October 21, 2002

BCS Standings are out.: And Oklahoma is out in front by a comfortable margin, while Notre Dame is third (!) with the nation's toughest schedule. According to the computers anyway. Does anyone here think that Oklahoma or ND would even stand a chance against Miami? As usual, I'm having a hard time with this stupid system, for a variety of reasons that I'll discuss later, but I wanted to get the topic started...

posted by Bernreuther to football at 07:06 PM - 19 comments

did you see ou against iowa st this weekend? of course they can give miami more than they want to handle. also, the bcs sucks rally monkey nads. we need a playoff. 8 teams if neccessary. 16 would be perfect. and get rid of stupid overtime system. it reeks.

posted by lescour at 11:38 PM on October 21, 2002

(1) unabashed Miami fan (I think they would have walked all over OU two years ago) but the OU defense looks damn good and the Miami O shakier than the past two years. So, yeah, OU would be a tough challenge to Miami this year, I think. And that question completely overlooks VT, who are not as good as OU (IMHO) but who could still pose a very stiff challenge to Miami. I'm damn glad the game is in Miami in December and not Blacksburg.
(2) Notre Dame's ranking is just proof that the decision to remove margin of victory emasculated what little semblance of sense the computer rankings had. I'd be shocked if they stayed within 30 points of either OU or Miami, and everyone except the computers know that. Why? Because the computers are (effectively) forbidden to know that ND has more-or-less lucked into their record, which everyone who has actually watched their games can see. [That said, for reasons of nostalgia, I'd love to see Catholics-Convicts again. So I hope they and Miami win out and OU chokes somewhere along the line :)
(3) a college football playoff would suck. The UM-FSU game and OU-UT games were so much fun to watch because they /were/ playoff games- the loser was out and they knew it. Put in a tournament and the regular season games quickly drop from high drama to 'well, as long as we don't embarass ourselves' for the top teams. Not to mention the controversy in picking the 2nd-8th teams from the 10-15 teams that will finish with only one or two losses- that would be even less fair than the current system.
(4) OT rules. Much better than the NFL's system, where the coin flip is waaay too huge. [I'd love to see actual stats, but I'd guess that the winner of the coin flip wins at least 60% of NFL OT games.]

posted by tieguy at 12:11 AM on October 22, 2002

According to a recent Monday Night Football stat, that figure is more than 80%, tieguy.

posted by ttrendel at 02:58 AM on October 22, 2002

The whole system is bad. OSU(and I'm sure many other teams) is stuck playing regional blowouts for the first half of the season, ruining our strength of schedule and making for some very very very boring football.

posted by elsoltano at 07:07 AM on October 22, 2002

ttrendel: wow. If that's correct, it blows my mind that anyone could possibly advocate ditching the college system. I'm sure the equivalent number would be lower in college because kickers aren't as reliable, but, still, that's incredible.
elsoltano: so the solution is what? regional blowouts aren't the BCS's fault- they're the conferences, and those aren't going away- too much history and too much usefulness for the non-major sports.

posted by tieguy at 07:33 AM on October 22, 2002

I'm damn glad the game is in Miami in December and not Blacksburg. Hokie fan here, but for the reason stated above I think Miami will win December 7 (but hey, that's why they play the games and VT has won there before). I can't dispute the rankings all that much based on the strength of schedule and quality of each team's wins. ND looks a little high to me, but not so much so that I'm going to get upset about it. Only Georgians and Ohioans really have a major beef.

posted by trox at 08:18 AM on October 22, 2002

I think Oklahoma-Miami would be a great game, much like the Miami-Tech matchup in December. But Notre Dame? Nah, either OU or Miami could roll over the Irish. Miami's passing game would overwhelm ND's defense, which relies on its secondary for run support. Notre Dame might succeed in keeping the game close against either opponent, but the final result wouldn't be that close, I'd say. The most interesting rankings to me are Washington State (7) and LSU (9), both of whom seem to be a little high for me.

posted by thescoop at 09:29 AM on October 22, 2002

Can we please get a playoff? Please!!! Why does this make sense and work for everyone save the NCAA? A few years ago, people said it would force teams to play too many games, but now they're playing all those games anyway... only they're at the beginning of the year instead of the end. 4 teams: One set of games when the Championship is played now and one more game (only one more!) the next week. Everything else can stay the same. Done and done.

posted by 86 at 10:03 AM on October 22, 2002

Four teams? Which four? Before the bowls last year, there were four one loss teams, and at least one two-loss team (Colorado) with a legitimate claim to playing better at the end of the season than all four of those teams. So... pick three of those five. And be prepared to justify (1) why that's more fair than picking one of the one-loss teams to play Miami and (2) why that would be more fair than picking 7 out of the 11 one-or-two loss teams for an eight team playoff. Or a 15 of the three-loss teams. You can't really do it, I'm guessing :)
Extra credit if you can justify why a playoff wouldn't make the regular season a truly crushing bore, eliminating the suspense and importance from the few regular season games that are interesting, like UM-FSU, OU-UT, and Air Force-ND. :)

posted by tieguy at 11:13 AM on October 22, 2002

tieguy: the NCAA basketball playoff doesn't seem to have made the regular season games a bore. So I doubt football would be any different. Rivalry games would still be played and conference championships would still mean something. As far as the BCS goes, last year, Miami was #4 in the first poll and look what happened. Of course, they shouldn't have played Nebraska in the Rose Bowl but that's another topic for another day. I am a Notre Dame fan so maybe I don't see the awfulness of their being third but hey, it's just a poll, not the final one and if they win out, they'll deserve to be #3 or higher..

posted by josh at 11:49 AM on October 22, 2002

tieguy: I have no solutions, that's why I offered none. There are far bigger college football fans than me who have thought much more about this.

posted by elsoltano at 12:08 PM on October 22, 2002

College football needs the Fighting Irish to be competitive (like baseball needs the Yankees). I'm glad they're back. I'm happy for the coach who was initially overlooked. Welcome back Notre Dame. (Consistent luck is not luck.)

posted by jacknose at 01:55 PM on October 22, 2002

Same thing every year..."can anyone beat the 'Canes?" or popular variants from years past "Does anybody believe that is really better than than Miami (just because they have a better record)" or how about "Even though Miami's on probation and ineligible, aren't they really the best team?" Pfah! Unless Miami takes an unlikely loss, they'll play for the championship, and then they will get an opportunity to prove how good they are. And yes, Notre Dame's victories count just like anybody else's no matter how 'unworthy' their victories seem. What I want to know is who's got a better defense Miami or the Houston Texans?

posted by pastepotpete at 03:32 PM on October 22, 2002

I don't think anyone sane thought Miami was the best team in the years they were on probation. They had problems even winning the Big East most of those years. [8-4, 9-3, 5-6, and 9-3.]

posted by tieguy at 06:50 PM on October 22, 2002

Oh, and given what Greg Jones just did to UM, the answer is clearly the Texans.

posted by tieguy at 06:51 PM on October 22, 2002

Actually the more I look at it the more I agree so I take back any sentiment that might have made it seem like I place UM on a pedestal. I didn't watch the OU game vs Iowa St but did see the UT game and they didn't impress me as much as Simms depressed me. I still don't think the computers and the S of S things are as accurate as they could be. While I think ND's schedule this far has been tough, in looking back on it the only really solid team was Michigan - MSU has turned out to be a dud and Air Force hasn't really played the world's toughest schedule to get to where they were. I can't think of anything specific offhand but surely someone has played some more top teams than they have (Hell, Florida's already played 2 top 10 teams, 3 in the top 15). I used to really hate ND (till I partied with some grads on St. Patricks day ;) ) but I do agree that as an independent they do play a damn tough schedule - however so far this year it seems weaker than it did 2 years ago when they went to the Fiesta. I don't know. I'd rather see them there than OU, UGA, or OSU (OK, maybe not OSU... I like the Big 10) Scoop - I actually think LSU ought to be right up there... they totally dismantled Florida and looked very good doing so (course UF looked terrible at the same time). But that was the only game I've seen and I've already made bad assumptions based on one game in this thread :)

posted by Bernreuther at 10:14 PM on October 22, 2002

1) The solution to the margin of victory problem is to use the scores at halftime. You get to gauge how dominant a team is without the garbage points scored for the benefit of the computers. I think it's more than fair, though it is probably is more work. 2) Stanford and Michigan State are the only ND opponents who have no chance for 8+ wins at this point, so I don't think it's exactly a cupcake schedule. 3) Much of this reminds me of two years ago when everyone thought OU was going to lose in the BCS title game. 'Canes backers should get over themselves with regards to 2000 -- UM barely escaped with a home win over a FSU team that couldn't move at all against OU. 4) Why do the computers take the beating in all of this? At least they're objective, which you can't say about voters in either poll. I prefer a playoff, but it's much better than a system simply based on the writers/coaches rankings.

posted by jackhererra at 07:36 AM on October 23, 2002

jack: FSU couldn't move the ball against OU, but their best reciever was out for the game and (IIRC) their second best reciever played hurt. OU's biggest weakness that year was their secondary, and WR was Miami's strength that year on offense. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Miami could have moved the ball against OU much better than FSU did.

posted by tieguy at 09:06 AM on October 23, 2002

Tieguy: Agreed, I think that one of the FSU's wideouts was out (I think Snoop was ineligible for the game). At the same time, Weinke threw for 4,000 yards that season (4,167). It's not like the 'Noles had to suddenly go "MartyBall" for that game. It's not unreasonable to think Miami could have moved the ball against the Sooners that year, it's just unreasonable to think that it's a foregone conclusion that the 'Canes were somehow robbed.

posted by jackhererra at 10:13 AM on October 23, 2002

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