Monday, December 03, 2007

BCS Respect Waning, Waning, Woeful

LSU will be taking on Ohio State in the National Championship game this year.  This is what the BCS system has come up.  These teams are considered the best that this country has to offer. 

Of course, if any of you reading this have perused before, you know that I'm partial to Virginia Tech, being an alum and all.  I spent a good part of yesterday watching my Redskins give up a heartbreaker (17-16) to the Bills; but in the back of my mind, I was slowly trying to build a case for why the Hokies have earned (a key word here) a chance to play for the big pretty sparkly football.  By the time, the BCS Selection had started, I had actually convinced myself, or maybe just got my hopes up really really high, that the 'experts' would see that Va Tech is as deserving of a National Championship if not more so. 

Needless to say, I was disappointed.  At first, it was just disappointment born of my own blown-out-of-proportion hopes.  Then the internet trolling began....what's that you say?   The computers have ranked Virginia Tech first in 4 out of 6 computer tallies?  But the humans showed no love, no respect?  Disappointment has slowly marinated into anger at this point. 

So let's go through some things in regards to Va Tech's argument to be in the National Championship game -- and what better place to start with than our two losses.

@ #2 LSU - Week 2 - LSU soundly beat the Hokies 48-7.  There is no denying that.  The Hokies came in with an inexperienced and injury riddled offensive line, a qb with growing confidence but easily rattled, and an atmosphere rarely replicated anywhere else.  The perfect storm for just such a blowout.  Given that, the Tigers may have played their best game this year that night.  That, for all the talk of SEC superiority, has been their statement game this season.  They have simply looked like a good to very good team since that game.   Virginia Tech has improved week in and week out.   An early season loss is rarely used as the validation for keeping a team out of the national title hunt...but this year, as I will soon prove, is all the human voters have.

@ #2 BC - Week 8 - The Boston College Eagles strode into Lane Stadium as one of the hottest teams in the country.  For 53 minutes and 59 seconds, the Virginia Tech Hokies put them in their place.  A breakdown physically, mentally, and strategically led to a 14 - 10 loss to BC at Lane Stadium.  Though an interesting game, what is more interesting is the number of stories last week -- before the ACC Championship game, a rematch of BC-VT -- that made note of the implications of that game.  Essentially, had VT won that rainy Thursday night, the ACC Championship game would have been VT playing to get in the National Championship game.  With that being said, the Hokies showed that they were indeed better than Boston College with a win in the ACC Championship game. 

So that begs the question:  If Va Tech would have been in the Championship  game if they had won in October and they avenged that loss in the Conference title game, why exactly are they not going to the National Championship game?  Ah, the answer lies in hypocrisy my dear fellow.  Apparently, simple logic is not at play.  If you say a win at BC in mid-season is enough to make you forgot a week 2 loss, then it would be fair to say that a win against BC in a title game should make the pollsters forget about a week 2 loss, correct?  Chew on that, I'ma move on.

OSU vs LSU -  I firmly believe neither of these teams deserve this shot.  LSU has been ranked number one twice this season and managed to lose that standing twice -- including once to an unranked team.  Do you think pollsters would be as sympathetic to a team they hadn't picked as their preseason favorite?  LSU is a remarkably talented team.  But let's face it, they haven't gotten any better since that week in September.  And quite frankly, they've been pretty lucky a few times as well.  OSU, well, I hate to join the cacophony of Buckeyes haters, but their strength of schedule is ridiculously unimpressive.  I know I know, they should be penalized because other members of their conference can't keep up.  But what about their non-conference slate:  Youngstown St, Akron, Wash, and Kent State.  I hear you Bucks fans with the 'they schedule years in advance'.  But be real with yourselves, years ago your athletic director knew that Youngstown (Div I AA), Akron, and Kent State were not going to be powerhouses!  And quite frankly, with a loss to an unranked Illini team, I'm not sure you earned a trip to the big one.  Who is your keynote win?  Where was your statement game?

And LSU fans, for all the talk of SEC superiority, LSU's opponents' win - loss record (91 wins to 67 losses) is exactly one game better than VT's (90 wins to 68 losses).  And the Ohio State university can't even be included in this analysis as their opponents win-loss tally is 73 - 71 -- and that includes Div I AA Youngstown State's 7-4 mark which means your DIV I win-loss ratio would 66 wins to 67 losses.

So with all that said, who do I think should be in the National Championship game?  I believe it should be Virginia Tech vs Oklahoma.  I am a fan of winning your conference championship in order to play for a National championship. It's as simple as that.  There's the ACC, SEC, Big 12, and some smaller conferences with the courage to have their conference champion be declared on a neutral field.  LSU reppin' the SEC is out for reasons stated above.  That leaves Va Tech and the Sooners to battle it out.

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