Sunday, December 03, 2006

CFB Debate of the Year: Florida or Michigan?
(330-Plus Comments and Counting...)

Update: Coaches poll is out. Florida is No. 2, Michigan is No. 3. In an interesting note, Jim Tressel asked to abstain, which I think is completely fraudulent. Don't accept the privilege of affecting the sport, week-in and week-out, then cop out in the one week when it matters most. I hope he's never allowed to participate in the coaches' poll again.

ORIGINAL POST: I'm hesitant to start a new post about the Michigan-Florida debate, because the post from Saturday has generated more than 330 contributions, shattering the previous total and making it the most commented-on post ever for this blog. (I highly recommend scrolling down and checking it out.)

But it's a new day, and everyone has had a chance to sleep on the decision: Florida or Michigan?

If you were a voter, who would YOU rank No. 2? What SHOULD they do? What's fair? What's right? What's best for college football? What's best to determine the right team to play for this year's title?

There is a particularly compelling angle: Should "Michigan had their chance" be considered a legitimate argument for Florida? If you think Michigan is the unquestioned No. 2 team in the country, probably not. But they're not, and I think "had their chance" isn't nearly as illegitimate as some might be arguing.

(I wonder if Kirk Herbstreit - who made the most impassioned and high-profile plea against the "had their chance" argument last night -- would be saying the same thing if, hypothetically, Florida was unbeaten, and Ohio State was a 1-loss Big Ten champ vying for a spot in the national title game versus 1-loss LSU, runner-up in the SEC and a team Florida had already beaten.)

The other thing Michigan backers are saying -- including Lloyd Carr -- is that Michigan shouldn't be penalized for not playing the last two weeks. I think that's bogus. That would mean that your biggest ranking criteria is "inertia."

There is no evidence that Michigan is anything but the same team that ended the season two weeks ago. However, since then, there is new evidence that Florida should be considered and weighted better than they were two weeks ago.

In other words, forget the number of the ranking next to Michigan's name two weeks ago or last week. With the entire body of work from the season now in place for both teams, has Florida proven itself better than Michigan -- or more worthy to play Ohio State for the title? I argue yes.

Here's the best news for BCS-haters: It's the best-case scenario to trigger some kind of change to the system. (But don't hold your breath. And don't expect a playoff to fix the type of controversy we're having now: Picking one team over another -- whether it's "Who's Number 2?" today or "Which team coming out of four bowls should be in the Plus-One title game?" or "Who's snubbed in a 4- or 8-team playoff?" there will always be controversy.)

Anyway, I digress: Michigan or Florida?

(By the way, there's a very easy way to deliver justice: Provided that the team picked for the BCS title game beats Ohio State -- iffy on so many levels -- and the team snubbed for the title game wins its bowl game, the AP can simply vote to award its share of the title to the snubbed team, like they did with USC following the 2003 season.)

Oh, and one more thing: As mentioned on the comment board below, it's going to be absolutely fascinating to see how the various Harris poll and coaches' poll (and even the AP poll, though that doesn't count toward the BCS) voters did their ballots. Who has which team number 2? (And are there any shenanigans where they don't rank Michigan and Florida in some combo at No. 2 and No. 3? Any other pick should obliterate that voter's future as a pollster.) I would imagine that there will be great incentive for rogue pollsters -- Harris poll, probably -- to vote some crazy stuff if only to make themselves the story. I cannot wait to see the data.


Christian Thoma said...

There's only one team that deserves to be ranked #2.

Boise State.

nep1293 said...

There is no team that has a right to complain when they are left out, every single 1 loss team out there could have avoided crossing their fingers if they just won that 1 game. OSU took care of their business and they have nothing to worry about.

I think Michigan is the better team so if that's the criteria then I vote them. However, since a Michigan W over Ohio St would cause even more controversy then Florida should be the pick. OSU can pound them and everyone will just agree that they would have beaten anyone they played. No arguments either way

Trey (formerly TF) said...

ChrTh said...
There's only one team that deserves to be ranked #2.

Boise State.

I'm SURE every OHio State fan wants to see Boise State. Just hand them the damn National Title,

Christian Thoma said...

I'm SURE every OHio State fan wants to see Boise State. Just hand them the damn National Title,

Uh, that's pretty much what would happen with Florida at #2 as well. The only team that matches up well against OSU is Wake Forest. And no, I'm not kidding.

Christian Thoma said...

There is no team that has a right to complain when they are left out, every single 1 loss team out there could have avoided crossing their fingers if they just won that 1 game.

Boise State has the right to complain, because they didn't lose that 1 game.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Go ahead and say Ohio State would rock Florida. Who has Ohio State beaten? Michigan. Texas. Penn State.

Ohio State is hands down #1, but they aren't so accomplished that they'll roll anyone they face.

Joe (Dayton)

Christian Thoma said...

AND isn't LSU widely regarded as the best SEC team and they weren't even in the championship game.

LSU could argue that the scheduling didn't favor them, as both their losses were on the road. Granted, that doesn't give them an excuse as to why they're not in the SEC Champ Game, but at the same time, I'd take LSU over any SEC team on a neutral field.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

SEC an Overrated conference? As an SEC fan I'll admit, we do get the benefit in most years. However, how the HECK is the SEC overrated this year? Who would be better? Lets compare the Big 10 and SEC.

We're 9-6 against the BCS, while the Big 10 is 7-6.

We're 40-7 out of conference, while the Big 10 is 33-11.

We've got 4 teams with 10 wins.

Big 10 has 3.

We've got 9 bowl eligible teams

The Big 10 has 7.

We've got 8 teams with WINNING records.

The Big 10 has 5.

Our worst bowl eligble team, ranked 9th in conference (Alabama) beat Hawaii

The 5th ranked team in Big 10 (Purdue) lost to Hawaii.

We have 0 losses to D-IAA

The Big 10 has 2.

Now where exactly is the SEC overrated this year?

Joe (Dayton)

Jared said...

Florida has the #1 strength of schedule, so you can't knock them or the SEC. Bob Ryan is an idiot, listen to the numbers. And I don't think you knock Florida for winning ugly because that's how their team is built. OSU did the same thing in 2002 when they won the championship. The point is, Florida has played a tough schedule and lost only once.

Christian Thoma said...

While I don't deny the SEC is a better conference top-to-bottom than the Big 10, I find the following criteria silly:

"Our worst bowl eligble team, ranked 9th in conference (Alabama) beat Hawaii

The 5th ranked team in Big 10 (Purdue) lost to Hawaii."

That's all well and good, until you remember that Purdue played at Hawaii and Hawaii played at Alabama, but hey, why let facts get in the way of good rhetoric, right?

Anonymous said...

As a Michigan fan, I think Florida has to go, for the simple reason that I don't want to hear millions of SEC fans bitch and whine about how they got screwed.

Careful what you wish for, Gator fans. Between the penalties, bumbling QB, and ridiculous turnovers (a SHOVEL PASS intercepted??!), it's not looking good.

Anonymous said...

I forget, is a 3 point win worth more than a 10 point win?? A win is a win is a win. There are so many f'n variable that go into a game that make the final score what it is. A team could have a bad day. People get injured. Turnovers happen. Crappy calls (talk to the Sooners about this.) At the end of the day all that should matter is if you get a "w", not what the final score is. If that is the critera, I still like UF's resume over UM's. UM's people one team of note: Wisc (ND is waaaaaaaaaaaaay overrated). Go read the article on espn about why UF should get in. They are all FACTS. Its sad we have to debate who had the better "loss".

Anonymous said...

"The SEC this year might be the greatest conference in the history of College Ball."

The fact that the conference has a bunch of quality teams doesn't mean anything if Michigan and OSU are better than any of them.

Christian Thoma said...

schedule strength.....

is their one uniform ranking?

There's one that is typically used, however, the computers each have their own, I believe.

Trey (formerly TF) said...


Three Pac 10 teams were destroyed by SEC schools.

Tennessee 35 - Cal 18
LSU 45 - Arizona 3
Auburn 40 - Wazzou 14

So no, UCLA wouldn't be 3 or 4 in teh SEC.

USC could probably compete for the SEC title, but hands down this year

SEC > The remainder.

Steve said...

Look, are any Florida whiners going to give back their 96 championship because they shouldn't have had a rematch? No! So no bitching if Michigan gets a rematch, it's just karma.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

The rematch has been explained 100 times. The 1996 title needed A LOT of help, we fell from #1 to #4, not to #2 like Michigan did.

Kasko said...

Good point Steve.

Oh, I think Tommie Frazier just scored again too.

Trey (formerly TF) said...


I don't think any Florida fan would believe our defense would even hang in the NFL.

Joe (Dayton)

Christian Thoma said...

alright then why is the one that says Florida has a better SOS the gospel over the one that has Michigan with a better SOS?

The "gospel" SOS, iirc, is simply based on opponent's won-loss record. The computers use more advanced algorithms that incorporate opponent's opponent's won-loss records, as well as home vs away advantages. Since the latter method(s) are complex and have internal disagreement (ie, the computers don't all use the same formula), the 'easy' method is considered gospel.

Christian Thoma said...

Why I don't think anyone can beat Ohio State in the NC, by Me.

There is talent disparity in college football that is far greater than what you see in the NFL. This is why when a Wake Forest wins the ACC Championship, it becomes huge news. Wake Forest doesn't have the raw talent to compete with the Florida States of this world. If a team is outmatched talent-wise by another team, the only way it can win is essentially through coaching. Coaching is what motivates, creates 'trick' plays, finds way to overcome the talent gap, etc. Occasionally a team will fall victim to its own success--overlooks the opponent, makes stupid turnovers, etc., but generally, whenever we see an upset it's because the lesser team had a better coach. That's why Jim Grobe and Greg Schiano are suddenly hot coaching names--they have demonstrated by their success that they have exceptional coaching ability. Or lots of luck. LOTS of luck. Since luck isn't quantifiable, you have to accept that coaching ability probably plays a large part.

Now, tOSU is going into a NC situation that is the exact opposite of the one they faced against Miami four years ago: they will be favored by a strong amount and will be considered top-to-bottom more talented than the team they'll be playing. Similarly, Miami was favored by a strong amount and was considered top-to-bottom more talented than the team they would be playing.

And Miami WAS more talented top-to-bottom than the Buckeyes. But Ohio State had one advantage: their coach was way better than Miami's coach. Which is why Larry Coker is now looking for a job and Jim Tressel is back in the championship game.

So Jim Tressel has been there. He knows exactly what the other team needs to do to beat his team. And I believe that despite his flaws (he tends to get conservative when he has the lead, and it sometimes allows teams to get back in the game: Illinois and Michigan this season, for example), Jim Tressel will be at least the equal of any coach on the opposite sideline. So if you can't outcoach the more talented team (and yes, the Buckeyes are more talented top-to-bottom than either Florida or Michigan), I don't think you can win, unless you get lucky.

Really, really lucky.

...and yes, I know my position appears biased because I'm an OSU fan. But as someone who watched in horror during the John Cooper Era, believe me when I tell you I know good coaching when I see it.

TJ said...

Sagarin still has UM #2 Florida #3 by over a point......

But Sagarin has been the computer ranking UF the lowest (along with one other, I think), while there are 2 computers that last week had Florida over Michigan. I think the Computers will be almost dead even. So yeah, still comes down to the voters.

Anonymous said...

Out of the 50 or so comments on here, I've only seen 3 people touch on the idea of a playoff. Who in their right mind doesn't think playoff is the way to go right now?

The BCS does not work. Period. All we have is people saying "Florida is better" or "Michigan is better" and then making some kind of list to prove their point. Hmmm ... you know a way to determine who is actually better? To settle in on the field! What a novel concept! Some are saying 16 teams, but I say cut it to 8.

Imagine if the NFL pulled this - to let beat writers and computers determine the two best teams in the league, and then have those two play in the Super Bowl? Do you think that shit would fly with NFL fans? I don't think so. This is why the NFL rules American sports and CFB is a joke. And don't give me the whole, "Well people are talking about CFB" crap - people are talking about it because the system is broken.

By the way, I think Michigan is the better team and would give OSU a better game, but I want to see FLA get the nod, if only because I don't want to see a rematch.

The heroin sheik said...

Yeah I said I would take the gator defense over a third of the ones int he nfl. I didnt say we would kick ass or anything just said I think our defense is as good as some in the nfl. GRanted im a bucs fan so I see a shitty product on the field week in and week out. I think the gator defense is at least as good as the ones in tampa on a bad day, cleveland, probably arizona and most likely oakland. LIke Dan im prone to hyperbole, but I stand by my comment that the gators d is as good as some in the nfl. IM not saying we would anchor a playoff team but we would at least keep it respectable.

jhawkjjm said...

I have no idea who the better team is between Florida and Michigan. But I think that Florida's beat better teams all year long than Michigan did. In my opinion, the SEC is deeper than the Big 10, and I'm a Big 12 person so no bias either way.

Would Florida beat Michigan on a nuetral field... maybe. Personally, as a fan of the game, I don't want to see a rematch, but at the same time I cannot say that Michigan is clearly better than Florida and more deserving. I'm just glad I'm not a voter in this situation because they are going to be scrutinized like never before.

Christian Thoma said...

I still like the bowl system. What do Playoffs get you? St. Louis Cardinals, 2006 World Champions. Sure, great for the fans in St. Louis, but baseball fans? Playoffs reward those who got hot at the right time (Steelers, Gators). I'm glad there's at least one sport that has eschewed such a system. I like an entire season being counted in the discussion. I love how USC over Arkansas in a rout in Week 1 was almost the deciding factor. I love how UCLA could put a stamp on their season by denying USC a trip to the National Championship. And yeah, the optimist in me loves the fact that half the bowl teams end their season with a victory.

And more importantly, I love the discussions it breeds. How pointless would the 300+ posts in the CFB Tailgate comments have been if there was a playoff? How little fun would it be seeing columnists discuss schmaltzy human interest stories instead of pages after pages of discussion on the system?

But most importantly, how great will it be for Wake Forest to win the Orange Bowl? Sure a playoff could give them a shot at the National Championship, but let's be realistic. Instead of having to fight through a couple rounds only to lose, Wake Forest will be one and done ... or Won and done.

God bless the Bowl System.

Christian Thoma said...

@worldwide reader:

So I guess you can count me as someone who is against a playoff.

The heroin sheik said...

Personally I wish it would go back to the days of your traditional bowl matchups. You win your conference you go to a specific game. I like the controversy of possibly two teams being worthy of a national championship. It always makes for a good argument. Granted there is something to be said for a definitive answer as to wh is best. Since that is what the majority of people want to see the only way to do it is to have a playoff where all DIV I conference champs get in as well as maybe two or three teams at large from the major conferences. Who cares if they play a few more games. How much school would they really miss. I don't know about the rest of you but college wasn't really that hard. Outside of writing papers most of the learning I did took place inside the classroom and since most football players are required to attend all classes why would this be a problem? I was lit major so maybe that was why I dound it so easy but I guess it is all relative.

The heroin sheik said...

wow most outlandish ever? that is saying something. Id love to see the gators play a game against this years bucs. I don't know who would get more turnovers. Chris leak would probably throw five picks but we would exploit that tampa two since all our dbs are slow as hell and all they can do is get PI's. The gator defense would feast on the ineptitude of chucky's O. Cadillac didn't do much against the gators and alot of the gators d played two years ago. The bucs have a rookie at qb and basically no receivers. Other than joey galloway we could probably man up on the bucs and load the box to stop the run. Difference would come down to the kicking game and since matt bryant has proved he can kick 60+yds and the gators kicker is almost as bad as I would be that would be the what would lose the game for the gators. If you think Im crazy you obviously havent watched much of the bucs this year.

Anonymous said...

Biff, honestly, I don't care about conference representation. I want to see the best 8 teams on the field, period. If 3 of those are from the SEC, and none from the Big East (I'm a PC alum), then so be it. I know that wouldn't work, especially because of the finances, but it would be my ideal system.

You have to have a cut-off somewhere. Before yesterday's games, based on the BCS standings, the playoff would look like this:

1) OSU v 8) Boise St
4) FLA v 5) LSU

2) USC v 7) WISC
3) MICH v 6) L'VILLE

Again, that is based on last week's standings. That looks beautiful to me.

The heroin sheik said...

Interesting playoff other than making the gators play lsu in the first round how about you can't have rematches in the opening round of the playoff. Also how do you pick home field adv. What are the tiebreakers. Too many questions for before breakfast. I need to go buy a paper and gloat over some steak, eggs, and guiness.

Anonymous said...

chrth -

I like an entire season being counted in the discussion.

This wasn't the case for for Auburn 2 years ago. Or for Oregon, when they had to watch Nebraska sneaked in after getting hammered by Colorado in the B12 title game, and then watch them again get hammered against Miami in the NC game. Or for USC, when Oklahoma got smacked around by K-St in the B12 title game and still got to play in the NC game, only to lose to LSU. The regular season is NOT a playoff.

And more importantly, I love the discussions it breeds. How pointless would the 300+ posts in the CFB Tailgate comments have been if there was a playoff?

No offense, but this is completely illogical. The 300 comments are entirely meaningless no matter how you look at them - they don't settle anything. Again, people are "talking" because the system is broken. I don't want a system that gets people "talking" - I want a system that produces a champion on the field.

Just please answer this for me: do you think the BCS/Bowl system should be applied to the NFL?

Anonymous said...

"Michigan is the 2nd best team in the country. That's it. I don't think there's much debate about it... so bring on the rematch."

...yeah there certainly seems to be no debate allright!!??!!

Anonymous said...

Biff, generally I am in agreement with you, but I'm going to do something sacreligious on this blog, and that is argue against Boise St.

1. Any team that goes undefeated in conference, goes to the playoffs.

The problem with this is, all conferences are not created equally. Boise St's two best wins this season were against Oregon State and Hawaii. Decent teams, but, come on - nothing too impressive there. They beat a six-loss Wyoming team, at home, by 7, and beat San Jose State by a field goal. If Florida, of all teams, is going to be penalized for lack of "style points," then Boise should, too. The problem I have with these "Cinderellas" is that they don't schedule anybody. They run through their awful conferences undefeated and then scream out that they deserve a chance too. Well, who did you actually beat? Look at Boise's schedule - they didn't beat anybody.

Anonymous said...

"Then Florida will get smoked in the title game and we'll all feel cheated."

- We would all be cheated if Ohio St. smokes Michigan in the title game

(all that would prove is that they are better than Michigan - which we already KNOW because they just beat them the LAST game they played!!!!)

TJ said...

This year is a perfect situation to try to convince you, Dan, of how even a 4-team playoff is far superior to the current system.

1OSU v. 4?
2UF v. 3Michigan

There's a controversy over who #4 is. So what? That's certainly better than a controversy over #2--two more teams are included. And, as I've mentioned before, I can't think of a year when more than 3-4 teams had a legitimate argument for getting to play for the title.

So this year, instead of having to leave out either Florida or Michigan--two supremely deserving teams--we would be arguing about whether to include Louisville, USC, Oklahoma, or maybe even LSU.

And for all the people who (for some reason) think OSU would murder UF, you surely think they'd murder whoever got named #4, and if they couldnt then how could we name them national champ anyway?

Personally I see this as the only realistic option, with a +1 being the only other possible substitute. The current system only works when no system is required, and you'd never get the ADs to agree on an 8-team deal.

nep1293 said...

You could make an all star team of College kids and they couldn't beat an NFL team. There is no team in College football who wouldn't lose by 20+ points to the Detroit Lions or the Bucs.

A playoff is perfect, everyone knows it. What are the only arguments in NCAA BB at tourney time? who got snubbed at being a 12 seed. That's a lot better than seeing the wrong team in the Title Game.

What would have happened if Michigan doesn't get that personal foul and beats OSU? I'm pretty sure 99% of fans would agree to give OSU a rematch. So the rematch theory doesn't really fly with me.

Anonymous said...

Remember a couple years ago when Ohio State went to the championship against Miami. Every game they played was close, there was no style points Granted they never lost but, they beat the teams they had too. Plus Greg Krenzel was their quarterback thats a handicap right their. Chris Leak handicap. done and done put them in the championship

Anonymous said...

For anyone who argues that a playoff system doesn't work - I spent the day yesterday in the freezing cold at McGuirk Almuni Stadium for an College Football PLAYOFF game and let me tell you - it was glorious.

For all the argument that a playoff would effect school and class time for the players - apparently that only applies to the major programs since the NCAA has no problem with those "other" Division 1 football programs having a playoff which has become so popular that ESPN is televising the games.

Oh by the way - Go UMass!

Christian Thoma said...

Just please answer this for me: do you think the BCS/Bowl system should be applied to the NFL?

Of course not. But there's a huge difference between the two.

The NFL has only 32 teams versus College Football, which has 117.

Also, the NFL has a Salary Cap. College Football doesn't.

Also, the NFL has a 52 (+6) player roster limits. College Football doesn't.

Once College Football implements a Spending Cap, Roster Limits, and cuts down to 64 or fewer teams, then I'll consider a playoff. But until then, the gap between the top 25 schools in CFB and the bottom 25 schools is ridiculous. Heck, the gap between the top 20 twenty and the next twenty is ridiculous.

Wake Forest University has an enrollment of ~4400 students. For them to maintain a roster of 88 football players (average for a college team), that means 1 in every 50 students would have to play football.

Now, before it comes up: College Basketball is OK with a playoff because of the roster sizes. Basketball teams in College have, what, 15 players? Even a school as small as Wake Forest (or unlikely as Oral Roberts) can compete nationally because you only need 15 good players. Doesn't work that way in football.

Christian Thoma said...

I'm intrigued that the UM-UF map on has shifted from 52-48 UM to 50-50. That's a large shift considering how many had been cast when it was 52-48. Is the public turning against a rematch, or is it just people who woke up later more likely to favor Florida?

Perks said...

Florida. Because Michigan would win, and it would make everything horrible.

Christian Thoma said...

More on the map:

Idaho is no longer split--it now favors Florida 52-48.

Kentucky still reflects the national average.

And Michigan has gone from 90-10 to 89-11. Obviously all the hungover State students have woken up and voted.

Perks said...

chrth, I saw that and thought the same thing.
That, and there are over 405,000 votes. Has there ever been such disparity in the US?! 405 THOUSAND!

john (east lansing, mi) said...

I have been following the map since it was 65-35.

I think it's the implications of the rematch dawning on people. I wrote a rambling midnight blog post about the whole thing last night; essentially I don't think anybody believed in the rematch before last night, and now we are thinking "oh god, do we want to hear about this for another month, just like last month?" (and furthermore, "wouldn't we rather see the Big Ten face off against the class of the SEC and of the Pac-10?")

They're sobering thoughts.

Christian Thoma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christian Thoma said...

Most followers of sports are used to championships where two seperate conferences are represented in the final regardless; AFC vs NFC, AL vs NL, East vs West, etc. In College you can have it where both teams are from the same conference playing in the championship, but that's rare except in the less popular sports. College Basketball is obviously an exception, but same-conference championships are rare (I remember 1985 off the top of my head, and that's it).

I think the trend towards Florida reflects this idea; that if the playoffs we're familiar with don't always match the two best teams, why should the BCS?

Christian Thoma said...

Coaches' Poll is out:

1. Ohio State (62) 12-0 1,550
2. Florida 12-1 1,470
3. Michigan 11-1 1,444

Shums said...

I have two equally weighted opinions fighting in my mind right now.

1. Why punish OSU by making them play a team they've already beaten, but this time for the title? If they lose, it nullifies their earlier game completely. If they win, it only shows that they're better than Michigan. We already know that. Those thoughts would dictate that Michigan should not go.

2. Michigan is the second-best team in the country right now. I don't think anyone can argue with that. If Florida doesn't recover a fumbled punt in the end zone it's entirely possible that they would have lost to Arkansas. No way are they a better team than Michigan.

I can't reconcile these two thoughts. With the system the way it is right now, I simply can't do it.

Let's just call OSU the champion, have them play Boise State anyway, and let Michigan and Florida play each other. (I know that's an impossibility. I'd just like to see it as a fan.)

Thanks to Biff for supporting the smaller conferences.

Christian Thoma said...

Analysis of Coaches' Poll:

No one voted UM or UF anything but #2 or #3.

Florida received 44 of the 62 2nd-place votes.
Michigan received 18 of the 62 2nd-place votes.

Christian Thoma said...

BCS Component Score for the Coaches' Poll:
OSU: 1.000
UF: 0.948
UM: 0.932

Christian Thoma said...

Oh, and if you think the reason I'm spending time crunching these numbers is because the Packers are losing 17-0 ...

well, you're right.

Christian Thoma said...

One warning:

I'm getting these numbers off of the ESPN ranking page (the Webmaster there is always first to publish on the main site), however, it looks like they have Oregon tied-25th when it really should be Oregon State. I'm hoping that's just a typo on the Webmaster's part. However, this fact makes me say we should be wary of considering the list definitive.

Christian Thoma said...

That's interesting: one of the coaches didn't submit a ballot! Where's the attached article?!?

Christian Thoma said...

Ok, has the list posted now as well, and they have Oregon State at 25. Also only 62 votes. So I think we take it as definitive and we need to wait for the Harris and Computer polls.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Tressel asked to be abstained from voting and the poll allowed him to do so.

Joe (Dayton)

Christian Thoma said...

Tressel asked to be abstained from voting and the poll allowed him to do so.

Thanks. That's what I suspected.

See, I knew he was a smart coach.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

It would have been unfair to make him vote, he votes one way he's biased; votes another he is hurting is conference and people will be pissed.

Christian Thoma said...

Where are they going to post who everyone voted for? I'm really curious to see how Ron Zook voted.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

So let me get this straight.

Michigan can keep it close with Ball State and they're a clear cut #2, yet Florida can't keep it close with their biggest rival or in a game where the face of the program for 30+ years makes an emotional return?

Florida is a good team, I don't understand why people don't think they are. Remember Ohio State 2002? Miami was going to destroy them because OSU kept winning ugly...

Nothing is in stone yet anyway.

Trey (formerly TF) said...


Teams don't just go 12-1 because they "got lucky" especially with the #1 schedule in the country.

We still beat 2 top 15 team by 13 and 10.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Ok Justin, and the reason Michigan made it close was because of a late prevent Defense touchdown that came after a terrible Pass Interference call.

Yes, Leak's shovel pass was bad. But it was also an great play by the Dlineman. Regardless Florida went on a 21-7 run.

Steve said...

31-0? wow

Christian Thoma said...

Dan's an idiot:

In an interesting note, Jim Tressel asked to abstain, which I think is completely fraudulent. Don't accept the privilege of affecting the sport, week-in and week-out, then cop out in the one week when it matters most. I hope he's never allowed to participate in the coaches' poll again.

Right, because coaches should be forced to volunteer bulletin board material for the other team. I can understand someone speaking without thinking, but how does someone edit a blog post without thinking?

Christian Thoma said...

31-0? wow

Got 'em right where we want 'em.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Justin did you even watch the LSU game? There was a fumbled snap, other than that Florida forced most of the turnovers.

Sorry, but our defense has been one of the top in the country this year.

Finally, we can get into this analyzing every game each team has played. Ball State was a few yards away from possibly sending your game into overtime...

Steve said...

This reminds me so much of the 2000 election. And once again Florida is prominently involved. Anyone know if Katherine Harris is a Harris poll voter?

Christian Thoma said...

This reminds me so much of the 2000 election. And once again Florida is prominently involved. Anyone know if Katherine Harris is a Harris poll voter?

Seems closer to 2004, I think Florida is going to have a clear victory in the BCS. And Ohio is prominently involved.

Christian Thoma said...

Florida has pulled ahead of Michigan in the ESPN poll, 51-49. Kentucky still represents the national average (I wasn't a believer before, but I am now).

Of course, these are all the bandwagon voters at this point.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Thanks to the addition of the 12th game we had to pick up a game that weekend. We contacted a multitude of schools and most denied us the opportunity. We had Army ready to sign, but ND offered more money, so we lost that game.

Rumor on our message boards has it that we're signing NC State to a deal to play next season.

You will never see a I-AA team playing against us in November again. Extenuating circumstances required it

Christian Thoma said...

Extenuating circumstances required it

Didn't UAB agree to play if UF played a home date with them next year? Why was that so tough to agree to?

Steve said...

chrth, since you didn't respond on the other thread I'm going to assume you didn't see it.
steve said...


Regarding Tressels' vote, voters can vote for a tie for 2nd if they so choose.If Tressel is smart this is what he'll do.

Regarding a Big 10 conference championship game, they need to have 12 teams first. Assuming Notre Dame joins, really the only logical choice, and wanting to keep rivalries intact, they definitely would split it east-west.

Penn St. Ohio St. Michigan Michigan St. Notre Dame and Purdue in the East. This would leave an Ohio St.-Wisconsin championship game this year. I know the East seems incredibly hard split that way but it's the way that makes sense.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

The same reason Ohio State isn't going to play games at Bowling Green or Central Michigan.

Ohio State has D-IAA teams scheduled for the next 2 seasons.

Florida has 1 in 2008, but we also have Hawaii, Miami, and FSU signed out of conference.

Mr. Travel Reviewer said...

To paraphrase the immortal words of Hollywood from Top Gun...

Jim Tressel, you pu$$y!!!!

Trey (formerly TF) said...

If Michigan goes, all I'm going to hear is crying from flordia fans because "they had their chance"

It was a soft defense on that play, and the PI was not THAT obvious of a call, even the announcers were perplexed.

I think most Florida fans are saying this.

Florida: 9-1 against bowl eligible teams
Michigan: 6-1 against Bowl eligible teams

Florida: 3-1 against top 25 teams
Michigan: 2-1 against top 25 teams

Florida: Won Conference Championship
Michigan: Finished 2nd

The "they've had their shot" is in there, but it is far from our only argument.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Jeff, I wasn't bringing that up to compare to Michigan's wins, I was bringing it up to the person who said Florida didn't beat anyone handedly. Those obviously show we did.

Christian Thoma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christian Thoma said...

@steve: I'm trying to remember what my Big 10+2 division breakdown was a couple years ago.

I think I had two; one for adding Notre Dame, and one for adding Pitt:
OSU - UM(I) - MSU - PoSU - UW - UM(N)
ND - I(N)U - UI - NW - PU - I(A)U
OSU - UM(I) - MSU - I(A)U - UW - UM(N)
PoSU - Pitt - I(N)U - UI - NW - PU

So it would've been either OSU-PoSU or OSU-ND in the big 10 championship.

Christian Thoma said...

Ohio State has D-IAA teams scheduled for the next 2 seasons.

It's Jim Tressel's former team! I'm sure he's trying to do them a monetary favor!

While I concede tOSU always* plays the in-state school(s) in Columbus, one of the main reasons is because of stadium seating.

*In 2009, the Buckeyes are playing Toledo in CLEVELAND, not Columbus. How many top tier schools do that?

Christian Thoma said...

AND the Buckeyes have scheduled a home-and-home with Army in 2009-10. See, they do things the proper way.

Christian Thoma said...

btw, the score is now 31-10.

Right where we want 'em

Steve said...


I don't understand your logic of putting Wisconsin and Minnesota with the other 4 eastern teams. To me putting Purdue and Notre Dame or Purdue and Pittsburgh with them makes more sense. You're breaking up a natural Wisconsin-Iowa rivalry. Also Notre Dame has natural rivalries with Michigan, Michigan St., Purdue, and Penn St. If oyu were going to get Notre Dame to join I am sure those rivalries would be a major selling point. Making them play the likes of IU, Illinois, Northwestern, and Iowa every year doesn't hold much appeal.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

and Florida has home and homes with NC State, Miami, a game against USF, and Florida State every season through 2010. We're not copping out on scheduling.

Steve said...

Thinking a college team could even hang with an NFL team is like thinking a team from 25 years ago could hang with a team today. There is no way it would happen.

3 reasons why a college team can't hang:

1 There are over 3 times as many college teams so you have major talent dilution. Same reason a high school team would be at a major disadvantage to a college team.

2 The players are older and have practiced longer and consequently better in the pros than they were in college. You reach your football peak in the late 20s not at 20.

3 College teams can only choose from players with a 4 year age spread whereas NFL teams have realistically about a 12 year age spread. That's another 3 times as many players to choose your roster from.

Take your pick of the worst team in the NFL: Arizona, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Oakland, it doesnt matter. If they played Ohio St. they would wax the floor with them at least 42-14.

Christian Thoma said...

@tf: I'm not talking about matchups versus legit teams. I didn't mentiom OSU just finishing up a home and home with Texas, or their upcoming ones against Miami and USC because I thought we were talking about the matchups with the cake teams.

What it boils down to is, if you're only argument against scheduling a home-and-home with UAB is "none of the other top schools do it", then you have no argument because that's a lame cop-out.

Christian Thoma said...

I think we can all agree that no matter who plays in the national title game, no one will be satisfied because we had three teams that the national consensous is they all deserve a shot, and a 4th team that went unbeated and gets laughed at.

If Boise State beats Oklahoma, and OSU loses, I say Boise State should get the AP National Championship.

Seeing as there is no chance in hell Boise State beats Oklahoma, however ...

Anonymous said...

Indications are that Florida will make the champ. game.

Obviously, Florida-backers will be redeemed if Florida wins against OSU. But, in the likely event that they lose, I ask:
How many points can they lose by that you can argue they belonged there?

*they belonged there==they were the #2 team in the country

I say THREE. Neutral zone, where you can't argue either way ends at 7, and any bigger defeat than that, and "They were who we thought they were!"

Josh said...

Reggie w/ 4 TDs and 160 yards today.

I don't like to bash Shanoff like most others on here, but this deserves some kind of shot at Dan.

I'm just not smart enough to come up with one.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

LA Times is saying Florida to BCS Title game.,0,6645854.story?coll=la-home-headlines

marcomarco said...

Reggie Bush, 4td's. Eat it Shanny

Liam said...

LA Times says it's Florida playing Ohio State. It's according to a BCS source.,0,6645854.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else see Jeff Fisher almost not go for the field goal?!?!?

Even thinking about taking the field goal unit off the field should be a fireable offense. Especially when you don't know if you'll ever have the ball again in this game. EspeciallyX2 when you know your QB is injured. EspeciallyX3 when the entire stadium knows you're wrong (booing) before you do.

Anonymous said...

Plus-one would match OSU-Florida against the best remaining team this year--Michigan, LSU or USC, based on their bowl game. BCS would actually be free of controversy if they instituted that. My money's on it happening by next year.

TJ said...

Michigan does absolutely nothing to hurt themselves in the rankings and drop behind USC first and then Florida.

Ack, what a horrible argument! We're to judge 100% of Michigan's season against the first 85% of Florida's season and then stick to that judgment once Florida finishes up the remaining 15%? Really? Rethink that one.

Christian Thoma said...

I don't really need to rethink the statement. Michigan finished their season a couple of weeks ago and were ranked #2. Since then Florida hasn't done anything impressive enough to justify vaulting over them and USC hadn't at the time either. But now because Florida plays last they are rewarded with a higher ranking. Makes no sense.

Of course it makes sense. USC and Florida each have beaten a top team since Michigan last played. Michigan isn't getting dropped, USC and Florida are getting rewarded.

It also doesn't help Michigan that USC beat Notre Dame; even if the human polls didn't penalize Michigan for that, the computers definitely would.

Christian Thoma said...

Ok, ten minutes to go.

The following seems to be the consensus (Automatic in Bold):

Sugar: LSU vs Notre Dame
Orange: Wake Forest vs Louisville
Rose: USC vs Michigan
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs Boise State
Championship: Ohio State vs Florida

Any chance that it won't fall this way (outside of Michigan grabbing the rematch)?

TJ said...

Lou Holtz hit the nail on the head a few minutes ago. The reason why Florida made the jump in the AP Coaches Polls is probably that the voters in those polls have spent the several weeks with the attitude, "I guess I have to keep Florida #4-ish for now... but there's no way they win out so I don't have to take them seriously for #2." And now that we managed to do it, they have to reconsider from teh point of view of "Oh, ok, I guess they accomplished quite a bit."

Christian Thoma said...

No surprises yet:
Orange: Wake Forest vs Louisville
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs Boise State

Going waaaaay too slow. But we should know after the next bowl how the rest is going to fill out.

Christian Thoma said...

Wow, or they could skip Rose and Sugar and go straight to the National Championship game. Guess they knew that the other bowls would show who would go anyway, might as well announce it first.

Kurt said...


Christian Thoma said...

I'm betting that Fox was required to announce the National Championship Game before 8:15 when the NFL Sunday Night game kicked off. Just a thought...

I think it was because showing either the Sugar (showing LSU versus Notre Dame) or Rose (showing USC versus Michigan) would've allowed ESPN to start discussing the National Championship since it would be known at that point.

Christian Thoma said...

Here are my predictions for the BCS bowls (plus the also-ran bowl).

Actually Believe:
OSU 31, UF 10
LSU 37, ND 17
UM 27, USC 21
Louisville 30, WFU 17
Oklahoma 21, Boise State 9
Wisconsin 14, Arkansas 10

Want to happen:
OSU 47, UF 21
LSU 84, ND 0
UM 3, USC 2
WFU 14, Louisville 10
Boise State 30, Oklahoma 20
Wisconsin 14, Arkansas 10

Christian Thoma said...

So what exactly did Notre Dame do to deserve a BCS bowl?

Didn't you hear? They're coached by a genius whose signature game is a loss.

It's quite possible I'll be hoping for LSU to drop 100 on ND by the time January rolls around.

Anonymous said...

Did you hear the fear in Meyer's voice? I think that he just realized that he has to lose by less than three points.

Anonymous said...


The unwritten rule is that no coach from another conference will vote two Big Ten teams into the National Championship game, if he has any control over it.


Anonymous said...

One point no one has made yet: Notre Dame would not even make a BCS game if they were in a conference because they'd have to be #1 or #2 in that conference to get in. So, not only do they make less money for being in a conference, they don't get that paycheck at all. Somebody has to put a gun to their head and FORCE them to join a conference.

Christian Thoma said...

So with the BCS ranking between Florida and Michigan only thousandths of point difference, would Tressel's non-vote have made a difference?

It was a hundredth of a point difference, and the answer (after doing the math) is No.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I was wondering the same thing. Truth is, he probably would have tied Florida and Michigan at #2, he just didn't realize he could. So it's probably inconsequential.