Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday 11/27 (Very) Quickie

Just one thing to say this morning:

Texas is not one of the top 2 teams in the country. They are not one of the top 3 teams in the country. The notion that they should automatically get a pass into the BCS top 2 -- and the national-title game -- almost entirely because their jersey says "Texas" is as much of an indictment of the BCS system (and the AP poll) as anything institutional in the system itself.

With a handful of exceptions, BCS champs play great defense. Not just great, but excellent -- top 10 in the country. And what Texas did last night in allowing Texas A&M to score 39 points makes a mockery of the notion of defense as a BCS qualifying characteristic. (Please stop citing LSU '07 -- isn't that the team that everyone MOCKS for being a 2-loss champ?)

Texas allowed 21 points by half -- Florida hasn't allowed an opponent to score 21 points in a game, all season. Alabama allowed one opponent -- VA Tech in the season opener -- to score more than 21... 24. The Gators and Tide are ranked No. 1 and 2 in the country in scoring defense. Texas is a respectable 10th, but their performance last night was anything but.

The weird thing is that throughout the season, I had felt like Texas' defense was its key strength -- perhaps the best UT defense of recent memory (certainly better than the '05 title team, that had to rely on USC's mediocre defense to win a national title, rather than its own stout D.)

I'm not saying Texas isn't a very good team -- absolutely a Top 5 team. But I don't think any team that displays a defense like Texas did last night deserves to be in the Top 2 in the country. In fact, I don't think Texas is even the best team in its own state this year (that would be TCU).

Ironically: As a Florida (and SEC) fan, I should welcome Texas sashaying into the BCS title game -- it will make Florida's (or Alabama's) title run that much less taxing to play a defense that lets a team like Texas A&M score 39 points. What will Texas do to defend against a real offense -- or defense.

I will make one key caveat: Heading into last year's BCS title game, everyone assumed that Oklahoma's defense was typical Big 12 porous -- and they gave Florida's offense more trouble than any defense in the country last year. So let's leave it here: Big 12 defenses aren't as bad as they seem to be when you watch them... but they are hardly lights-out, either.

When Florida plays Alabama next week, I sure would like to see Texas playing TCU, rather than the Longhorns playing Nebraska. That would be a true national semifinal pairing.

-- D.S.


rc said...

One rivalry game, on the road, on Thanksgiving does not tell the story of a team. Over the course of a season any team could struggle on any given night. Florida has done it multiple times over the course of the season. Their defense has been great but their offense has struggled all year. Texas defense struggled for one Thanksgiving night game. The true story of the morning is how Colt McCoy probably won the Heisman last night. But why would YOU ever talk about something that would negatively impact your boy.

Chad Stanton said...

We'll see

Art Vandelay said...

Hope the same standard is applied to Bama after their performance against a very mediocre Auburn today. At this point in the season a win is a win.