Florida was the right choice
December 7, 2006
Anyone who read my column about USC four weeks ago could imagine how thrilled and relieved I was to see the Trojans discarded by UCLA last Saturday. But, I’m not going to give another speech about karma and how USC never really did deserve to play in the BCS Championship Game. There’s no sense in beating a dead horse, or in this case, Trojan horse.
I must admit, though, when I predicted USC would lose one of its final four regular season games, I expected the loss to come to either California or Notre Dame. USC losing to UCLA was a real surprise.
It is clear now that USC’s biggest rival is Notre Dame, and UCLA’s biggest rival is USC. Playing UCLA the week after the emotional Notre Dame game is a USC scheduling mistake.
Note – Those of you that bet on USC to beat Ohio State in the BCS title game hopefully know that you still get your money back. Even though the Trojans lost, that was to UCLA, as all wagers are refunded from the Ohio State-USC match-up.
BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
As always, controversy reigned supreme in the final BCS standings. Under the current system it is almost impossible to make everyone happy. But common sense should tell you that if it must come down to only two teams, Ohio State and Florida is the correct match-up over Ohio State-Michigan.
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Michigan’s only real argument is that the BCS title game should involve the two best teams, and that the Wolverines are one of them. But without a game between Michigan and Florida, you can’t know for sure if that opinion is true. Losing by three points at Ohio State doesn’t automatically mean Michigan is the second-best team.
If there was a title game involving Michigan and Ohio State, and Michigan won, that would make it 1-1 between the teams this season. What were they then going to do to finally decide matters? Play a rubber match at Michigan?
Florida at least won its conference, the SEC, which is considered to be the toughest from top to bottom. More importantly, both human polls voted for Ohio State-Florida and not an Ohio State-Michigan rematch, which should be good enough for everyone except Wolverine fans in this case.
Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel caught a lot of flak from fellow coaches by abstaining from voting in the final USA Today poll, and not helping decide who plays against his Buckeyes for the BCS title. Michigan’s grumpy old Lloyd Carr called it “real slick” and “a vote against Michigan,” while Texas Tech’s Mike Leach went so far as to call Tressel’s explanation for not voting “sanctimonious bunk.”
But you can’t blame Tressel for not wanting to choose between Michigan and Florida. You must be careful what you wish for, and if Tressel’s vote swayed things in a certain team’s favor, he might regret his decision Jan. 8.
Where Tressel screwed up is that the rules said that when he took on this responsibility, he was obligated to disclose his vote in the final poll. Instead of not voting, Tressel should have voted Florida and Michigan both at No. 2, then LSU at No. 4, etc. He wouldn’t have been the first person to split one of his votes. By choosing not to decide, he has now jeopardized his future voting privileges and power to help pick who plays whom when it really counts.
By leading Ohio State to a perfect 12-0 record, quarterback Troy Smith is the absolute no-brainer choice. He should be voted unanimously, but he won’t be. Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn will steal some first-place votes, and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden will finish third. Hopefully Hawaii QB Colt Brennan gets fourth.