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.