Saturday, November 11, 2006

CFB Saturday Live-Comment Tailgate!
(Updated with post-Florida win BCS talk)

It's Gameday. Use the Comments section to break down all the action througout the day. I'm having one of those classic "Picture-in-Picture" afternoons: Ohio St at Northwestern at 3:30 on ABC, South Carolina at Florida at 3:30 on CBS. All I ask is that NU keeps it remotely competitive -- an Illinois-like showing would be fine -- and that Florida play pinball with the BCS formula by putting an old-school Spurrier-style run-up on new-school Spurrier's Gamecocks. (Also closely monitoring: Oregon at USC, Tennessee at Arkansas, Texas at Kansas St.) Have at it and enjoy the day. More later, hopefully. -- D.S.

Update (7:12 p.m.): OK, OK: So Florida's win was the antithesis of what appears to be this weekend's catchphrase "style points." But when you're at the top, a win's a win, in terms of keeping you alive for another week to actually look good while winning. I remember Ohio State in 2002; they won a national title going 13-0, mostly on the backs of not winning games particularly pretty.

But I digress. Here's how I'd caveat the previous paragraph: Based on the way they played -- which is to say, pretty badly, aside from some clutch play by the defensive field goal and XP unit -- Florida doesn't DESERVE to be the team that plays the winner of OSU-Michigan. Texas is better, and that makes the argument for any other team irrelevant. (That means you: USC, Notre Dame, Michigan, Rutgers.) More on this on Sunday a.m. Texas! Yikes! Sorry, 'Horns.

Now, I should provide a second caveat: FOR NOW. The Gators have three weeks to...well...prove they deserve it. I don't care if the BCS formula spits them out as No. 3 this week, which it might. You can't tell fans to disbelieve their own eyes.

*They can stomp Western Carolina next week and they'll probably LOSE ground to Texas in the BCS formula, because WCU ain't exactly a strength-of-schedule helper. But they can at least show that their offense isn't an impotent joke.

*They can beat a decent -- though not even close to good -- Florida State team and earn points for winning in Tallahassee against a bowl team. Not bad, but not great. Certainly as good as Texas beating Texas A&M.

*And they can beat a 1-loss, 2-loss or -- god forbid -- 3-loss Arkansas team in the SEC title game and win the toughest conference in college football. The degree to which that matters depends on the quality of the team they beat. I'll make it simple: That Arkansas team has to be better than whatever team Texas beats in the Big 12 title game.

Now, that entire argument is predicated on Florida actually winning these next three games. And, if you watched this dud today, that's by no means a guarantee. But if they keep winning -- with grit or with "style," with luck or with talent -- they'll remain in the argument. We're in "survive and advance" mode now, folks. Isn't parity great? Cripes...

-- D.S.

122 comments:

Mike said...

Who was the genious that put VT-Kent State at 3:30!? I'm hoping for a blowout at halftime so I can catch the second half of the Supurier-Meyer matchup!

Mark said...

Northwestern won't get blown out today because Tressel will not show his cards to Lloyd.

However, Northwestern won't win either because they're Northwestern.

Leave that win against OSU for Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Saturday, 2 team teaser: Or, another $100 down the drain.

Purdue +9 @ Illinois
Wake +14.5 @ FSU

What's up with USC/Oregon being played at 10pm?

And I agree with Mark - OSU wins by 17 or so.

ChrTh said...

I suspect OSU is going to be pissed about all the whining about their win last week, so they're going to try to shove the ball down the throats of the Wildcats. They probably won't show anything special, but I guarantee you they won't be happy until they're up by 20.

Also, Georgia is beating Auburn. Anyone else want Georgia to win to take the SEC down a notch or three?

kway34 said...

Auburn down 30-7 to Georgia? Nevermind, I forgot that the 8th place SEC team would win every other conference in the country...

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

Georgia is beating Auburn, if ESPN.com's scoreboard is to be trusted, by 23. I planned on being the first to take the SEC down a notch or three... but alas, you've bested me.

ChrTh said...

Right now, both Arkansas and Florida are sweating this Auburn game, while Texas and USC are cheering lustily.

Mike said...

They're cheering at Rutgers. The "Why not Rutgers?" campaign gets a boost with Auburn's fall.

Dan Shanoff said...

I read a compelling argument that Auburn losing is good for Florida:

- Improves Florida's SOS from the win over Georgia.

- Improves Florida's "SOS of SOS" from Kentucky's win over Georgia.

- Makes Florida's loss to Florida look more like a fluke. (Eh...that's iffy.)

- And, if Arkansas can beat Tennessee AND LSU en route to an SEC West title, they'll be No. 6 or 7 in the BCS formula, which is good enough to help Florida vault Texas with a win in the SEC title game.

Now, if Florida plays a two-loss team in the SEC title game (say, if Arkansas loses to Tennessee or LSU or both), it's a whole other story and Florida is screwed.

(But let's all remember that it's not like Texas plays THAT tough of a remaining schedule: K-St, Tex AM, Nebraska? Eh. Unimpressive.)

Maybe I'm rationalizing, in the face of what could be the end of Florida's BCS title-game chances with Auburn losing.

I'm not sure I buy that. I certainly was among the folks who wanted Florida to beat a Top 5 BCS Auburn in the SEC title game to ensure their BCS title game case was made. Anything else is a little too iffy.

Of course, Florida still has to take care of its own business today...that's no gimme.

Jason said...

So under Dan's logic shouldn't Georgia be ranked #4 after this week?

ryan from falmouth ma said...

Todd from Boston.

I've been hearing more and more rumors about Fisher being canned and Tennessee just starting over with a clean slate. I think that he could have a chance to immediately take over another job. But, to be honest, the guy is the perfect college coach. Born in Cali, played at SC and with the Bears. No real tie to Boston. Would be hard to land him. But, if you are offering out 1.5 or so, you'd have a chance to land him (especially given the Boston locale which always is a HUGE attraction for coaches with families). Imagine if we gave him 1.5 and his OC (Norm Chow)

can't a bc eagle fan dream?

ChrTh said...

Dan,

I believe the computers place more weight on who you lose to than who you beat. Auburn's computer ranking is hurt significantly by losing to Georgia, moreso than Georgia's ranking will gain by beating Auburn. Similarly, Florida is hurt more by their loss to Auburn than helped by their win over Georgia.

Also, the second degree rankings are pretty much a wash at this point, as so many teams have played so many others by this point; while they don't effectively cancel out, for purposes of guesstimating it's easier to presume they do.

Anonymous said...

Spurrier is pissing excellence again so far.

Steve said...

Brady Quinn's QB rating at halftime is 381.25. I've never seen one that high before.

scar tissue said...

hey Tran....how many more bullshit performances by Florida do you have to see to realize they aren't that great.

scar tissue said...

wow brady quinn is doing well vs that powerhouse air force. WOW. what was his rating vs michigan...ooops.

scar tissue said...

Tranny....SC still has to play Cal, Oregon, ND and UCLA...if they win they will be light years ahead of sorry ass florida.

rukrusher said...

Gamecocks keeping it close. Dan must be fuming.

scar tissue said...

doesn't the NFL QB rating top our around 150 or 170? CFB uses a diff rating? 300+?

scar tissue said...

when arguments are made for a potential national title contenders "SOS" and "SOS of SOS" and the like it shows how sad the sports conclusion is. Get a playoff or +1 already.

"SOS of SOS"....not good.

scar tissue said...

gamecocks are outplaying the gators.....

Steve said...

I think someone needs a scar tissue for his scar issue.

rukrusher said...

Rutgers needs wins by Oregon, Tennesee and South Carolina to really move up in the polls.

Trayton Otto said...

Conspiracy theory alert!

Has anyone noticed that CBS isn't showing the Michigan-Indiana score on their Top 25 ticker?

scar tissue said...

from your logic last week:

1) If Florida squeeks this out then they should go to the end of the line for 1 loss teams - as of now, they deserve absolutely ZERO chance at the title game.

2) If they lose then Florida DROPS FROM THE TOP 25 COMPLETELY.

Don't give me the Spurrier angle. FLA is overrated. South Carolina sucks.

scar tissue said...

I wish I would have been watching FLA games earlier, they are thouroughly unimpressive.

scar tissue said...

I see FLA jumping around....

I see a FLA D that can't stop SC with 3+ left on the clock.

scar tissue said...

Calling the shot, Soccup with the GW FG.

Jason (East Lansing) said...

Setting up for it with 8 ticks left

Jason (East Lansing) said...

and it's blocked.

scar tissue said...

Tranny your chickens almost came home to roost.

But the W shows you that it doesn't matter if you win by 1 or 111. Just get the W. Still a pathetic performance by the Gators. They should drop in the Polls.

GuyInTheCorner said...

the same guy blocks the PAT to make it a 6 point lead so that florida's TD took the lead and then also blocks the potential game-winning FG

can anybody say GAME BALL

scar tissue said...

Meanwhile, I don't want ANY griping from Michigan fans this week when I vote Louisville No. 2 ahead of Michigan. Any team that lets Ball Effing State hang around isn't worthy of the No. 2 ranking. (Not like it matters: If the last two weeks are any indication, Michigan is going to get its ass handed to it by Ohio State anyway. Ball State? Come on! I shake my head at you, Michigan fans... And don't give me that "We were saving it for the Ohio St game" b.s. Ball State -- Ball State! -- was an incompletion away from taking the game to OT. What a joke. Stop griping about some entitlement to the No. 2 spot and learn how to put away the weak teams.)


Just sub in Florida for Michigan and South Carolina for Ball State.

Cody said...

In tradition of Dan's words last week about Michigan and Ohio State: South Carlolina? come'on South Carolina? and had to have the ref's help to boot? Florida better start playing better if they want to have a shot at the SEC championship much less the National Title

scar tissue said...

speak up Tranny

Mat Precourt said...

THE SEC IS FUCKING TERRIBLE.....
YOU CAN SAY BECAUSE USC GAVE FLORIDA GOOD GAME MEANS THE SEC IS DEEP OR YOU CAN SAY usc GAVE uf A GOOD GAME THE SEC IS TERRIBLE...JUST REALIZE....OK

Mike said...

Meanwhile, Cal loses to Zona.

Score another one for the "Why Not Rutgers?" Campaign.

Trayton Otto said...

Some will say it's a moot argument after UF's escape, but with Auburn's loss, UF gains vote consolidation in the polls. The SEC biased have one less 1-loss team to vote for and (before the close game) may have moved Florida up to Auburns position (assuming one or more teams between them) and drop Auburn to wherever.

Auburn and California losses are huge for Rutgers and Boise St. (although Boise St. winning out should be enough with the ACC maxing out around 13-16)

scar tissue said...

Tranny : this might be cathartic for you.

Go into the bathroom, turn the light on, look into the mirror.

Look at yourself.

Say this outloud : "Instant history is stupid and its a dumb schtick. I will stop using it as my crutch and logic. I will attempt to be a real sports fan and journalist. I will now try and cultivate the minimal amount of talent I have to try and get a real job"

Like shampoo, rinse and repeat if necessary.

Turn a new page Dan!

GuyInTheCorner said...

im deffinitly no gator fan and as i am a skins fan i dont like spurrier

but.... i saw no help from the refs

and u can't say that S. Carolina is the same as Ball State

anyone who does needs to get an MRI to see if their brain has left the building

scar tissue said...

Florida should not move up for any reason in the polls, down if any directions. Down I say.

scar tissue said...

SC is not the same as Ball State but its the same situation.

scar tissue said...

there you go Shanoff your update was lucid. Well done.

GuyInTheCorner said...

What does that mean??????

the same situation????

Ball St. - terrible team in non conference game

S. Carolina - probobly going to a bowl team in a conference game

GuyInTheCorner said...

in other news....

Maryland has gone 6-1 in their last 7 and those games were decided by an average of 3 points

scar tissue said...

come on guy. The bottom line is just get the fucking win. Ball St, SC, Little Sisters of the poor.

JUST WIN.

Richard said...

You know if theres one good thing about being a Georgia Tech alum/fan its that style points dont matter at this point.

GT - 7
UNC - 0

Coach Chan Gailey said "It means we get to go to Jacksonville." ... and he stopped there.

scar tissue said...

and over half of DI teams go to bowl games. 6-6 gets you to a bowl. SC is now a 5 loss team. They ain't good. It was a sloppy, poorly played win, but a WIN.

Anonymous said...

Umm, Dan - I think you have a stalker on your hands.

Although Scar is kind of right. Dan absolutely killed Michigan after they squeaked past Ball St last week. I know, I know - Ball St. is awful and South Carolina is at least decent.

But when Florida is battling the OSU/Michigan loser, Texas, Arkansas, and Notre Dame to play in the NC game, they need to do a lot better than they did tonight.

Honestly, the fairest thing to do would move OSU/MICH to a neutral field and let winner take all. No other team deserves a shot.

rukrusher said...

I never thought the Pac-10 power Cal would go down, Lets hope they still can get up for USC next week. Go RU #7 now?

GuyInTheCorner said...

i say we let boise play OSU and michigan play rutgers and then the winners play eachother and we call it a day

any takers?

eirishis said...

Given the way that both teams have played, I really think both Florida and Texas will find a way to yack up either their cross-state finale or conference title game ... leaving the winner of the USC/Notre Dame game as the most likely team to face the OSU/Michigan winner for all the marbles.

ChrTh said...

Arkansas is taking care of business against Tennessee.

Boise State is losing by 1, and San Jose State has the ball on the BSU 5. I'd call it an upset in the making if anyone actually cared if Boise State wins or loses.

Anonymous said...

Boise St. is losing to SJ State... 20 to 12

amr said...

Here is my formula:

Mich/OSU winner vs.
1. USC with one loss*
2. ARK/FLA SEC Champ with one loss
3. Rutgers with No Losses
4. Texas with one loss
5. ND with one loss
6. BSU with No Losses
7. Mich/OSU loser

*As much as I hate to say it, I think If USC can win with that schedule, they sure as hell desrve it. I don't think they will, but if they do...

Some ugly wins could change things, and it looks like Boise could be out tonight, but that's how I'd say it'll work.

amr said...

BTW, the ESPN talking heads seem to really complain about Rutgers' weak non-conference schedule, but doing that precludes any unexpected contenders from making the title game. Rutgers didn't schedule much because they really didn't expect to be this good (and aren't some game scheduled a whole year ahead of time)? Now, some other team that's been ranked for more than a week or so during the last 2 years has to be a bit more agressive. I mean, when the scheduling was done, It could have been that some contending schools thought they'd rather schedule a tougher foe so they passed on a "Cupcake" that they thought Rutgers was.

ChrTh said...

There's a lot of teams rooting for San Jose St right now. All tied up at 20-20, less than 5 minutes to go, the Spartans have the ball.

ChrTh said...

Aarrgghh, SJSU punted and let Boise State return it like 40 yards. No FG range, but close.

Wake Forest with the interception deep in FSU territory!

ChrTh said...

Dammit! Boise State pulls it out with the last second FG.

Wake got ANOTHER INT deep in FSU territory and got a TD this time. 13-0 Wake.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

K-State! What a runback! That was a spectacular move by the returner, running in an arc to give himself room to run allll around Texas.

Texas is waaaaay better than Michigan.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

Touchdown!

ChrTh said...


*They can beat a decent -- though not even close to good -- Florida State team and earn points for winning in Tallahassee against a bowl team.


It's going to look a lot less impressive if Wake continues what they're doing tonight.

BTW, I think we're all in agreement that Texas is not a better team if Colt McCoy misses some serious time.

ChrTh said...

Ok, so does FSU have no run defense, or is it just me?

BTW, who would've guessed that FSU would be glad they scheduled Western Michigan in order to make a bowl game this year?

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

Alright, I'll be a little more fair, this QB was not ready for this. But would Colt really transform this game right now?

...ouch, that one was a coverage sack.

There have been 2 very near-interceptions; sure, I'll assume Colt is more experienced than that. But that special teams runback, the running backs getting stuffed all the time, the coverage sacks... I don't see how C.M. would have Texas on top of this K-State team that is playing defense like Rutgers right now.

ChrTh said...

Never underestimate the motivation that comes from a game-changer, such as a QB injury. Honestly, I don't trust K-State not to blow this game. It doesn't even need to be on defense, they've already had a costly fumble on Offense.

FSU is looking like absolutely crap right now. I hope Dan isn't counting on a poll boost when Florida plays them in two weeks.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

By the way, can I take this moment to point out that Wisconsin is also a one-loss team?

Yeah, ABC, your graphic left that one out a little.

What's the deal with this? Wisconsin has beaten teams a lot better than, say, Rutgers's opponents, by more points, all season, and has only one loss, to what most of us think is a pretty good team (certainly no motherfucking Auburn, if I may be so bold), but they can't even buy a mention in the one-loss team listing?

I think I might complain even more about this in 2 days, since Wisconsin is currently #11 according to the computers, but #16 according to the dumbasses. I mean people.

If things stay the way they are tonight (not that likely, but whatever), or even if they don't, I think Auburn definitely drops far enough, and maybe... Cal should probably drop to the ranks of the two-loss teams, below #10 at least; Louisville might not drop far enough... but, given those two losses, UW is at #9 - maybe UL could drop to #9, pushing Wisc. into 8th?
And then the speculation - if Texas keeps it up, that's certainly one more spot for the Badgers; and USC has a great great chance to lose to Oregon, since the Trojans really suck.

So the point is, if USC and Texas both go ahead and lose, the computers seem like they would bump Wisconsin ahead of losers Louisville, Cal, Auburn, Texas, aaand USC.

The humans seem very unlikely to do that, given the inertia that we are by now so very familiar with.

So, you can expect me to be crying foul if things pan out in ways I think they certainly might.

Also, don't say anything about Illinois. I didn't say Wisconsin was the best team in the country; I just said they belong in the 1-loss discussion, same as all the teams who have narrowly avoided their second loss this season.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

Oooh. Maybe fake punts were the way to go.

Or maybe the weak line was the reason that last fake punt went so poorly anyway. How does Texas just waltz right in there?

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

Eek...

Fun while it lasted, and all.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

Ooops - I meant, "Iowa," not "Illinois." I was just confused because of how roughly the season has treated the mighty Hawkeyes.

I wish I had been posting angrily on the internet back in the summer, when Rece Davis and his buddies in the SportsCenter Ridiculous Room (i.e., "we built this room just to film the most ridiculous segments we could think of") predicted Iowa would win the Big Ten. I had so much to say, and so few people to whom i could say it.


Great strip, K-State - now get a little more than a safety out of it, huh?

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

Touchdown!

They did it again!

Hahaha! Those pricks!

KSU up again. Wiiiiild.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

ANOTHER FUMBLE!!!

KSU's defense is rocking Texas, who is liberally coughing the ball up. I don't think that has much to do with Colt being gone... (the ABC guy.ads;lfka,m.,m. Touchdown!!!!

Wooooow!!!

Anonymous said...

So much for Texas being the stud to replace #3! Damn KSU is killing their will to live!

Go Wildcats!

rukrusher said...

Good night for the Wildcats. Go K-State, knock Texas out of the discussion.

rukrusher said...

By the way, Louisville beat K-State, one of those weak out of conference games the Big East played this year.

rukrusher said...

Wisconsin gets knocked because they did not play OSU this year. It sucks but that is the reality of the situation.

rukrusher said...

Damn, Texas scored fast

ChrTh said...

So we're looking at what: 3 lost. 4 is losing big time. 5 gets spanked. 6 barely squeaks by. 8 loses.

You think USC is nervous right now?

Here's a potential top 5:
OSU
Michigan
Rutgers
Notre Dame
Florida

How frakked up would that be?

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

Good call on UL over KSU rukrusher. Great timing for that information, no joke.


But still, I may very well not be convinced, since I knew UL was a fraud (I said so once or twice, I think), and I don't think KSU is a dominant team or anything, but I do think Texas is showing the kind of inconsistency that you see from a team that isn't great.

Wow, what a bad spot for KSU, to force a punt.

What a lousy drop by Sweed... can any Texas receivers catch? Crazy play, miraculously went OK in the backfield, and he wasted it like that. This game is nuts.

By the way, this is certainly in the WVU-UL "HS Football" category, not the supposed UT-USC "Instant Classic" category.

ChrTh said...

Actually, strike Florida, put Arkansas in 5.

Wake Forest should be top 10 after this thumping of FSU in Tallahassee (spelling?).

Wake Forest and Rutgers in the Top 10. Unreal.

rukrusher said...

With the clock rules, Texas may not have enough time to make it back here.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

With the Texas players and game plan, Texas may not have enough talent and coaching to come back here, given a day to play.

Wow - delaying a game is something a defense can do? This game is insane.

rukrusher said...

Just went back to see the first drive of OSU/USC on Tivo, Belotti had a gutsy call on 4th and 1 on USC's 16 and missed it, I guess he thinks he needs to put up a lot of points tonight.

Tough INT on K-State

rukrusher said...

Damn

ChrTh said...

ALL HAIL THE DEMON DEACONS!!

--Bobby Bowden's first ever shutout at home
--Last shutout was in 1988
--Only Miami had shut them out previously

What a season!

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

I'm really impressed that KSU guy caught that punt, being slammed already. Nice.

rukrusher said...

Clock is ticking away, Go Wildcats

Trayton Otto said...

Now that's a line drive FG. (51-yarder... 45-35)

rukrusher said...

I owuld have gone for the first down, clutch kick.

rukrusher said...

Lets see, Kentucky bowl eligible, Arizona beating Cal, K-State beating Texas by 10 with 3 minutes to go. Looks like the only Wildcats who did not show up today was Dan's Alma Mater.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

... am I insane, or did Kansas State beat Oklahoma in the Big XII Championship in 2K3?

I'm pretty certain this happened, given this, but ABC's graphic definitely just said that K-State's last win over a Top 5 team was in 2000. Was... Oklahoma... not in the Top 5, when they lost but still went on to the National Championship game? I don't think that to be the case.


Jesus, these guys are leaving it all out on the field. More injuries than I've ever seen in a game, by probably 5.

rukrusher said...

On-side kick to decide it

rockchalk said...

K State will blow it.

rukrusher said...

Your recollection on 2003 is correct.

Not long after he found out that his team had been snubbed for the designated national championship game yesterday, Southern California Coach Pete Carroll insisted that the Trojans would be playing for the national championship anyway.

U.S.C. ascended to the top of both national polls earlier in the day after its victory Saturday over Oregon State and Oklahoma's loss to Kansas State, but Oklahoma was selected to play Louisiana State for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4. U.S.C. is No. 3 in the Bowl Championship Series standing.

The Trojans (11-1) became the first team ranked No. 1 in the polls to be bypassed for the national title game in the six-year history of the B.C.S., but Carroll, with only a touch of defiance in his voice, had already become a spin doctor.

''We have not been tied to, or made legitimate by, the B.C.S. all year,'' Carroll said in a conference call with reporters last night.

A share of the national championship, he said, is still U.S.C.'s to lose. The Trojans will play Michigan (10-2), the Big Ten champion, in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, and Carroll suggested that his team should still be No. 1 if it were to beat the Wolverines.

''The fact that there's a controversy going on with it makes it all that much more interesting,'' Carroll said.

The coaches who vote in the USA Today/ESPN poll have said that the winner of the designated national championship game will be the national champion, even though L.S.U. (12-1) and Oklahoma (12-1) trail U.S.C. in the their poll, too.

The news media members who participate in the Associated Press poll are under no such obligation. So a split national championship -- something that has not happened since 1997, the year before the B.C.S. was formed -- is a possibility.

''I really don't think there's any chance that this game is going to get lost,'' Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr said. Carr called the Rose Bowl a championship game between two championship teams.

Mitch Dorger, the chief executive of the Tournament of Roses, was somewhat more restrained. He was simply delighted that a Big Ten team would play a Pacific-10 team in the traditional Rose Bowl matchup. Because of its affiliation with the B.C.S., the Rose Bowl has not had a Big Ten-versus-Pac-10 matchup since the 2000 season.

But Dorger also said, ''We are well aware that the game will have implications beyond the game itself.''

A team from the Pac-10 has not played in the designated national championship game since the B.C.S. was formed. Southern California was No. 2 in the B.C.S. standing before Saturday, but several results helped to drop the Trojans below L.S.U.

''I don't know how to fix this system other than play it off,'' Carroll said.

Two teams that U.S.C. played, Hawaii (8-5) and Notre Dame (5-7), lost Saturday. Although the Trojans beat Oregon State (7-5), their strength-of-schedule rating stayed the same, at No. 37 among Division I-A teams.

But after L.S.U. beat Georgia (10-3) in the Southeastern Conference championship game, its strength-of-schedule rating jumped to No. 29 from No. 54. That gain helped L.S.U. edge U.S.C. by 16-hundredths of a point over all.

''I think the fact that they played Georgia allowed them to take a big jump,'' Mike Tranghese, the Big East Conference commissioner and the B.C.S. coordinator, said of L.S.U.

Tom Hansen, the Pac-10 commissioner, said in a statement that it was most unfortunate that the computer elements of the B.C.S. ranking, including the strength-of-schedule rating, overcame U.S.C.'s No. 1 poll ranking. A similar result involving the Pac-10 occurred in the 2001 season, when Oregon finished second in both polls but was not selected for the national championship game, Hansen said.

Although the Trojans were ranked one place higher in the news media polls, L.S.U. was ranked about one place higher in the computer ratings. Each team has one loss, so the strength of schedule cost the Trojans a place in the Sugar Bowl.

''It's hard to sit here and do cartwheels,'' Tranghese said, referring to the snub of U.S.C.

Southern California won its conference championship, and Oklahoma, which was routed by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game, 35-7, did not. But U.S.C. did not have to play in a conference title game, and L.S.U. did.

Tranghese found himself saying that he felt bad for the Trojans, and Carroll said the Trojans would do their best to foul up the B.C.S.'s best-laid plans.

''The one thing I think I can say is that we are the No. 1 team in the nation, and that is undisputed,'' Trojans wide receiver Mike Williams told The Associated Press. ''If we went out and played either one of those teams, we'd give them their best games and we'd probably win. But right now, that's a whole different thing. So we'll just deal with it and move on.''

rukrusher said...

Your recollection on 2003 is correct.

Not long after he found out that his team had been snubbed for the designated national championship game yesterday, Southern California Coach Pete Carroll insisted that the Trojans would be playing for the national championship anyway.

U.S.C. ascended to the top of both national polls earlier in the day after its victory Saturday over Oregon State and Oklahoma's loss to Kansas State, but Oklahoma was selected to play Louisiana State for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4. U.S.C. is No. 3 in the Bowl Championship Series standing.

The Trojans (11-1) became the first team ranked No. 1 in the polls to be bypassed for the national title game in the six-year history of the B.C.S., but Carroll, with only a touch of defiance in his voice, had already become a spin doctor.

''We have not been tied to, or made legitimate by, the B.C.S. all year,'' Carroll said in a conference call with reporters last night.

A share of the national championship, he said, is still U.S.C.'s to lose. The Trojans will play Michigan (10-2), the Big Ten champion, in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, and Carroll suggested that his team should still be No. 1 if it were to beat the Wolverines.

''The fact that there's a controversy going on with it makes it all that much more interesting,'' Carroll said.

The coaches who vote in the USA Today/ESPN poll have said that the winner of the designated national championship game will be the national champion, even though L.S.U. (12-1) and Oklahoma (12-1) trail U.S.C. in the their poll, too.

The news media members who participate in the Associated Press poll are under no such obligation. So a split national championship -- something that has not happened since 1997, the year before the B.C.S. was formed -- is a possibility.

''I really don't think there's any chance that this game is going to get lost,'' Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr said. Carr called the Rose Bowl a championship game between two championship teams.

Mitch Dorger, the chief executive of the Tournament of Roses, was somewhat more restrained. He was simply delighted that a Big Ten team would play a Pacific-10 team in the traditional Rose Bowl matchup. Because of its affiliation with the B.C.S., the Rose Bowl has not had a Big Ten-versus-Pac-10 matchup since the 2000 season.

But Dorger also said, ''We are well aware that the game will have implications beyond the game itself.''

A team from the Pac-10 has not played in the designated national championship game since the B.C.S. was formed. Southern California was No. 2 in the B.C.S. standing before Saturday, but several results helped to drop the Trojans below L.S.U.

''I don't know how to fix this system other than play it off,'' Carroll said.

Two teams that U.S.C. played, Hawaii (8-5) and Notre Dame (5-7), lost Saturday. Although the Trojans beat Oregon State (7-5), their strength-of-schedule rating stayed the same, at No. 37 among Division I-A teams.

But after L.S.U. beat Georgia (10-3) in the Southeastern Conference championship game, its strength-of-schedule rating jumped to No. 29 from No. 54. That gain helped L.S.U. edge U.S.C. by 16-hundredths of a point over all.

''I think the fact that they played Georgia allowed them to take a big jump,'' Mike Tranghese, the Big East Conference commissioner and the B.C.S. coordinator, said of L.S.U.

Tom Hansen, the Pac-10 commissioner, said in a statement that it was most unfortunate that the computer elements of the B.C.S. ranking, including the strength-of-schedule rating, overcame U.S.C.'s No. 1 poll ranking. A similar result involving the Pac-10 occurred in the 2001 season, when Oregon finished second in both polls but was not selected for the national championship game, Hansen said.

Although the Trojans were ranked one place higher in the news media polls, L.S.U. was ranked about one place higher in the computer ratings. Each team has one loss, so the strength of schedule cost the Trojans a place in the Sugar Bowl.

''It's hard to sit here and do cartwheels,'' Tranghese said, referring to the snub of U.S.C.

Southern California won its conference championship, and Oklahoma, which was routed by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game, 35-7, did not. But U.S.C. did not have to play in a conference title game, and L.S.U. did.

Tranghese found himself saying that he felt bad for the Trojans, and Carroll said the Trojans would do their best to foul up the B.C.S.'s best-laid plans.

''The one thing I think I can say is that we are the No. 1 team in the nation, and that is undisputed,'' Trojans wide receiver Mike Williams told The Associated Press. ''If we went out and played either one of those teams, we'd give them their best games and we'd probably win. But right now, that's a whole different thing. So we'll just deal with it and move on.''

ChrTh said...

If we ignore Boise State and the 1-loss ACC and Big East teams (I don't think any of those teams could surpass the loser of OSU-Michigan), these are the teams in contention for Championship game:
Undefeated
OSU/Michigan Winner
Rutgers
One loss
OSU/Michigan Loser
Wisconsin (maybe)
Notre Dame/USC Winner
Florida/Arkansas Winner

We're down to 6 teams; maybe even 5 since it might be tough for Wisconsin to leap the loser of OSU/UM (especially if it's Michigan).

Anyone else starting to get the feeling there won't be a BCS controversy this year?

And the games wouldn't have been half as exciting if there was a playoff. So nyeh nyeh!

rukrusher said...

Close spot, I say first down

rukrusher said...

RU #5

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...

Report: Second loudest I've heard the Swamp (I've been going since '02), behind the FSU game in '03.

Jesus. Earlier today everyone was talking about UF needing to win with style points. Suddenly the fact that they won at all equals style points. Now I'm a pretty big California fan.

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...

Knee-jerk top 10:
OSU
Michigan
Rutgers
Arkasas
USC
Florida
Notre Dame
Ummm...? I... OK, top 7. This will take some pretty serious sorting out.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

chrth -

we're both spiky in opposite directions sometimes, but you're one of the most persistent voices of reason here. did you just mention wisconsin because i recently brought up their credentials? because the world hasn't allowed anybody to think about the badgers in a national championship context all year.

granted, no OSU on the schedule didn't do UW any favors, but as far as I'm concerned, they had approximately the same resume as Texas pre-KSU, I'd say perhaps even better than USC's, and similar comparisons with teams in similar situations.

Richard said...

Um...I dont care what happens. There is GUARANTEED to be a BCS controversey.

Dont forget that the BCS is not just #1 vs #2. Its the other 8 teams that get that $15 million payoff. Picking the 4 at large teams will ALWAYS result in controversey. Just ask Oregon.

Anyways my new Heisman Ballot looks like:

1. Ray Rice
2. Darren McFadden
3. Colt Brennan
4. Calvin Johnson (cause ima homer)
5. Troy Smith
6. Chad Henne

ChrTh said...

I brought up Wisconsin because I think they need to be in the discussion. Consider the following scenario:

UM beats OSU
USC loses to Cal, beats Notre Dame
Arkansas loses to LSU, beats Florida
Rutgers loses to WVU
Wisconsin wins out

Here are the resulting contenders for the National Championship:
UM 12-0
OSU 11-1
Wisconsin 11-1

That's it. Every other 1-loss team is ACC or Big East. Granted, Wake Forest or Maryland might be able to slip ahead of Wisconsin, but I doubt it.

While I don't honestly think Wisconsin can get over the loser of OSU-UM, because of this scenario you can't ignore them.

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...

Oh shit. Wisconsin. And hell, Wake Forest at this point.

Also, I really really wish Navy wasn't bowl-eligible, so we'd have a chance at seeing a USF vs. Miami/FSU Meineke Bowl. Because, seriously, at this point, I really think USF is the second best Florida team.

ChrTh said...

I might need to take my inclusion of Wisconsin back.

I just compared the two team's schedules, and they've shared 7 opponents so far, and OSU has beaten each shared opponent by a greater margin (even Illinois). So without even considering the fact that OSU played Texas, I don't know how you could put a 1-loss Wisconsin team over a 1-loss OSU team.

And UW is playing Buffalo next week, which will hurt their PC rankings. UW's mountain is unscalable, I'm afraid.

It is a shame that OSU doesn't play UW this season so we don't find out for sure.

Anonymous said...

hmm...

could this be separation saturday 2?\

auburn is now eliminated.
texas is eliminated from championship contention
cal (i'll hold on them until the USC game)

and yes how bout em deacons and scarlet knights?

ChrTh said...

I love how ABC is calling next Saturday "JUDGEMENT DAY".

Considering Rutgers and Wake Forest are a combined 18-1, maybe apocalyptic pronouncements aren't out of the question.

ChrTh said...

Note to USC: Trick plays when you're driving for a big score are not always the best of ideas.

Wow, if the Ducks come back after this ...

ChrTh said...

Never mind, Oregon just fumbled the ball. Pete Carroll IS a genius.

Joe (Livonia, MI) said...

Who needs style points? Think Texas, Cal, or Auburn care about style points?

Joe (Livonia, MI) said...

Oh, and Wisconsin has yet to beat a ranked team, and they will not have the opportunity to do so in the regular season. They have absolutely no claim to the BCS.

Trayton Otto said...

I'm trying to figure out the BCS scenarios, but it all stems from who plays the OSU-UM winner (the same question we've been asking for the last 5 weeks).

I'm assuming the ND holds on to a BCS berth, regardless of the USC-ND result. I assume Arkansas can beat MSU and/or LSU for the SEC Championship Game. I also assume Boise St. will win out and rise far enough through attrition to #12 or better and/ or be better than ACC champ. If Rutgers doesn't get #2, I generalize for whoever wins the BigEast.

So if Rutgers wins out and gets #2 I see it playing out like this:
Glendale: OSU/UM-W vs Rutgers
Rose: USC/Cal-W vs OSU/UM-L
Sugar: Ark/UF-W vs ND
Orange: ACC vs SEC-AtLarge
Fiesta: Texas vs BSU

An SEC Champ as #2 looks like this:
Glendale: OSU/UM-W vs Ark/UF-W
Rose: USC/Cal-W vs OSU/UM-L
Sugar: SEC-AtLarge vs ND
Orange: ACC vs Big East
Fiesta: Texas vs BSU
...but will the Sugar Bowl prefer an SEC-BigEast showdown again over ND?

Say USC wins out and jumps everyone else based on SoS...
Glendale: OSU/UM-W vs USC
Rose: OSU vs ND or UM vs BigEast?
Sugar: Ark/UF-W vs ND/BigEast
Orange: ACC vs SEC-AtLarge
Fiesta: Texas vs BSU

If the Irish Eyes are shining...
Glendale: OSU/UM-W vs ND
Rose: USC/Cal-W vs OSU/UM-L
Sugar: Ark/UF-W vs BigEast
Orange: ACC vs SEC-AtLarge
Fiesta: Texas vs BSU

Judgement Day becomes a Classic like T2...
Glendale: OSU vs UM
Rose: Cal vs ND or USC vs SEC-AtLarge?
Sugar: Ark/UF-W vs ND/BigEast
Orange: ACC vs SEC-AtLarge/BigEast
Fiesta: Texas vs BSU

If you're still reading, thanks. Summary: Fiesta Bowl gets UT vs BSU if BSU wins out; the ACC plays the Ark-UF loser or the Big East winner unless LSU overtakes Arkansas (perhaps with a win over Ark?).

My main question is will the Rose Bowl try to avoid a USC/ND or UM/ND rematch if it plays out that way or will it pick up an undefeated Rutgers, or even a 2-loss SEC team? Will the Sugar Bowl pass up Notre Dame to have another SEC/BigEast match (after WVa-U[sic]GA last year)?

Lots of questions, no answers. That's why we play the game, right?

Mike said...

Why am I having visions of USC making it after pollsters give them way too much credit for not much of anything this season (Sure, they beat Arkansas when Arkansas was down their best player, big whoop), and the entire nation goes appocolyptic when an undefeated Rutgers is left out, and they're stuck with YET ANOTHER USC title game that we all are long since sick of?

d_helms32 said...

I have a crazy question that has nothing do with college football, but I wanted to pose this question to everybody. Why is Sammy Sosa equated to steroids? His name has never been implicated in any reports and he has never failed a test; just like Bonds. I'm not a Cubs/Sosa fan, but I just wanted to know why people in this country jump on people without any evidence whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

USC - Cal: BCS elimination game (for the Rose Bowl, perhaps) loser goes to the Holiday Bowl

then again, if SoCal loses to Cal but beats ND, they might be back in the BCS (not Glendale, but as an at-large)

Nebraska has sealed the Big 12 North (what could have been for Missouri).\

Is Nebraska better than Arkansas?

And yes, an unbeaten Boise State will get a BCS at-large at the Fiesta Bowl.

Anonymous said...

the Husker - Razorback comparison is based on what Dan posted with regards to florida's chances in the glendale bowl.

this pretty much seals the pac-10 and the acc as a one bcs team.

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...

Oh, and Wisconsin has yet to beat a ranked team

Whoa, is the Big 10 that bad?

ChrTh said...


Whoa, is the Big 10 that bad?


No, it's so good that they keep beating each other (outside the top 3 of course). That's the SEC's argument, right?

In all seriousness, the Big "10" will be putting 6-8 teams in bowls. It is an off-year for the league though (Iowa and MSU being most representative of that fact).

Anonymous said...

Big Ten is strong, but not Wisconsin's schedule.

http://www.cfrc.com/

nep1293 said...

As I see it the title contenders are down to:

Ohio St-Michigan winner vs

Ohio St-Michigan loser, USC, Rutgers, Florida or Arkansas

Since Florida and Arkansas will most likely play in the SEC championship game we're really down to 4 teams for 1 spot.

Notre Dame is out, no way they deserve it over Michigan even if Michigan loses by 40 to Ohio St.

At least Rutgers' path got a little easier this week

Top 25
1-Ohio St
2-Michigan
3-USC
4-Arkansas
5-Rutgers
6-Florida
7-Notre Dame
8-Louisville
9-West Virginia
10-Texas
11-LSU
12-Wisconsin
13-Wake Forest
14-Oklahoma
15-California
16-Auburn
17-Georgia Tech
18-Boise St
19-BYU
20-Virginia Tech
21-Tennessee
22-Nebraska
23-Boston College
24-Hawaii
25-Maryland

Steve said...

This will make Biff happy:

BYU beat TCU
TCU beat Texas Tech
Texas Tech beat Texas A & M
Texas A & M beat Missouri
Missouri beat Mississippi
Mississippi beat Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt beat Georgia
Georgia beat Auburn
Auburn beat Florida

Therefore BYU is better than Florida! Put them in the championship game!

Steve said...

Taking it a step further though:

BYU lost to Boston College who lost to Wake Forest.

Maybe Chrth was right all along, Wake Forest in the championship game!

ChrTh said...


Maybe Chrth was right all along, Wake Forest in the championship game!


Let's face it: Wake Forest-Rutgers would be the best championship game ever. Even an OSU fan like me would rather see those two teams in and/or win than any of the usual suspects.