First, Michael Elkon nails Mandel on his “springboard” piece.
I want a turn, too. Let me take a moment to talk about Mandel’s “Landmark Moment” post on his blog. It was posted at 2:00 in the morning after what was the most exciting game of the season (with the best capper ever in Ian Johnson’s marriage proposal after he scored the game winner), so maybe we should cut Mandel some slack.
But, then again, some writers were able to analyze the results of the Fiesta Bowl more rationally, so maybe not.
Mandel begins promisingly with his first line: “It takes something pretty special to leave a writer at a loss for words.” Talk is cheap, though, and it’s all downhill after his third paragraph –
… And how do you sum up what will one day be viewed as one of the most significant moments in the history of college football?
I’m not exaggerating…
He is exaggerating; he just doesn’t want to admit it.
Where he’s going with this breathless prose is to argue that this game may sound the death knell of the BCS:
… Like it or not, Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42 just became the single biggest argument to date for a college football playoff.
He never gets around to saying why, though.
… You’re going to hear it a lot in the coming weeks. If Boise State can beat Oklahoma, why shouldn’t it get a shot at Ohio State? And while the BCS commissioners can offer any number of general arguments against a playoff, the fact is there is no reasonable answer to that specific question.
Let me give you one to start with. Here’s the list of Boise State’s regular season opponents in ’06: Sacramento State, Oregon State, Wyoming, Hawaii, Utah, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, Idaho, Fresno State, San Jose State, Utah State and Nevada.
Not the most impressive group you’ve seen, is it?
Let’s face it – the Broncos feasted on a rather unimposing bunch during the regular season to amass an undefeated record and used that to roll into a BCS game (created by a blackmail threat from a number of mid-major schools) against an opponent that didn’t look like it took them as seriously as the Sooners should have, played like they had nothing to lose and pulled off the win.
And even Mandel admits that “…this was not the greatest of Oklahoma teams the Broncos beat.” No kidding.
Was the Fiesta Bowl exciting? Sure. Did it justify having Boise State in a BCS game? Since the Broncs won, I’d have to say yes. But it’s a huge leap to go from there to saying that BSU deserves a crack at a national championship game.
Because if you go down that road and grant that reward, you’ll do nothing but make sure that every college team loads up its schedule with patsies to get the same payoff.
3 responses to “Stewart Mandel hyperventilates.”
Pingback: January 1 thoughts « Get The Picture
Pingback: Fiesta Bowl sanity « Get The Picture
Pingback: The narrative arc of the single elimination tourney « Get The Picture