I guess we’ll be shoveling off now.

Rigor mortis had barely begun to set in on West Virginia’s national championship aspirations when ol’ Herbie and Brent began sizing up the hole to bury Georgia’s in last night (now there’s an extended metaphor for you).

The gist of it all for Herbstreit – as opposed to Musberger’s semi-facetious endorsement of Hawaii in the title game – is that Georgia should be pushed aside because the Dawgs didn’t win their conference.

There’s one little problem with that: there is no rule prohibiting a team that’s not a conference champ from playing in the BCS title game. As Mike Slive told Tony Barnhart:

Q. Are you comfortable with the possibility that a team that did not win its conference championship, like Georgia, could play for the BCS title?

A. It’s tempting to limit the BCS championship game to only conference winners. But when you have a system like the BCS that is based on polls, you understand that people will make subjective decisions about teams. What you can’t do is put an asterisk by someone in the BCS standings. A team like Georgia or Ohio State could benefit from not playing, but that is the system that we’ve all agreed on. It keeps the door open for a team that struggled early but finished strong. It gives the voters a chance to evaluate their entire body of work.

This isn’t to argue that there is something unjust if indeed LSU winds up second in the BCS rankings. Personally, I think you can make strong cases for both Georgia and LSU to be there. But to argue that the voters should decide based on a rule that doesn’t exist seems like a strange rationalization at best. And it’s one I doubt we’d ever hear to prevent Notre Dame from playing in the title game.

Herbstreit the pundit hasn’t exactly been on a roll lately, either. Maybe this is an olive branch he’s extending to Les Miles in the wake of the Michigan job debacle that Herbie set in motion earlier. Or maybe he’s just jonesing so badly for a USC-Georgia (“two of the hottest teams in the country!”) meeting in the Rose Bowl that he needs an impediment to Georgia playing for the MNC.

In any event, this is supposed to be about putting the two best teams in the title game. If the voters are considering any other issues besides that, shame on them.

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UPDATE: Here’s what Herbstreit had to say about voting for the BCS title game participants last year. I know, that was then, this is now.

(h/t Groo)

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5 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

5 responses to “I guess we’ll be shoveling off now.

  1. John

    Herstreit has also done a 180 on this entire issue of having to win a conference championship in order to play in the NC game. Last year he was pimping for an Ohio State/Michigan NC game. Michigan didn’t win a conference championship in 2006, so whats the difference this year?

  2. SonuvaDawg

    Herbstreit knows that at least OSU stands a chance against a Miles (or whoever- he did say he’s staying..) coached LSU rather than a UGA team on fire coached by Mark Richt.

  3. SonuvaDawg

    Just watch the vid: he makes a great point at the end while obviuosly lobbying for the Big 10- “Vote for who you think the top 2 teams are RIGHT NOW”
    No other factors should come into play.

  4. Dan

    Herstreit needs to be held accountable for his actions and fired as an analyst. If he would come up for air form giving LSU a _ job prehaps he could see straight.