Who should get the chance to grab the brass ring?

All right, so we’ve looked at the BCS pool through the prisms of stats, quality wins and losses and strength of schedule. Can we put it all together and come up with some finalists?

Let’s go back and summarize:

Strength of Schedule

The good: Florida, Georgia, LSU

The above-average: Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Missouri, Southern California

The mediocre: Ohio State, Oklahoma

The below-average: Kansas

Wins and Losses

The good: Ohio State, Georgia, Virginia Tech, LSU, Oklahoma

The mediocre: Missouri, Florida, West Virginia

The sub-par: Kansas, Southern California

Statistical Standings

Best of the bunch: West Virginia, Kansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio State

Second tier: LSU

Third level: Missouri, Virginia Tech, Southern California

Last place: Georgia

Let’s start with process of elimination. The worst resumes on the list belong to Southern California, Missouri (the only schools not to register in the top group of any of the categories) , West Virginia and Kansas (two lower and lowest tier rankings combined with a good showing in statistics that is offset to some degree by their poor SOS). Florida shows out well, but not perfect; with the Gators being the only three loss team on the list, it’s hard to see where there’s enough in their numbers to overcome that.

That brings us to five. To my eye, the best of the remaining bunch is LSU. The Tigers do have two losses, but are in the top groups for quality wins and losses and strength of schedule and are in the second grouping for stats, and that, again, should be partially filtered through their SOS. LSU isn’t a perfect team by any means, but it shows out better than any other school here.

That leaves Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech. The weakest of these four is Virginia Tech, with only one top tier showing. Also, the Hokies’ statistical showing isn’t in the strongest group and neither is VT’s strength of schedule.

Now we’re down to three. Out of those, I’d lean towards taking Ohio State. The Buckeyes’ SOS is somewhat suspect (although it’s better than Oklahoma’s), but, on the other hand, they only lost one game. OSU is even with Oklahoma in the groupings, but it’s the Sooners that fall short with two losses.

Georgia? It’s a close call. The Dawgs are a top tier team in SOS and quality wins/losses (but so is LSU). And it’s not that their statistical showing is bad (remember, Georgia didn’t show up near the bottom of any statistical categories) – it’s just that it doesn’t show out as strongly as the other schools do. Particularly OSU’s. And that, plus one more loss means Georgia comes up just a little short in my book.

Let me make a few final points here. Even though I give a slight nod to a LSU-OSU matchup as being the most justified, I really wouldn’t have a problem with any pairing from the final group of five I listed (LSU, OSU, Georgia, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech), with one exception. It would be wrong to let Virginia Tech play for the MNC while keeping LSU out, based on the above analysis and LSU’s dominance of VT earlier in the season.

If Georgia doesn’t get to play in the finals, I’ll be disappointed, but I won’t feel cheated. Just like every other school here, Georgia had the chance to take care of business and didn’t. I thought at the time, and still do now, that Stafford missing Moreno on that wheel route in the South Carolina game would come back to haunt this team. If Georgia had beaten the Gamecocks, we wouldn’t be going through this exercise right now…


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

12 responses to “Who should get the chance to grab the brass ring?

  1. Atlchris

    LOL.. Senator.. You won’t feel cheated.. So I’ll feel cheated for you..


  2. DirkDawggler

    Yes, the wheel route. At the time, I had a feeling it would affect the game. I had no idea it would ultimately affect the Cosmos. And not in a good way.


  3. stick jackson

    Love your stuff, Senator, but I have to say that all these gyrations and barstool debates about how to weight various factors are an absurd way to pick a champion.

    You do an excellent job of pointing out the tradeoffs inherent in a playoff system, and that’s fine. But the silliness we’re seeing today, with a non sequitor like “undefeated in regulation” being given serious weight, points out the gigantic, disqualifying flaw at the heart of the current system — that politics rather than competition selects the champion. The manner in which the polls are going to be manipulated to produce an ESPN-approved result should be repugnant to anyone who cares about the sport. Live in Washington and do politics for a living. I watch sports to get away from corporate coniving, not to wallow in it.

    Any playoff system might have flaws, but those flaw pale in comparision to this madness. It’s the worst system except for all the others.


  4. It’s the worst system except for all the others.

    That’s what I’ve said about the BCS!

    I went through this exercise not to name a champ, but to see how many of the schools in the running were clearly less qualified to participate in the BCS title game. If the final is LSU-OSU, which is looking more apparent with each passing minute, I can’t say that either school is undeserving.

    Look, this isn’t an Auburn 2004 situation. None of the major players is in a position to say “we did everything expected of us and we’re getting screwed”. Any team selected will have some warts.

    But I don’t see how a playoff this year solves anything. How many teams would you qualify? How would you seed them? Aren’t you still going to go through the same exercises?


  5. As good as analysis of this silly situation as I have seen yet (both this post and the previous). Also bias free, which I applaud most highly.

    It does look like it will be LSU v OSU at which point I will set aside my natural SEC rivalry tendencies and say – GEAUX TIGERS – Give those Buckeyes a Florida style whuppin!


  6. LSU with a month to heal will be a formidable team.


  7. Ally

    Stick, that was the best comment ever!

    Usually the winner of the SCUm/UGA game goes on to have the better season. This year was an exception to that “rule” however, we are still paying for that ridiculous slip-up dearly.

    I bet that won’t happen again next year though 😉


  8. Indeed they will Senator, indeed they will. Now, let’s make sure we Dawgs and Gators do our part (against Hawaii and Michigan I assume)


  9. stick jackson

    As the saying goes on Selection Sunday, you can play our way out of a bad seed. Of course, all the factors in play today would touch on a playoff, but they would only be the prelude, not the finale.

    There would be some debate about who was in at 4/5 or 8/9, but that applies at 64/65 in hoops. The difference is, all the real contenders have a chance to make it happem between the white lines.


  10. The difference is, all the real contenders have a chance to make it happem between the white lines.

    But they’ve already had that chance, haven’t they?

    Where would Georgia be right now if a couple of plays – shoot, one play – had gone its way in the South Carolina game? Or, how about Oklahoma screwing the pooch against Colorado? Or USC coming out and laying an egg against an awful Stanford team?

    I just don’t see how you can fault the BCS for this. The problem this season is that too many teams slipped up. A playoff – unless it were a big one (ugh!) – wouldn’t solve that.


  11. stick jackson

    But why can’t the same be said of LSU? Because ESPN decided to lobby for them?

    An eight team play-off might be logistically difficult, perhaps even impossible given the current array of bowl contracts, TV conflicts of interest and posturing by the presidents. But it would be a better, fairer way of picking a champion than the current mess.


  12. NYC Dawg

    I think its an excellent way to show the parity between teams.
    Not saying the voting wasn’t fishy & the ESPN lobbying even more so; but bottom line, let’s put ourselves in LSU’s shoes. If we were to go 9-2 next year & win the SECCG but Florida (or any other school in the SEC) has the same record & is ranked above us before we won the SECCG- we would raise hell that the SEC Champion deserves to not just jump other teams, but should be an automatic berth into the Nat’l title game.