Monday, November 20, 2006

BCS: Ohio State vs.:
USC? Florida? (Hint: NOT Michigan)

Being down in Gainesville this past weekend, I had a LOT of time to ponder the state of the BCS. First, here's how it looks like it's going to play out:

If USC beats Notre Dame and UCLA, they will likely jump idle Michigan into that No. 2 spot. (If Florida beats Florida State and Arkansas, they SHOULD jump idle Michigan, too, but likely won't be able to jump USC.) In any other scenario, Ohio State and Michigan play in a rematch.

Everyone's got a reason NOT to be picked:

*USC lost to an unranked team.
*Florida has no "style."
*Michigan had their shot.

I understand the argument FOR Michigan, and it has nothing to do with who they have beaten (a thin list); it's about the "quality" of their single loss -- to the No. 1 team, on the road, by 3 -- which trumps the quality of every other one-loss team's single loss.

Urban Meyer is pretty adamant that, no matter what (even USC getting in the national title game ahead of Florida), Michigan should NOT get another shot in the national title game, that Michigan being there delegitimizes the title game.

I agree with him.

If this was a political race (and, really, it plays out more like that than anything having to do with football – and I'm surprised that teams like USC and Florida don't actually create political-style ads and buy TV air-time to run them to promote themselves), I would hammer the following point if I was USC and Florida:

Michigan had their shot.

Having beaten Michigan already, why should Ohio State have to beat them AGAIN to win the title? If Michigan beats Ohio State in the BCS title game, would Ohio State have a claim to a split national title? After all, that would merely EVEN the season series.

The point is: Michigan had their shot. With no clear No. 2, the team with the LEAST valid claim is the one who just had their chance to win but didn't. With Michigan, we've seen how it played out on the field.

Wouldn't you now like to see how Ohio State would do against a team that has performed as well out of the non-conference as USC? Or against a team that has peformed as well in the sport's toughest conference as Florida?

Michigan had their shot and fell short. (By extension, you could argue that Michigan fans love the BCS system as it currently is and would argue against the idea of a playoff, which every other fan wants. After all, if there WAS a playoff and Michigan lost, their fans -- based on the last 48 hours' lobbying -- would whine that they didn't REALLY get eliminated and that they want another chance. Again, politics-style: Michigan fans are against replacing the BCS system with a playoff.)

Michigan just played in the closest thing that college football has ever had to a real playoff semifinal game, and they blew it. Let's treat it like the de facto playoff it was and leave Michigan behind and look forward: It's time for someone else to get to take their shot against the best.

If USC and/or Florida finish the season equaling Michigan's one loss, then -- all things being equal -- they deserve consideration for the BCS title game ahead of Michigan. Good thing there's a lot of football left to play on the field to help possibly clear this up.

-- D.S.


amr said...

If Arkansas wins out and USC loses one, shouldn't they be in over UM, too?

Anonymous said...

did Dan just plagerize me? :)

Anonymous said...


CMFost said...

If Arkansas wins out and USC loses one, shouldn't they be in over UM, too?

Probably not - there current rankings hurt them and I think if both USC and Florida lose a game then Michigan gets the spot.

And for all the ND fans out there forget about it they don't derservee to be in the National Championship over a team they lost by 26 points at home.

Anonymous said...

think about the down time beofr the national championship if you are OSU/MICH

thats like if a team won their conference championship on the last weekend in january like normal but instead of the superbowl being the first week of february it was in the middle of the third week of march

how is this allowed?

We did forget to mention Notre Dame though. If they beat USC it doesn't even matter because if the choice is Mich/ND then its MICH because they rocked ND in south bend. I think that's kinda sad though. USC and ND both have one loss and are ranked very high but if USC wins by 1 at home they go the 'ship but if ND wins by 21 on the road they still have no shot. That's kinda depressing don't you think. Why should ND even care about this game besides revenge from last year?

Anonymous said...


Did you just argue for a tOSU/Boise St. Final?

i applaud you going out on a limb, errr... plank

Anonymous said...

I really don't want to see a rematch, and would prefer a tOSU/USC title game.

However .. the entire point of the BCS title game is to pit the best two teams in the country against each other. That is all.

Now, if you want to argue that Florida/Arkansas/USC are better than Michigan, then fine. But saying Michigan already "had their shot" is not a logical argument.

Justin is right - every team has "had their shot." Michigan does have the "best" loss - and they also have, I think, the "best" win - whipping ND on the road.

All of this is only to underscore that this sport desperately needs an 8 team playoff.

PS - is it possible for a BCS "tie" for 2nd place? And what would happen if it turned out that way?

Josh said...

People who are for the playoff have never made a legitimate argument for how this playoff would be constructed.

I am against a playoff, but I ask these questions:

How many teams?
How do you determine them?

Anonymous said...

i understand all of the arguments for all of the teams. what i hate to see get lost in all of this is the need for a playoff. urban meyer, though biased, is correct, as was tommy tubberville earlier this year...and even bob stoops converted this year. we can only hope that ALL of the coaches, including catbird seat jim tressel, begin to clamour for a playoff. if we took the top 16 teams in the bcs atandings after this year and played it out, there would be no arguing or bias or second-guessing the true national champion. all i can do is say go gators and just hope that the dominoes fall for them.

Anonymous said...

How many teams?
How do you determine them?

Just my opinion - but I say 8 teams, with no regard to conferences, and you can still use the BCS rankings to determine them.

Yes, everyone will bitch about the difference between the 8th and 9th ranked teams. But there has got to be a cut-off somewhere, so draw the line at 8. And then go NFL-playoff system from there - home field advantage up until the title game.

Also, are you against a playoff in the NFL? Would you rather have beat writers and computers determine the two best teams in the league, and then have the Super Bowl based on those rankings? Just curious. And if not - then how is it different?

Deathwatch Conundrum said...

Screw the whole playoff idea.

This wouldn't even be an issue if ND and the Big Ten would get with the program.

ND needs to joing a conference and the Big Ten needs a championship game.

OSU and Michigan could play again and we could settle this argument and move.

Also the PAC10 needs to get on board with a conference championship as well.

I think that's the closest we'll get to a playoff system.

Anonymous said...

The Michigan fan in me wants a rematch at the closest thing to a neutral field as possible. The football fan in me sees the de facto playoff and would want OSU against whoever is next in line (UF, Arkansas, ND, USC?) Anyways, tough call from my standpoint and being a Michigan fan I can't lose either way.
Portage, MI

CMFost said...

If Div 1-AA, Div 2 and Div 3 can have a 16 team playoff then the big boys can have one.

You take the top 16 in the BCS rankings and you play until you get 2 and why not have the championship game on the off week between the NFC/AFC Championship games and the super bowl

Anonymous said...

go back to the nba and slurping nowitski, #1 mavs fan. you are obviously no college football fan

Christian Thoma said...

How come no one has noticed that the best solution this year is neither a playoff nor the BCS?

If neither existed, the Rose Bowl matchup would be OSU-USC already, and the winner would (likely) get the AP and Coaches' national championship.

Anonymous said...

I'm no Flordia fan by any means but I fail to see the logic behind why USC is so much better than Flordia.

Because if they win out, USC will have beaten Arkansas (on the road), Nebraska, Cal, and Notre Dame. And Florida will have beaten LSU, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

Does who you lose to not matter?

If you go by this logic, then obviously you think Michigan deserves a rematch.

Anonymous said...

chrth...would that be the same usc team that lost to oregon state that would deserve a national championship. are you trying to stir up the muck?

Anonymous said...

worldwide...neb sucks, cal sucks, and nd sucks. whoopee for usc

Christian Thoma said...

Everyone is acting like Oregon State is this 1-11 team.

They're 7-4 people, and bowl-bound. They have the potential to finish 9-4.

All 4 teams they've lost to are bowl-eligible. Even if they finish 7-6 they'll have lost to all bowl-eligible teams.

Yes, they're not as good as Auburn (who beat Florida) or Michigan (who beat Notre Dame) or USC (who beat Arkansas). But it's not like they're Stanford or Vanderbilt.

Anonymous said...

It really is a two team race. It will either be USC or Michigan. Flordia has the smallest shot possible because they have zero quality wins.

How can you say that Florida has zero quality wins? They beat both LSU and Tennessee. Plus, their only loss came from Auburn (currently ranked #14). USC, on the other hand lost to UNRANKED Oregon State.

It bothers me that the biggest knock on Florida is that they have no style. It shouldn't matter how they win, just as long as they win. Why should a 10-1 record be suspect because of a couple close games?

Anyway, since we are talking about SOS and quality wins, isn't the logic that if you have to lose, lose early and not in your last game (like Michigan)?

Anonymous said...

cody - Do you even know how to compute winning percentage? Wins/Games played. The records you give show USC's opponents have a BETTER winning percentage than Florida's ('i' before 'd', btw).

USC: .571, Florida: .556

Christian Thoma said...

Anyway, since we are talking about SOS and quality wins, isn't the logic that if you have to lose, lose early and not in your last game (like Michigan)?

That's only because the pollsters are typically idiots (cf the current positions of WVU, UL, and Rutgers). For once, they got it (in theory) right.

I also reject the Style Points argument as well. Doesn't anyone remember OSU's championship season four years ago? Oy vey! Unless you consider "letting the other team stay close and eke out a win at the end" style.

Anonymous said...

tell ND to join the Big10 so we can have an even number of teams and actually have a championship game.

here's a big bag of cry for everyone complaining about OSU's field. Both teams played on it. Michigan's tubby kicker didn't miss anything that cost them the game on the grass, so I don't want to hear it.

Sean said...

Since the game was at the Shoe and it was STILL a very close game and no other team can claim a clear cut reason for being number two, rematch on neutral turf is the best solution.

MoonHopper said...

Regarding a rematch: I have no major issue with it because it would be on a neutral field. I think it would be a good game, at any rate. But I can see where you'd want to pass on Michigan because they just lost to OSU. But if you start eliminating teams because of who they lost to, you start to lose sight of the important issue, who are the BEST two teams right now. If Michigan had lost to OSU by three, at OSU, in week one, almost everyone would want to see them play again.

If every conference had a championship game (on a neutral field?), as #1mavsfan implores, then there is a chance that one or two more teams would be eliminated from title hopes naturally.

Of course we'd still be hearing the "my conference is better than your conference" arguments until February.

And don't forget Boise State. They are undefeated.

If a playoff system makes the season too long, then explain why there are 50 days between the end of the regular season (for some teams anyway) and the title game.

In two weeks, this debate may be down to just two teams, but we will debate the issue until Jan. 8th. And that is certainly good for fan interest so the NCAA will be happy.

Anonymous said...

the rematch we are more likely to see is UM v ND in the Rose Bowl.

As for a "neutral site" in Glendale...HA!

Ask the 80,000 OSU fans that were there last year how neutral it was.

Ask Miami how it felt to play at the 'shoe in 2002.

I honestly don't want to play USC, since they have the best shot to put fans in the stands against us.

OSU fans have bought condos in Phoenix, it is cheaper than staying at a hotel when you go there every year for the Fiesta Bowl!

Christian Thoma said...

The problem is that there's no easy solution.

Even if you take "Top X" teams, X+1 is going to bitch.

Do you think OSU gets to even play Miami 4 years ago if there had been a playoff?

And speaking about OSU, what about this year? Why should OSU have to prove anything again to get into the championship game?

As far as I can tell, the only viable solution is a flex one, ie each year you come up with a different process after the games are finished. And that won't make anybody happy.

jhawkjjm said...

pootietang...don't be an asshat. #1mavsfan actually does have a valid point. We have these conferences that aren't playong on equal ground. We've had #1 teams from conferences with a championship game that lose that championship game and a shot at the title (Kansas St a few years back). The "extra" game hurt them. As of right now, the Big 10, Pac 10, and Big East have no conference championship games. But at least the Pac 10 and Big East all play each other and can determine a "true" champion that way. The Big 10 has unbalanced schedules as not every team plays each other. ND is a creature all its own.

The underlying fact to all of this is $$$. That's why the ACC raided the Big East (BC in the ACC???). They wanted the revenue from the championship game. A playoff will never happen because becuase there's too much money involved with the bowls. (which sucks)

So I have no idea who should play Ohio State. I really don't want to see Michigan-OSU again, I'm personally tired of USC, and I could care less about the SEC. I don't want to see ND-OSU either because we saw that last year. THe whole thing is a mess.

I'd love seeing a playoff, and make it 12 teams, with the top 4 getting bye's. The Big 6 conference champs would automatically qualify.

Christian Thoma said...

Here's the thing about the OSU-UM final margin:

UM needed to recover an onside kick to even have a chance at winning.

UM hadn't led since 7-0.

It's not like this was a back and forth battle where the last team with the ball won. OSU made some serious mistakes that allowed UM to get back into the game in the third quarter. Yes, kudos to UM for fighting to get back in.

But gang (and yes, I'm an OSU homer, but seriously) the game was not as close as the final score indicated. Yes, it's a cliche, but I think in this case it's true. Can UM beat OSU? Sure. But home field advantage wasn't the difference on Saturday.

The better team on Saturday won. Period.

Anonymous said...

can we get back to the game was close for a minute. Really?

Troy gets picked at our own 25, Mich gets 3 pts out of it.

Datish gives UM the ball on our 9. Mich gets 7 pts out of it.

OSU is on a 45 yd drive and again Datish gives the ball to Mich, on their 30.

Mich gets the ball back down 11 with 4:56 to go in the game, and OSU doesn't care about a TD, they care about making the TD drive take 4 minutes.

Yes I was afraid at points, but not of Michigan stopping us, but of our own mistakes costing us. UM wasn't giving the ball away while we were giving it up like my sister on prom night.

Anonymous said...

College football needs to have a 4-team playoff, simple as that, the top team from each of 4 top conferences. Screw all that nonsense about bowl tradition, if the "national championship" should be taken seriously, then make it into a real championship, not a modified popularity system. And make Notre Dame choose a conference. It's too easy for ND right now.

We can't argue about some mythical 4 "best" teams regardless of conference. All those arguments about the NFL? Well, in the NFL system, an AFC and NFC teams always meet in the Super Bowl, how fair is that? This year, it should be Patriots/Colts, and everyone pretty much knows it.

College football should be a meritocracy, where you earn it in the playoffs and in your conference, not a democracy where you win it in the polls.

We've got to get incentives to the conferences to schedule real competition. With so few games, there's no reason for a BCS contender to schedule D-IAA schools. It's embarassing.

So we pick the 4 winners of the top-ranked conferences.

Forcing teams to win their conferences - while making it important to schedule heavyweight non-conference games (which won't count against you but could get you into the playoffs) - would be the perfect solution to High-HYPE teams playing weak non-conference schedules and coasting into the big game.

So I agree that Michigan had their shot. There are too few games to give second chances. How is "every game a playoff" true if the loser of a Big Ten championship gets to play the best team overall? There's too much money at stake for all the conferences for that farce.

Anonymous said...

Using the conference championship as a playoff system won't work either. The reason is because conference championships can be bullshit too. Remember in 2003 when Oklahoma got worked 35-7 by Kansas State, and Oklahoma still ened up playing for the national championship against LSU?

In that secenario, there is no reason why Oklahoma should have been playing for the national title. I'm not saying that Kansas State should have been in the national championship game, but Oklahoma's loss should have opened the door for another team.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to see ND v. Mich again either, but with the conference tie-ins the way they are, I wouldn't be surprised if it happened.

Christian Thoma said...


4 conferences? Either you're dissing Miami or USC, but the 5th conference has a national championship this decade.

Anonymous said...


OU shouldn't have been playing against LSU that year, it should have been USC v. LSU

Anonymous said...


fine, call it "king of the mountain"

OSU knocked UM off, now it's time for someone else to try

Anonymous said...

once again, for the record...

until ND nuts up and joins a conference they should be excluded from all BCS consideration

Anonymous said...


you sound like mike hart. it's ok to talk about erasing UM's mistakes, but not OSU's.

Fine, take the helmet to helmet away and i'll take away the fumble that gave UM first and goal at the 9. Think the game ends differently?

rafael said...

About the OSU field:

It was reported that due to it beign new...and all the rain..the OSU team didn't set foot on it until game day. Both teams were slipping, OSU handled it better.

Christian Thoma said...

You can't force conferences to have championship games. Each conference has a mechanism in place to name a 'champion', there's no reason that can't be continued to be used.

Christian Thoma said...

Stewart Mandel has some wise words:

So realistically, there are three remaining contenders with a chance to face Ohio State: USC, Michigan and Florida. The only scenario under which I see the Ohio State-Michigan rematch actually coming to fruition is if USC loses a game, and if Arkansas loses to LSU, thus taking away some of the luster from a possible Florida victory. Even then, I feel like most of the country hasn't seen a Gators game since their loss to Auburn, and if it does comes down to Michigan and Florida, the Gators -- in particular their defense -- will get a chance to make a final impression just a few hours before the last ballots are due.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Florida should play its "semi-final" at Arkansas. That would even things up a bit for all those Florida backers saying Michigan had their shot -- even if their shot happened in front of 100k hostile fans in Columbus.

Anonymous said...

UM should not get a rematch. What if they beat OSU in the national championship?? The teams would have split 1-1 and it would prove nothing. UM had their chance and didnt come through when they needed to. END.OF.STORY. Now we get to argue who's loss is "better" than whom's. Now talking about something stupid...

Marcus T said...

Isn't it pretty much OSU and then everybody else? I say USC or Florida does deserve it more than Michigan again.

Michigan would have never been in that game if that OSU center doesn't fumble those two snaps, all because he was wearing a cast! Guess where that cast will be in 6 weeks? Gone. Take those 2 fumbles out and Michigan probably loses by 14-20 points and nobody is talking about a rematch.

chipp said...

For conferences to have championship games, don't they need 12 teams? The Big- and Pac-10s would have to become the Big- and Pac-12s.

Should a team that doesn't win its conference (UM) be allowed in the championship game? I say no. Of course, that would leave ND on the outside looking in every year.

Christian Thoma said...

Right, because all we know that if the OSU-UM game was in Ann Arbor, UM would've won, just like last season.

Trey (formerly TF) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Reasons a college playoff won't work:

-Schools are on break/in finals in mid-december. You can't play games.

-Mid-January is NFL playoff time. They would put up a big fight over a college playoff.

-Ever sit outside for 4 hours in Ann Arbor, Columbus, or Madison in December or January? Not fun.

-Abolishing the bowls is impractical - too much money at stake.

That being said, a playoff would have to be 8 teams, it would have to be at neutral sites in warm climates, and it would have to be at a time that does not conflict with academic finals or the NFL playoffs.

And then there's the issue of picking the 8 teams. You could use the BCS, but that would render the conference titles completely meaningless. It would also encourage teams to schedule patsies, because going undefeated would mean making the playoffs.

So yeah - easier said than done.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

I am a Florida fan who believes that USC deserves to be in the National Title game if the season ended right now.

We have 2 very tough games left and will be more concerned about UF then.

However, I am arguing that it is rediculous to have guys like Kirk Herbstreit going on air 15 minutes after the game ends and yells that there NEEDS to be a rematch, and that a team like Florida would be beaten soundly by Michigan on the field.

To counter, I don't believe Michigan should be removed from the argument. They have 1 loss and played a tough schedule. However, they need to get back into a position to go to that game.

Joe (Dayton)

Christian Thoma said...

Well, that should make the playoffs-missing Phillies fans feel a lot better.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

chrth - that last line doesn't make any sense at all. none. thanks for playing.

rafael - sure, OSU didn't play on that particular sod; that doesn't mean they didn't know how shitty it was, or play on similar shitty sod previously, or have more shitty sod at a different facility (probably not this last one, but doubtless the first two).
OSU certainly did "handle it better," and I think that's pretty important to the discussion. I don't know what shoes they were wearing, or what drills they had run back in October before the last terrible sod was removed, but I do know that they played with relative ease on a surface provided by tOSU, on which Michigan had trouble playing.
Fuller thoughts here

Christian Thoma said...

chrth - that last line doesn't make any sense at all. none. thanks for playing.

What? The Phillies didn't make the playoffs. What's so hard to understand about that?

Besides, I'm now thinking conspiracy: they gave it to Howard to prevent Philly fans from committing suicide after losing McNabb for the season yesterday.

Christian Thoma said...

john (aaiab, mi):

Yeah, I know. I was actually directly responding to jrobs7777's comment, I should've put that in there.

Anonymous said...

Here's this week's CFB Ladder Rankings. Ohio State has a 190 point lead on the #2 team, but only 40 points separates #2 to #8. There will be a couple of teams closing in on OSU, however, due to games remaining on the schedule.

MoonHopper said...

MAHER, seriously. Don't let your allegiance blind you. It was a THREE point game! You mention three OSU turnovers that "caused" the game to be that close. Here's another way to look at that: Pressure and execution from Michigan caused the turnovers. How's that?

And just in case you don't agree with that, look at it this way: How good are you if you hand the ball to the other team in a pressure situation? Heisman worthy QB? Not really if that's the case.

And then you imply that Michigan couldn't overcome OSU despite these gifts. That's not making Michigan look that good. And OSU could ONLY beat that poor team by 3, at home?

The game was close. The score indicates that, and so does the fact that both teams DID have a chance near the end.

But OSU was better.

rafael said...

Schools are on break in mid you can't have games!? Since when?? Basketball is played over breaks..D-IAA plays over breaks...It's Thanksgiving break right now, there will still be games this Saturday.
Games also would not have to be in warmer climates. This is college football. Noone minds playing in the dont mind watching in the cold.

So those two reasons against a playoffs are silly. The only reason against a playoff that counts is the $$$.

Christian Thoma said...

Pressure and execution from Michigan caused the turnovers. How's that?

And just in case you don't agree with that, look at it this way: How good are you if you hand the ball to the other team in a pressure situation?

Uh, did you watch the game? Two of the three turnovers was caused by a bad snap by a center with a cast on his hand. As for the third turnover, it's arguable that Troy tried to push the ball into a bad location, but even still, the ball was deflected towards a lineman (who wasn't even covering the receiver). No offense, but your argument isn't borne out by reality.

Anonymous said...

-Ever sit outside for 4 hours in Ann Arbor, Columbus, or Madison in December or January? Not fun.

That being said, a playoff would have to be 8 teams, it would have to be at neutral sites in warm climates, and it would have to be at a time that does not conflict with academic finals or the NFL playoffs.

Um, fans of the Packers, Bengals, Browns, Bills, and Patriots all sit outside and freeze their asses off for 4 hours in December.

Why would a playoff need to be in a neutral site with a temperate climate? The purpose of a playoff is not to eliminate home field advantage, but rather to determine who is most worthy of playing for the championship.

Home field advantage should not be removed until the actual championship game which would be played at a neytral site (just like the NFL).

Anonymous said...


um..... rite

so the div 1A playoffs would be during finals but wat about the playoffs for the div 1AA, 2, and 3 THAT ALREADY EXIST

and who says they have to be during the playoffs of the NFL????? why don't we just not take 6 weeks off?

and eveyone says that the bowls are worth more

a 8 team playoff is how many games?

correct answer: 7

how many BCS games are there right now?

correct answer: 5

so making 2 more bowls into bigger games would lose money?

you think that if they made like the Cotton and 1 other (possibly the Gator) BIGGER GAMES that this would lose money?????

Anonymous said...

It's ridiculous to say "if it wasn't for the 3 turnovers at then end of the game, OSU would have killed UM". That's why we play the games.

And Michigan made their share of stupid mistakes, too. If you take out Henne overthrowing a wide open Manningham in the 2nd quarter(?), the roughing the passer penalty, and the 18 missed tackles on the 2 OSU 50+ yard TD runs, Michigan smokes OSU. All 4 of those plays were as big as turnovers.

Natsfan74 said...

One: Remember when USC argued that Oklahoma didn't deserve a chance to be in the Championship game against LSU because they lost their conference championship game, resulting in a split champion between USC and LSU. Same argument here -- without the neutral field, just plain sense. If Michigan is not the best team in the Big 10, why should they get a 2nd chance?

Two: These are Student Athletes who are preparing for final exams now and need this time to study, not play playoff football. Remember the student portion of this?

Three: The other divisions in football have championships because they do not have bowls, thus creating an additional revenue stream for the smaller schools. The big boys get 30+ bowl games, allowing 60+ teams to play one extra game, earning school/ conference/ and NCAA revenue but also giving those teams 4-6 more practice weeks. Some teams will use those practice weeks this year to get better for next year. Why limit the 60+ post-season slots to 8 or 16? Just so Joe Fan can say they saw the "college superbowl" while eliminating the great bowl tradition in college football?

Christian Thoma said...

Aaron Rodgers is out for the year with a broken foot and McCarthy says that Favre is fine and will play next week

And people wonder why fans are so impressed with Favre's starting streak. Rodgers can't even play half a game without missing some time afterwards.

BTW, Florida fans should be happy to hear that Ingle Martin is the new backup QB for the Packers.

Anonymous said...


I'm not saying that a playoff system is impossible, but it's much more complicated than people think. TV contracts are hard things to work around, and that's what drives these bowl games. After college football season, the NFL plays games on Saturdays, so you would have to coordinate with CBS and Fox, who air both, (Fox just paid about a billion dollars for the rights to every BCS bowl game except for the Rose Bowl).

And you simply can't have teams play games during finals - practically, there is no way around this.

TBender said...


When the Birmingham Bowl, the Houston Bowl, and the Motor City Bowl exist and 6-6 teams are bowl-eligible, it's safe to say the "great bowl tradition in college football" is no longer great.

Drake said...

Why not have an 8 team playoff. Take the top BCS 8 and seed them as they are ranked. Losers of each round go to the designated January bowl. Playoff games are held at the higher seeds stadium until the bowl game. This year for example (I simply chose the higher ranked team to win for example sake):

round 1: OSU vs Wisc, FL vs ND, USC vs Ark, Mich vs WVU.
Sugar Bowl: ND vs Ark
Rose Bowl: Wisc vs WVU

Round 2: OSU vs FL, Mich vs USC
Orange Bowl: FL vs USC
Fiesta (Nat'l Champ): OSU vs Mich

No arguement then you have clear 1-8 ranks at the end of the year.

SF said...

Dear Dan,

i really hope you read can you penalize my michigan wolverines for playing in the big ten along side ohio state. florida is trash, as we have seen in the last few weeks, and the only legit argument would be for USC. USC beat Oregon, Michigan beat Penn St. (top 25 BCS). USC beat Cal, Michigan beat Wisco (top 10 BCS). USC will beat ND, Michigan kicked their behinds in South Bend by 26 points...USC did beat Arkansas nonetheless, but Arkansas was a shadow of what it is now.

But USC lost to an UNRANKED team, and Michigan lost to the best team in the country, on the road,and were a personal foul away from perhaps beating them.

A team should not be penalized for its regular season outcome. If the two best teams, with all of the season's game take into consideration, come from the same conference, OSU and Michigan, then they should be playing for the title...I tremendously enjoy this blog and most all your comments, but in ZERO way can i concur with your argument here, and I am extraordinarily dissapointed big guy.

(p.s. Also a little bitter about losing on Saturday)


Chad Henne

Drake said...

if you eliminate everyones bye-week than the season ended Saturday and the 2 remaining weeks can be for the BCS playoffs.

so you are getting the best of both worlds and creating more revenue for the schools, Conferences and TV.

Anonymous said...

You can't seriously have a playoff system that only invites the champions of the top 6 conferences and I'll list a couple reasons why:

1) Conferences are uneven, meaning sometimes a really lousy team gets into the championship game simply by being less lousy than the rest of the teams in that division of the conference, and the perfect example of that has been the Big 12 North for the last few years.

2) There are currently 11 conferences, which would guarantee that 5 conferences every year are automatically excluded from the playoffs. Yes, these conference champions could possibly make a run and squeak into the at-large playoff bids, but they're still being excluded. As it stands they were already so pissed at being excluded from the BCS that the BCS added a game to expand their BCS invites to 10 spots to try to prevent any lawsuits. It will be worse if you have a playoff system, there will definitely be some major lawsuits.

Granted, I would love to see an 8 team playoff, but you cannot automatically invite the conference winners. If you MUST follow the conference model, then you would have to have a 12 team playoff, with the top 4 teams getting a bye in the first round. That would include the winner of every conference, and an at-large team.

Anonymous said...

1) Conferences are uneven, meaning sometimes a really lousy team gets into the championship game simply by being less lousy than the rest of the teams in that division of the conference, and the perfect example of that has been the Big 12 North for the last few years.

Ummm, didn't this happen in the pros last year with the Steelers?

The problem is everyone is missing the point. If there is a playoff system, the last team standing would be the best in the country. So, by extension, if a shitty team squeaks its way into its conference's championship, wins and then advances through the playoffs and wins it all, it is deserved. That's why it is called a playoff.

If we were to just pick two teams to play that are perceived to be the best, well, that's the system we have now.

Face it, there is now way to tell which team is the best unless they all play each other. Human polls, computer rankings and the BCS all mean shit. They've gotten it wrong before and they'll get it wrong again. That why some years we end up with co-champions. Seriously, what's that all about?

MoonHopper said...

chrth: No offense taken. I happened to argue both sides of the turnover equation. To make a point. Turnovers... either you make 'em, or "they" force 'em. Either way, turnovers are bad. And as you pointed out, OSU's were of their own making. They are still bad. And the game was still close.

Anonymous said...

No one BUT Michigan deserves to be in the national title game.

And why is this, because Schembechler died?

SF said...

dude, i know michigan lost, that is a fact.

but we still deserve to be there for the reasons stated above.

FL is trash, USC lost to a nobody, DEAL WITH IT!

SF said...

Playoff, obv, is financially and morally the ONLY answer for the joke that is NCAA football!

Anonymous said...

1) Try as you might Michigan-Ohio State was NOT a semi-final playoff game. #1 doesn't play #2 in the semi's.

2) The college presidents and the NCAA will not allow a playoff without a minimum of 11 teams, 1 spot for EACH of the 11 Div 1A conferences. So say it'll be 16 teams, 11 champs and 5 at-larges. So for all of you pushing for playoffs remember that that playoff will include Houston or Southern Miss (Conf USA), Ohio or Central Michian (MAC), BYU (Mtn West) and Middle Tenn St (Sun Belt). Div 1AA, 2, and 3 due it this way and there is a selection committee to fill the remaining spots.

3) The cast may or may not be off of Datish's hand when Ohio State plays in the National Championship game. His hand has been healed for the last 5-6 weeks, he only wears the cast because the o-line coach makes him out of superstition.

Anonymous said...

"Face it, there is now way to tell which team is the best unless they all play each other."

Yeah, which is why any playoff system that would only take conference champs, therefore excluding teams like Michigan, LSU, and Arkansas or Florida, is flawed. It doesn't even let them participate.

It may work in the NFL, where there are only 32 teams, but there are 122 Div. 1-A schools.

Anonymous said...

Florida is trash because of a couple of close games? If I remember correctly, OSU had some trouble Illinois and Michigan had a rough time with Ball Friggin' State. So by that logic, OSU and Michigan are also trash.

Anonymous said...

There's nobody that can currently discredit Michigan as the #2 team in the country. USC lost to Oregon State. Florida lost to Auburn. Notre Dame lost big to Michigan. Arkansas lost big to USC, and the rest of the teams just get progressively worse from there.

Just because the #2 team in the country happened to play the #1 team during the regular season doesn't give anyone else a claim of "They've already had their chance" and ignore that they're still the #2 team. That's complete idiocy.

*sarcasm* Let's just all agree to rank Michigan 25th to ensure they can't make the title game, because they've already had their chance.

Anonymous said...

the idea that a playoff is NOT needed to determine a true champion is ridiculous. every champion up to this point has been a mythical one. it's the only sport(actually division of one sport) the ncaa has it wrong. i don't know how you have one with less than 12(top 4 get a bye) or 16 teams. i think bcs rankings would be fair, as long as they are able to be tweaked to punish scheduling patsies. i actually think it would help teams schedules like it does in basketball, so those teams are not afraid to play big boys. lets face it, as much as college football is a passion, the bowl season is listless every year because there is so little meaning to it. it does not even come close to the excitement that is march madness. having said that, the bowl system can continue for the non-playoff qualifiers, allowing for the extra practice and game for those schools. it does not have to be mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you nyc-steelers fan. I would love a playoff system, but absolutely do NOT want it to go the conference championship route, because you have conferences that are a joke, and sometimes the joke comes from a power conference.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the bowl season there will be two teams that have a decent claim to the #1 spot (one of them will be ranked there). Put those two teams up against each other, there's your championship game.

Why get rid of the bowls when you can resolve this confusion without doing so? I thought we all liked the bowl games.

The best team will NOT win every year in a playoff, even though everyone seems to think so. Can anyone provide an example of this mystical sport where the best team wins the playoff every year? And keep in mind: this is the raison d'etre for anyone who is clamoring for a playoff. PROVE IT!

Anonymous said...

here is an argument why mich is NOT #2: Georgia, Tenn, LSU, Auburn, Arkansas, South Carolina, and even Alabama would be favorites over every team in the big-10 save osu, mich, and bucky. mich played all those crappy teams, oh, and notre dame, to build up this "great defense" which got exposed against osu. there's your argument.

Anonymous said...

eric: it is not about deermining the best team. it is about determining a champion. steelers, gator hoops, mlb cardinals, etc. i think that is all the fans really want.

rafael said...

I like watching more football.
Whether its a bowl or not, i don't care.You could do a playoff...and the rest of the bowls are the NIT.

It works. heh

Anonymous said...

BECAUSE there are 122 teams in DivIA, I don't care about the Wolverines. They didn't play tough competition, and they lost to the best team in the land. Now we want to find someone who CAN beat OSU, fairly, facing them for the first time. Someone other than Mich.

Because Rutgers doesn't get a "do-over" for Cincinnati. And USC can't get Oregon State back.

And there is no mythical "best team" or "best two teams". Matchups are important, and maybe Florida can succeed with defense where Michigan failed with good luck and a shootout. As long as there IS a bowl system, they should try for an interesting matchup that hasn't been seen already this year.

Anonymous said...

119 teams.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

jeezy chreezy; it is quite obvious to me at this point that no one is going to be convinced by anyone.

let's just let the rest of the season play itself out, and then we can fight to the death over the BCS standings that we end up with.

It might even be easier for everyone, if we wait a little while; the d-bags who were already pimping "undefeated Rutgers" (whoever she is) over the Big Ten's #2 team wasted some energy on that...

If ND beats USC (no stretch, since USC secretly sucks), and especially if the SEC bites itself in the ass, this will be 119 (and counting) comments posted in vain.

If that doesn't happen, go ahead and lobby your local relevant poll voters. Vote early and vote often. Whatever.

A random observation - is it just me, or are there zero USC/Pac-10 fans active in the comments section of this blog? Surely there are computers in California, no? So weird.

Anonymous said...

have to agree w/john at this point. NO one is going to see the other's point of view. In the end, Michigan lost. If they get a rematch, great for them, but even if they lose I doubt the excuses would stop. If they win, it is a fraud since they didn't deserve to be there.

I remember all the cocky michigan fans talking last week about "holding Tressel to it" if OSU lost (re: Tressel saying pre-game that there should be no rematch), suddenly they are gone.

I think UM is the 2nd best team in the country, but I don't really think it matters who #2 is.

Go. Bucks.

Anonymous said...

I see your point about the word "champion." But I don't understand it.

But with all due respect, I don't think *anyone* means that when they say champion. They mean "the best team." I'd like to know one person besides you that really thinks any team but the best should be crowned champion. That's ludicrous. What they do want is for that claim to be indisputable, and that's what is leading to arguments. We want to know how to make that claim indisputable.

You don't prove you're the best by playing #16, then #8, then #4, then #2. 16 and 8 are irrelevant, because there have never been 16 (or even 3) teams with legitimate claims at number one. Before the bowl season, there have never been more than four, and after, there's never been more than one that hadn't gotten its shot. Just give that team their shot and you've added "undisputed" to the equation.

A playoff changes everything, and fixes nothing. A plus-one simply fixes the current system. And I instruct that you look at 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2002 as real-life examples of seasons that a plus-one game would have resolved completely. If you want, I could meet you halfway and just call it a four-game playoff (even though the first round is the bowl season), but it is a waste of everyone's time to put even eight teams on the same plane of existence by the end of the season. To do so is to waste OSU or USC's time humoring teams that lost their credibility during the season.

Anonymous said...

eric: sorry, your argument does not make sense. the reason the bcs is so controversial is because it does not decide things on the field of play. tell '85 villanova hoops about what it means to be a champion. no one will argue that they were the best team that year, but they can say "fuck you" we are the champions. steelers same thing. d-1aa, d-2, and d-3(32 team playoff) in college football is the same way. it is a given that a majority of the fans now want a playoff, and the coaches are now coming around, too. this notion that we somehow have to determine who the best team is in d-1 college football by votes and opinions and computers is ridiculous. use those things to get the 16 teams in and then go play the games.

Anonymous said...

and last i checked, no one was telling '85 villanova hoops, the steelers, mlb cardinals, gator hoops, mount union(d-3 champ last year) to give their rings back. but mamy many people feel that nebraska('01), ou('04), neb('97) among others should not have even been in the discussion about champions, let alone have the chance to play for it. hey, i am a gator and i know that osu and asu both had claims to the '96 crown. i am much more comfortable with '06 gator hoops title being earned.

aikehara said...


Perhaps us Pac-10 types are waiting to see if USC beats ND and UCLA before making any noise...

I'm not a real USC fan, but as they play in the in the Pac-10 with my Huskies (who had a surprisingly good season, winning the Apple Cup without their starting QB!), and since Michigan has been defeated by OSU, I really think, should USC win out, that they should get a shot at the championship.

Jen said...

Bucks. Number. One.

Where are the manninghams!!???

Christian Thoma said...

@eric: Uh, how would 2002 have benefitted from a plus-one? The only two major undefeateds played in the Fiesta Bowl.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

I know there are some number who will read this and certainly not agree with me, but I still contend that OSU is not clearly the best team in the country, and I think (the gall!) Michigan is one team they still need to prove it against.

Ohio State is apparently the best team in Ohio Stadium, but I think that HFA leaves room for doubt about who's best at playing football (as opposed to playing two different games on the same field). I know we switch off years and stuff, but the coincidence of the annual schedule wheel doesn't count as part of your football team's skill, as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately for me, there are, I think, 1,000 articles on that are ignoring this issue entirely, and handing OSU the universe.

If OSU can win at the Shoe, but Michigan could win at the House and perhaps at that crazy stadium in Arizona, in what way has Ohio State proven dominance? We really don't know how those other two games would turn out, and I think it would not be a travesty to find out. (In fact, I would pay any money to watch the rubber match in the Big House. Wouldn't you?)

So obviously, I'm in favor of a rematch, but please don't yell at me, because if the BCS decides the SEC deserves a shot instead, I'm not gonna get all nuts. The same might be true of USC, even though they suck.

Besides, if Michigan should now be eliminated from consideration for all this, what the fuck are USC and UF and Arkansas still doing in the picture? If one of our premises is that a three-point win in the Shoe undeniably establishes OSU as the cream of the crop, the #1 team in the country, why would we even bother to send one of those other teams to play them? How about we just call the National Championship now, unplayed?

Michigan doesn't deserve a shot for their close loss on the road to a great team, so obviously USC doesn't deserve a shot, due to their close loss on the road to a middling-to-bad team. Arkansas obviously is out, based on their huge home loss to a team which we have already disqualified, while Florida lost as well, so they have nothing to say in this picture. ND hardly merits mentioning. Of course, you're ready to say that my argument leaves room only for Boise State, but don't bring that trash 'round here.

I understand the "consecutive games vs. the same opponents" argument, but the "Michigan is clearly NOT #1" argument seems hollow to me; Michigan did not get annihilated, and other conditions were certainly in OSU's favor.

The thing about the consecutive games argument is, I still think it would be a pretty compelling event. Also, the teams might be the same, but the conditions will be different. If OSU can pull out another one with the conditions balanced and teams playing football being the only variables, there you go. If Michigan can beat OSU, given a nice strong field to run on - I say they deserve the title.

Anonymous said...

"Tournament-winner" and "best team" are two unrelated terms. They may coincide certain years, but correlation does not imply causation. I repeat: correlation DOES NOT imply causation.

There is only one controversy that can exist in college football: the second best team in the country doesn't get to play the best team. A plus-one solves that every single year. A tournament doesn't.

This is why a tournament is theoretically perfect: The assumption that the better team wins each game. 1-16, 2-15,...then eventually 1-4, 2-3, then 1-2. But the problem is, that doesn't happen. Or are you trying to argue that it does?

Upsets are a fact of life in the fast-paced, fluky world of tournaments. I'm not talking about where the favored team loses. I'm talking about when the *better* team loses. Upsets are fun, but they have nothing to do with determining the best team in the country. I'm not saying a tournament wouldn't be fun, but it also wouldn't solve the problem with college football's Nat'l Championship. In fact, it would be worse. Good for Villanova, they won the trophy. But they weren't the best team that year. They were very good--you have to be to beat one of the best teams in the history of the sport. But they were not the best team, they just had a great, great game.

In college basketball, you're playing to win a tournament. In college football, you're playing to prove you're the best. If you want to prove you're the very best, you have to play the very best, and in a system where upsets are inherent, that does not happen every year.

Unless you want to prove to me that tournaments figure out the best team in the country every year, I don't see the point in discussing this with you any more.

Anonymous said...

I'm referring to the seasons where Oregon and Auburn were left out of the big picture. I know they were consecutive years, maybe 2000 and 2001?

Anonymous said...

My mistake. Auburn got burned in 04. Where is my memory?

Anonymous said...

eric: you are making my point for me. for some unknown reason, college football, at the division 1 level, has always been about trying to figure out who the best team is, instead of crowning a champion. hence, the controversy every year, some much more than others. we, as fans, and i do think the coaches and players will agree, want to settle it on the field of play, that is, a champion. d-1 football somehow has set itself apart from all of the other division in football, all of the other ncaa sports, as well as professional and even high school sports. we all understand that a tournament will not always give us the best team, and we are all ok with that, because at least 'x' number of teams had a chance to win it all. we do, however, want our champions. and we don't want them to be mythical. if the bcs or bowl system, or even a plus-one is the best way to go about finding a champion, all other sports at every level should get on board with that. i would respectfully disagree that it is the best way.

Amit Chopra said...

A lot of pundits are saying that Michigan deserves to play in the 2006 National Championship against the Ohio State University in spite of losing to them in the regular season finale. I disagree.

Sure, Michigan gave a good account of themselves against Ohio State in a vehemently hostile environment. Sure, the game was a monster matchup considering they were both 11-0, and considering the historic rivalry between the two teams. Sure, they both tore apart each other's championship calibre defenses. However, consider for a moment that Michigan never lead OSU in the entire game. Consider that Michigan trailed by at least a touchdown almost throughout the game. Consider that Troy Smith and Jim Tressel have had Michigan's number for the past four years. Do you really want to see a Ohio State Michigan matchup? I certainly don't.

If USC wins out, then there is no doubt in my mind that they should play for the National Championship. A Jim Tressel-Pete Carroll matchup is as good as it gets! Things get interesting if they don't. It might then be a tossup between a one-loss SEC team (either Florida or Arkansas is such a possibility at this time), Notre Dame, and Michigan. Arkansas doesn't quite make the cut because of the sound thrashing USC gave them in their home opener. Notre Dame too was whopped by Michigan at home. So the run is really between a possible one-loss Florida team and Michigan. If Florida puts on a show in its last two games vs. Florida State and Arkansas respectively, then, in my mind, the Gators will have earned their championship berth.

Go Trojans!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your being civil, pootietang. This argument could probably go on into the night, but I can't keep going over the same points.

Here is our argument as I see it:
1) you believe that it is most important to have a champion
-my counterargument is, your method only does this by creating a system whereby you can only have one team left at the end, imperfect though it may be
2) I believe that it is most important to find out who's number one
-your counterargument is, you prefer the worst case scenario of a tournament (where a team like Villanova, which is clearly not the best team, can win it all), over that of a BCS match, (where there could be disagreement after the two best teams play--which I have shown would be solved every year it has happened by adding a plus-one game, but I won't beat a dead horse)

I will add that the popular choice is not by definition the correct one (another case of correlation doesn't imply causation), so please don't invoke that to legitimize your preferred system. I haven't been persuaded by anything you've said, and I guess the same applies for you.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

By this reasoning Dan, will you renounce Florida's football championship? They lost to Florida State and then played them in a rematch for the national championship.
You cannot compare the two.
Here’s why.
#1 Florida lost a very close heartbreaking game to #2 FSU, @ FSU, in a game that many deemed a classic 24-21 FSU. They fell to 4th in the country behind 1 loss Nebraska.

Nebraska lost the Big 12 title game pushing them down and moving Florida up to 3rd before the bowls.

The Pac 10/Big 10 were still stuck with their “traditional Rose Bowl” and therefore if a Pac 10 or Big 10 team was #2 they would have to go to the Rose Bowl and not the Bowl Coalition’s Championship game. Arizona State was #2 and lost to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl the night before the Florida/FSU “rematch” which then made the Sugar Bowl for all the marbles.

The Bowl Coalition put together the top 2 teams from the Coaches Poll unless they were in the Big 10 or Pac 10. Therefore under the agreement #1 FSU had to play #3 Florida

Florida was not handed the #2 ranking because the game at Doak was a classic 1 v. 2 match up that deserved a rematch. They needed a lot of help to get their shot to win the title.

Joe (Dayton)

Steve said...

That 1997 Rose Bowl was one heck of a good game. Although I was pulling for Arizona St. and Jake the snake to pull it out for the awesomeness that an ASU championship would be, or conversely the controversy over 2 undefeated teams had FSU then won. Fucking Joe Germaine, I still haven't forgiven you for that last minute drive.

Anonymous said...

I think the manningham's are hiding.

Anonymous said...


Can I please have some of the crack you are smoking?? OSU is not CLEARLY the #1 team?? The game against UM was not even as close as the score indicated. UM won the TO battle 3-0!! 2 of those were unforced TO's and the only thing UM did was fall on the ball. The 3rd was a tipped int that was caused by 2 UM players ALL OVER Robiskie. How there wasnt PI on that play I will never know. The TO's led to 10 Mich points. Those are the FACTS.

Then later in the 4th Qtr on 4th and 17 the "phantom" PI on OSU to give UM a 1st down. If there is no PI on Robiske there sure as hell not PI on that play. That sustained the UM drive and they go down and score. OSU was playing prevent D so they could get the ball back and run out the clock.

So all of that combined is AT LEAST 17 points for UM. That isnt even taking into account that OSU most likely would have scored when they had those TO's. I wont even give OSU any points but we all know they would have scored and scored again on the sorry UM defense. UM wasnt stopping anyone that day. Can you say 503 total yards??

The game wasnt even as close as the final score indicated. If you think it was then you really really dont know football at all. Im surprised more people dont realize how much in control of this game OSU was. UM does not deserve a rematch. END.OF.STORY.

You will have to wait until next year to see if LLLLLoyd can be owned again by Tressel.

Andrea said...

you need an editor. poorly written buddy, couldn't get past the first sentence. wouldn't HAVE, not of. . .