LSU@Alabama: Vindicating the BCS
I don’t mean to rehash old debates (who am I kidding? Of course I do. This is a blog after all), but another college football season means another post where I attempt to defend the BCS. And, of course, this weekend’s LSU-Alabama game presents a great opportunity for such a defense. Saturday’s highly anticipated SEC showdown would not be nearly as important if the BCS were replaced with the playoff that so many, including my colleague Tim, desire: A game that will likely make one team’s season while breaking another would be effectively meaningless, since both teams would make any conceivable playoff even with one loss.
This type of game is unique: It’s exciting in a way that no other mid-season game, in any sport, is ever exciting. This is a GOOD thing. It’s asinine that fans of college football want to kill the best thing about the sport, but the collective fascination with the concept of a playoff makes people say crazy things. This is the only thing that could lead someone like Dan Wolken to use the Alabama-LSU game as a way to attack the BCS. Continue reading »
Perhaps we all should have seen this coming from the start. I found myself unusually excited for this college football season (likely due to the misery surrounding the Mets’ baseball season) and, for the first time ever, actually tuned in to the season-opening Thursday night game between South Carolina and North Carolina State. It was a horrid football game, the kind of game where neither team deserves to win.
Two days later, BYU scored one of two big upsets of this college football season,* beating Oklahoma with the help of a Sam Bradford injury.
*Washington 13, USC 10 the other.
The tone for the season was set.
Here are the six worst things about the 2009 College Football Season:
Continue reading »
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Doug Lesmerises* has caused quite a bit of commotion early in the college football season with his unorthodox manner of voting. This week, Lesmerises’ top five teams in the country are Alabama, Boise State, and Houston, Florida, and Iowa. No other AP voter ranked the Gators lower. No other AP voter ranked any of the other four teams higher.
*Lesmerises isn’t alone here. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News pretty much does the same thing. It’s just that I read about Lesmerises first.
Lesmerises has laid out the rationale for his voting in painstaking detail each week. Instead of voting based on talent or coaching or preseason predictions, Lesmerises bases his ranking purely on results. Alabama’s win over Virginia Tech is the best in the country, and thus the Crimson Tide are No. 1, etc. His rankings alter dramatically from week to week because, well, the results alter dramatically. In his preseason rankings, Lesmerises had Oklahoma State ranked 14—one of the lowest rankings for the Cowboys. After their opening win over Georgia, he moved them all the way up to third, behind only Alabama and BYU. When OSU lost at home to Houston the next week, Lesmerises bumped the Cowboys down again to 22 and the Cougars from unranked to fourth. Needless to say, his ballot embraces flux.
Continue reading »