Sunday, November 19, 2006

A BCS Mess (Part one of a three part series)

Now that the long-awaited Michigan-Ohio State tilt is over, it is time to start sorting out the mess that is the BCS. Ohio State has locked up its place in the title game, but who will earn the right to be the National Runner-Up? Will USC reprise its role from last year, or will it be one of the SEC teams, Arkansas or Florida? Could we see a rematch in the title game, and see Big Blue get a second shot at the Crimson and Gray? Or will hell freeze over (making James a happy man in the process) with the Fighting Irish in the 'ship?

At this point, it's tough to say. I think odds are the Torjans will move into the driver's seat, but a lot of this is going to depend on what the voters say about Michigan's loss. Voters can either reward Michigan for playing Ohio State very closely IN Ohio State, I may add, by not dropping them that far or they can reward the Trojans for their win against Cal, thereby penalizing the Wolverines. As of last week's polls, Michigan held a 200 vote lead over the Trojans in the Harris Poll and about a 150 vote lead in the Coaches' poll (the Trojans are third in the Harris and fourth, behind Florida, in the Coaches'). I think USC will move up to third in the Coaches' poll, at the least. Living out on the West Coast, I have a good feel for how big of a win this was, having seen both teams all year long, and I think USC will be justly rewarded for their win. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the coaches won't penalize Michigan as much as the Harris pollers will. I have no evidence for that, but it's just a hunch. That difference could potentially keep Michigan in a viable spot for the title, but that's purely speculation.

We also have to factor in the computers into this mess. It's hard enough when you're just dealing with people, but things are going to change drastically in the computer rankings. Prior to this week, the comps have had a raging, mega-boner for the Wolverines. They had all first place votes from the computers, while the Rutgers Scarlet Knights(!!!) were the team favored the second most by the computers. With Michigan's loss and Rutgers' loss who abosrb all those votes?

As you can see it's all up in the air, and until the polls are released we aren't going to know anything else. When that day comes, expect a full-blown article about it, but until then, here are some of the scenario's each school is going to have to hope for to get into the 'ship.
(in order of likeliness that we will see them in the 'ship)

Ohio State Buckeyes - Need their plane to take off on time and land at the right airport.

USC Trojans - Win out. A win against Notre Dame should be enough to secure a place in the championship, regardless of how the SEC plays out.

Florida Gators - Win out and hope that USC loses against UCLA or Notre Dame. If worst comes to worst, blow out Arkansas in the title game and pray that USC has two last second victories, which probably still wouldn't be enough.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Win out and put a voodoo spell on the SEC, so that Florida loses to Florida St. but beats Arkansas in the SEC title game. OR absolutely destroy USC and hope that Arkansas winning in an unimprseeive fashion is enough to get into the game.

Arkansas Razorbacks - Steal the luck from the Irish, and then have my boys, UCLA, take care of USC (afterall, a Trojan is only good once) and then pound Florida into oblivion.

Rutgers - Fuh-get-about-it

Michigan - TBD determined once we find out how the plays out.

Boise State - Move to a BCS conference.

Texas - Get a time machine and make sure you don't lose a week ago.

Coming soon...Part 2: Does Michigan deserve a spot in the title game? (A biased and unbiased view)
and
Part 3: Now that the polls are out, what should we expect?

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