Going down swinging

I can’t wait to see how the last coaches’ poll plays out.

… Texas coach Mack Brown certainly considers his team worthy of the assignment.

“I wasn’t sure before right now, but Friday morning, I am going to vote Texas No. 1 (in the final coaches’ poll), because I think this is the best team in the country,” Brown said in the postgame celebration.

Utah’s Kyle Whittingham intends to vote his team #1.  My bet is that Pete Carroll probably feels the same way about USC.

Except the coaches are supposed to vote the winner of the BCS title game #1.

I feel for Mack Brown, to some extent:  a play away from being undefeated and a screwy conference decision about which school plays in the conference championship game are the things keeping his team from a shot at the title.

It will be interesting to see if he tries to lobby any of his fellow coaches to vote with him in the event Oklahoma beats Florida.  If the Gators win resoundingly, though, I expect this whole thing to quietly fade away.

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17 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

17 responses to “Going down swinging

  1. NM

    Being a questionable fourth-down measurement from losing to Big Ten runner-up Ohio State should not, IMHO, qualify one for a national title.

    I was under the impression that the final coaches poll ballots only had spaces for teams 2-25, with 1 already filled in. So good luck, Mack…

  2. Macallanlover

    Remember Granny Holtz’s defection to USC following the 2003 season when he snubbed fellow SEC brother and voted the Trijans #1. That was much worse to me than Brown’s lunacy. I gave Brown more credit for being ethical prior to last night.

    I agree, most of this this goes away with a big Florida win, but the cracks are beginning to show in the foundation. This “mandated” vote for #1 by the BCS is the glue that binds the system (once you get past the greenbacks-glue.) I am very disappointed with Brown, and don’t think his team belongs in the Top 5 based on what I saw last night, and what I have seen this bowl season from the Big 12.

  3. Mack’s words would hold more weight if Texas hadn’t played like poop for about 3/4 of the Fiesta Bowl against a demonstratively inferior opponent. USC and Utah both issued fairly strenuous beatdowns. Tejas did not.

  4. Ben

    Maybe it was my TV (I doubt it), but I felt like I was watching a game in slow motion for most of the night last night. I don’t recall the last time I pulled for a Big 10 team, but I was so disappointed in OSU last night I could have been sick.

  5. Ally

    If anything, Texas’s poor performance last night did more to prove Utah’s bid for the #1 spot than it did his own.

    I laughed out loud just reading Coach Brown’s assertion his team should be #1. I think Texas technically got screwed out of the Big 12 Championship Game, but this game only proved he DIDN’T belong in the mnc title game afterall.

  6. allhailcale

    Here we go again, basing your entire arguments on the “style points” factor that got us into this whole mess in the first place. Of course you can find a reason to think one team doesn’t belong above another, if that’s what you’re looking for.

    If you look only at USC’s Thursday night debacle at Oregon State or Florida’s loss to Ole Miss, or Oklahoma’s double-digit, neutral field smacking at the hands of the Horns, none of them belong at #1, right? Utah is undefeated, but if we only look at the TCU game, a contest that they should have lost on their home field, then they don’t belong.

    Texas has one loss, and has beaten four top 25 teams, just like Utah, just like OU, and one more than Florida and USC. And you say they don’t belong because they didn’t win as handily as you’d have liked? Shame. You’re falling into the same trap that the voters did at the end of the regular season.

    Does the Giants’ Super Bowl win not count because they had to do it on the final drive? Is winning no longer the most important thing? Just remember: no other one-loss team came anywhere near as close to actually being underwater than did the Longhorns.

  7. allhailcale

    Make that undefeated, lol. Damn iPod typing system…..

  8. ArchDawg

    You’ve got to understand that the Ohio State team that Texas faced last night was the best iteration of that team this season. It was much better than the team USC faced (in LA), with Todd Boeckman at QB and Beanie Wells out; or the team that Penn State faced in Columbus. Texas is exactly who we thought they were. Is Florida a lesser team because they didn’t pull away from Alabama until the fourth quarter, when Utah had control of their game against them from the opening whistle?

  9. Ben

    @allhailcale, I actually like “underwater” better. The idea of seeing that whole football program splash and flail just makes me laugh a little bit.

  10. Ally

    “Texas has one loss, and has beaten four top 25 teams, just like Utah, just like OU, and one more than Florida and USC. And you say they don’t belong because they didn’t win as handily as you’d have liked? Shame. You’re falling into the same trap that the voters did at the end of the regular season.”

    You actually make a very good point. I didn’t think about it like that and should have. Since I’m a part of the Mumme ballot here I should’ve done my homework & obviously didn’t. Looks like I was too hasty. Thank you – you gave me something else to consider.

  11. Ally,

    No problem – I get upset at the overwhelming tendency of (especially but not limited to) writers to point to one game to show a team was overrated, exposed, etc. An author at Burnt Orange Nation recently posted something attacking Bama’s schedule based on the fact that “Clemson and Georgia turned out to be awful.” I questioned him for the same reason that I questioned you.

    We keep hearing catch phrases like “resume ranking,” and “body of work,” but out of the other side of the great media mouth we hear that so-and-so was “exposed” and “overrated” because of a couple of bad halves of football.

    If UGA plays a first half against Bama and a 3rd quarter vs. Tech, we’re 12-1 with a similar argument to what we had last season. If Bama plays a 1st quarter against Utah, they’re a one-loss, top-five team. If Texas plays a first half against Tech, they’re playing on Thursday instead of last night. And if Oklahoma played a fourth quarter against Texas they’re undefeated as well.

    Are these teams terrible, exposed, and overrated because of these lapses of focus? Or, more likely, does sh!t just sometimes happen….?

    Thanks for the convo Ally – and thanks for a great b-log Senator…..

  12. Macallanlover

    I totally buy into the “don’t put too much stock into the one game” idea because I truly believe it distorts the body of work concept that seems the most valid to me. That said, let’s also be careful not to buy into the “they beat four Top 25 teams” argument either, especially when those were all within one conference.

    That conference has shown itself to be grossly over valued based on their collective efforts in the bowls against OOC competition. Mizzou had to win in overtime, Texas Tech got drilled, Oklahoma State goes down to an Oregon team that lost at home to Boise, and Texas struggled (and was perhaps outplayed) by a mediocre OSU team that hasn’t won against a quality opponent in three years…losing to all three good teams they played this season. If Oklahoma gets pasted by Florida, what is your perception of those 4 Top 25 wins now? Sorry, I think Texas has a good, not great team with a gutsy gamer at QB, but they are not going to make my Top 5 based on what I know now. The fact that the current polls rate people highly does not make it so when we have our own votes.

  13. JasonC

    A lot of the Texans I know think their state is a separate country, so why don’t they just make themselves MNC of Texas?

    But when you look at the problems- bowls, playoffs, plus one, BCS, bowl-playoff mix, round-robins, etc.- there is only one 100% good solution…
    have 119 National Champions and make everyone feel good about themselves.

  14. Macallanlover:

    Did you watch the Fiesta Bowl? Did it even closely resemble the same squad that has taken the field in big games over the last three seasons? Didn’t look that way to me, unless you count the Michigan games from ’06 and ’07. Now, you can look at that from the aspect you are – which says that Ohio St. is still a mediocre team (can’t believe they won 10 games and are ranked in the top 10!) and only looked that good because Texas is “good, but not great.” Or you can look at it and say that that was two top ten teams that actually provided us with an intriguing bowl game. It’s hysterical – we b!tch unceasingly about the BCS and how it provides us with lopsided, uninteresting match-ups, but when it actually gives us a good game, well then, that team must have been overrated because they didn’t win impressively enough. What wasn’t impressive about that win? They didn’t beat them as badly as USC did, so they don’t belong on the same field with USC? Well, just remember – Penn St. destroyed Oregon St., then the Beavers beat USC, and then USC whipped Penn St. in the Rose Bowl. Tell me, O Wise One…..who belongs on the same field as who?

  15. Coastal dawg

    Cale,

    I don’t think the concern over Texas comes from not running up style points, it is an overall re-evaluation of the Big 12.

    We asked all season if the other-worldly offenses were indeed great, or whether no one was playing defense.

    Based on the Cotton and Fiesta bowls, the Big 12 and Texas’ body of work is diminshed.

    As far as Mack Brown, I don’t blame him for voting his team #1 if he feels that way. Same for Carroll or Whittingham. God Bless Thomas Paine.

  16. ArchDawg: Florida didn’t “pull away” from Alabama until the Fourth Quarter?

    Florida was *LOSING THE GAME* until the 9 minute mark of the 4th quarter.

    Utah is the 2008/09 National Champion.

    -Michael
    Muckbeast – Game Design and Online Worlds
    http://www.muckbeast.com

  17. Macallanlover

    Allhailcale, I think you know I watched that game, so stop with the cheap jabs. We have a difference of opinions, and that is OK. In fact, it is why I am so adamant about having an 8 team playoff.

    My point was the totality of the bowl performances we have seen thus far indicates the Big 12 was grossly overrated because it was all based on how they played against one another. That house of cards seems to be crumbling to me. And the fact that they were outplayed in much of the game by an Ohio State team that has not had a quality win in years confirms what I had seen earlier. (If Wells doen’t go out, I don’t see how Texas would have ever stopped the power running game.) Just because a game was close doesn’t mean it was played at the highest levels. Yes, they were both above average teams, but far from great. I don’t see either being among the Top 5 teams in the country. You may look at it as two Top 10 teams that played if you like, I don’t. You can have a different opinion without resorting to personal attacks.

    Remember that the same polls which have Ohio State as a Top 10 team, and had Texas winning four games against Top 25 teams had FIVE SEC teams in the Top 10 at one point in the season (and one of those was Auburn!) So no one proves to be the “wise one” including yourself. I never claimed to be so save the insulting language and get your head out of your arse! At least with an 8 team playoff we get the chance for all the power conferences to send their designee to play for a true title. Until then we will have this non-ending arguments about conference power and SOS. The team that wins a playoff may not be the best, but it takes away the right to bitch about not controlling your destiny and whining like Mack is doing. I will vote either Utah or the winner of tomorrow’s night game as number one. Texas will not be in my Top 5, and might not be in my Top 10….I just don’t know yet. Your ballot can reflect however you feel, and should.