Sunday, December 03, 2006
So USC officially blew their shot at the national championship game versus Ohio State, so now we all wait to see if 12-1 Florida, the SEC champion, will get the nod over the once-Buckeye-beaten Michigan Wolverines. I have a bad feeling about this. I think that Michigan will get the nod because I think there will be enough voters in the nation to put them ahead of Florida.
Florida fans may say to look at the schedule to make their case for the championship game, so I did;
Date Opponent Result/Time
September 2 Southern Miss W 34-7
September 9 UCF W 42-0
September 16 at No. 13 Tennessee W 21-20
September 23 Kentucky W 26-7
September 30 Alabama W 28-13
October 7 No. 9 LSU W 23-10
October 14 at No. 11 Auburn L 27-17
October 28 at Georgia W 21-14
November 4 at Vanderbilt W 25-19
November 11 South Carolina W 17-16
November 18 Western Carolina W 62-0
November 25 at Florida State W 21-14
December 2 No. 8 Arkansas W 38-28 (SEC Championship)
Sure, the scores may look impressive at first glance, but I noticed a 62-0 beatdown of a 1AA opponent a squeaker against Vanderbilt and South Carolina and a lowly Florida State squad. They did win the games instead of lose them, and the game they did lose was to a tough opponent on the road. Considering the fact that the tough SEC teams knocked each other around this season, the rankings may seem misleading. But even then, there doesn't seem to be anything that really stands out and yell "Florida should play for the championship!" Is there?
Michigan is a tough one too. They exploited the over-hyped Fighting Irish and went down to the last minute against Ohio State. In between? Solid wins in a Big Ten conference that was probably a little down from last year, except for Wisconsin. So you could make that argument either way.
I'll stand by my philosophy that if you didn't win your own conference championship, then you shouldn't be allowed to play for the national championship (ie Nebraska a few years ago against Miami). How can you proclaim to be the best when you're not even the best in your own conference? Florida should be playing for the BCS Championship for this reason.
I know that Notre Dame probably got lucky with their bowl situation with Arkansas losing as well as Rutgers, but once, just once I'd like to see the bowls not take Notre Dame because of their name. Let's look at their schedule real quick...
September 2 at Georgia Tech W 14-10
September 9 No. 19 Penn State W 41-17
September 16 No. 11 Michigan L 47-21
September 23 at Michigan State W 40-37
September 30 Purdue W 35-21
October 7 Stanford W 31-10
October 21 UCLA W 20-17
October 28 at Navy W 38-14
November 4 North Carolina W 45-26
November 11 at Air Force W 39-17
November 18 Army W 41-9
November 25 at No. 3 USC L 44-24
It is clear that did not rack up their record against quality opponents (and yes I realize Penn State was a win, but have you seen PSU's offense this year?). Navy, North Carolina, Army, Air Force, Stanford are not exactly making anybody shake in their boots these days, are they? But Notre Dame will get invited to a BCS bowl because they are Notre Dame and they did "qualify" with a top 10 BCS ranking. And just like the NCAA basketball tournament, worthy teams will get left out of the big picture (I'm looking your way SEC teams).
The bowl selections will be completed tonight so I'll be eager to write what I think about them in the next couple of days.
Big Five Prediction!
I realize that Villanova has already played Penn but my Big Five prediction is long overdue! So here it is...
2. St. Joe's
And watch out for the Penn State Nittany Lions to make a run for the NCAA bubble teams because they're off to a good start, while Bucknell, who was supposed to be Top 25 worthy has done nothing to help themselves early in the season.