Sunday, November 26, 2006

What USC and Notre Dame deserve

June 19, 2008 Note: This is a post that originally appeared on Golden's Football Rankings and is reproduced here for posterity.

-Ok, I have no argument with anyone who wants to cite USC’s resume for being in the championship game over Michigan, but the post game coverage on ABC and ESPN was ridiculous. In post game commentary, Lee Corso, Bob Davie, and Kirk Herbstreit, who is danger of losing his title as the world’s smartest OSU graduate (although he might just retain it for lack of competition), all stated that they felt the game wasn’t as one-sided as the score indicated, and Notre Dame had “earned” a Rose Bowl bid with how well they played. At the same time, they felt that USC was “clearly” the best one-loss team based on the win over Notre Dame.
-First of all, USC’s win over the Irish was virtually the same as Michigan’s. Both teams dominated Notre Dame. Michigan’s defense was more dominating, USC’s offense was more explosive. Michigan won on the road, USC at home. If you want to say the Trojans deserve the trip to Glendale on the basis of their strong non-conference schedule, or because Michigan had their shot at OSU, fine. But they don’t get the nod because they were more impressive against their one common opponent, they weren’t.
-Notre Dame didn’t “earn” a Rose Bowl birth. If they get a Rose Bowl birth, it will because the Rose Bowl thinks they will be a good draw, not because they scored a few cosmetic TDs at USC. I doubt that will happen. If the message boards are any indication, neither the Notre Dame or Michigan fanbases want a rematch, especially when they play in Ann Arbor next September. This is not like the Miami/Fsu rematch a few years back, neither of these teams are local. It is unlikely that either team will sell out their allotment of tickets.
-Assuming USC and Florida wins next week, the BCS bowls appear to be:
Champ: USC vs OSU
Rose: Michigan vs LSU
Sugar: Florida vs Notre Dame
Orange: ACC vs Big East
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs Boise State
-However, if USC and Florida lose, it could get very interesting. Right now LSU is #5 and Louisville #6 in the BCS rankings. Moving up two spots would guarantee both teams an at large bid. Combined with a Rutgers win over West Virginia, all four at-large bids would be locked up. In that situation, Michigan, LSU, L’ville and Boise would get the four at-large bids, leaving Notre Dame and Florida (as well as top 12 Auburn and Wisconsin) on the outside looking in.
-I wonder how much the downward direction of the Miami and FSU programs have to do with the emergence of new programs in the state of Florida. When their respective dynasties started in the late 70s and early 80s, Central Florida, South Florida, and FIU and FAU didn’t have football programs. Now these teams probably don’t compete for elite recruits, but they have probably diverted some of the lesser kids, and some fans and media attention away from the traditional big three.
-What a great turnaround for the Rice program. In early October they were 1-5, with four double digit losses, two by more than 40 points. Six wins later, they are on their way to their first bowl since the Kennedy administration. 1st year coach Todd Graham deserves some Coach of the year consideration.