What We Learned From Week 14 In College Football

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The ultimate lesson this week is that the BCS is always going to screw some team, but we weren't aware that it would really do it before a conference championship game. Here are your BCS rankings per the WWL, and officially, Texas just got hooked, as the Sooners will be going up against Mizzou in Kansas City next week for the Big 12 title.

1. Alabama
2. Oklahoma
3. Texas
4. Florida
5. USC
6. Utah
7. Texas Tech
8. Penn State
9. Boise State
10. Ohio State

Oklahoma's 61-41 victory over Oklahoma State last night was enough to do it for the human voters, whom decided that the recent running of 60+ points in games plus a tougher non-con schedule was enough to outweigh the fact that the Sooners lost to Texas at a neutral site. (Expect Sam Bradford to, accordingly, be the leader in the clubhouse for the worthless trophy in the stiff-arm pose.) Texas' destruction of Texas A&M on Friday wasn't enough to keep them ahead. Question is, whether you agree with the choice here. I don't like the BCS standings being a tie-breaker with the three-way, but such as it is, the post Matt Hinton wrote anticipating exactly this result over at Dr. Saturday seems to jibe with the way it went down.

Now, the rest of the notable things:

  • Would you like to place bets on whether Charlie Weis is done at Notre Dame? Losing 38-3 at the Coliseum to a defensively stout USC team is still an embarrassment, particularly when the most fight the Irish showed was, well, the fight before the game started. It took until the third quarter, I believe, for the Irish to get a first down in the game.
  • The BCS would like to thank Oregon State for remembering that they are Oregon State, and thus, collapsing when they least could afford it in the Civil War, losing 65-38. The Beavers allowed both Oregon running backs to stomp all over them and ceded the Pac-10 to USC, who should thrash an offensively deficient UCLA squad next Saturday. (Of course, we've written this before, and then UCLA won 13-9.)
  • Compared to the Big 12 South, the SEC's picture is clear: Alabama blanked Auburn 36-0 in a display of nasty, brutish, defensive football that Nick Saban made his name on; Florida owned FSU by 30 in a rainy mess at Tallahassee. It's going to be very simple next Saturday with the winner of the SEC championship going to the BCS title game.
  • Paul Johnson just sealed his ACC Coach of the Year award and probably should get a national nod, too. Georgia Tech took it to Georgia in Athens by ripping off 410 yards on the ground and taking advantage of Matthew Stafford's two picks. The funny or bizarre thing is that what looks like the best team in the ACC won't play in its championship game, because Virginia Tech beat them earlier this year, and its anemic offense was helped by its defense in beating Virginia -- which means we get another VT-Boston College ACC championship this year.
  • Things you never really expected to happen in college football: an interim coach at Clemson, Dabo Swinney, curb stomps the Ol' Ball Coach 31-14, as South Carolina's Chris Smelley lived up to his last name with four picks.
  • With the scuttlebutt on the interwebs leaning everything towards Lane Kiffin being the next coach at Tennessee, the now-former coach Phil Fulmer, departed with an 18-point win over Kentucky -- despite a 7-3 halftime score that would have sent anyone who enjoys offense screaming from the TV set.
  • Baylor almost made this BCS/Big 12 South confusion moot -- too bad they choked on a lead over Texas Tech in Lubbock. Tech comes back despite losing Michael Crabtree, winning 35-28.
  • Todd Reesing is ten feet tall in the hearts of KU fans. Some manic scoring sequences in the last six and a half minutes in this year's edition of the Border War with Mizzou, and Reesing threw a touchdown pass to Kerry Meier with 27 seconds left to give KU a 40-37 win after the Tigers' kicker left a tying FG try short.

Posted by Signal to Noise at 4:45 PM


Are there only BCS conferences? How come the, "What We learned in College Football" never talks about the non-BCS schools? There are 2 teams in the top 10 and yet every week we only learn about those conferences that have automatic bids. It would be interesting to see what you think about both Utah and Boise State and if there is a chance that both get in.

sam said...
Nov 30, 2008, 5:40:00 PM  

OK, Sam. As someone who wishes as much chaos upon the BCS as possible so we can get to a playoff (my preferred format is of the 16-team variety), I want both Utah and Boise State in, because frankly, both programs have earned the benefit of the BCS' doubt.

Both programs have run the table in the regular season twice this decade -- Utah's conference is just tougher, and they'll get the nod for sure. The top of the Mountain West (Utah, TCU, BYU) is as good as advertised.

Boise SHOULD go to the BCS. Whether there is an at-large bid waiting for them is another matter. Oregon State's loss has, for now, saved us from having to give an at-large bid to a Pac-10 team. Chris Petersen is the truth as far as coaching goes, and I would give Boise the second at-large over Ohio State. Their problem is that everyone else in the WAC is rather uneven. Hawaii's been gutted, Fresno State has stumbled, and so forth.

I'll address this in more detail after next week's conference championships, because we'll have a better idea of who might go where then.

Signal to Noise said...
Nov 30, 2008, 6:07:00 PM  

Ball State!

JFreak said...
Nov 30, 2008, 6:13:00 PM  

Boise State will more than likely go to the Independence Bowl from my understanding because there are no available teams from the Big 12 or the SEC.

The reason is that the Humanitarian Bowl and the Poinsettia Bowl each pay out $750K and the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana gets to pay the conferences $1.1 million. Keep in mind that the Broncos also travels well, with the exception of the Hawai'i Bowl last year, and their fans are loyal to a fault, and we all know that the Humanitarian Bowl will likely invite Nevada instead of having the home team.

Their possible opposition, Troy, will likely be released from their New Orleans Bowl commitment to play them, provided that the Sun belt finds another team to play in that game with seven wins or better.

JamesCraven said...
Nov 30, 2008, 6:14:00 PM  

Thank for that response. I appreciate your input. As a Utah grad, I obviously agree that Utah deserves to be in. And I also cannot see how the BCS can justify not putting Boise State in a BCS bowl. How can a 2 loss Ohio State, that is behind Boise in the BCS standings, even get consideration? Why not put Boise in the Fiesta and Utah in the Sugar? I am not sure either team would win, but they both have earned it.
Also, why not just put the top 10 teams in BCS bowls? Why does any conference get an automatic bid? Who cares if three Big 12 schools get BCS bowls? They earned it also. This whole thing is a mess and it is definitely time for a playoff.

sam said...
Nov 30, 2008, 6:37:00 PM  

JFreak - I appreciate what Ball State's done this year, but they need a stronger OOC schedule, sadly. If there were a playoff the Cardinals would be a team you probably don't want to line up with in the first round.

Sam - there are conference tie-ins that even I don't understand fully that would make a Boise BCS bid near-impossible, although I have read rumors of late that BCS officials are considering a Boise-Utah Fiesta Bowl match-up. (I kind of think that defeats the purpose; we really want to see how the mid-majors line up against the big boys, not have them play each other.)

There won't be a playoff so long as ESPN has the BCS rights to all the bowls. So I think that makes it 2015 at the earliest, and even then, the earliest adjustment would be a plus-one.

James - thanks for the heads-up on that possibility. Before next week, I'm going to refresh my memory on BCS bowl associations and such so I can make some sense of this.

Signal to Noise said...
Nov 30, 2008, 6:44:00 PM  

A Fiesta Bowl that put Utah against Boise is a horrible idea. You have that completely right...we all want to see how the mid-majors line up against the bigger conference's. Plus, there is no way the networks or the Fiesta would really want that. The ratings and attendance would be horrible. Although not as bad as the Orange Bowl will be.

sam said...
Nov 30, 2008, 7:03:00 PM  

I say the Big 12 needs a playoff. They should not just take 2 teams and play for the "title". But is it fair to have 3 teams from the south and only 1 from the north?

Pip said...
Nov 30, 2008, 7:07:00 PM  

I want to see both Boise State and Utah in the BCS but not against each other. As someone who loves watching huge upsets unfold, I would like to see a team in the Fiesta and a team in the Sugar.

JFein said...
Nov 30, 2008, 7:31:00 PM  

Pip, the Big 12 North has been a welcome mat for the better part of a decade. There may need to be some realignment there -- like, say, kicking Iowa State to the curb, moving Oklahoma to the North, and luring TCU in.

Signal to Noise said...
Nov 30, 2008, 7:54:00 PM  

Kicking Iowa St to the curb. In the Big East that was known as the "temple Solution."

jg said...
Nov 30, 2008, 8:16:00 PM  

Kick Iowa State to the curb, and they'll join the Big Ten.

JamesCraven said...
Nov 30, 2008, 8:19:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JFein said...
Nov 30, 2008, 9:24:00 PM  

The human voters didn't decide that Oklahoma should be in the Big 12 title game, the computers did. Texas was ahead in the Harris poll and one vote behind in the coaches.

rs27 said...
Dec 1, 2008, 1:12:00 AM  

Just go with the polls, not the computers.

JamesCraven said...
Dec 1, 2008, 2:42:00 AM  

We need to abolish the BCS "System" once and for all.
I found this clever website which will send a "BS Flag" to the BCS mailbox for you for FREE.
Pretty clever. I just did it. If enough true fans do the same thing, maybe, just maybe,
the BCS Committee will get the message loud and clear!
Try it and pass the word!!

colincom said...
Dec 10, 2008, 5:10:00 PM  

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