Can Oregon destroy the BCS?
Bitching about the BCS has become a rite of fall, right up there with pumpkin carving, apple picking & Oktoberfest. While there are so many things that are unfair, stupid and just plain wrong about the BCS, for this bitch session, I want to focus on Boise State and Iowa. Now, Boise State and/or Iowa might very well lose a game or two this season. I don't necessarily think that either is the best team in the country. But that's not the point. The point is that these teams, along with countless others, are being cheated out of a chance to prove themselves because they either weren't supposed to be that good or because of how good sportswriters think they are.
From the beginning of the season, the pundits have told us that the five best teams in the country are Florida, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma and USC. Coincidentally, four of those teams still occupy the top four spots in the polls. Aren't you amazed at how right the pundits are? I mean, you'd think that their initial perceptions might be wrong, but nope, except for Oklahoma (and really, it's not their fault - they couldn't have known Sam Bradford would get injured), the season has gone down exactly like the pundits expected. Amazing.
The problem with this fairy tale is that major college football rankings are just self-fulfilling prophecies. If a team is supposed to be good (i.e. USC) then they're forgiven for a loss they weren't supposed to have. If a team isn't supposed to be good, they have to somehow prove to the pundits that they were wrong. Think about that. Teams like Iowa, Boise State, TCU, Cincinnati, etc. don't just have to beat teams on the field, they actually have to somehow make a bunch of self important voters admit that they were wrong. That's at least 3 to 4 times harder than beating Northwestern. Really.
Sometimes, however, reality delightfully gets in the way of college football's predetermined path to glory. Oklahoma is a good example this year and Oregon might be another. Ah, Oregon. BCS haters should root root root for the Ducks to beat beat Washington this weekend and then defeat USC on Halloween. If that happens - it'll scare the BCS more than Sarah Palin scares liberals. You see, the better Oregon does, the harder it gets for the BCS to denigrate Boise State.
The college football powers that be would like you to kindly forget that Boise State defeated Oregon the first week of the season. Part of their strategy to help you forget was to bury Oregon in the rankings. Don't believe me? Look at this spreadsheet. Poor Oregon lost on the road to a ranked team and was completely dropped from the rankings. That's unheard of. Hell, Oklahoma is still in the AP poll. Then, Oregon beat a ranked Utah team and still didn't get ranked. They had to crush the then #6 team in the country to get back into the poll. By comparison, Wisconsin got ranked for, uh, beating Wofford and Michigan State and having really cool fans. Were the voters trying to hold Oregon down so as to make Boise State's best win less impressive? Well, it's certainly in the BCS's best interests to do so, isn't it? It'll be awfully hard to jump a one loss team over Boise State if a team like Oregon is sitting at number 5 or 6 and playing in the Rose Bowl. I'm sure that's exactly what would happen in such a scenario, so I'm rooting for maximum outrage. Go Ducks!
Posted by at October 22, 2009 09:12 AM
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|# October 22nd, 2009 8:12 PM themandownthehall|
|Great analysis Kris. Well done. As a BCS hater, I say GO DUCKS!! |
|# October 23rd, 2009 9:24 AM kris|
|You know, the very fact that I wrote this actually dooms the following teams to a loss:
Wisconsin (Wisconsin just as my own personal punishment for whining and because they kind of stink)
|# October 23rd, 2009 7:02 PM themandownthehall|
|Well, depending on the coach, they may cite this for why they lost! Who knows, I seen coaches blame stranger things than an article!
Another reason I'm cheering Oregon is that dude who was suspended for that punch. Can't recall the name. He deserved a suspension, yes, but a whole season? That seemed a bit reactionary and harsh to me. They have since allowed him to start after a 6 game suspension and that seems about right. Maybe still a bit high, but about right nevertheless. I would have tossed him for 2-3 games. Maybe 4, but 11? That's too much. So, for coming to their senses, I'll give them a cheer against USC!
|# October 29th, 2009 3:09 PM kris|
|What will be interesting to look at is how far Oregon drops if they lose to USC. A good example will be to compare that to Ohio State. Ohio State is still in the top 25 with a loss to USC at home and a loss to an unranked Purdue. How would a two-loss Oregon compare when their two losses would be against teams in top 5? |