Sunday, November 13, 2005

College Football Rankings: November 13th

I've decided there isn't enough College Football content on this site, so for the remaining few weeks of the season I will be posting my ballot for the Top 25. This will also allow me to campaign for a spot alongside the illustrious Congressman Steve Largent, and others, in the Harris Poll next season. I despise the Bowl Championship Series, so hopefully this will be my first step towards taking it down from the inside. Anyhow, here it is.

1. USC
2. Texas
3. Miami-FL
4. Penn State
5. LSU
6. Virginia Tech
7. Notre Dame
8. Alabama
9. The Ohio State University
10. UCLA
11. Auburn
12. Oregon
13. West Virginia
14. Fresno State
15. Georgia
16. South Carolina
17. TCU
18. Texas Tech
19. Florida
20. Michigan
21. Louisville
22. Florida State
23. South Florida
24. Boston College
25. Virginia

A few comments:
• I can't decide who's looked better between USC and Texas. I've seen them both a few times, and think that while SC would be my pick in a head-to-head matchup, I would not be surprised to see Texas win. That being said, the Trojans are also the champs.

• Everyone's planning for a USC-Texas championship game, and it will take a major upset to prevent that. Fresno State shouldn't be a huge obstacle for the Trojans, and UCLA has no defense, so they should get through the rest of the season with ease. As for Texas, they have a rivalry game against A&M, then the Big 12 title game against either Colorado or Iowa State. Neither should pose a huge risk. Even if one or both of these teams lose, they still have nearly a one point cushion in the BCS rankings, effectively eliminating the possibility that a Miami or LSU could sneak into the game. My point, the only drama left in the regular season is whether or not Notre Dame can squeeze into the BCS. At least for me.

• For a number of weeks, I've been a big supporter of Reggie Bush for the Heisman. I saw the way he outclassed everyone on the field in the Notre Dame game, and almost every week he comes up with a spectacular play or two. Now, I'm starting to cool on him, and would be leaning more and more towards Matt Leinart. He's been steady, but not spectacular, but has made all the big plays to keep SC undefeated all year. Are the Trojans undefeated without Bush? No way. They definitely lose the Notre Dame game without his heroics, but they're a possibly 2-3 loss team without Leinart. So I guess one way to look at it is to say Bush is the best player, and Leinart is the MVP, and decide which is the best fit for the Heisman. I'm also bitter because I was going to lay money on Reggie Bush at, but his odds were down to a ridiculous 1-2, the lowest odds I've ever seen for anything.

• With regards to the previous paragraph, I seem to be the extent of Matt Leinart buzz at this point; I'd be shocked if he finished higher than 3rd in the balloting unless something changes. My prediction this week: Reggie Bush to win, even though Vince Young will get more 1st place votes. It will be that close.

• One final note about Leinart. I just finished the first season of a Madden franchise, and uploaded my draft class from NCAA Football. Leinart went to KC with the 27th pick (2 slots before I was drafting), and after a number of other Quarterbacks were drafted, such as Kellen Clements, Reggie McNeal, and Darnell Hackney. So much for realism in the video game world. Of course, I led the 49ers to an 11-5 record on All-Pro level (with the vision cone turned on), even with Alex Smith posting a 45 QB rating, so I shouldn't complain. I'm just hoping I can draft Brady Quinn next year.

• Next to Notre Dame, the team I'm rooting for most to win a BCS game: whoever wins the Big East, which is likely to be West Virginia. I'd hate to see the Big East relegated to a 2nd tier conference (with the likes of the Mountain West and C-USA), and they really need a BCS win to do it, since they haven't proven themselves in inter-conference play. Of course, there's about as good a chance of West Virginia winning a game on January 1st as there is of me not being hung over that same day, so I'm not holding my breath.

• Finally, as I was wondering while watching the Notre Dame-Navy game, why don't more teams run the wishbone/option anymore? I can understand the move to more pro style offenses, and the desire to attract star athletes, but let's be serious here - it's not like the Kansases and Indianas and Syracuses of the world are succeeding in doing that. The pro-style offenses that succeed are at the big name programs. So given that fact, why not throw out an offense that attracts a different kind of player than the big schools, is difficult for teams to prepare for since it's a different scheme than they're used to seeing, and is downright enjoyable to watch too. Surely it can't just be me and Chuck Klosterman who still appreciate the option?


At 11:53 AM, Blogger The Armchair Quarterback said...

You'd hate to see the Big East relegated to second tier status like the Mountain West and C-USA? Sorry but I'd have to disagree with you. The Big East is already there. They have been since last year. Even Boston College being in the conference last year didn't make them top tier. They've been second class and an embarrasment to the BCS for two seasons now and if the legal red tape wasn't there the automatic BCS berth would have been stripped already. This isn't to say they don't have some good teams. West Virgina, Louisville and even South Florida are good teams that could probably hang with many BCS teams. But just like the Mountain West (which I'm a fan of due to my geographical status) the Big East is a decent conference that will have 1 or 2 teams in the top 25 every year and occasionally have an outstanding team (like Utah last year, BYU in 96 & 01). It's a hard reality but it is what it is.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Alex said...

It's not just the legal red tape, but the fact that the Big East Commissioner was the head of the BCS that helped that conference hold onto its spot.

Effectively, the Big East is on the same playing field (talentwise) with the 2nd Tier conferences, you're right about that - the point I was trying to make was more that they need a win or two to prove they still belong and protect their spot in the BCS. Really, all they need is one team to make the leap to perennial national title contender/top 10 team - after all, FSU carried the ACC for a decade when they were the only team in the league who fit that description. I had hoped that Louisville could do that, but it doesn't look like it will happen soon, if ever. Which is too bad, because I hate to see the top teams become more and more concentrated in a few big conferences.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger The Armchair Quarterback said...

I was also hoping Louisville would go on a run this year and really muck things up. With the team they have, they had a real shot at an undefeated regular season. I agree it would be nice to have the wealth (top teams) spread out among different conferences. Just to clarify, I'm not a fan of the BCS system, I think it does a better job than the old poll system of crowning a national champion, but it has obvious flaws (Auburn & Utah being left out last year)and it favors teams from the BCS conferences (as well as perpetuates their advantage by pouring millions more into their conferences)even when it's obvious that non-BCS conference teams are the better fit and more deserving for certain bowls. Louisville doesn't have to worry about this very much now that they have gotten into a BCS conference (probably a big reason why they switched). But again, I'm in agreement with you that West VA and Louisville could really bring some respect to the Big East by closing the season out well and making a statement in the bowls against teams in other power conferences. Sorry to ramble on. I tend to do that.

At 2:16 PM, Blogger Alex said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Alex said...

I dislike the BCS, and actually prefer the old poll system. With the polls, at least you knew it was subjective, and could interpret the results accordingly. By and large, I've found the allegedly objective BCS to pick the wrong teams, and actually undermine the college football system at least as often, if not more so than the polls did. Three recent examples, just from the championship game:

- In 2000, FSU and Miami finish the regular season with 1 loss each, and are ranked #2 and #3 respectively in the BCS. Now this normally wouldn't be a huge deal, except that Miami owned the head-to-head win over FSU. If two teams are equal in the standings, it's my belief that head-to-head record should always be the number one tiebreaker, not strength of schedule, or how many points you were able to score against Florida A&M in the first week of the season. Note that the pollsters did the same thing in 1993 (putting FSU ahead of Notre Dame), so the BCS didn't improve the system at all.

- In 2001, Nebraska appeared in the title game despite not even appearing in the Big 12 Title Game. In 2003, Oklahoma lost the Big 12 Title game, badly, and still appeared in the BCS Championship Game. Both these teams had one loss, and still beat out the Pac-10 champ, who was also a 1-loss team (Oregon and USC, who won the Rose Bowl and the AP Title in 2003). The problem here is that it undermines the value, or even the reason of having Conference Championships if you don't even need to win yours, or play in the title game, to play for the title. It's as equally ludicrous as if (for example) the Colts were to be upset in the AFC Title game this year, say by New England, but went on to play in the Super Bowl anyway because the Super Bowl finalists were determined by things like strength of schedule and margin of victory.

As I said, I find the BCS to yield just as, if not more questionable results than the old system, meaning it's not a happy medium at all between the polls and a true playoff system. I'd rather see one of those, though I know a playoff is far away, if it will ever happen.

As a final note, here's how I'd design a College Football playoff:

- We find a ranking system that most people are happy with, so we can rank all the teams from 1-21 in the tournament.

- 21 Teams Make It In, 11 Conference Winners and 10 At-Large Teams

- The 11 Conference Winners get byes through the first round, while the 10 at-larges play qualifying games to move on to the next round (1st would play 10th, 2nd plays 9th etc)

- The remaining teams are ranked 1-16 and paired off in the tournament, with one caveat: conference champions will occupy the 1-8 seeds, giving them home field for the first round. This is good because it ensures a couple of either the C-USA, WAC, Mountain West champs get home games, increasing their profits, and increasing the odds of an upset, perhaps. Plus, with at-large teams having to go through a qualifying round, then go on the road, it makes winning the conference championship that much more important.

- From either the Quarterfinals or Semi-finals on, the games are played in a neutral site. I'm flexible on this point, except that the sites would have to be the home to traditional bowl games (Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl etc.)

I know there's about a billion to one chance this will ever happen, since it would add about 4-5 games to the team's schedule (and a team could theoretically play as many as 18 games), but hey, it's fun to think about.


Post a Comment

<< Home