Something nagged at me when I wrote my Mandel post yesterday and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what it was. This morning it dawned on me, and I’m kicking myself for not having posted this a long time ago.
Go back and take a look at his infamous “Montana” post and check out his list of college football’s royalty.
Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee*, Texas and USC.
* Tennessee is the lone school in the group that caused any hesitation. The Vols would have been a no-brainer 10 years ago, but they have fallen off the map a bit lately. In the end, I figured those 100 fans in Montana still know “Rocky Top,” the checkered end zones and that Peyton Manning went there.
Now take a look at where those schools appear on Stassen’s Cumulative Overrated/Underrated Teams from 1989 to the present. That’s some correlation, no? There’s exactly one of Mandel’s Kings that finishes in the black over that time period – Alabama – and rest of the teams on his list are among the most overrated programs in college football during that twenty year period.
In essence, isn’t this at the heart of what we find most frustrating about the game today? Because this thinking is hardly limited to Stewart Mandel – Stassen uses the AP Poll to track over and under rating, keep in mind – and it obviously impacts what goes into the BCS rankings as each season plays out.
And before some of you say it, a playoff doesn’t fix this. Or at least a playoff that relies upon subjective rankings to determine the class of postseason participants doesn’t.
So how do you address it? An “objective” playoff – one comprised solely of conference champs, for example – works, obviously, but isn’t a realistic option at this moment. How much would eliminating preseason polls help? Or should we eliminate the human element totally? Give me your thoughts in the comments about how you’d show the door to Mandel’s buddies.