Some people might think Iím upset about the SECís dominance over the BCS title game coming to an end (as is the game itself of course), but Iím really not. Like I said initially, Iím glad itís not Saban or Meyer with another trophy.
I am indeed happy for Jimbo Fisher. He had his fingerprints on the development of a lot of quality programs, especially in the SEC, over the years. Even if Florida St. had lost, itís really a tribute to him that they were in the game in the first place. Even though the ACC wasnít great by any measure, itís remarkable to win 14 games and only really have two in doubt much into the second half.
Iím not really a huge Malzahn fan, but I have gained some respect for him as well. I initially thought he was just a silly high school coach whose goofy plays would be exposed, but Iíve learned that his ideas are rooted in the study of the gameís history. Iíve also learned that heís not just presenting the same plays over and over again. He finds new wrinkles and ways of running the offense that keeps defenses offguard. Whatever one has to say about the differences in competition, Auburn was the team that was luckier to be there, so I donít feel itís a huge injustice that they lost, although Iím not sure there has been a team in the title game that has faced that level of competion in the history of the BCS championship apart from that 2011 LSU team that also lost.
I donít think Florida St. would have made it through the 9 SEC teams Auburn faced without a loss, but I also donít necessarily think they would have lost more than once. Had the íNoles played in the SEC, they may well have ended up BCS champions anyway. I donít think thatís true of any of the other challengers the SEC has faced over the last few years.
Florida St.ís win should serve to remind some hardcore SEC fans that maybe one or two of those semifinal slots should go to non-SEC teams every year.
Iím in no way soft-pedaling the fact that this was a great year for the SEC though, and I donít just mean going 7-3 in bowl games (one of the three was with a backup quarterback).
I have South Carolina 7th partly because I consider the loss to Tennessee pretty bad, but whether itís top five or top seven, having three SEC teams in that group is about as good as you can hope for. I also have Alabama in the top 10, as do both polls. So thatís twice as many top 10 teams as the Big XII and four times as many as the other BCS conferences. I have Texas A&M a bit lower than the polls, but LSU and A&M are also consensus top 25 for a total of six. I also have the Pac-12 with six, but theyíre mostly toward the bottom, and there arenít teams like Vanderbilt (which is ranked in both major polls), Georgia, and Ole Miss with strong arguments in the Pac-12 either. If you look at the top 50 (or simply consider all those receiving votes in either major poll), the SEC has ten teams to the Pac-12ís seven.
The ACC and Big XII only have 5 teams apiece in the top 40, although both polls had Texas Tech #30. Even if you count them, a larger percentage of SEC teams is still in the top 40 than Big XII teams. Also to look at the lower teams, this is how I rank SEC and Big XII teams that fell outside of the top 70:
83. Florida (SEC)
89. TCU (Big XII)
96. Arkansas (SEC)
101. West Virginia (Big XII)
102. Iowa St. (Big XII)
103. Kansas (Big XII)
104. Kentucky (SEC)
So of the group above, 40% of the Big XII is there but only 21.4% of the SEC. I think that makes a big difference on the schedule, especially since every Big XII team whoís not among those four faced them. South Carolina was the only team to play all three SEC teams on the list above, which is another reason I only have them 7th in the overall rankings.
Anyway, Iíll have more to say another time, but these were just my first thoughts upon the completion of bowl season.
You know, some weekends are work, work, work...Luckily Mrs. Beeze does the majority of the laundry!
The weekend started with me in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving dinner...The kids watched the parade, my oldest nursing a serious cold that knocked her for a loop Tuesday afternoon, and kept her in bed for 2 days...
Family came and ate...Not too much family...Which meant lots of leftovers...Everyone left the house with extra food, and we still had plenty to enjoy the rest of the weekend...Plus the turkey stew I made with the dark meat, and the bones, and veggies...It cooked on very low heat for about 17 hours, and then we poured it over some fresh biscuits...Delicious!
Then came Saturday...I made it clear that all I was doing was watching football...First Ohio State at Michigan...It became very clear, early in this game, that neither team was here to play defense...It came right down to the wire...Michigan scores with less then 40 seconds left...42-41 OSU...Michigan coach Brady Hoke decides to try to ruin the Buckeyes' season right here and go for 2...They failed...Seemed like a bad play call, not giving his running QB an option to run it in himself if it's there...Me, I would have played it safe, kicked the 1, and go at it some more in OT...People say OSU would have rolled in OT...Well, the way the game went, Michigan wasn't having trouble moving the ball themselves...Oh well...The Buckeyes undefeated season marches on, looking ahead to Michigan State in the conference championship game...and looking over their shoulder to see if they get jumped by a 1 loss team in the rankings...
Then the "Iron Bowl" came on...Alabama at Auburn...So many of us wanted to see an upset...And with 1 second left, Alabama attempts a 57 yard field goal with a freshman kicker...Their starting kicker (who I won't name because he has already gotten enough hate mail and bad press) missed 3 field goal attempts earlier in the game...The kick was short, and Auburn CB Chris Davis returned it 109 yards for the winning, touchdown...
Fucking Auburn is becoming masters of the exciting big play, big finish...
After the game, Auburn AD†Jay Jacobs†was already pissing off Ohio State, and Ohio State fans by making his case to jump them in the standings saying it would be†"a disservice to college football" if a one-loss SEC champion was left out of the national title game for Ohio State....Fucking balls down there in the South!
I'm not taking a side here, I'm just saying, maybe wait until your school plays Missouri in the SEC title game before you start trying to get into the National Championship game...
Then I watched my Fighting Irish take on Stanford...I didn't expect the Irish to win, but I was glad they hung in there...The fact is, they could have won this game...Like some other games this year, mistakes, and bad QB play got to them...I read a headline that summed up Saturday's game...
"Rees Shows Heart, Not Enough Arm."
I also had myself jumping to the UCLA/USC game...I was actually expecting it to be closer, but UCLA handled the Trojans 35-14...When that one lost it's luster I started checking on the Missouri/Texas A&M game...Missouri won 28-21, putting them into the SEC Championship game against Auburn, and putting that miserable look on Johnny Manziel's face...And I never get tired of that...
It has been a crazy football week...Thursday, I didn't watch the NFL, with the exception of the last 5 minutes of the Steelers/Ravens game...I did watch the Ole Miss/Miss State game...It was an old school backyard brawl, and Miss State pulled 17-10 OT win...From what I heard, it was better then the Lions/Packers game...
Sunday, I watched no football...Had to pick up the slack from doing nothing Saturday...So, we broke out the Christmas decorations and got all that crap started...It's the earliest we've ever done this crap...I don't like going this early, but the kids were excited...Plus the weekends are already getting booked up, plus both the girls birthday's are this month...Our oldest turns 12 Tuesday...Were the hell did the time go!?!
Oh, and I saw the Browns lost to Jacksonville...Jacksonville...that shit is why I quit being a Browns fan!
So, since I'm being Johnny Festive, I figure I end each week's post with a Christmas tune...But I'm gonna try to use some songs that aren't traditional...Here's Dead Sara's "Snow in Los Angeles"
By turkey, of course I mean football and the coming bowl season. The bird isnít anything to get excited about really, but it can make an excellent sandwich to accompany football-watching.
LSU-Arkansas†(Friday on CBS) will be an afterthought among all the interesting games in the next few days, but I originally wrote this blog back in 2006, and itís what touched off my successful (for me, anyway)†Rivalry Series. So if you have any interest at all, please check it out.
Sometimes I wonder if articles are written for Bleacher Report just to annoy me. I used to suspect the same thing of Sporting News. Not me in particular, but they want to get under fansí skin to get more hits. Brian Pedersen is a ďFeatured ColumnistĒ on the site, and based on the way his ďWhich Teams Got Screwed in Week 14 Standings?Ē column is written, he doesnít understand how the BCS rankings work after 15 years. The rankings will cease to exist in a couple of weeks. Have some respect.
ē explain why†Clemson†(10-1) got passed by Missouri in the latest standings, despite both teams winning? Yes, Clemson moved up from seventh to sixth
> So let me get this straight. Getting ďscrewedĒ means not moving up ENOUGH after beating an FCS opponent? Does it not occur to him that Missouri beat a ranked Ole Miss team. Maybe there are times when beating a ranked team should move you ahead of someone even if that other team doesnít lose. Is that so hard to imagine? I know a few other teams beat Ole Miss, but letís review who they were: Alabama, Auburn, and Texas A&M. Ole Miss has beaten LSU, Texas, and Vanderbilt. Even if youíre not convinced Ole Miss is a good win, let me float this idea: Maybe Clemson shouldnít have been ahead of Missouri in the first place. This doesnít convey a highly fundamental misconception of the BCS. Maybe he figured the pollsters would penalize Missouri for what they knew would be a boost in the computers, I donít know. But wait for it.
> He then mentions South Carolina didnít lose ground after a similar game. NEITHER DID CLEMSON! He also mentions LSU climbed after beating an FCS opponent ďand not just because teams above it lostĒ. Staying at 13th isnít climbing. Missouri lost to a team called South Carolina. Guess what Clemson can do if they belong ahead of Missouri?
ē But did the†(Baylor) BearsĎ loss to Oklahoma Stateóarguably the hottest team in college football right now and currently ranked seventhójustify dropping from fourth to ninth?
>> Falling 5 spots after being blown out seems reasonable to me. LSU was in the Alabama game until the fourth quarter, and they fell 8 spots. This is the same guy who tries to argue there is a double standard in favor of the SEC. If anything, if youíre further down to begin with, losing to a top team shouldnít hurt you as much.
>> Another big complaint seems to be that Stanfordówhich beat Arizona St., Washington, UCLA, and Oregonópassed up the Bears. Letís review Baylorís best four wins: OklahomaÖ Texas Tech, Buffalo, Kansas St. Utah went downhill since beating Stanford, but theyíve played all the best teams of both divisions (not to mention BYU and Utah St., both of whom they beat) and some of the losses were very close. Stanford just happened to be their lucky game. South Carolina might pass Baylor if they beat Clemson (which would at worst be their second win over a 2-loss team). I think that MAYBE trumps Oklahoma and Texas Tech perhaps?
ē Michigan State†(10-1) is locked into the Big Ten title game, where it will have a chance to earn an automatic BCS bid if it were to beat Ohio State in Indianapolis in two weeks.
>>> And best of luck to them. Whatís the problem? Oh, they DIDNíT pass up the likes of Clemson and Baylor. So, the team that stays behind Clemson and Baylor got screwed. Clemson and Baylor also got screwed by not staying ahead of all the teams they had been ahead of. Wow. South Carolina is also ahead. He then mentions how Michigan St. should get more credit for winning its division. Baylor isnít in a division. Michigan St., unlike Clemson, isnít in a division with Florida St. Maybe he has a point with South Carolina (which wonít win its division unless Missouri loses to Texas A&M), but not if South Carolina beats Clemson.
ē Fresno State†(10-0) gave its home crowd a powerful sendoff by putting up 69 points against New Mexico on Saturday, getting 820 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns from superstar QB Derek Carr [but fell behind Northern Illinois]Ö You can probably chalk that up to NIU getting ESPN exposure on weeknights the past two weeks, while FSU was on the lesser-watched CBS Sports Network.
>>>> This is that one shining moment youíve been waiting for. I seriously doubt a whole lot of voters dropped Fresno St. In fact, their points in both of the BCS polls went UP (maybe a little less than Northern Illinoisí); but you know those computers? They donít get impressed by scores, because the NCAA mandated that the computers couldnít factor that in. They also donít care what channel the games were played on. They care that Northern Illinois beat a team with only one other loss (Ball St.) and then another (Toledo) who had been 7-3. Before beating New Mexico (3-8), Fresno St. had a bye week. Those mean computers want you to prevail over actual competition. For shame!
There was some griping about Central Florida and Duke, not completely without merit. But itís just reality that when itís 2/3 human polls, theyíre not going to start supporting teams that have been out of the spotlight as quickly as you might like.Central Florida†wasnít realistically going to go ahead of undefeated Northern Illinois and Fresno St., but they donít have to worry about that since all they have to do is win their conference anyway.†Duke†(with two losses) is behind a few teams with three losses. Maybe they have an argument to be ahead of USC, UCLA, or both; but do we have to pretend the SEC West is roughly equivalent to the ACC Coastal?
Finally, he complains about†Cincinnati, with the worst schedule in college football other than possibly Old Dominion, which played mostly FCS schools. Cincinnati was absolutely destroyed by Illinois. The Illini have three other wins, but none of those victories were against teams with a single FBS win of their own. The Bearcats also lost to South Florida, whose one other FBS win was over Connecticut. Cincinnati did beat SMU, Rutgers, and Houston in consecutive weeks, but that doesnít make up for those losses. The best win before those? 3-7 Memphis.
The same guy also did the†bowl projections†for this week. I know this will come as a shock to fans of the Stanford Cardinal, but even if they beat Notre Dame, the chances of playing for a national championship are approximately 0. He also assumes Texas will beat that great Baylor team he complains about and play Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl since LSU has three losses. Uhhh, Texas A&M does too; and furthermore, he projects Missouri to beat the Aggies! I had been wondering who to cheer for in this game since I think I might like to see South Carolina play Auburn or Alabama more than Missouri, but itís clear now. The thought of LSU getting passed up for the Cotton Bowlagain†despite beating A&M†again†is a bit frustrating for me, so Iíll be cheering for all three SEC Tiger teams.
Many of you probably†know where to find†my other blogs†(such as more detailed rankings discussion)†by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know. † Everything is published there first.