An early look at an early look

As we get closer to the start of the 2008 season, and Georgia fans start playing “what if?” and “can they do it?” games in our heads, it’s worth contemplating not only the Dawgs’ schedule (certainly formidable, but not without its breaks), but also what other schools – and, perhaps more importantly, how many other schools – will be in the mix to play in the BCS title game.

With that in mind, take a look at something posted today at Sunday Morning Quarterback in his early peek at Southern Cal (not the Song Girl in the bikini):

Not to overstate the point, but USC has played 30 games against ranked teams since 2002 and it’s record (26-4) is not the most impressive point of the portfolio. That would be the average margin of victory in those games, which is just shy of 19 points. Six straight BCS bowls is one thing; five blowouts is something else…

Ahem. That’s not too shabby. (Georgia’s record over that same time is a respectable, but not spectacular, 18-11.) It’s fair to say the Trojans know what they must do to have a shot.

On top of that, USC’s schedule this season is quite solid, with no games against 1-AA opponents. In fact, USC doesn’t play a school not in a BCS conference in 2008. I’m hard pressed to think of another national title contender in recent memory that can make a similar claim. That should make for a good deal of credibility with human voters and computers when it comes time to start with the BCS calculations.

Still, it’s worth remembering that these guys have spit the bit in each of the last two years, with inexplicable losses to feeble conference opponents that kept them out of the big game. So never say never. But realistically, at this admittedly early vantage point, if the Trojans can get past Ohio State and Arizona State, which figure to be their two biggest matchups of the season, you have to like their chances to get to Miami.

14 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Georgia Football

14 responses to “An early look at an early look

  1. Chuck

    That we have a mutual opponent with USC in Arizona State is something that we will undoubtedly hear about if we wind up in a debate between the two schools’ merits.

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  2. Coastal Dawg

    Does it really matter who the “other team” is? We have to play somebody.

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  3. Thomas Brown

    You have got to be kidding me Bluto that Ohio State and Southern California have tough schedules. What a total load of hogwash, as usual.

    Georgia played in fact, the official NCAA Strength of Schedule Number 7 in the nation.

    Click to access ia_9games_cumm.pdf

    No. 7 SOS UGA.

    No. 39 SOS Ohio State.

    No. 73 SOS Southern California.

    Who did Ohio State beat ? Ohio State had two games last year everyone said were reasonable games. Wisconsin who beat not 1 team last year in the Final AP Poll, and topped off their season with a bowl game loss to a team who lost 4 games. The other team was Illinois, whom Ohio State Lost to. Illinois lost to Number 73 Iowa and then to cap their season, were blown out 17-44 in their bowl game, to end up with 4 Losses. For this schedule strength you discuss, Ohio State got to play LSU – something UGA was not afforded twice last year. This is because our SOS is No. 7 without being allowed twice to play LSU, and Ohio State’s SOS is No. 39, with LSU.

    Who did Southern California beat ? Despite playing in fact, SOS Number 73 in the nation all last season, Southern California did not have a better Won/Loss Record than UGA who played the Number 7 SOS. The only team in the Final AP Poll Southern California beat was Arizona State, who played their bowl game on December 27th in San Diego and got slaughtered by 18 points, giving up 54 points. Arizona State did not beat a team in the Final AP Poll all season long and played the Number 49 NCAA official Strength of Schedule.

    So, I wake up this morning, come into your blog, and you state that Southern California and Ohio State play tough schedules.

    Look dimwit. The PAC-10 and the Big 10 are two very weak conferences, which have 1 team who is any good.

    Don’t sit there and tell me that they don’t play a 1-A team and therefore have tough schedules.

    BS.

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  4. First off, TB, I don’t mind anyone coming here and being critical of my reasoning, but there’s no need to insult me personally. Do it again, and it will be the last time I’ll let you comment here.

    Now on to the meat of your comment: you’ve missed the point. I’m not comparing last year’s schedules. I’m looking at the 2008 regular season, and in 2008, Southern Cal doesn’t play a 1-AA team or a team from the MAC, as does Georgia. If it’s close at the end between the two schools, don’t think that won’t have an impact – just ask Auburn.

    As for your 2007 SOS comparisons, you picked the one that suited you best. If you look at Sagarin or CFP.com, you’ll see that both calculate Georgia’s and USC’s 2007 SOS closely.

    And where did I make any comment at all about Ohio State’s 2008 schedule?

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  5. Does it really matter who the “other team” is? We have to play somebody.

    Man, I love your optimism. Are you ready to play “Cell-Phone Flop Out”? 😉

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  6. dean

    “Take a pill” TB is just a blog. Anyway I would like to think if at the end of the year UGA and USC both have one loss we would get the nod mainly because we’re in the SEC (hear me roar). However I don’t think we get the nod with one loss over an undefeated USC team. Of course the opinion is based on the assumption there is another undefeated team already in place for the MNC. What I would ultimately love to see is us play USC for the MNC but that’s another topic.

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  7. … Anyway I would like to think if at the end of the year UGA and USC both have one loss we would get the nod mainly because we’re in the SEC (hear me roar).

    If that’s the scenario we wind up with, I think Chuck’s right in that the poll voters will look at how each school did against Arizona State for some guidance in the rankings.

    But if those results are similar, be prepared for a comparison between the overall schedules of the two – and don’t be surprised if they match up closely at year’s end.

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  8. My biggest worry about next year and if it came down between USC and UGA is media bias.

    There would obviously be a number of factors going in to see who would play if that sitaution were to occur but I think the media would play a role…..like they do every year.

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  9. Chuck

    My biggest worry about next year and if it came down between USC and UGA is media bias.

    Dare I saw that our media attention will exceed that of USC if we take care of business impressively?

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  10. dean

    I can agree with that. The ASU game could be the “swing vote” if you will. I should have added to my first comment the reason I think we get the nod is because of our conference schedule. I don’t think anyone will disagree that we play a much tougher conference schedule. However with USC being the media darlings that they are (and Herbstriet being a piece of sh*t) we will likely get screwed again if that scenario plays out. With that said I agree USC plays a tougher OOC schedule than we do. Ohio St., in all likelihood, will be a (preseason) top 5 or 10 team. While ASU will be a (preseason) top 15 to 20 team. And, as you mentioned, we play GSU and Central Michigan. Those teams don’t exactly help our chances.

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  11. Will

    While it’s undeniable that USC plays a tougher OOC schedule that us (or a lot of other schools), I find it interesting that SOS is almost always ignored when discussing OOC schedules. Our SOS is easily as high or higher than theirs with our somewhat weaker OOC schedule, so we would be fools to schedule even stronger teams outside the SEC.

    That said, I’m looking forward to the varied slate we have coming up over the next decade.

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  12. Thomas Brown

    BLUTO QUOTE :

    “As for your 2007 SOS comparisons, you picked the one that suited you best. If you look at Sagarin or CFP.com, you’ll see that both calculate Georgia’s and USC’s 2007 SOS closely.”

    “Southern Cal doesn’t play a 1-AA team or a team from the MAC, as does Georgia. If it’s close at the end between the two schools, don’t think that won’t have an impact – just ask Auburn.”

    We were certain that there was some basis for such a statement that Southern California somehow played a tough schedule last season over there in the 1-team PAC-10 conference. Just how one could surmise that, given that the PAC-10 won but 4 bowl games all 2007-2008 bowl season while the SEC won nearly double that at 7 bowl games won, is the question.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/bowls07/news/story?id=3169117

    The PAC-10 conference is weak, has but 1 team, and has been so for many years now compared to The SEC. As already pointed out, the supposed “2nd best PAC-10 team” 2007-2008 was Arizona State who Lost their Bowl Game on December 27, and who played according to The Official NCAA Strength of Schedule the Number 49 SOS.

    Click to access ia_9games_cumm.pdf

    How one then, with SOS Number 49, determine that Arizona State last year was any good at all, requires one to believe that http://www.CollegeFootballPoll.com has an agreed upon by all members of NCAA Bowl Championship Division teams determination of SOS, and not The NCAA itself. Of course, CollegeFootballPoll actually uses its own Power Rankings to determine the resultant SOS. A team’s or conference’s Strength of Schedule, is its SOS, not some calculation including their own power rankings. For example, Bluto, your Congrove Rankings here have Georgia not Number 2, but Number 7 and have Kansas whose Congrove SOS (average power rankings) themselves rank SOS Number 68. Kansas, who has a Losing Bowl Record, and who has won a grand total of 5 Bowl Game ever in its entire history, was ranked worse than UGA in every single poll before the bowl games – except for this “Congrove Rankings” you consider the be-all to end-all definition of what a SOS is, when it itself calls its own SOS an average of its own power rankings, not a SOS standing on its own. Kansas played in fact, NCAA Official SOS Number 72. Here is who Kansas played : NOT Texas, NOT Oklahoma, and NOT even Texas Tech over there in the Big II (XII.) As a matter of fact, the best beat that Kansas did beat was Texas A&M who went 7-6. Texas A&M was not in the Top 50 of any Poll Rankings at the end of their 6-Loss Season. That is Kansas’s claim to fame in your “Congrove Rankings” you refer to, before the bowl game where nonetheless Congrove Rankings had and still have Kansas Ranked AHEAD of Georgia. Number 2 Georgia (NOT Number 7 UGA, but Number 7 Final AP Poll Kansas) beat 3 Final AP Poll Teams : Number 19 Hawaii, Number 15 Auburn and Number 13 Florida.

    http://www.nationalchamps.net/NCAA/past_AP_Polls.htm

    But, excuse me, obviously Congrove Rankings have far more merit and credibility than the Final AP Poll.

    And, obviously more credibility than The Official NCAA Strength of Schedule Rankings.

    The way that Congrove works sir, in case you cannot click it and have it jump off the page at you, is that if you win a game (against ANY lousy opponent), you are better than a team who played far superior teams and kicked their butts. Go right down the line on their Congrove Rankings and you will plainly see, Congrove Ranks teams solely by their Won/Loss Record. Basing their SOS then upon an average of their Congrove Power Rankings, is basing “Congrove SOS” on the average of what their won/loss record is, no matter whom it is they played. Or did not play, in Kansas’s case compared to UGA Or, Southern California compared to UGA.

    I do apologize but Kansas’ season does not begin to measure up to what The Georgia Bulldogs did against our Schedule, compared to their “results” of having beat not in the BCS Top 50 teams in the nation before the bowl games. For this, Congrove Rankings had Kansas ranked considerably higher than UGA. Before the bowl games.

    That is a ridiculous ranking : Congrove Rankings you refer to.

    By the way, Southern California was ranked with the Number 63 SOS by the SOS the BCS itself used to use :

    50 Ohio State

    51 Miami-Florida

    52 Washington St

    53 UNLV

    54 Wake Forest

    55 Purdue

    56 Virginia

    57 San Diego St

    58 Wisconsin

    58 Wyoming

    60 Georgia Tech

    61 Marshall

    62 Cincinnati

    63 Southern California

    78 Kansas

    http://www.CollegeBCS.com

    I would not want to defend in Court the statement however without substance markedly notable that “Congrove SOS” rankings are valid and the former BCS SOS and the current NCAA SOS are just wholeheartedly plainly wrong.

    I believe it to be common knowledge that Southern California and Kansas played wuss schedules last year of zero substance compared to UGA, and come in here and find you still defending your point to the contrary that you say today that Southern California played a more difficult schedule than UGA last season based upon “Congrove Rankings.”

    So, excuse me.

    Jeff Sagarin is the biggest idiot of every college football poll in the entire history of ranking teams – so much so, that he has 4 different rankings. You choose which of the Jeff Sagarin Rankings you want to reference. How silly is that Bluto ? According to Jeff Sagarin, UGA last season ended in his myriad of rankings either Number 3, Number 23, Number 7 or Number 9. Which is it ? Would not his SOS clearly then be based upon whether you are looking at the Ranking of UGA as Number 3 or Number 9 for example ? Sure it is. Jeff Sagarin has absolutely refused to provide the basis for his rankings whatsoever to anyone. His bias is legendary, and I come in here and here a “bulldog fan” say that Southern California played a tougher SOS last year than UGA over there in their 1-team PAC-10 “conference” based upon not the former BCS SOS, nor the current NCAA Official SOS, but “Jeff Sagarin SOS” or “Congrove SOS.”

    That is an impossible point to make in any Courtroom in America.

    Who did Southern California play last season Bluto, do you know ?

    Number 120 Idaho.

    Number 60 Nebraska.

    Number 65 Washington State.

    Number 68 Washington.

    Number 76 Stanford, whom they Lost to.

    Number 61 Arizona.

    Number 79 Notre Dame.

    Number 28 Oregon, whom they Lost to.

    Number 26 Oregon State.

    Number 54 California.

    Number 16 Arizona State.

    Number 47 UCLA.

    And, you think, because Congrove and 1 of 4 Jeff Sagarin ranks that better than UGA’s season schedule, that both the Official NCAA SOS and the former Official BCS SOS are worthless and these 2 nimrod polls of yours are better proof ?

    I find that incredulous.

    There is no comparison between UGA in The SEC and our Schedule compared to Southern California’s Schedule last season. The PAC-10 is a 1-Team Conference. The SEC

    The SEC has Five (5) Teams in the Final AP Poll Top 15. The PAC-10, one. And, while there was no team who won their bowl game who had a tougher Official NCAA and former BCS SOS than Georgia, Georgia in fact plays once again this up-coming season too, by a consensus the toughest schedule again.

    Then, I come in here and :

    BLUTO QUOTE :

    “As for your 2007 SOS comparisons, you picked the one that suited you best. If you look at Sagarin or CFP.com, you’ll see that both calculate Georgia’s and USC’s 2007 SOS closely.”

    “Southern Cal doesn’t play a 1-AA team or a team from the MAC, as does Georgia. If it’s close at the end between the two schools, don’t think that won’t have an impact – just ask Auburn.”

    Weak argument.

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  13. Two (brief) points in response:

    1. The NCAA SOS rankings are based on nothing more than the combined won/loss records of a school’s opponents. No weight is given to how those opponents stacked up, or to road vs. home wins or margin of victory. If that’s good enough for you, fine. My only point was that you can find others who don’t see it your way.

    2. Again, nothing in your lengthy comment is relevant to the topic of my post, which dwells on Southern Cal’s 2008 schedule.

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  14. Thomas Brown

    Your point is you are trying to state that Georgia’s schedule both last year and this year, is NOT as good as Southern California’s schedules both last year and this year.

    There is no basis for such a statement, and each attempt to justify your continuing point that Georgia’s schedules last season and this season do NOT measure up to Southern California’s, is preposterous, outrageous, absurd, laughable, silly, unbelievable, and outlandish. But, don’t take my word for it that Congrove Rankings and 1 of 4 Jeff Sagarin Rankings hold NO WATER compared to both The BCS Official Strength of Schedule as calculated when it was their measurement of a schedule in a conference of but 1 team compared to the Five (5) SEC teams in the Top 15 in the Final AP Poll, and The Official NCAA Strength of Schedule. Your point remains that The NCAA measure of what teams they won against or lost against is NOT as important as what Congrove Rankings Ranked the teams or as important as 1 of 4 Jeff Sagarin Rankings ranked a team. If Congrove’s or Sagarin’s rankings were more relevant as you argue, then their rankings could not possibly have Kansas AHEAD of Georgia in the rankings that then the average power rankings make those schedules tougher. Ohio State and Southern California were known to have played weak schedules last season. A sanity test of a statement about their schedules for last season – in such well-known weak conferences – would indicate the commonly accepted facts about the schedules of Southern California compared to UGA last season. This up-coming season finds again that the consensus is that UGA has again one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Please do not attempt to suggest that these teams from these pitiful conferences, are preferred over our schedule last year or this year.

    It will not fly.

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