Tuesday, December 8, 2009

28 comments Gene Wojciechowski Asks Questions and I Provide Answers

The college football season is over and the BCS has provided plenty of fodder to those people who absolutely hate it with the bowl matchups. There are 5 undefeated teams this year, which sadly I proclaimed would most likely not happen when I was mocking an NBC Sports article earlier this summer (of course I can't find the link...I can't find anything in the archives, how could any reader?), but at the time I was more making fun of the fact the author said teams like Georgia Tech and Notre Dame would go undefeated this year. Now that worldwide chaos has struck and the BCS did not definitively put the two best teams in the country in the BCS Title Game, Gene W. has some questions he needs to ask and I will feel free to answer them and mock him.

I am not really for a playoff, as I have said repeatedly, but I also don't really like the BCS all that much. There is much more that goes into a playoff then just blindly saying it is the best way to determine a National Champion (even though this may be true). The playoff can't have too large of a bracket or else teams would potentially miss out on revenue that could be brought from games that could have been played at home in a non-playoff format. There is a limit on how many games a team can play. For example, this year an 8 game playoff or a 6 game playoff with 2 teams getting a bye would be the only way to determine the National Champion.

If Texas loses in the first round (and don't get a bye) then the team has mostly likely missed out on two games they could have played at home and received revenue from fans paying to see the game. All teams would have to leave "x" amount of games open each year in case they made the end-of-the year playoff. This would cause teams to potentially leave money on the table in the effort to have a playoff and athletic directors and conference heads care more about money than getting the national champion right. So basically until little stuff like this is rectified there won't be a playoff.

Now that you are confused about what I am saying, let's get to the article. The "question" Gene asks himself is in bold italics.

Now that it's official -- No. 1 Alabama versus No. 2 Texas in the BCS title game -- I've got questions.

Are the two best teams playing for the BCS championship?

This is a stupid question. We have no clear idea if these are the two best teams. It's up to everyone to give their opinion. Even in the NCAA Basketball Tournament every year we don't know if the two best teams in the country are playing for the National Championship. Was Michigan State really the 2nd best team in college basketball last year? I don't think so, but they made the title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Think about it: If the SEC and Big 12 championship games were de facto national semifinal games, then Bama overwhelmed the then-No. 1 team in the BCS standings, while Texas needed a medium-sized miracle to squeeze past then-No. 22 Nebraska 13-12 on the last play of regulation.

Out of all the ways to determine whether the two best teams are in the BCS Title game, this is probably the worst way. Nebraska was in no way one of the top 15 teams in the country, so there is no way this was a de facto national semifinal game. If Texas had played TCU, Cincinnati, or Boise State I could see how this may be true. Nebraska lost to Iowa State for God's sake. It's not even close to be right in saying they played in a de facto national semifinal game.

Let's take a quick look using rudimentary methods to determine which of these five teams were the best team in the country just by seeing who these teams have played. (The impressive wins doesn't mean wins against a team that simply made a bowl, but against teams that are good and did well in their conference and it's all based on my opinion. I told you, it's rudimentary, so feel free to argue/discuss.)

-Alabama

Impressive wins: Florida (neutral site), Virginia Tech (neutral site), LSU (home),

Not impressive wins: Tennessee (road), Auburn (road)

Why they should be in the BCS Title game: They won tough games at neutral sites and won a tough schedule in-conference against Ol' Miss, LSU, South Carolina. Not to mention they beat the #1 team all year in the SEC Championship Game.

Why they should not be in the BCS Title game: I can't think of a reason honestly. They deserve to be there.

-Texas

Impressive wins: Nebraska (neutral), Oklahoma State (road), Oklahoma (neutral)

Not impressive wins: None

Why they should be in the BCS Title game: They went through a difficult conference schedule, but while they didn't (arguably) have a tough conference schedule they were never seriously tested until the Big 12 Championship Game.

Why they should not be in the BCS Title game: The non-conference schedule is completely unimpressive and Nebraska was not exactly a powerhouse team (they have an offense that would struggle against some high school defenses) and the Longhorns barely beat them.

-TCU

Impressive wins: BYU (road), Utah (home)

Not impressive wins: Air Force (road)

Why they should be in the BCS Title game: They went perfect and weren't really tested that much this year. They handily beat BYU and Utah as well. They won out on the schedule they played in their conference, which they had no control over.

Why they should not be in the BCS Title game: They barely beat Air Force and Clemson, both teams are going to bowl games, but the #2 team in the nation shouldn't struggle on the road like they did against those two teams. Clemson hadn't even started playing too well when they almost beat TCU (I know it was early in the season but midseason Clemson may have beaten TCU that day).

-Cincinnati

Impressive wins: Oregon State (road), Pittsburgh (road), West Virginia (home)

Not impressive wins: Illinois (home)

Why they should be in the BCS Title Game: They beat two teams that had a shot at winning their major conference title and are going to a BCS Bowl game in Oregon State and Pittsburgh. They have done everything they can do to deserve to be in the game. They played a tough out-of-conference schedule.

Why they should not be in the BCS Title Game: They gave up 45 points to UConn, 36 points to Illinois. It just doesn't make me feel like Cincy's defense is good enough to be considered for the BCS Title game. Overall, that's nitpicking and Cincinnati has a claim to be in the BCS Title Game. Points should be deducted since their head coach doesn't even know if he is going to coach his team or not in the bowl game. Can you imagine if a coach in the BCS Title game quits before the game to go to another team before the National Championship? And that other team isn't even playing in a bowl game? Which makes me wonder why Brian Kelly would leave Cincinnati anyway...

-Boise State

Impressive wins: Oregon (home)

Not impressive wins: Tulsa (road), Louisiana Tech (road)

Why they should be in the BCS Title game: This is the second straight year they have gone undefeated. What else can they do? They are the only team "on the bubble" that beat a BCS bound team (Oregon).

Why they should not be in the BCS Title game: I hate to be a wet blanket but they played one game all year against a tough team, Oregon, and after that the toughest teams they played were Fresno State and Nevada. I hate to blame their conference but...I sort of have to.

Based on what little information I have seen here, I would immediately exclude Boise State from being in the BCS Title Game simply because it is impressive they are the only team to beat a BCS bound team, I can't ignore the fact they didn't play anyone else all year that was a great team. Other than that, it's tough to choose between TCU, Cincinnati and Texas.

So after all this, I have no idea if he BCS got it right this year. My gut says the BCS did get it right, though I would argue TCU is pretty close to making the BCS Title Game in my mind. The only two close victories they had were against Air Force and Clemson. Both of those teams are bowl-bound this year and both games were on the road. Cincinnati also beat West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Oregon State. Cincinnati is the only team in a major conference that went perfect and isn't playing in the BCS Title Game.

But by Brown's own admission, Texas has yet to put together a complete game this season. Bama has.

Of course while I use rudimentary analysis using how each team played against their various opponents this year, Gene W. starts talking about which teams put together a "complete game." Somehow my arbitrary and very simple way of determining who should play in the BCS Title Game looks smart compared to a hyperbolic phrase that means nothing. I would be lying if I said I knew exactly what that phrase meant exactly.

I'm confused. So you're saying Texas doesn't belong in the Citi BCS National Championship Game?

What I'm saying is that Texas, against a Nebraska offense so feeble it should get its own handicapped parking space, didn't play like a team that finished the season ranked No. 2 in the BCS standings.

Texas didn't play well against a quality opponent in a neutral site game. I don't know if we should hold this against them anymore than we should hold Cincinnati barely beating a quality opponent (Pittsburgh) this weekend on the road against them or holding the fact TCU should have lost to a quality opponent (Clemson) on the road earlier this year.

What I'm saying is that Texas has done nothing in its past two games (gave up 39 points to Texas A&M, scored just 13 points against Nebraska) to close the perception gap between the Longhorns and the Tide.

Which doesn't matter at all because they are playing each other in a month. I don't think it is a question that Alabama deserves to be in the BCS Title Game, I think most people have a question about Texas.

So why so tough on Texas and so puckered up for the Crimson Tide?

But Bama's closest game happened Oct. 24 and its best game happened Dec. 5. Texas' closest game happened Dec. 5 and its best game happened Sept. 26 against UTEP or Oct. 24 against Missouri.

I am constantly amazed at the stupid metrics Gene is using to measure whether Texas or Alabama is the better team. First, he was talking about which team had played "a complete game" and now he is talking about what date each team's "best" and "closest" game happened upon. If Gene is trying to say (which he is) Texas played it's best football months ago and Alabama is just now playing their best football, I don't think this argument holds water. It doesn't hold water because the next game these two teams play is a month away. The argument Gene is furthering is very much like the argument over the past couple years that USC should make the BCS Title Game because they were "hotter" than any other team near the end of the season. I don't like this argument.

What Gene fails to realize is that the BCS Title game is not for an entire month from now, so things like "momentum" and when each team played well during the season goes out the window. December 5th is as far away come January when the BCS Title Game is played as October 24th is. Basically neither date matters at that point because both teams will not have played for over a month. The college football season goes from September to January, which is 5 months long.

One of those months has zero football played for the two teams appearing in the National Championship, so really over 20% of the college football year goes by without any football being played by either Texas or Alabama. It's not a new season but it is pretty close to being a new season when kick-off for this game actually comes. In the NFL, if a team gets a bye in the 1st round of playoffs sportswriters worry that team will have rust and they think that about paid professionals who take a week or two off from playing competitive football. Yet in college football Gene still believes if a team hasn't played in a month the fact that team was playing well when they last played actually means something.

The point is, the Longhorns are leaving oil marks on the driveway late in the season -- never a reassuring sign.

Which doesn't matter because the game isn't played for another entire month.

Did I mention I hope Bevo drools in your dinner salad?

Speaking of Bevo, am I the only one that sort of wants him to go a little stir crazy and storm the field during a game? I want no one to be hurt of course, but it would be interesting to see a real Longhorn out on the field.

But I can make a compelling case that the other Texas team -- TCU -- is playing better than the Longhorns these days. The Horned Frogs have scored 41 or more points and given up 12 or fewer points in seven of their wins. In their final four games of the season, they scored 55, 55, 41 and 51 points.

They scored that many points against in the last four games against San Diego State, Utah, New Mexico State and Wyoming. Not exactly a murderer's row. The Frogs scored 41 or more points and given up less than 12 points against SDSU, NMSU, Wyoming, Colorado State, and UNLV. I may have misread the sentence but it seems like Gene was saying there were 7 games where TCU scored 41 points AND gave up less than 12 points, which isn't true. It's impressive to see this data but it feels pretty cherry picked to me. I think TCU has a great case but I am not sure using how they blew out clearly inferior teams will convince me they deserve to be in the BCS Title Game.

And for what it's worth, TCU is ranked higher than Texas in total offense (TCU 4, Texas 20), total defense (TCU 1, Texas 3) and scoring defense (TCU 6, Texas 8). Texas is ranked higher in scoring offense (Texas 3, TCU 4).

I don't have strength of schedule handy but I would imagine quite possibly the result of these rankings is playing in a slightly less difficult conference. Of course Texas did play a lot of "cupcake" teams, so it sort of evens out.

How about we look at a common foe for TCU and Texas:

Wyoming:

TCU beat Wyoming 45-10
Texas beat Wyoming 41-10

That's the only common foe, so this doesn't tell us too much. Overall, it seems like Gene believes TCU deserves to be in the BCS Title Game.

Yeah, but TCU wouldn't be 12-0 if it played in the Big 12.

Maybe not. Unlike at Texas, TCU's two-deep isn't stocked like a trout pond.

Or maybe he doesn't think TCU deserves to play in the BCS Title Game. This is a spasm of thoughts Gene is having here. One minute Gene seems to be all about TCU playing in the title game and the next minute he believes TCU could not do as well as Texas did in the Big 12. See what the BCS does to people?

But I'm talking about one game, not 12. I guarantee you that nobody wants to play the Horned Frogs these days.

Well, you are an idiot then. Because determining which team deserves to be in the BCS Title Game should not be based on one game but an entire body of work that a team has put up during the season. It doesn't matter which team it is "no one wants to play right now" it's whether that team has shown through the season they are the 1st/2nd best team in the nation. It's the body of work the team has put up, not what can happen in one game.

If the deciding factor was which team no one wanted to play, USC would claim they deserve to play in the National Championship every year.

Who will be the best player on the Rose Bowl field Jan. 7?

McCoy and Bama running back Mark Ingram are Heisman finalists, but I'm not sure they're even the best players on their own teams.

I have to give it to Gene, if there was ever a sentence that summed up the Heisman Trophy race this year, I think this sentence does it. The Heisman is supposed to go to the best college football player in the country, but it's not even clear in some people's mind if some of the candidates are the best player on their own team.

Isn't it time you admitted the BCS got it right this year?

I am not overwhelmingly for/against the BCS but I have to admit that this year the BCS is a little messed up. The brainiacs at the BCS matched up Boise State and TCU in an effort to make sure the question of whether those teams could beat a major conference champion was never settled. Then another undefeated team, Cincinnati won't even get to sniff out whether they could compete with the other undefeated teams. Would it have been too hard to pit Cincinnati v. TCU and Boise State v. Florida? It even makes sense with their BCS rankings.

We would know for sure whether Boise State and TCU are for real because they each play major conference opponents and Cincinnati gets to compete against another undefeated team, which is nice since they are ranked #3 in the BCS. Isn't that the question we all want answered, if these teams are for real or not? It's like the BCS gave those TCU and Boise State their very own "Little Engine That Could" Bowl which conveniently won't get in the way or cloud the "real" bowl games. No matter who wins that game, this bowl won't be able to tell us how either of these teams would do against a major conference undefeated team. The BCS has intentionally prevented there from being a legitimate National Championship debate by matchup up Cincinnati against a one-loss Florida team. If Cincy loses then obviously they weren't good enough to play in the BCS Title Game, but if they win then it was expected because Florida has one loss.

Get it right? There are five undefeated teams: Bama, Texas, TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State. But for all intents and purposes Boise -- unbeatable at home and one of the best road teams in the country during the past 10 years -- never had a chance at the BCS National Championship Game.

What do I blame this partly on? My nemesis, preseason polls. I think preseason polls set expectations for the year based on how good a team is perceived to be and I don't think preseason polls should be even tallied until 4 weeks into the season. I am crazy like that. It's not a coincidence to me that the three teams who were at the top of the preseason polls (Alabama, Florida, Texas), would have stayed there all year if it weren't for the fact two of those teams had to play each other. Boise State, Cincinnati, and TCU didn't seem to have much of a shot to be ranked in the Top 3 all year unless one of the aforementioned teams lost. If one of those teams lost, they would fall in the AP Polls anyway because they have a loss. So going head-to-head just based on merits of being undefeated Boise State, TCU, and Cincinnati had no chance to move up in the polls.

Even if it is not the preseason poll's fault, I am blaming it for this problem.

The BCS isn't a system. It's a beauty pageant rigged from the start. It rewards the popular, established kids, not the gleeks such as Boise, Cincy and TCU.

So this is Gene's rampage against the BCS, calling it a beauty pageant that favors teams with a solid college football history and following over actual production on the field. Is everyone ready for a little hypocrisy? You better be...

Bama-Texas for the title has a certain ring to it, doesn't it?

Even if we're not sure Texas is the second-best team in the country, you have to admit Bama-Texas sounds like a national championship kind of matchup.

There we go. Even though the BCS is a beauty pageant that favors the sexy big name teams over the lesser known newcomer teams, it's a system that works because sportswriters like Gene Wojciechowski find the matchup to "sound" like a national championship kind of matchup. So while it is a shitty beauty pageant that doesn't solve problems and favors the status quo over real production, it's a beauty pageant that sounds sexy on paper...and that's all that really matters to many people.

The pedigrees of the two programs are amazing. Plus, their fans are psycho in their support (but mostly in a good way).

If anyone is wondering why the BCS works and why the matchup sounds sexy, it is because sportswriters like Gene focus on the pedigree of a program and how much the fans of each team support the program. It's good to see he is not using football-related reasons for why this will be a good matchup.

Herein lies the very problem. Sportswriters love to bitch about how the little guy gets screwed, but when it comes down to it these same sportswriters love a good sexy matchup between two teams that are firmly established over two teams that are not firmly established and don't have as a great of a history. It's the same reason baseball sportswriters like a World Series with two teams that have heavily steeped history, regardless of how good those teams are, over a World Series with two teams that may be the two best teams in baseball.

Sportswriters love to be hypocrites about things like this. They want to cheer for the little guy to do well but overall the sexier matchup is what gets them more excited.

What's the one matchup we should watch five plays in a row?

And after Nebraska's defensive line terrorized Texas' O-line, keep a close eye on how Cody & Co. attack the Longhorns.

No offense to the Alabama defensive line, but they shouldn't be able to terrorize the Texas offensive line the same way Nebraska was able to. Ndamukong Suh is not walking through that door and neither is Jared Crick. Cody is a run stuffer but not quite the pass rusher the Huskers' defensive tackles are.

I was stunned by the ineptness of Texas' offense against Nebraska.

Clearly this was the first game of Nebraska's that Gene had watched. Nebraska sucks on offense but they have a great defense (or defensive line). How bad Texas looked surprised me but I wasn't stunned by it. Suh is unblockable.

My pick? Not positive, but I'm leaning hard toward the Land of Houndstooth.

My pick? Alabama for right now too. Though what a lot of people are missing is that Nebraska's offensive offense covered up the fact Texas is a great defensive team. I don't think Alabama will get the pressure on McCoy that Nebraska was able to, so an "upset" and Texas winning wouldn't shock me.

What is the lesson we learned from all of this? The BCS is fallible and we are stuck with it until there is a better idea that makes sense financially. I think a playoff creates certain questions that can be solved if it every conference head was dedicated to it, which isn't going to happen anytime soon.

What does everyone think? Are you happy with the BCS matchups? Who do you think deserves to be in the National Championship Game? More importantly, why would Brian Kelly announce he was interviewing for another job before a BCS Bowl game?

Remember to sign up for the College Bowl Pick 'Em if you want. The ID is: 3711 and the password is: jamarcus.

28 comments:

The Casey said...

One point and a nitpick. First the nitpick. If they held the first poll four weeks into the season, it wouldn't really be a preseason poll.

Also, what I read was that the bowl matchups were mostly determined by money (I know we're all surprised). The bowl organizers weren't sure how well Cincinnati, BSU, and TCU would travel to bowl games, especially compared to the bigger, more traditional schools, so they put them in bowls closer to home. Although if I lived in Idaho, I'd make sure I traveled to wherever the hell the bowl was. Anyway, take that for what it's worth.

rich said...

Bengoodfella,

I enjoy this site a lot, and while I typically agree with you, your analysis of the first question is kind of weak.

For Texas you put Nebraska and OU as "impressive" wins. This despite saying that Nebraska has an offense that would struggle against a good HS team and the fact that OU was 3-2 when UT played them (Bradford also re-injured his shoulder at the beginning of the game). UT looked absolutely terrible in both of those games, so I don't see how they're "impressive" other than the on paper glamour of having beaten OU (when they shouldn't have been ranked) and Nebraska (who also probably shouldn't be ranked).

I'd be willing to concede the point, but for TCU you say: "... the #2 team in the nation shouldn't struggle on the road like they did against those two teams." UT and TCU both played the same number of teams ranked in the final poll (2) that ended up with similar rankings (one in the mid-teens, one in the 20s), TCU blew both out, UT blew out OSU, but were exposed by Nebraska a bit. I'm not a TCU fan (nor do I care about them), but it's kind of lazy to say "the number 2 team shouldn't have those kinds of games" when no matter who you chose at that slot (UT, TCU, Boise, Cincinnati, or even Florida) has those games.

Even the number 1 team barely beat Auburn (who had just lost by 7 the previous week to UGA) and Tennessee, a pretty mediocre team that was 3-3 and playing pretty meh football when they played 'Bama.

In the end, we end up agreeing: Alabama gets in, but choosing between UT, TCU and Cincinnati is the difficult part. You can make a case for or against any of them, but it's pretty much the same argument.

Also, if they did a playoff, games wouldn't necessarily be cut from the schedule. You could keep the lesser bowls, but play the playoff games in the prime-time slots during the month long break they end up having. That way you're guaranteed the same number of games as under the BCS format, but the possibility of more games (and therefore more money). Then of course you have to worry about how a 14-16 game schedule would wear on the college players.

Bengoodfella said...

Right, I hate preseason polls so I would get rid of them and have no preseason poll at all. I hope I understood your point and answered it. I think they should take the first 4 (it doesn't have to be 4) weeks of the season and get a poll from that.

I read that the organizers did have the money concern as well and I find that sad. It just proves why there isn't a playoff system...and that reason is because it doesn't make as much financial sense and that is all this really boils down to. I still wish the organizers would forget about money and try to get together better games that make sense, but I know my complaints are falling on deaf ears.

I would like to think like you do, that the fans of these teams would travel wherever there was a bowl game, no matter what.

KentAllard said...

Hey, Notre Dame was 505 successful in its goal of being undefeated...

it's funny here in Alabama, last year after the SEC title game, all the sportswriters were writing We got gypped! We deserve a shot! Down with the BCS! This year, it's The system works perfectly, don't change it!

I'll be the contrarian and say that choosing teams for their ability to generate revenue is okay. The bowls have huge budgets to meet, obligations to fill (many charitable) and a half-empty stadium and low TV ratings could be a disaster for them. Yes, Notre Dame/Texas/Nebraska/Ohio State/Michigan/Alabama and so on sometimes end up in a bowl that Northern Illinois or Rice deserves based on on-field results, but that's life. If you want your team to get a better bowl, travel to away games, and hope everyone watches you on the tube (Yes, I meant you, Boston College fans.)>

RuleBook said...

Peter King did his all-decade team today. I'd love to hear your review of it, but I'll start.

From his introduction:
A few points of clarification: I have selected a team. Not all of my players had the most Pro Bowl or All-Pro nods. But I'm going to have a team with a wide receiver who blocks downfield. I'm going to have a team with a good run-playing defensive line.

His offensive line:

OT: Walter Jones, Jonathan Ogden
OG: Steve Hutchinson, Alan Faneca
C: Kevin Mawae

Notice anything odd? In his team that he wanted (not just the best players), he chose 2 LTs and 2 LGs. He also calls Hutchinson the best guard in the last 20 years, apparently forgetting about Larry Allen.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I can accept your criticism of the impressive wins by Texas. I called it rudimentary for a reason and that was because I figured I would get some argument about it and it wasn't very scientific. I put both of those teams as impressive because they both had good defenses and were played at a neutral site. Nebraska has a crappy offense and I think should be ranked, and I put Oklahoma on there because they had a good defense at the time and it was a big game for Texas.

Maybe my criticism of TCU can go for the other teams, I wasn't impressed with either game they played...but it could go for other teams. Your criticism is justified because the same thing can be said for pretty much every team, that they struggled in games maybe they shouldn't have struggled.

I think the maximum games a team can play in a season is 14. So I am just saying a team that is in the playoff would have to stop at 11-12 regular season games to be in the playoff and if a team is knocked out 1st round of the playoffs they would have played less games than they could have if there wasn't a playoff. Maybe I am missing what you are saying...

Bengoodfella said...

Kent, that happens every year doesn't it? This year Alabama and Texas love the system when it didn't work for them last year. It's just based on the results.

I am not 100% ok with choosing teams based on money, but I do understand budgets and all of that the bowls have to meet. They do have to fill stadiums, but I would love to think a team like BSU or TCU would fill the stadium, though I honestly doubt it would actually happen. Man...no one likes Boston College fans.

Notre Dame did get 50% of their undefeated goal. Last week we talked about whether Tate and Clausen were gone and now we have our answer.

Rulebook, that is interesting his team doesn't have a right side of the offensive line. Peter is all about a team that can run block really well isn't he?

Larry Allen or Steve Hutchinson, I bet he is going to get a lot of crap for that. I will have to ruminate on it and maybe I will post it in a day or two. I didn't do the Peter King mailbag last week.

rich said...

Bengoodfella,

I didn't know that teams were limited to 14 games (learn something every day), although that would make sense.

What I was saying was that if they bump that up to 15 games. Teams can have a 12 game regular season (which is roughly what they play now, minus championship games) and then be guaranteed at least one "playoff game." Which would essentially be equivalent to a bowl game. Then instead of having a month layoff like we do now, just play the playoff games during the weekends to cap off the lesser bowls.

So you'd be trading away one regular season game for the possibility of multiple bowl games. For the "big" schools that wouldn't be a terrible thing to gamble on, especially if you just remove an OOC game.

I see where you're coming from with the TCU criticism and I was nitpicking a little because I essentially knew what point you were making, but while TCU shouldn't have struggled with the likes of Clemson and AF, UT shouldn't have struggled against a 3-2 OU team and were literally a second away from losing to Nebraska. Same with Alabama, Cincinnati and Boise. All had close loses that they probably shouldn't have.

Honestly, I think UT - Alabama is a pretty bad matchup. OU has a good defense and Nebraska has Suh to anchor a really good defense. Is it a surprise that the two good defensive teams that played UT gave them their worst two games? Alabama has a good defense, so I think pitting a team that has shown it can't play good defenses in the NCG against a team with a good defense makes for a boring matchup. I hope I'm wrong, but this would have been a great year to throw the non-traditional teams into the mix a little more seriously than they were.

rich said...

Risking a double post (woohoo). As for Peter King's "decade" article, I loved this:

BEST INDIVIDUAL RIVALRY: Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady
Amazing thing is, they actually like, admire and text each other.


I mean I get that NE v. Ind is a big rivalry and everything since they're both really good teams that challenge each other every year for the SB, but seriously? Best rivalry is between two guys who are never on the field at the same time? And you mean they admire each other and talk? Like civilized human beings? Why can't Peyton be more like Ray Lewis and stab Brady? Now that'd make it an awesome rivalry.

and of course

MOST DRAMATIC REGULAR-SEASON GAME: Packers 41, Raiders 7; Dec. 22 2003

Because nothing says dramatic more than a 34 point victory. Oh wait, Brett Favre played in it and he need to win one of PK's awards (in addition to a random shout out in the TO award). Was that an emotional game? Absolutely. Favre playing after his fathers loss was very emotional, especially because Favre was still liked. Was it dramatic? No, not at all.

Anonymous said...

The one thing that kills me is when people make the argument that a single elimination playoff does a "better" job of determining the best team. It does a better job of narrowing it down to a single team, but that's about all. Even if you have an 8-team playoff, where one team has a 60% chance of beating any other given team, they have a 22% chance of winning the championship. Playoffs are random extremely random.

And that's working under the assumption there's a clear, linear "best to worst" ranking that's possible. What if TCU has a higher than even probability of beating Alabama, Bama over BSU, BSU over TCU?

The real issue is, people WANT to see more good teams play each other. But there's no incentive in the entire system to do it, playoff or not.

ivn said...

RuleBook: He also has four defensive linemen and four linebackers, not to mention two free safeties. and I would disagree with Dante Hall over Devin Hester, but then again I'm biased.

wow, look at his "highlights and lowlights". the most dramatic regular season game wasn't the 2007 Pats/Colts game or the 2003 Pats/Colts game, the 2000 Jets/Dolphins MNF game, the 2003 Ravens/Seahawks game, or any other crazy game you can think of. Oh no, it was when Bretty Boy spanked the Raiders after his dad died.

ivn said...

and TO is apparently a bigger villain than Mike Vick.

Martin said...

My only nitpick is that TCU beat Clemson when Clemson was 2-1, their only loss coming against Georgia Tech. They had just finished beating Boston College 25-7, so I'd say they were playing just fine for the TCU game. It wasn't a blow out win, but I'd say at least as impressive as TExas vs Nebraska or Oklahoma.

KentAllard said...

The most dramatic regular season game was that Green Bay - Oakland partial birth abortion? The one where the Raider defensive backs adhered to their rule of "never leave your feet, no matter how high the ball is thrown"?

A few years ago, the Meineke Bowl had a choice between 11-1 Northern Illinois or 7-5 Virginia. They asked the two schools how many tickets they would want if invited. Northern Illinois said "1,500, but not guaranteed, we'll need to return the ones we don't sell." Virginia said "We'll guarantee the first 40,000." You can guess who got invited.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, googled that question of how many games NCAA teams can play and the answer I got mostly was 14 games. I know it is near there for sure, but not 100% sure 14 is the correct number.

Your playoff plan seems pretty solid to me. It will never happen of course.

You are right that every team has games they should have possibly lost or they struggled when they shouldn't have. I was wrong in calling TCU out about that. I personally don't like the Texas-Alabama game. I am not that excited for it honestly. I want to see BSU-TCU and Cincy-Florida. I don't want to take Texas out of the game right now but I think Nick Saban has more of a blueprint for what will work than Texas has a blueprint against Alabama.

I read Peter's awards and was thinking of posting it later this week, but it seems like you guys have done a pretty good job so far. I hate being redundant. That Raiders-Packers game is pretty egregious. Everyone wanted to see Favre do well but there have been other exciting games beside that one. It was completely not dramatic at all.

Anon, I agree with you about tournaments. Like I said in the post was MSU really the 2nd best team in college bball last year? Were the Patriots really worse than the Giants in that Super Bowl? I am not against a playoff, but after a playoff happens everyone will start bitching about the matchups. A playoff isn't the cure-all many people want it to be.

Ivn, Peter King is on record has not liking TO...so therefore he names him a villain. You wouldn't think Peter would only do PR for Favre do you? He also takes out vendettas when he has a chance.

Martin, I screwed up the entire TCU part of this post. I feel like I should re-write it at some point...but I won't of course.

Kent, that's a great story and the moral is that money will always be the king in bowls.

ivn said...

Boise/TCU looks more exciting than the National Championship itself. The Rose Bowl should be nice now that USC isn't in it, and I think it'll be closer than most people think (even though I'm pulling for the Ducks).

I'm also looking forward to the "Never Won An Important Game All Year" Bowl (LSU/Penn State...which team is going to find a way to blow it?) and the "Way Overrated in the Preseason" Bowl (OK State/Ole Miss).

I can't believe I didn't see rich's comment about the Raiders/Packers game. great minds think alike I suppose.

Mantis said...

You aren't alone in wanting to see Bevo storm the field. I've wanted to see Ralph down in Colorado do the same thing for a while now.

ivn said...

and from TMQ:

"Now Branch was out, and the unknown Deon Butler -- who had seven career receptions entering the game -- was in"

the "unknown" Deon Butler? he set the career receptions record at Penn State! anyone who follows college football knows who Deon Butler is.

"Megabucks Washington cornerback Fred Smoot let Meachem run right past him -- Smoot basically covered no one at all on the play. "

anyone watch this game? can they confirm that Washington ran a zone?

"Reader Bob Wiegers of Chattanooga, Tenn., notes that since the Nets took the words "New Jersey" off their uniforms, they are 1-19. A Somewhere in the Swamps Curse!"

I'm willing to bet the Nets are 1-19 because they're fucking terrible. Devin Harris is a good player but if he's your best player you're going to be pretty bad.

"My next book, "Sonic Boom," will be published the week after Christmas. It has nothing to do with sports or space aliens -- it's a nonfiction work about the good and bad of global economic trends. I have my fingers crossed, because the pre-publication notices so far are very good."

yep, this is a guy who deserves a weekly football column. say what you will about Bill Simmons or even Peter King but when they get a book published it's about fucking sports. TMQ is a pretentious dipshit who thinks he's too important to write about sports, and that's why he's the Single Worst Sportswriter in America--So Far.

brent daniels said...

I don't think any match ups they could of given us would of been satisfying this year. Cincinnati fans wanted to play Florida if they were excluded from the championship, since the Big East is treated like a second tier conference. I think no matter who the played it left a bad taste in their fan's mouths. Here were the options
Florida +Get to play one of the BCS glamour teams
-If they lose they prove they don't belong, If they win people will say Florida just didn't care and there season was already over.
TCU +Play the highest ranked opponent and another undefeated team
-Beating them proves nothing because there not a real BCS school, and people just say it proved TCU didn't belong.
Boise St. +Undefeated team
-Not really any advantage to playing them other than they haven't lost.

GT, Iowa, already beaten teams of this quality or close to it and it still didn't matter to voters.

I'm not really a big playoff guy, just because I have never really seen a system I like alot. 16 teams is too many, and 4 feels like not enough. I won't go into my playoff idea right now, since I find my playoff idea needs alot more explanation than I can put on here right now. I just don't like that coaches are involved in the voting when they only pay attention to their teams and who they play. If I was Brian Kelly I would always vote my team 1 and leave Texas, Alabama, Etc. off of my ballot.
Boy I sure rambled on and on here sorry about that. I'll give it a break for now.

rich said...

Bengoodfella,

I'm with you on the UT situation. I mean as much as I hate to say it, they are the "sexy" pick to play against Alabama and I think TCU's opponents record was something like .496 or thereabouts. It's just a shame that instead of pitting each undefeated against a major BCS conference, TCU and Boise are playing. It makes for a great matchup, but at the end of the day, no one will give winner any credit because they didn't beat a big conference team.

ivn,

Indeed we do. Basically any mind that thinks opposite of PK is a great one.

I also enjoyed his picks for the best Super Bowl. Biggest upset of the decade: Giants over the Patriots. Best Super Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Arizona.

Now I may be biased as a Giants fan, but from as objective a standpoint as I can get to: The Giants - Pats Super Bowl was a better game than the Steelers-Cards. I just don't see how the biggest upset that ended on the winning team's last drive, which included arguably the best play in SB history, derailing a perfect season, is a worse game than the SB that was won on the winning team's final drive, which included a very nice, but not historically awesome, catch, where there was no real intriguing story line.

Like I said, I'm probably just a biased fan, but I just don't see how it makes any sense. I'd give PK the benefit of the doubt and say he didn't want to give two awards to the same game, but he gave two awards to Baltimore (team effort and individual effort) for the SB against the Giants.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, I feel like you have access to my TMQ post and just copied and pasted parts in the comments. I noticed most of those things as well. TMQ is the only thing he does that is sports related. That's crazy.

I am pulling for the Ducks as well in the Rose Bowl, just because I like them for some reason...nothing against OSU. I think LSU will beat PSU. If you give Les Miles enough time he will figure out a way to score and stop Daryl Clark.

My fiance was fascinated by Bevo. I guess she had never seen him during a Texas game before. I want to watch him just go on the field and watch the players scatter. Of course I don't want anyone to get hurt.

Brent, the BCS is a no-win proposition overall. No matchup would really have pleased too many people, but I just would have liked to not have TCU-BSU play each other. First off, they did that already last year and second, I really wanted to see one of those teams matchup with Cincy or Florida.

The coaches poll is a problem. Les Miles put Florida #3 ahead of TCU and BSU. That's fine except for the fact we all know that if Florida gets in a major bowl, that is more recognition and $$$ for the SEC. So Miles has a conflict of interest because it doesn't matter to him who plays in the BCS games, so he just does what is best for the conference and what makes his team (with LSU losing to Florida) look better. I am with you on the playoff problem. 4 is too few but 16 is too many.

Rich, I am not a big conspiracy theorist but they put BSU-TCU where they couldn't even compare themselves to Cincy, Texas, or Alabama. Isn't it possible both TCU/BSU could have beaten Cincy and Florida? If it happened then there would be chaos because two teams in major conferences got beaten by "lesser" teams and there would be more undefeated teams in the country. The BCS wants to limit the amount of "lesser" teams that finish the season undefeated so they put TCU/BSU together. Remember those conferences are starting to want an automatic bid and the "major" conferences don't want that to happen.

I personally enjoy the Panthers-Pats fourth quarter (can there be a category for best quarter in a Super Bowl?), but I am also biased. I think Giants-Pats was the best Super Bowl. So much was on the line and it ended so dramatically. Maybe because Arizona-Pittsburgh was so up and down he considered it better?

Martin F. said...

I think the Sugar, Fiesta and Rose should all be good games. Looking forward to each of them. The Orange and Championship games? Yah, not so much. I think Alabama is jsut going to manhandle Texas, and Iowa v G Tech? Man, that's jsut brutal.

Bengoodfella said...

I hate to say it but I am not really that excited about Georgia Tech v. Iowa. I may change my mind but it doesn't seem that way right now. I don't know why, but I am not pumped for Texas v. Alabama right now.

I would say I am pumped up for a lot of the other bowl games though. I love bowl games so I easily get excited about them.

Not sure I got all that Eddie.

KentAllard said...

Good point, eddiekarb, I think you're on to something. I don't get your connection of mutant ferrets to the BCS, but the rest is sound.

brent daniels said...

Eddie it all makes sense to me except for the 919sex and the 85cc. But would you really want Yale in the national title game this year?

Bengoodfella said...

I have no idea what Eddie has there and I checked out his blog, but I would probably not go to any of those links he has put in there...perhaps I should delete it...

I have deleted it. I apologize to Eddie if that was a language I didn't understand for deleting his comment/malware.

Anonymous said...

Why all the hate for Iowa and GT? It should be a decent game if both teams show up. I went to GT so I'm something of a homer, but I do enjoy watching this team even if they don't get much credit. I also think that there is a mild chance that we'd run away with it. Illinois option game is not GT's, and we run fine on teams with huge defensive linemen like the ones Clemson had. So to me, it's probable that the only way Iowa wins is if Nesbitt is injured.

But hot damn, if we had last year's DL we'd be in the hunt for the NC ourselves!

One comment on Clemson. They really aren't a bad team. They have a very bad quarterback--good thrower, abominable decisionmaking. He was responsible for both the losses at USC and GT. Replace Parker with Skinner or Stanzi and Clemson would be very, very difficult to beat.

--shah8

p.s. This is just a down year for college football in general.

Bengoodfella said...

I have no hate for GT. In fact, I like watching Paul Johnson's offense and have since he coached at Georgia Southern. Iowa, on the other hand...I just don't know if they can compete with GT. Iowa gives up 120+ yards per game on the ground and GT (as you well know) is awesome running the ball. Maybe I am being overly pessimistic about Iowa chances but I just think GT has a chance to blow them out and it won't be a good game. I am not down on the game, I just don't like the matchup.

I don't want to count Iowa out but I think the triple option is going to be hard for Iowa to stop...but I could be wrong.

Clemson did have a semi-tough year with their QB. He's a freshman though, so I wouldn't expect much else. I know they aren't a bad team but sometimes they give the impression they are Spiller and no one else...

I was a little disappointed in college football this year, but I hope the bowl games can change that.