First off, there needs to be a better way to describe this. The ďplayoffĒ is four teams, but there was a championship game under the BCS and you could describe the other major bowls as ďBCS bowlsĒ without confusion. CFP (college football playoff) bowls maybe? I guess Iíll call them that.
If youíre not aware, there is a three-year rotation for the semifinals. Year 1: Rose and Sugar. Year 2: Orange and Cotton. Year 3: Fiesta and Peach. So Iím going to go through all three possibilities using last yearís pre-bowl rankings.
The Top Four
Going by the BCS standings, this is how the semifinal would have looked last year:
Rose: Florida St. vs. Michigan St.
Sugar: Auburn vs. Alabama
However, I donít think it would have happened that way. I think given that Alabama did not have a particularly strong non-divisional schedule (Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Colorado St., Georgia St., Chattanooga), did not win the conference, and lost its final game, they would have been seeded no higher than 4th. When the loss takes place isnít stated as a criteria, but I canít imagine that wouldnít influence the results.
I donít think Stanford, which had the toughest schedule according to many and which won its conference, would have gone ahead of Alabama, but thatís another possibility. I would have picked Stanford myself.
Iíll just go with Alabama though for this exercise. I think making them #4 instead of #3 would have been a significant enough departure from all the major polls.
Year 1: Semifinal
So this is what I think the semifinal actually would have been:
Rose: Auburn vs. Michigan St.
Sugar: Florida St. vs. Alabama
Year 1: Other CFP Bowls†(those bowls in the rotation but not semifinals in Years 1, 4, 7, etc.)
The Orange Bowl is the only one where we have any guidance really since the ACC #1 goes to the Orange Bowl if itís a year where the Orange Bowl is not a semifinal. In this case, itís actually the ACC #2 since the ACC #1 obviously would have made the semifinal. I think with a fairly highly-ranked alternate of the same conference, the Orange Bowl still would have picked Clemson. The other Orange Bowl spot is for and SEC or Big Ten #2 or Notre Dame. I donít think they would have fought the Cotton Bowl over Missouri, and Ohio St. was a very attractive pick, so actually, thatís the one relevant bowl that I donít think would have changed.
Orange: Clemson vs. Ohio St. (actual match-up)
Cotton: South Carolina vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta: Stanford vs. Baylor
Peach: Central Florida vs. Missouri
Year 2: Semifinal
Cotton: Auburn vs. Michigan St.
Orange: Florida St. vs. Alabama
Year 2: Other CFP Bowls†(those bowls in the rotation but not semifinals in Years 2, 5, 8, etc.)
Itís a little more straightforward not to have the Rose and Sugar as part of the semifinals. My understanding is that in Years 2 and 3, the SEC takes the highest non-semifinal Big XII and SEC teams no matter what, and the Rose Bowl takes the highest Big Ten and Pac-12 teams no matter what.
To editorialize for a moment, I donít know why the Rose and Sugar would be paired as semifinals. It should be like Sugar Fiesta one year, Rose Peach the next, and Orange Cotton the next. That way youíre only disrupting one major bowl arrangement at a time. In the years that the Pac-12/Big Ten game doesnít take place, there should still be the SEC/Big XII game and vice versa.
Sugar: South Carolina vs. Baylor
Rose: Stanford vs. Ohio St.
Orange: Clemson vs. Missouri
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Central Florida
Year 3: Semifinal
Fiesta: Auburn vs. Michigan St.
Peach: Florida St. vs. Alabama
Year 3: Other ďPlayoffĒ Bowls†(those bowls in the rotation but not semifinals in Years 3, 6, 9, etc.)
These years will be the most restrictive since there are three bowls with pretty specific formulas.
Sugar: South Carolina vs. Baylor
Rose: Stanford vs. Ohio St.
Orange: Clemson vs. Missouri
Cotton: Oklahoma vs. Central Florida
All years: Other Bowls (rough guess)
I looked at the anticipated bowl lineup and used my best guess as to how it would have worked had next yearís bowls all been in place last year. Keep in mind that there were two more bowl slots among the major bowls since last season, there was a national championship game made up of two separate teams, but this season it will be made up of winners of bowl games. Oklahoma St. would have been bumped in my estimation so it would not have played in the Cotton Bowl. The Peach Bowl will be very different, so neither Duke nor Texas A&M would have been under consideration for the new CFP bowls. In the case of Texas A&M, however, I think their spot in what will be a major bowl would have been taken by another SEC team: in this case South Carolina. So that would leave the Big XII and the ACC with another team for the remaining bowls, pushing the other teams of that conference down the ladder.
I do think some of the bowls would have been the same due to regional interests. It made sense to have two Louisiana teams in the New Orleans Bowl, for instance. It made sense to have Maryland playing in Maryland and North Carolina playing in North Carolina. The†bolded†teams are those who were bowl-eligible but did not actually play in bowls last season. There were a record number of bowl-eligible teams last year, so Iím not entirely sure there will even be enough bowl-eligible teams next year. I guess the NCAA will cross that bridge when it comes to it.
This is just an informal sort of exercise, so donít make a big deal out of it. Iím going by what Iím told the rules will be next year as far as the preferred conferences, etc. Most conferences do not fill all their contractual slots though. I wasnít always sure which bowls would have gotten the #8 team from a given conference and which would have had to find another team.
New Orleans: Tulane vs. ULL
New Mexico: Washington St. vs. Colorado St.
Las Vegas: USC vs. Fresno St.
Idaho Potato: San Diego St. vs. Buffalo
Camelia (new; Montgomery, AL): Ohio vs.†Troy
St. Petersburg: Middle Tennessee vs.†South Alabama
Boca Raton:†Toledo†vs.†Florida Atlantic
Miami Beach (new): BYU vs.†Texas St.
Poinsettia (San Diego): Utah St. vs. Navy
Bahamas (new): Northern Illinois vs. Boston College
Hawaii: Oregon St. vs. Boise St.
Russell Athletic (Orlando): U. Miami vs. Ball St.
Armed Forces (Ft. Worth, TX): East Carolina vs. Louisville
Heart of Dallas: North Texas vs. UNLV
Military (Annapolis, MD): Marshall vs. Maryland
Pinstripe: Notre Dame vs. Rutgers
Sun (El Paso): UCLA vs. Texas
Holiday (San Diego): Nebraska vs. Arizona St.
Liberty (Memphis): Rice vs.†Western Kentucky
Texas: Texas Tech vs. Mississippi St.
Detroit: Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota
Independence (Shreveport, LA): Arizona vs.†ULM
Music City: Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech
Belk (Charlotte): North Carolina vs. Cincinnati
San Francisco: Washington vs.†San Jose St.
Outback (Tampa, FL): Iowa vs. Georgia
CapitalOne (Orlando): LSU vs. Wisconsin*
Tax Slayer (formerly Gator; Jacksonville): Duke vs. Texas A&M
Alamo: Oklahoma St. vs. Oregon
Valley of the Sun (Tucson, AZ): Michigan vs. Kansas St.
Birmingham (formerly BBVA Compass): Vanderbilt vs. Houston
GoDaddy (Mobile, AL): Bowling Green vs. Arkansas St.
*It may have been the case that due to the fact that LSU plays Wisconsin to start this season, this match-up would not have been made. Itís possible that Georgia would have leapfrogged LSU, leaving the Tigers playing Iowa anyway. But as I said at the top of the section, itís just sort of a rough guess. I left LSU there because they were apparently seen as the more desirable team. Also, some may recall Miami played Florida St. in a bowl game in 2003 only to play them again at the start of the 2004 season.
I would like MLB to change the format of Spring Training. Let them start camp like they always do, even start playing spring games as normal. But, on the third week of spring training games, teams in the grapefruit league should visit teams in the cactus league for a week, then return back to Florida and resume games amongst each other. The following year the cactus league could then go to the grapefruit league for a week, and then alternate years. This would give fans from both states who actually live there the opportunity to see teams they wouldnít normally see in person.
Watch out college coachesÖThere is a new kid on the block, his name is Philip Stephen Martelli, and he might be looking for your job someday.
This is just priceless. Iím just glad CBS showed the human side of college basketball, and what makes it so special.
I was reading a magazine that had articles on conspiracies in sports, and one article which got my attention was the MLB steroid conspiracy. Now if you read my blogs in the past, I personally donít care what a player does with his body. The reason behind it, is because I always believed it was baseball players, managers, sports agents, general managers, owners and even the commissioner who allowed steroid use after the strike of 1994. Or so I thought. In those days steroids were legal in MLB but illegal elsewhere. Steroids were banned by MLB in 2004. So if baseball allowed it back then shouldnít McGwire and Sosa be allowed into the HOF? They did play by the rules of MLBÖ.
Gee all of a sudden Carmelo Anthony is willing to change his game if Phil Jackson believes he has to do so to win a championship. Why should he change now. He couldnít play defensive for Syracuse under Boehiem, and he sure hasnít played any for Denver or New York. I kind of think its to late to teach an old dog new tricks.
I know its not easy when your stadium holds 110,000 - 115,000 per game, but you have to give credit to Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon for not scumming to bring alcohol to the Big House. Can you image all the $$$Ďs that would have been generated if he allowed it. But the downside was the nightmare that could ensue if you had 60,000 drunken fans around a lot of young people, let alone the possibilities of underage children getting alcohol.
Sports labor attorney Jeffrey Kessler, on behalf of a group of college football and basketball players, filed an antitrust claim against the NCAA. Jeffrey is arguing that the association has unlawfully capped player compensation at the value of an athletic scholarship. There is no monetary fines for the lawsuit, just change the compensation players get. "The main objective is to strike down permanently the restrictions that prevent athletes in Division I basketball and the top tier of college football from being fairly compensated for the billions of dollars in revenues that they help generate," Kessler said.
Now we have debated this at the Gab, and while most of you agree, players should be compensated. I ask you how much more compensation should they receive? Scholarships arenít cheap. I will say players should receive food vouchers while they are practicing and from the beginning of when the football or basketball season starts to when it ends.
Do we also increase scholarships for baseball. Most college baseball players only get half a scholarship because there are only 15 scholarships to be given out. Is that fair? NO. What about track and field, softball, tennis, lacrosse?? Golf, cross country, swimming and diving?? All of them are just as worthy as the football and basketball players.
If athletes are going to get compensated then it should be for all sports athletes, or none should be.
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.
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.