adt-trophy.jpgFirst let’s take a moment and acknowledge the awesomeness that was Bizarro College Football Season.

It was awesome.

Okay, now you can revert to your Edvard Munch face.

Yes, the BCS has left us with Cheaty McSweatervest vs. Talky McLoudcoach. God what a dream.

That is if your dreams include getting sucker punched in the nuts. But hey, somebody’s gotta live in Columbus.

Really, the BCS has sucked the lifeforce out of me. I can barely make a dick joke when talking about it. Still, I feel compelled to take a couple of jabs at the cocksure kids in Columbus and Red Stick.

Yes, you won the sweepstakes. Do you deserve it? Not really. Not that anybody else did. Save for Hawaii everyone’s got one big strike against them. Some have two.

Here’s the basic argument pro-tOSU: They won their conference and they had only one loss.

And here’s the ridiculously long rebuttal.

First, they played a weak schedule. And that’s putting it generously. The Buckeye’s non-conference schedule was a pansy tour of Ohio as they played Youngstown State (99), Akron (118), and Kent State (132). Those are the Sagarin ratings in parenthesis by the way.

Their marquee non-conference match-up? That would be 4-9 Washington. The Huskies were actually leading that game at half 7-3 and were poised to up the lead on the first possession of the second half when the Buckeyes blocked a 46 yard field goal attempt. Two plays later tOSU hit a 68 yard TD pass, seized all momentum, killed the crowd and cruised to victory. So while it was a relatively easy win on the score sheet, the Buckeyes got all they wanted from a 4-9 team for two and a half quarters.

brutus.jpgYes, the Buckeyes won the Big Ten.

Yeah? And? So?

The Big Ten is the sixth strongest conference by the Sagarin ratings this season, above the Mountain West and below the ACC.

That’s on paper.

On grass, the conference doesn’t have a single signature non-conference win. Maybe the closest to such a thing the conference can point to is a Wisconsin victory over 5-7 Washington State.

Yes, 10 of the 11 teams in the Big Ten are bowl eligible, but those win totals are inflated by those suspect non-conference schedules. Most teams came out of their non-conference schedules either 3-1 or 4-0 meaning they just needed to pick up a couple of conference wins to make it to bowl eligibility. Even Northwestern, which lost to lowly Duke and at home no less, made it to six wins. That’s how weak the Big Ten was this year.

If you need it spelled out more explicitly, here’s are the Big Ten’s non-conference games (wins in bold)

Northwestern: Northeastern, Nevada, Duke, Eastern Michigan
Minnesota: Bowling Green, Miami (OH), Florida Atlantic, North Dakota State
Purdue: Eastern Illinois, Toledo, Central Michigan, Notre Dame
Michigan State: UAB, Bowling Green, Pitt, Notre Dame
Penn State: Temple, Florida International, Buffalo, Notre Dame
Wisconsin: Washington State, UNLV, Citadel, Northern Illinois
Illinois: Missouri, Western Illinois, Syracuse, Ball State
Michigan: Appalachian State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan
Indiana: Indiana State, Western Michigan, Akron, Ball State
Iowa: Northern Illinois, Syracuse, Iowa State, Western Michigan

That’s more cream puffs than in Charlie Weis’ pantry.

Minnesota at 1-3, and Michigan and Iowa at 2-2 were the only Big Ten schools to not go at least 3-1 non-conference. Michigan suffered the fate of being the first D-1 school to lose to a D-1AA when they got nicked at home by App State. And the entire conference suffered by Notre Dame sucking. But the Irish sucked. That was a 3-9 team that lost back-to-back games to two academies, so beating them wasn’t much of an accomplishment this year.

In fact by the Sagarin ratings the biggest win wasn’t even the Wisco-WSU (62) tilt, but was Michigan State beating Pittsburgh (59). So, it’s actually trading one 5-7 team for another. But just eyeballing it, the average Sagarin rating of all those Big Ten non-conference opponents is easily over 100. Easily.

That is your 2007 Big Ten. And that is what tOSU were the champions of, kind of like Anthony Michael Hall in Sixteen Candles. Hey, somebody’s gotta be king of the dipshits.

If you’re a Buckeye homer and you are going to discount the cake schedule and you are going to say that 1 loss necessarily means you are better or more deserving that any 2-loss team (not true), then you should argue that Hawaii belongs in the national championship game.

Follow? You can’t bag on them for the easy schedule; and if 1 is better than 2, then 0 is better than 1.

Finally, you lost your last home game. This should be called the Precious Roy Bitterness Criteria and should auto-disqualify you. Basically the PRBC says you cannot lose your last home game and win a national championship.

Why? Well, it’s a long explanation but basically in 1993 ND finished #2 in the nation behind Florida State. But the two teams had played in the regular season and the #2 Irish had beaten the #1 ‘Noles. How can you possibly rank 1-loss ND behind 1-loss FSU when they played head to head and the Irish won? Basically any pundit with a pen had written, “Well, you can’t lose your last home game and be #1.” There’s a little more to this, but not much. It was crap. But I’m petty and spiteful and can’t let go.

So with their short memories and arbitrary criteria, voters are definitely hypocrites, possibly douchebags, and certainly dicks. And I’m keeping the PRBC as gospel.

So Ohio State, yeah, not as obviously ‘deserving’ as it might seem.

over_rated.jpgAs for LSU, here’s their argument. They won the SEC and, well, that’s about it. They’ve also got a used car salescoach that people seem smitten by. Why I have no idea.

I’m not sure how you beat a 3-loss team by 7 after only scoring one offensive touchdown in the process then suddenly jump from 7 to 2 in one of the polls but this is America where strange voting is becoming a way of life.

Fortunate to beat Alabama. Fortunate to beat Auburn. If the Gators had stopped the Tigers on any one of three or four fourth down conversions that’s a loss. So Les Miles might trot out this “We were undefeated in regulation” mumbo and/or jumbo, but they were also three plays away from being a 5-loss team.

Yeah, yeah. “If, if, if… ” They didn’t lose those games, they won them. And they won their conference. But I would argue that LSU got worse as the season went along.

In its first five games the Tigers average margin of victory was 33.4 points. In its last five? 15.2.

“Well, the beginning of the season is when you play all of those crappy non-conference teams.” Not true in LSU’s case. They opened with a conference game against Mississippi State. And that five game stretch also included run-ins with ranked opponents Virginia Tech and South Carolina.

The stretch of the last five games would be deflated by stronger conference games then, right? Not really, the end of season stretch included non-conference Louisiana Tech and SEC West conference doormat Mississippi.

So yeah, like tOSU, LSU did when their conference and unlike tOSU they won probably the best conference in football, but they were fortunate to play a weak Tennessee team instead of Georgia in the championship game and they looked anything but impressive in doing so.

But if you think LSU is playing the best football of any of the two-loss teams at season’s end: 1) Remember they also lost their last home game, and lost it to a team whose best quarterback was actually a running back. So they should also be auto-DQ’ed by the PRBC. 2) Consider…

USC: Won its last four, all against teams at .500 or better and by a combined score of 116-51.

Georgia: Won its last six, including three to ranked opponents (and the destruction of the defending national champion, Florida) and their rival Georgia Tech.

OU: 7-1 in its last eight and its only loss was a road game when their QB got concussed and had to sit out. They beat their two biggest rivals by a combined 77-41 and handed the #1 team in the nation a three TD defeat in its last game.

LSU finished out by, again, losing its last home game then beating a team that was lucky to beat Vandy. And for all the talk of the mighty SEC, that other team in the championship game, Tennessee, they got handled easily by a 6-6 middling Pac 10 team in Cal.

So yeah USC lost to Stanford and yeah Georgia didn’t win its conference (which by the way is an arbitrary criterion and doesn’t exist as part of the BCS formula for determining the top two teams) and some other team had a bad loss to a weaker team, and some team has a fat coach whose mom is mean, etc.

This post isn’t really about those teams. This is about tOSU and LSU and how if you think they are clearly the two most deserving teams, you are wrong.

Really, just plain ol’ wrong.

Sorry to break it to you, but it’s probably not the first time.

Sorry to break that to you, too. But not as much.

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