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[Editor: Promoted to the front page and edited to add a page break]
One of the reasons that the BCS system is so screwy and unsatisfying to so many people is the lack of interconference play. Typically, during the regular season an average FBS team will play 8 conference games, 1 game against an FCS opponent and 3 more out-of-conference (OOC) games in the regular season. Of these 3 games, maybe 1 will be against a team from an auto-qualifier (AQ) conference and 2 more against nAQs. PAC10 teams play an extra conference game (
though that will change with the additions of Utah and Colorado edit: incorrect per comments!) and the Big East only plays 7 vs conference opponents. Plus or minus a game here and there, the 8x Conf./1x FCS/2x nAQ-OOC/1x AQ-OOC will hold for an AQ program. Auburn is a perfect example of this playing 8 conference games, one FCS team, two games vs. Sun Belt teams and one game against an ACC opponent.
Considering that there are 66 AQ teams (conferences + Notre Dame) of the total120 FBS programs, there are a scarce few games to actually compare the conferences with. That being said, it's still very interesting to actually dive into the numbers anyway to see what they tell us. For the following metrics, I left off FCS games because unless you're Va.Tech, no decent FBS team ever actually loses to them.
Well, I called 8 bowl games, how well did I do? In the eight games that mattered, I went 6-2 straight up. I also called Oregon going for two early, though I was a bit off when I followed that up with "and often." I certainly pegged the under.
Which bowl games did I get wrong? Which ones did I get closest to, and where did I err most? That is in the full thread.
Or you can tell me which bowl result surprised you the most.
I will be out watching the game, and might not be on til late.
Behave yourselves, and don't ruin this for others for next time :)
(If the SEC must cheer for SEC, then same for us PAC 10 types ... even the recent grafted ones)
Based on my criteria for which bowls matter, those that are at a level that rivals what playoff level football would be in most designs, only eight bowl qualified. The final could be argued to be the only bowl that matters.
The formal title of this bowl game is the BCS National Championship Game. I don't see how a game could be a national title game if allegedly eligible teams can go undefeated and still not qualify. Since TCU is undefeated and not invited, I have stripped the word National from the title.
To be clear: the winner of this game will be the best team in the nation on paper. I am just arguing that the national title should instead be determined on the field.
Maybe if one had a flock of Ducks the battle with a tiger would be close. If the battle was in the deep ocean. That imagery aside, the game between the Oregon Ducks and Auburn Tigers sets itself up as an iconic game in the East Coast - West Coast debate that has been around since the sport began, before the SEC emerged as a power in the 1920's.
This rivalry can be credited as a motivating force in the formation of the Rose Bowl that has grown into the unique system that college football has today. The question is, which side holds the upper hand now?
I have always been in favor of a playoff. You look at the mid-major schools that have had success within the BCS in recent years, (TCU, Boise State, Utah), and it seems like every year one of those schools goes through the regular season flawless and yet they get no opportunity to win it all. But at the same time, their schedules make it a mystery of how good they really are until the post season. I, like many people, favor a playoff. But before I get into that, I'd like to talk about another change that I feel would be good to make.
One of the reasons why there is so much drama has to do with the fact with we have BCS conferences and mid-major/Non AQ conferences. Now, I think most of us would agree that we can pretty much settle this with a playoff. But I think a little bit of change in the conferences would make the playoffs better. This idea would hopefully minimize the drama. Here is what I have in mind.
Recreate every conference. But when you do this, do it entirely based on the location of the schools. Ignore the size of the schools. In other words, mix the BCS schools and the mid-major schools together. That way, hopefully the drama will be minimized. It wouldn't really hurt the BCS school's ability to recruit and it would probably help the mid-major school's ability to recruit. Plus, it would be nice to silence the annoying "the SEC should have their own league of football" people.
Now to my playoff idea. First of all, put all the independent schools in one of the 11 conferences. Now, at the end of the regular season, take each conference champion and put them in the playoffs. Then take 5 wild card teams and put them in the playoffs. Wild card teams will be chosen by win-loss record. (See why I decided to mix the BCS schools with the mid-major schools). You will now have a 16 team single elimination playoff. This would take four weeks and now ANYBODY can make the national championship. In the BCS system, the BCS schools had the advantage. In the previous bowl system, the mid-majors had the bowl advantage. In this system, nobody would have an advantage.
If Middle Tennessee State beats Miami(OH) the Sun Belt will win at 3-0.
Otherwise the MWC will win at 4-1.
Based on my criteria for which bowls matter, those that are at a level that rivals what playoff level football would be in most designs, only eight bowl qualified. The next in line is the Grand Daddy of them all.
There have been years in recent memory when the Rose Bowl would have been further down in this list, but it always would have been on this list. This year it takes its rightful place, second only to the BCS Championship Game.
And this is with a break in the Big 10 vs. PAC 10 traditions afforded by the recent BCS rules adjustments. Let us be perfectly clear ... if the Rose Bowl selection rules were not modified, Stanford would be in the Rose Bowl instead of the TCU Horned Frogs. At least TCU has some history from the SWC days. In fact, since 1946, when not the BCS Championshpi Game, the Rose Bowl has still only featured PAC 10, Big 10 and former SWC teams.
TCU is far less vocal than Boise State about the need for a playoff. Perhaps because TCU actually has some tradition. Regardless, those of us infavor of change are more than willing to plead their case for them. Whether they want us to or not.
TCU is focused on winning so that next time they will be higher on the radar. Only one problem ... the Wisconsin Badgers are a very good team. How do these teams look, inside the numbers?
Based on my criteria for which bowls matter, those that are at a level that rivals what playoff level football would be in most designs, only eight bowl qualified. The next in line is the Sugar Bowl. This happens to be the only bowl I have ever been to, in 2009.
When the Big 10 bigwigs ran their mouth earlier this month about how teams like Boise State and TCU don't deserve a spot at the table, I was tempted to post a knee jerk what has the Big 10 done lately post. I quickly realized the potential for that to blow up in my face, with big wins this year.
This bowl begins two put up or shut up games for the Big 10. If the Big 10 loses their BCS bowls they will not here the end of it until next season. Otherwise Boise State will head to the back of the league, once again.
Enough about the BCS, playoffs and all that. There is an actual game to be played. How do these two teams pair up?
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