Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thoughts on the 1st BCS Poll...

The first BCS poll is due out today, and it appears the candidates to play in the one bowl game people care about are as follows:

Texas
Florida
Alabama
Iowa
Miami
USC
LSU

The most probable outcome is the SECCG winner vs unbeaten Texas to decide the title. Similar to the past few years, the SEC Champ vs the Big 12 Champ is the best scenario for college football. It appears that if Texas can come back from the Red River Rivalry and win at Mizzou and Okie State the next 2 weeks, they should be set. Kansas was exposed this weekend and no one from the North will challenge the Horns in the Big 12 CG. Iowa has a shot if they can win out, but that would mean winning in Columbus on Nov 14th. If the SEC Champ has one loss, Iowa could make a case that they should be taking on Texas.

Miami can get in via their reputation and the Oklahoma non-conference win, but they need Texas, Iowa, and maybe USC to lose. LSU still controls its destiny to get to Atlanta, but don't appear likely to knock off the Tide. USC/Oregon out of the Pac-10 need a lot of help and schedules will probably keep Boise/Cincy/TCU out of the equation.

Most are assuming the unbeaten UF/Bama SECCG winner will take on unbeaten Texas and Iowa will lose to OSU. This works out well for the BCS, but their could still be chaos. What if going in to Championship Saturday the rankings look like this?

1. Florida (12-0)
2. Texas (12-0)
3. Boise (12-0)
4. USC (11-1)
5. Miami (11-1)
6. Alabama (11-1)
7. Cincinnati (12-0)
8. TCU (12-0)
9. Iowa (11-1)
10. Penn St (11-1)

Again, things look good as long as Florida and Texas win, but what if there is a 2007 scenario where both lose and everyone else wins? What then? The computers hate Boise and voters would not likely vote them in the top 2, but who would be 1? How would voters decide between Miami/USC/Bama and the unbeaten non-BCS schools? This would be very, very interesting.

RSM Top 25

1. Texas
2. Alabama
3. Florida
4. Iowa
5. USC
6. Boise State
7. Cincinnati
8. TCU
9. Miami
10. Oregon
11. LSU
12. Penn State
13. Georgia Tech
14. Oklahoma State
15. Virginia Tech
16. Ohio State
17. Utah
18. West Virginia
19. Pittsburgh
20. Houston
21. Texas Tech
22. South Carolina
23. Arizona
24. Wisconsin
25. BYU

2 comments:

William Satterwhite said...

I think the pecking order would be pretty clear: Unbeaten Cincy- one loss USC- one loss SEC champ- one loss Miami. Boise St won't even be a factor in the equation, in fact I think your hypothetical rankings are spot-on except Cincy and Boise would be flipped.

As long as Cincy remains unbeaten, they will continue to build momentum and advance up the rankings, especially if a high profile job opens up (say Notre Dame or Colorado) and all eyes become focused on Brian Kelly. As long as both Pitt and West Virginia keep winning (aside from the Bayckyard Brawl of course), an unbeaten Cincy won't get left out for any 1-loss team. All the talk about a one loss team finishing ranked ahead of an undefeated Big East team came before A)the SEC looked a lot tougher than it looks now and B)the Big East looked a lot weaker than it looks now. If an unbeaten Cincy beats a 10-1, 9-2 or even 8-3 Pitt team on Championship Game Saturday- with a spotlight on them- there is no way they finish behind any one loss team.

If USC beats Oregon and wins out, they will be solid as the top 1-loss team going into that last Saturday- it would be the exact opposite of last year where USC was penalized for having lost to a team that was beaten by the top undefeated non-AQ. While no one could rationalize ranking USC over Utah when they lost to the same common opponent (and by extension, below the top one loss contenders), that wouldn't apply this year. They already pass the eye test, this year they would have a good enough resume to seal the deal. Also, don't understimate the Pasadena effect.

As for a one loss Bama, the fact that the SEC is down this year will make it rough (not to mention the late loss factor). Right now, there is no real difference between a loss to Washington versus a loss to UT, Miss St or Auburn except that one would have happened in September while the other happened in late October or November.

Now a real nightmare scenario is if Alabama loses to LSU, Florida remains unbeaten and beats LSU for the SEC championship and everybody else loses at least once. Then, who gets to play Florida for the National title?

Jeff said...

Good points William. Cincy certainly needs to have Pitt win out until Championship Saturday to make that game a possible semi-final for them. Otherwise, with the USC brand name and national exposure will likely get the nod.