville the same way Nebraska beat Florida in 1996 and USC beat Oklahoma in 2004.

Louisville gave up 34 points to 2 players, White and Slaton. Ohio St. has 5 playmakers on offense. Smith, Ginn, Gonzalez, Pittman, and Wells. Louisville offense is impressive but they have not seen a Defense like Ohio St. and will be shocked at how fast that team is.

Richard said...

I'll bet you guys bitching about a potential Louiville team going to the championship game didn't object to Pittsburgh going to the Super Bowl even though Indianapolis had a much better team. Oh wait...the NFL has a bad.

You BCS supporters can shut the *&^@# up. This is what your wonderful system produces. Louisville (assuming they run the table) should be and is a Glendale lock.

If you want the team most deserving, stick to the BCS. If you want the best team, we need a playoff.

Remember, if the WAC gave the BCS money like the Big East does, Boise State would be in it as well. Your national champion under this crappy system is about money, not about the best team or the most deserving. Thats why the NCAA doesn't recognize it, and that's why you wont see an SEC team in the title game.

For those of you that like the BCS, I hope you're happy. Actually, I really hope Ohio State chokes this weekend, then beats Michigan, then Louisville chokes next week and we end up with a Boise State/Louisville title game.


Richard said...

sorry, I meant Boise State/Rutgers

john (east lansing, mi) said...

I observe that this is a different topic/comment thread than the regular Daily Quickie one. With that in mind, I copy and paste half of my comment from that thread, since it pertains to this discussion instead of that one. If you read it on the other, you can skip it:

Was Louisville really that impressive? I was pulling for them, since I've been predicting for nigh on two months that they would destroy WVU, and they kept frustrating me with dumb penalties (how many 'dead ball - personal foul's were called in that game? 12?) and sacks allowed at just the crucial moments to kill drives.

And that juggernaut offense was having a lot of trouble punching it in (in general, but now I remember especially the drive where they almost settled for another field goal because they couldn't move 2 inches) - imagine the trouble they'd have against a serious defense. I only saw the first half and 5 minutes of the second, but I saw a ton of dropped passes and receivers falling of their own accord (wtf?), and Louisville did get one honest-to-goodness offensive TD against what can only be called a very suspect secondary/line/defense, but the game was not tilting either direction until the defense capitalized on UL's insanely clever "surrender a fumble to advance the ball since WVU will inevitably fumble" strategy. Rumor (aka ESPNEWS) has it that 7 of those points also came from a... 40-yard punt return, which must be among the shortest TD returns in the history of everything.
I can't speak to the offensive contributions after the 12-minute mark of the 3rd, but I know I was watching a team with a finishing problem get a lot of help from their friends.

Don't be blind! Somebody has to win EVERY game! Just because Louisville finally demonstrated that WVU really isn't that great, doesn't mean that Louisville is! ...does anybody think those two stupid California newspaper guys will vote UL #1 now? I hope they feel like huge douchebags (they are).

This topic frustrates me beyond compare, go Scarlet Knights.

(oh, and Dan - I do want to see Rutgers win out, and I even almost believe in it, but I don't want to see the complete competition vacuum that is the Big East make a mockery of the national championship game. Maybe if they had an SEC-Big East play-in game and Rutgers proved their mettle against a good team.)

Also, your dismissal of Michigan all season is starting to prove humorous to me. That is all.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Apparently, someone pissed in Richard's cornflakes. Why is such a bad mood Dick?

Brave Sir Robin said...

John, dont' forget another 7 points came off a fumble recovery after 3 consecutive fumbles or something like that.

That was just really sloppy football and I don't think the weather warranted it (unlike the rain soaked crap fests that were OSU/Penn St. and MU/NW to name two off the top of my head.)

Christian Thoma said...

If you want the team most deserving, stick to the BCS. If you want the best team, we need a playoff.

I prefer most deserving. I fully support the BCS.

Richard said...

Actually, I'm not in a bad mood. I put 10 dollar bets on Louisville and WVU to win the BCS championship at the beginning of the season thinking that I had a 50/50 shot at some great odds.

BCS = Gamblers Paradise (Hear that Simmons?)

I'm just trying to get my point across. Apparantly Robin, you noticed.

ndyanksfan05 said...

So Lville runs up scores against Temple, and ND last year put up sick numbers against quality teams (even in their loses)...ridiculous comment...Play someone of merit then talk to me about being a good team.

Geoff-Detroit said...

I don't think anyone particularly loves the BCS. But what other choice do we have but to support it at this point? I am sure everyone would love a playoff, but that isn't happening anytime soon. So we can whine about what we don't have or discuss what we do have. Which is more productive?

ndyanksfan05 said...

College Football has become a multi-year race to win a NC. You can't be a start-up team in a bad conference and win the NC unless you have some forsight and schedule some tough BCS conference teams for your non-conference games. If you really want a shot at the NC, your school is going to have to not schedule D-II games and begin to risk getting their asses kicked by good schools. If LVille, Rutgers, WVU and Boise State want to be NC teams they need to decide that now and begin to make tougher schedules for themselves. It is a multi-year committment, it wont happen in one season of playing crap teams. Like it or not, in this system you have to establish yourself as a credible team if you wish to pursue a title. That's what happens when you have a subjective voting system. Why should a voter choose undefeated Rutgers over a Florida, Auburn or even a Notre Dame who all play much, much tougher schedules (ND has three cupcake games this year, an 80 year old rivalry, NC who was supposed to be good and Army, just thought I'd throw it in there because I know I will get railed for saying ND)when Rutgers hasn't proven that they belong with that group yet? Maybe they do and maybe they don't but the school needs to dedicate the next several years trying to get to that level by challenging themselves with some tough competition.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

A rare but undeniable well-composed post, ndyanks.

If only they could read...

Richard said...


Very true, but unfortunately that's exactly what is wrong with college football right now.

(a playoff would fix all that)

rukrusher said...

At least Rutgers defense shut out Navy. :)

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Richard -

You had to follow that up with a really stupid post? Great jorb.

A playoff system is not going to happen. Search your heart - you know it to be true.

If a team wants to come out of nowhere and make a claim for the National Championship, ever, it needs to make its own luck by playing top-tier teams and beating them. OSU and Texas didn't really need to do that to get in the National Championship picture; but I feel a lot better about Texas '05 and OSU '06 being highly touted, because they made a bold move a couple years ago and set this whole thing up.

I think every fan of college football should be offended anytime they hear the suggestion that Boise State would deserve to play on January 8th for the National Championship because they failed to fuck up against Sacramento/Oregon/New Mexico/Fresno/ San Jose/Utah State, Wyoming, Hawaii, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and LA Tech, and I think you should be logical enough to pull your head out into the light and see that a playoff won't happen, and shouldn't happen.

A playoff destroys everything that college football is and everything that I love about it. If you feel differently, you should find another sport, or maybe a Division II team.

If (the College Basketball equivalents of) USC and Texas were losing to (likewise) Oregon State and Texas Tech, respectively, on a given evening in February, would you skip dinner in favor of staying in to watch the former two teams flirt with a catastrophic drop from the Top 5 to the Top 15 in the CBB rankings? I'm guessing no.

As much as DS drives me crazy with his Big East love (they haven't really beaten anyone, Dan), he's perfectly right about the importance of CFB's regular season games; if one loss just means a lower seed in January, then I'm not watching CFB anymore.

Richard said...

I know there wont be a missed the point.

If you like and approve of the BCS, thats fine. However, you better be prepared to accept the result. The BCS turns the regular season into a giant playoff. The surviving teams play for the national championship.

But, in this case, one of your surviving teams will be from the WAC or the Big East. Everyone seems to agree that at least 2 SEC teams are better than Louisville and at least 20 1-A teams are better than Boise State.

But, this is what your precious BCS has produced. Potentially a WAC or Big East team more deserving than anyone of playing for the national title.

I'm not saying Boise State or Louisville are the best teams in the country. However, don't claim the BCS to be the greatest system and the regular season to be so important and then do one of these two things:

1. Put a one-loss team in Glendale over an undefeated team.


2. Complain when undefeated Louisville gets in over a one-loss SEC team.

ndyanksfan05 said...

The regular season being a year long playoff is not necessarily what the BCS is all about. The point of the BCS is to determine what the best two teams are at the end of the season by way of scheduling, wins/loses and human interpretation. A one loss team can therefore be a better team than an undefeated team and therefore have the right to play in the NC.

The whole "the entire season is a playoff" idea is based around the fact that if you do have one loss it will weigh heavily against you and you will need to get lucky (no two other top tier teams are both undefeated) to get into the NC game. The year long playoff means that ever single game counts, you can't lose a game and control your own destiny. If a playoff system existed, you would be able to clinch a playoff spot and coast through the season (ignoring big rivalries etc.). As noted in my previous post, top tier schools do have the luxury of getting lucky from time to time and having no other top tier team be undefeated. Unfortunately for Boise State, Rutgers and Lville, they have yet to join the top tier of approximately 50-75 top schools who are a part of a tougher schedule (playing legitimate contenders year in and year out). If they'd like to get involved in this system and play some talented schools instead of the dregs and each other, they are more than welcome to vie for the NC in years to come.

ndyanksfan05 said...

And rukrusher - that is exactly rutgers problem this year, the Navy game was one of your biggest games of the year so far against one of your hardest opponents - ND was lashed at by the media for playing such a weak team...and you wonder why no one takes rutgers seriously.

Justin said...

Dan, you need to get a real job. Sports is clearly not for you. Did you actually watch the Louisville game? Did you seem them tackle? No? Neither did anyone else.

Rewatch the game and watch the number of missed tackles. Then go watch their big offensive and special teams plays. They're all huge errors by WVU leaving to WRs that are more open than a 7-11, or fumbles that were the result of....ummm....okay. And even then Louisville had some drops or just fell on their own two feet.

Your pathetic attacks on Michigan aside, that was a glorified HS game last night. And if you think Louisville is one of the top college football teams in America, you clearly don't have any busy being paid to know college football.

Richard said...

Actually, Louisville did join the ranks of the "elite." They joined the Big East, which is a BCS conference. Their out of conference schedule included a thrashing of Miami (which actually has some good players). I know Miami isn't ranked, but they were added to Louisville's schedule the year after their last notional championship.

Bottom line is, we can guess that an SEC team is better than a Big East team. We can guess that a SEC team would crush Louisville in a hypothetical game.

But we KNOW that Louiville, Rutgers and Boise State are undefeated. I'll acknowledge them as being in the top spot until someone beats them.

Justin said...

Also, your presumption shows you that your knowledge of college football history is almost as bad as your evaluation skills.

Justin said...

"But we KNOW that Louiville, Rutgers and Boise State are undefeated. I'll acknowledge them as being in the top spot until someone beats them."

Also undefeated is De La Salle HS in California, but they may have played better competition.

You gotta feel for Louisville, in the sense that they tried to have a real schedule (as opposed to WVU) and it didn't work out. But that doesn't make them a good team. It just makes them an okay team that hasn't played a better team yet this season.

Joe (Livonia, MI) said...

Richard, you angry SOB--

I am pro-BCS (as much as any SEC fan can be) and I DO support its likely conclusion: that the SEC champ, with one loss, will play the OSU-Michigan winner for all the marbles.

Louisville has one of the tougher remaining schedules of the contenders, with Rutgers and Pitt still out there. And should they run the table, I'm not even convinced that the voters would give UL that much credit. UF/Auburn will have the computers on their side, and voters will remember UF's mid-season gauntlet which is unlike anything UL will have faced.

If UF is denied a shot at the title in favor of an undefeated team, I won't cry too much because I know Florida should have beaten Auburn in order to have any legit beef with a BCS pass-over. But that said, I remain highly optimistic about UF's chances, and I would not consider it an injustice by any means, because UL wouldn't have been undefeated in the SEC anyways.

ndyanksfan05 said...

I know an SEC team is good because they play other good teams, both from their conference and out of conference.

Miami is hardly a win to hang your hat on. It may be unfair to Lville but it's the only way to be fair to teams that tried to play a competitive schedule to differentiate themselves from other mediocre teams.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

I'll say this. I agree that Louisville should be #3 right now, they're undefeated and have earned it. Should they be there in a few weeks? I am reserving judgment, there is still a lot of football left.

However, the argument has been that the Big East is a BCS conference, and if you leave a team out from the BCS auto conferences you defeat the system.

Here's my problem with that. The BCS and the 5 other conferences wanted NOTHING to do with the new Big East being part of their clique, they KNEW this would happen and really did not want to deal with a 8 team league (2 less than the Pac 10) that included 2 teams that had no major football on campus before 2002 (UConn and South Florida)making a claim at the national title game and/or a portion if the 15-17 million dollar payout. The teams left in the Big East mean very little to TV ratings and can't draw at their own stadiums much less a bowl game 1000 miles away. However, lawyers stepped in, and they were extended in the new BCS deal with conditions that they could lose their bid (must average 2 teams in the top 12 over 4 years, plus some other requirements)

While it is great that the Big East has bounced back and been a great story this year, is this league as a whole worthy of a shot for the national title? I think the fact that Rutgers (Schiano has done a GREAT job) remains undefeated shows that this league isn't on par with the other 5.

I'm not calling for the exclusion of the BE from the BCS, but they need to show that they can beat teams with a PULSE outside their conference before I'm buying this league, 1/2 of which are only in their second season being able to call themselves BCS caliber schools.

Joe (Dayton)

Mike said...

I notice a mention of the BCS being good because it means you can't coast through the remainder of your season after clinching a confrence championship.

So, I defy you to point out a confrence that looks like its going to be clinched anytime remotly soon enough for a team to coast.

The BCS just straight up doesn't work. You cannot distill a full season down to one winner-take-all game, because the games can only have two teams, and often times there are more then two deserving teams.

Also, how many of these people who have a huge problem with Louisville's D (or the lack thereof) had absolutly NO problem with USC, who didn't have much of a D either (reference last year's game vs. ND and the Rose Bowl)?

TBender said...

SEC teams play good teams outside of their conference? When did this happen?

SEC 1-loss Non-Con opponents:
Florida = USM, UCF, WCarolina, FSU
Auburn = Wash St, Buffalo, Tulane, Ark. St
Tennessee = Cal, USAF, Marshall, Memphis
Arkansas = USC, Utah St, SEMO, LA-Monroe

2.5 real opponents (.5 for a down FSU)

Maybe some of these SEC schools should schedule up too. Louisville might be looking for games...

Trey (formerly TF) said...


You do know Wazzou is ranked right?

I see each of those teams playing 1 big out of conference game, which is about right.

Remember, the Big East has 2 teams that were not D-IA schools 5 years ago and 5 out of conference games to schedule.

I will not bash Louisville's scheduling, it was done right. Unfortunatly, those teams just didn't pan out as well.

Joe (Dayton)

Worldwide Reader said...

Maybe some of these SEC schools should schedule up too.

I am no SEC guy (I actually went to a Big East school - go Friars!), but their teams don't have to "schedule up" to be considered for the title game. They already beat up enough on each other.

The BCS is not the answer. College football, while I love it, will always be flawed, due to lack of a playoff system. This idea of, "the entire season is a playoff" is bullshit. Go ask Auburn from a few years ago how that worked out.

Oh, and I cannot wait until the end of this regular season, when L'Ville loses to Rutgers, and Rutgers loses to WVU, and a winner from OSU/Michigan emerges ... and you have one undefeated team (Boise does NOT count) and a whole shitload of 1 loss teams, most seemingly deserving.

Then what are you going to do - still defend the BCS?

Anonymous said...

Guys, you don't need a playoff. Tell me one controversial year that wouldn't have been remedied by adding one game at the end. I've posted these thoughts more than once on this site.

'93: Notre Dame-FSU
'97: Michigan-Nebraska
'03: LSU-USC
'04: USC-Auburn

Four controversies solved with one additional game! Not a 16-team battle-royale. Just ONE game. The simplest solution is the best. (And those are just the first four I could think of. Didn't Oregon deserve to get a shot one year?)

All a playoff would do is supplant the regular season, but we all seem to like the regular season! Why do that? Somebody please convince me that a playoff is better than one additional game.

TBender said...

Apologies to missing WSU...but they are hardly a power year-in/year-out. And I don't recall them being touted as good (see Cal) at the start of the year.

The beating up on each other argument doesn't work for me at all. Why? Because it becomes an easy built-in excuse for Auburn getting shellacked by Arkansas. Plus you cannot control the conference schedule, but you can control the non-con.