08 January 2008

BCS Championship Report Out

I was going to do a vlog, but no time this morning with plenty of work facing me. After watching the Ohio State-LSU game (or should that be THE Ohio State...), here are my thoughts:

1. LSU isn't great They definitely won't go down in the annals of college football history as the greatest team ever. Their offense is more Big Ten then most Big Ten teams. Their starting QB is the second best QB on their team, and he had a fairly mediocre game. His four TD's look good on paper, but really only the one where he rolled to his left was anything special (and they made that sound like he was Archie Manning reincarnate). He made a couple of really bad reads or his receivers were consistently running routes incorrectly. He was a leader and all that, but those spread-like runs of his weren't much better than if I'd been running. On defense, Dorsey still didn't look 100% to me. I'm hoping he becomes a monster on Sunday's though. Their defense didn't have to combat much creativity after they started forcing more passes from the Buckeyes.
2. Miles>Tressel Having said all this above, LSU without much on offense spanked Ohio State, make no mistake. All the spinmeisters were trying to throw OSU a bone, that this was somehow better than last year, but they were just flat out beaten. They really didn't look very good at all. Tressel in the post-game press conference didn't even seem to have a handle on what was going on, saying that on the two TE TD passes he wasn't sure if they were playing zone, man, had missed assignments, whatever. He just kept repeating that his players had played hard, that there wasn't a lack of effort. OK, if they tried as hard as LSU, then they were either worse athletically, were trained worse (i.e. had lesser skills), or were out schemed (i.e. plays and play calling). I'll vote for the latter. Miles and his staff realized they didn't have Joe Namath or John Elway at QB, that they had an undersized John Riggins at RB, so they just stayed true to what they were capable of: try not to let the quarterback hurt his own team, pound the ball down their throats, "fly all over the field" on defense.
3. The game sucked Granted, I started watching at 10-10 and missed the Wells run, but it just felt like just another Bowl Game to me, like we were watching the Cotton Bowl or the CarAmerica Bowl or something.
4. Hester A warrior. He is a guy who just is relentless. I'd hate to have him run into me 21 times in an evening.
5. OSU's Record as an SEC Member Here is their schedule and record this year:
Youngstown State W 38-6
Akron W 20-2
at Washington W 33-14
Northwestern W 58-7
at Minnesota W 30-7
at No. 23 Purdue W 23-7
Kent State W 48-3
Michigan State W 24-17
at No. 25 Penn State W 37-17
No. 21 Wisconsin W 38-17
Illinois L 28-21
at No. 21 Michigan W 14-3

If they replaced Vandy let's say in the SEC, here is a typical schedule and my predicted record:
Youngstown State W 38-6
at Alabama W 17-14
LSU L 48-17
Miami (OH) W 40-21
Auburn W 24-21
at Georgia L 34-10
at South Carolina W 17-16
Kent State W 53-7
Kentucky L 42-35 (OT)
Florida W 28-24
at Tennessee L 17-7
Michigan W 21-14

8-4, and obviously many of these games could go either way. The thing that makes the SEC so tough can bee seen when you compare these two schedules. The SEC schedule is simply unrelenting, and you suddenly have tough games because you've had to play several top teams consecutively. It's why I still believe quite firmly that the Michigan job is an order of magnitude better than the LSU job. Beat a couple of upstart Big Ten teams, take care of the Spartans, beat OSU half the time, and you're a legend in Ann Arbor. At LSU, at least you get Ole Miss and State on your schedule each year, but that's it. How do you know there are too many bowls played each year? When there are eight Big Ten schools that go to them!
6. The Bowls are still here, so change it up next year Reward the conferences that win (Mountain West, SEC, Pac-10) and punish those who don't (ACC, Big Ten, Conference USA). Your conference lays an egg like the ACC? You lose your BCS seat. They have a losing record as a conference? Big Ten drops to the best six teams. SEC goes 7-2? Give them ten or eleven slots next year, regardless of record. Really, would Spurrier not switch conferences with Ohio State in a heartbeat if he could still play golf in South Carolina and at August National year-round?
7. We're one year closer to the greatest sporting event next to the World Cup: The College Football Playoffs I'm now for having a 32 team tourney, more to give coaches a little break after all the merry-go-round coaching changes of this season. Anything less than 16 just increases the number of coaches who will be fired. The alternative to this is to replicate the Champions League of Europe's soccer leagues (where the top teams of each league play in a separate league). Logistically, this would be extremely tough I realize, but make a Super League next season with the following teams in it:
Group A
Georgia
Oregon
Ohio State
Texas

Group B
LSU
Arizona State
Illinois
Virginia Tech

Group C
Florida
USC
Oklahoma
Clemson

Group D
Tennessee
Missouri
West Virginia
Auburn

Each group plays a home and away game with each team (six games), best two teams with point differential as the deciding factor (I'd give three points for a win, one for a tie and scrap OT in this round). Losing teams will be replaced the following season by eight new teams. #1 team from Group A plays #2 in Group B at #1's home field, single elimination. Participating teams still keep their conference schedules, but you'd have to be a little flexible in scheduling (e.g., losing eight might play their own tourney and top two teams stay in the Champions League next season).

The entire idea above is specifically targeted at just blowing up the bowl system. The Champions League would get monster ratings, as well as would do away with who has the best conference argument. You simply would tweak the system each year based on the previous year's results. Not a perfect system, as the senior-laden team gets into the Champions League the next year, but whatever.

OK, enough of this. Back to the grindstone now. Let me know your thoughts. Also, two more days to have a chance to win a FlickrPro account or iTunes gift card. Only one entry from the blogger world, so I opened it up to my new Flickr buddies.
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