Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Biggest Game Was Played on C-SPAN

While you're digesting all of those scores from Saturday night, the most important one might've flown under the radar: 220-215. Those five votes could mean the difference of all the bowl money ever spent in the history of college football ... and then some. Yep, the price tag for that health care bill is in excess of $1 trillion.

(Sure hope you have an offshore account somewhere, preferably with funds not in U.S. dollar.)

OK, staying on point and returning to our frivolous sporting pursuit ...

It didn't turn out to be Upset Saturday exactly, but the BCS picture definitely became a bit more clear, if not quite crystal clear. This much we do know:

* It appears that a BCS championship matchup between Texas and the SEC champion, either Alabama or Florida, is all but inevitable.

* Iowa finally went down with a thud. However, the Hawkeyes can still win the Big Ten and earn a Rose Bowl bid by beating Ohio State next week in Columbus. If the Buckeyes win, they go to Pasadena.

* The winner of the Oregon-Arizona game will own the inside track to the Pac-10's Rose Bowl bid. However, if the Wildcats win that game, USC would be back in the picture with a win over Arizona in the regular-season finale. That race, because of the Ducks' upset loss to Stanford, is suddenly very much in the air.

* Georgia Tech, by pulling out an OT win against Wake Forest, is closing in on the ACC Coastal title and should be the odds-on favorite for the conference's Orange Bowl bid.

* Notre Dame is done, as far as a BCS bowl berth is concerned. And the likelihood of having two Coalition teams in BCS bowls in the same season - for the first time - increases.

And here are the projections for the next BCS Standings:

1. Florida, 2. Alabama, 3. Texas, 4. TCU, 5. Cincinnati, 6. Boise State, 7. Georgia Tech, 8. LSU, 9. Iowa, 10. USC, 11. Ohio State, 12. Oregon, 13. Pittsburgh, 14. Utah, 15. Houston.


Anonymous said...

two quick questions- how does USC leapfrog Oregon- usc lost to washington and Oregon, oregon lost to stanford (going to be ranked?) and Boise(ranked 7th)

Usc should not jump oregon- usc had a worse loss, lost to oregon, and played awfull tonight vs asu. They were lucky asu doesn't have a QB

2nd question- what is the tiebreaker system for pac 10 when 3 teams tied?

mike said...

Oregon lost AT an unranked team and AT a highly ranked team. USC did the same except they also beat Ohio State (and their first lost was without their starting QB and top defensive player). Sam is just projecting what the computers will do (which ignores how good a win is) and what voters usually do (which is typically somewhat computer like, i.e. you lose you go down 5-10 spots, win and stay in line).

Asher said...

Hey Guru,

Wondering why LSU is still up there in your opinion, you think the human voters aren't going to dock them at all for their close loss to 'bama?

Justin said...

Hmm....your projection are way off of what I thought would go down. But I trust you are right, I just don't like it.

Blake said...

Why does TCU jump over Cincy in your poll. Do you think the human voters and the computers will be that impressed with their win over SD State as opposed to Cincy beating a BCS team in UCONN?

Anonymous said...

I left the first comment about USC- still wanting to know if anyone knows the tie breaker for the pac-10 should three teams be tied.

Its funny because could you imagine (and I don't want a playoff system since every week means something) if we were taking the top 8 teams? Think about how crazy the debate would be as to who should be in there.

My point with USC being ranked too high is that they get credit for a perceived level of play. They don't start at zero, they have some inherent value that people give them. If you saw the ASU game, they(usc) played horrible. ASU has no quarterback. If they did they would be battling for the pac 10 crown. USC was lucking to get out of there.

My point of all of this is that head to head should matter. Sorry- but if team a beat team b- and they have the same record etc- team a has to be above team b.

So if Oregon wins the pac 10- USC would be still ranked higher than them?makes no sense? USC at best can only share the title but lose it on a tiebreaker to oregon.

So please stop the whole USC is better and should be ranked higher debate. They aren't winning the conference so how can they be ranked higher than the team that does?

Jonathan said...

I think the Pac-10 looks at head-to-head results among the three tied teams, then (if they're all 1-1) moves on to their performances against the fourth-place team. However, there may be a newer plan in place by now.

Anonymous said...

I think PAC 10 tie breaker is conference record then head to even if Oregon loses one more game and USC wins out Oregon will still go to Rose Bowl, this assumes Arizona falls out of the picture with I think they will.

The only way I see USC getting to Rose Bowl is winning out (which will elimate Arizona) and having Oregon lose twice more in conference which would give Oregon 3 conference loses.

Am I wrong?

Anthony said...

Blake, I think it is fair to assume that Cincy was expected to beat UConn substantially, not by 2 points not after allowing UConn to score 45 points. The computers might be impressed, but that was by all measures an ugly win over an emotionally drained UConn team. Also, many pollsters don't consider the Big East a true powerhouse AQ league. There was even talk at one point of the MWC taking the Big East AQ status.

The Guru said...

The Pac-10 tiebreaker, real quick:

In a multiple team tie, after the head-to-head, it's how you did with the next team on the standings, and so on.

If Arizona beats Oregon and USC beats Arizona, and all three finish 7-2 in the standings, the Trojans win the tiebreaker. The same goes for a three-way tie between USC, UO and OSU.

mike said...

My point is that we aren't talking about the polls. I don't have any problem putting USC behind Oregon but in the BCS it's more about who you have played and beaten (and where you did so). So USC having beaten Ohio State puts them ahead of Oregon who beat Utah.

That said, even in the polls a case can be made for USC being ahead of Oregon. Oregon won at home, and USC didn't have a chance. It's not like the NFL playoffs where you get home field as a reward. Clearly, playing on the road in conference is a huge difference.

LAprGuy said...

Pac-10 tiebreaker:

A lot still has to happen, since Ariz. still plays both Ore. and USC. But if they finish tied for first at 7-2 (Ariz def. Ore., USC def. Ariz.), then common records vs. the 4th place team come into play. If Oregon defeats Ariz., it's all moot anyway.

LAprGuy said...

Meanwhile, the Pac-10 schools play each other in the "12th Game," while Texas schedules Central Florida, Ohio State played New Mexico State, and Florida schedules a bye week, or Troy, whoever. Ridiculous.

buffalowill said...

Mike, why is USC's win @ OSU better than Oregon's over Utah? Because the BS polls tell us it is. Utah finished last year #2 AP/#4 Coaches after crushing Alabama....where did they start 2009... #19/#18. WOW. While Ohio State with 2 losses this year remains ranked well ahead of Utah because they jumped 3/5 spots in the preseason poll. I'm not close to a Utah fan, but using them shows how flawed this system is. SO NOOOOOO....USC's win over OSU is NOT "better enough" than Oregon's over Utah to bump them over the Ducks after getting crushed.

mike said...


Oregon beat Utah at home, USC won at ohio state.

And I'm not saying it's a better win, I'm saying the computers (I think) consider it a better win. Notice that the Guru's POLL ballot has Oregon ahead of USC, while the BCS ballot has USC ahead of Oregon. There really shouldn't be any debate over the BCS standings except about the polls, since it's all about formulas. And it's pretty much irrelevant, the Pac 10 teams will play it out on the field for the championship and will be in the right range for at large bids. And since the Pac 10 isn't full of idiots who use BCS rankings to determine that championship it doesn't matter one bit whether Oregon is ahead or not.

Personally I think if USC and Oregon played a home and home series they would split. Maybe Oregon scores a higher point differential because they score more. I just think for anyone to say that one team is UNDOUBTEDLY better than another because that team won the single game at home is just wrong.

Anonymous said...

around this usc/oregon if oregon wins out and usc wins out, oregon wins the pac 10 title outright and usc would still be ranked ahead of them? makes no sense.

I believe Utah plays TCU this weekend no? That should re-arrange the deck once again.

Mike- you are right I think in your comment about the human polls being the problem. I think, and I could be wrong, that one of the polls has Ohio St ahead of USC, and USC ahead of oregon. What the?

One of the problems with this system is the scheduling issue in my opinion. Currenty, if say a team schedules cupcakes as non-conference opponents and runs the table in conference, they are top 5 or top 3 if they are a bcs school. If a team schedules USC, oregon, LSU etc as a non conference game and loses, they all but kiss their bcs chances goodbye.

Does anyone believe alabama or texas could go into Oregon and win? Or does anyone believe alabama or texas wouldn't have a tough time against Boise St or Ohio St?

just a final random thought- why does everyone say Notre Dame's schedule is so bad. Didn't they play or will play USC, Pitt, Stanford, Mich St, etc? Not sure why everyone ranks on their schedule.

And who did Florida play as out of conference opponents? Citadel? ooohhhhh

LAprGuy said...

Per Sagarin's rankings --

Of the 20 toughest schedules: Pac-10 schools have 9 of them.
1. Wash
2. WSU
6. Oregon
7. USC
9. OSU
15. Stan
16. Ariz
19. Cal

The SEC has 3 tough schedules: 10 Georgia, 17 LSU, 20 Arkansas.

Florida's is 42. Alabama's is 25.

Anonymous said...

USC is about to get exposed. They are about to play 3 straight teams that beat Washington and one team that just beat Oregon. Need i remind you that USC got shellacked by Oregon and couldn't get past Washington?

Also, of course the Pac-10 has the toughest schedules. They are the ONLY BCS conference that only has 3 OOC games. Just imagine if TX or Bama had another Big XII team or SEC team to replace games against Chattanooga or New Mexico State?

mike said...

I could very well see USC losing another game, although I think the home/away issue is a much bigger deal in a conference where teams know each other so well from playing each other every year. So I still expect USC to beat Stanford at the Coliseum. Also, matchups are huge. USC is more equipped to play the power running style of Stanford than the spread of Oregon.

Things are just considered too absolute. No reason a better team can't lose a game especially on the road. You expect the better team to win more often than not but not necessarily every time. So I can't fault someone too much for ranking the loser of a head to head above the winner when other aspects are considered.

Anonymous said...

Thx for posting those strength of schedules LAprguy

I had no idea that Florida was 42nd. I took a look at their schedule and besides LSU, no one. Alabama doesn't play anyone outside conference.

I guess if Florida is going to enjoy pre-season rankings near the top- why would they risk losing? Imagine if Florida went into Oregon, USC, Ohio ST, Utah, Boise etc etc.

I really hadn't thought about Florida's schedule until this forum but its interesting.

I was reading that Boise's AD is offering to play anyone in the country in a non conference game 2011. And..they will do it one and done- in other words, they wouldn't require the team to then play them at Boise the next year. So why no takers?

You would think Mississipi St (just an examle) or some big east team, or a lesser pac 10 team, or big 10 team would take the bait.

The problem is- if you are middle or lower in the conference- you need to play garbage so you can somehow scratch to 6 wins, get into a bowl.

UofA(Arizona) in the pac 10 realized this a couple years ago. They weren't going to challenge for the national championship, so why go on the road against LSU? Why go play at at big 10 power (opps, didn't expect Iowa to be as good)

But the point was, just win the 3 on conference games and then go 3-6 in the conference and you are in a bowl, get an extra week of practice, get extra money, a national TV game etc.

Thats why this happens. Thats why Michigan did something deplorable in playing Delaware(a division 2 school) mid season. joke!

mike said...

I don't think the Pac 10 has any issue with playing Boise State. But of course each team can only schedule a few non conference games so if the Pac 10 can get a Big 10, Big 12, or SEC team they will probably take that over Boise.

I think the Boise challenge is mainly targeted at the SEC and Big 12. The Big 10 and Pac 10 regularly schedule each other so their schedules are probably pretty tight. It doesn't make sense to schedule ONLY tough opponents. Especially for the Pac 10 which already has most of the highest strength of schedule numbers.