Saturday, December 2, 2006

That's Why They Play the Games


Of course, USC just couldn't make life easy for the BCS. With a spot in the national championship game in their grasp, the Trojans threw it away with an astonishing loss to UCLA.

And with Florida's narrow escape over Arkansas, the Guru now believes that the Gators will get enough votes in the Harris and coaches polls to overtake Michigan for the No. 2 spot to face No. 1 Ohio State in the BCS national championship game on Jan. 8, in Glendale, Ariz.

Despite some shameless campaigning, first by Florida coach Urban Meyer, and then taken to another level by the CBS broadcasters during the SEC championship game, the sentiment against an Ohio State-Michigan rematch is just too great for the BCS voters to move the Wolverines to No. 2. Instead, the Gators will leapfrog Michigan.

Prior to Saturday's games, 86 of the 114 Harris voters (75 percent) and 40 of the 63 (63 percent) coaches had Michigan ahead of Florida. It would take a swing 43 Harris voters and 20 coaches to get the Gators ahead of the Wolverines. And with at least three, possibly four, computers ranking Florida ahead of Michigan, that'll do.

Beginning this year, coaches are obligated to reveal their final votes. And with this new transparency, there will be less shenanigans that's plagued this poll in the past. In other words, you probably won't see an SEC coach ranking Michigan sixth or a Big Ten coach ranking Florida eighth, etc.

And make no mistake, the final BCS standings will be all about politics. It's like election night, no one will know what happens until the final ballots are counted. The Harris voters, and especially the coaches, will take all their biases and prejudices to bring about the final result.

Florida's ascension to the BCS title game also means two things: 1) A split national championship is still very much a possibility; and 2) LSU will still get the at-large berth, but going to a different venue. Check out "The Race for No. 2" for more details.

The Guru's projected final BCS standings:

1. Ohio State
2. Florida
3. Michigan
4. LSU
5. Louisville
6. Wisconsin
7. Boise State
8. USC
9. Oklahoma
10. Notre Dame

No comments: