The Week That Were: 9.7.13

Written September 9th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Given the rain delay in the BYU /UT game this week and the deluge of rushing that befell the Longhorns after kickoff, there’s only one option for this week’s soundtrack.

See, this is why there should be no polls before the first weekend in October.

Hook’em

Once again, we see a number of teams that got votes due to their “name recognition” shown up early in the season, and others who are rising to the occasion still find themselves with a long way to go until November.

Cases in point: Texas, Notre Dame, Florida, and Southern Cal; all of whom lost on the same Saturday for the first time since September 11, 1976.

For the Longhorns, it’s been a slide into mediocrity for a while now. I’m not sure that people really understand the significance of the Mack Brown era… As the flagship school in of the top three recruiting hotbeds in the country, Brown’s teams have historically underwhelmed with the exception of two “lightening in a bottle” moments- Vince Young and Colt McCoy. Outside of their leadership behind center, the program has struggled; and it can be argued that some of this is due to poor coaching (see the Major Applewhite -vs- Chris Sims debacle) or poor recruiting (Texas recruited the last two Heisman winners as defensive backs, and didn’t reach out to Jamies Winston- this year’s new hotness).

While those things may be true, Mack seems to think that the issue is defense; as evidenced by the 550 yards rushing that they gave up to BYU on Saturday, the majority of which happened in the first three quarters. In response, Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz was fired on Sunday. Before you get excited, Austinites- his replacement is none other than Greg “GERG” Robinson, who’s amazing Michigan defenses gave up over 100 points in two games against Illinois.  I’m sure he’ll get the team motivated to return to the lofty status that UT should assume.

But you’ve also got to think that this is merely shuffling chairs on the Titanic- when your team plays so poorly that Shaggy Bevo’s servers go down as they did on Sunday, then you’ve got yourself a problem. Read More

We’re number TWO!?

Written August 13th, 2013 by Patrick

Number Two… For Now

As a new college football season approaches, most fans are full of anticipation of what the 2013 season will hold for their beloved team. Fans are full of anticipation, eager for August 31st to get here so we can put shoe to leather.

One of the rights of passage for college football fans is the ever popular preseason polls. Some publications release their polls early in the summer, only to leave fans drooling with anticipation for the “official AP and Coaches poll”. When the first Coaches poll was released a few weeks back, fans combed over, analyzed, and dissected every aspect of 1-25 and who “also received votes”.

Most Buckeye fans were very pleased with their preseason #2 ranking, right behind the 2011 and 2012 national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. We will take a look back over the past 14 seasons and see how much preseason rankings actually mean when it comes to winning a national championship. Read More

Bowl Crap

Written December 9th, 2009 by MaliBuckeye

As promised (or threatened. Whatever.), today we start the three part exploration of the “National Championship” process, including a look at the money trail on the current system, and a discussion about the relevancy for the whole thing. Much of this is from my work on an earlier site; I’ve updated it as best as possible because you deserve the best.

Because, it’s not enough to point fingers- I want us to really know the facts. First, we figure out how we get to where we are today.

Let’s start off by remembering that as the game was in its formative stages, it was more prestigious than “professional” football. There were major concerns that almost had the game banned, and it was only “Papa Bear” Halas’ ability to sign Illinois legend Red Grange to the Bears that gave the NFL any credibility. College football is big now, but it used to have no competition- no NFL, no NBA, no PBA.

The Roughrider

The Roughrider

And, college football existed before the NCAA (it was founded to address football’s issues)- which is may also be why the NCAA has never had a ‘champion’ for football. It’s also important to note that the NCAA basketball tournament has always existed (although, at one time it was less significant than the NIT, but that’s another post), so there’s always been sanctioned “championship”.

In this context, the first thing to realize is that (once upon a time) everyone was OK with the media or others deciding this and letting folks know.

You know an obnoxious Notre Dame fan who’s obsessed with all of their national championships? Or a Mich1gAAn fan with the same obsessions? Or even an Army fan who remembers when they were good (it’s true)? Back then, it was up to sports writers (like the Heisman, the MVP for the season) to make that determination.

But they weren’t the only ones- there were multiple “champions”, designated by differing groups. For instance, Ohio State has five “official” championships and seven other ones. So the idea of a “true” champion is mostly a modern one- our ancestors were either OK with the complexity, enjoyed the debate, or simply had better things to do. My vote is the latter- there just wasn’t 24 hour coverage online and on cable of sports (not that I’m complaining).

California women are hot

California women are hot

At one point, though, things got complex when the good folks in Pasadena decided to host a little game in 1902 in order to raise awareness for tourism and for their parade. That first game was Michigan and Stanford (I know, but it’s true), and saw Michigan win 49-0. But the Rose Bowl wasn’t always a Big T1e1n and Pac-10 event; one of the most famous moments in college football occurred in a game against Georgia Tech and Cal (I know, because my grandfather listened to it on the radio).

With the success of trips to California, other cities soon got into the act- Florida and Texas soon hosted bowl games of their own. To ensure a crowd, these games began to approach conferences in order to set up the best match ups and provide a vacation spot for fans from the east coast, the Midwest, and the plains states.

In all of this, though, the idea of “championship” never came into consideration. Even through the 80′s, there were split “championships“, as the Associated Press and Coaches Poll would select different teams. But any attempt to change the bowl alignments to facilitate a better process went out the window with the 1984 anti-trust decision that allowed for colleges (and conferences) to negotiate their own television deals (which is why Notre Dame has their own deal with NBC).

Because conferences were creating their own contracts, they were working to create the television rights for their bowl agreements. All the NCAA could do was “recognize” these bowl games (meaning “allow student athletes to play, and member institutions to participate”). “Recognizing” is not “sanctioning”.

This leads us to our next discussion regarding the financial realities of the current system, but let’s finish with a quick summary:

  1. NCAA never had a national champion for college football
  2. Bowls have never about championships or playoffs (only money; first from tourism, now from television)
  3. The NCAA is limited in their ability to change the bowl process and create a playoff now due to legal precedent

Next in our journey: Follow the money… The major barrier to making any changes. And why it’s not as lucrative for your alma mater as you might imagine.

Ohio State at #6 in preseason Coaches Poll

Written August 7th, 2009 by Jeff

Just out this morning, the USA Today Coaches Poll.  And as the headline reads, Ohio State is placed at #6.

Rank
Team (first-place votes)
2008 record
Points
Final 2008 rank
1.
Florida (53)
13-1
1,466
1
2.
Texas (4)
12-1
1,386
3
3.
12-2
1,358
5
4.
12-1
1,321
2
5.
12-2
1,134
6
6.
10-3
1,126
11
7.
10-4
1,020
14
8.
11-2
988
8
9.
8-5
917
NR
10.
9-4
889
15
11.
9-4
861
18
12.
9-4
711
25
13.
10-3
707
10
14.
Oregon
10-3
694
9
15.
9-4
559
22
16.
Boise State
12-1
542
13
17.
11-2
461
7
18.
13-0
404
4
19.
9-4
371
23
20.
North Carolina
8-5
293
NR
21.
9-4
257
20
22.
9-4
236
NR
23.
Notre Dame
7-6
194
NR
24.
10-3
178
21
25.
Oregon State
9-4
165
19
Others receiving votes (with 2008 records)
Kansas (8-5) 138; Michigan State (9-4) 136; Texas Tech (11-2) 114; Cincinnati (11-3) 90; Pittsburgh (9-4) 64; West Virginia (9-4) 55; Rutgers (8-5) 51; Miami (Fla.) (7-6) 46; Missouri (10-4) 44; Illinois (5-7) 38; Clemson (7-6) 30; South Carolina (7-6) 18; UCLA (4-8) 14; Auburn (5-7) 12; Nevada (7-6) 11; South Florida (8-5) 11; Kentucky (7-6) 9; North Carolina State (6-7) 7; Arkansas (5-7) 6; Wisconsin (7-6) 6; Northwestern (9-4) 5; Southern Mississippi (7-6) 4; Wake Forest (8-5) 4; Arizona (8-5) 3; Boston College (9-5) 3; Central Michigan (8-5) 3; East Carolina (9-5) 3; Colorado (5-7) 2; Maryland (8-5) 2; Navy (8-5) 2; Tennessee (5-7) 2; Houston (8-5) 1; Michigan (3-9) 1; Minnesota (7-6) 1; Troy (8-5) 1.

Defending champion Florida is overwhelmingly #1, and Texas is #2.

The sport’s first BIG game of the year will take place on September 12th, when #4 USC visits Ohio State.  Expect lots and lots of hype.

Other Big Ten notables – Penn State is #8, Iowa is at #21, Michigan State just missed at #27, and Illinois, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, and Michigan also received votes.

And yes, you read that right….some dumbass coach put Michigan at #25 in their poll.  Seriously?  A 3-9 team with no defense returning, no running game returning, a new QB and a coach who drove off something like 12 or 13 former players to other schools.  Yeah, they deserve to be in the Top 25.

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