Skip

There's lots of controversy
January 3, 2002 4:05 PM   Subscribe

There's lots of controversy about Nebraska playing for the national championship in tonight's Rose Bowl because they didn’t win their division or conference and got crushed 63–26 by Colorado in their last game of the season. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha (29 comments total)

 
The argument is that Colorado should be playing for the national championship because they beat Nebraska, or maybe it’s that Oregon should have a shot at the title because they beat Colorado 38–16 in the Fiesta Bowl. The reason Nebraska’s in is because the BCS computer, which ranks teams by strength of schedule and record among other arcane things, ranked Nebraska second, ahead of Colorado, by .05 points.

All of this mess is supposedly desecrating the hallowed traditions of college football. Well cry me a river. Tradition slipped out the window when they let the Galleryfurniture.com Bowl in the front door. Whoever wins tonight’s Rose Bowl Presented by AT&T will win the No. 1 ranking and the Sears National Championship Trophy from the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches’ Poll. If Nebraska wins tonight, the AP Top 25 poll will probably name Tostitos Fiesta Bowl winner Oregon as the No. 1 team and there will be a split championship even though a team won the championship game. if Miami wins tonight they will probably be the unaminous No. 1 team.

They should quit crying and get a real playoff system. Miami finished 11–0; both Nebraska and Oregon finished 11–1. College football has agreed to the BCS system, so they have to go by what the computer says. Besides, this whole “this team is better because they beat the team that beat that other team” crap is stupid. The only way to tell which team is better is to have them play each other (and even in the playoffs the better team can sometimes have a bad game and lose). Sure, Nebraska had one terrible game, but they won all their other games by double-digit margins. They deserve to be in.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:06 PM on January 3, 2002


> Nebraska had one terrible game

Oregon had one terrible *quarter,* the fourth against Stanford. Nebraska deserves to be watching the Ducks today.
posted by diddlegnome at 4:12 PM on January 3, 2002


Or maybe Colorado.
posted by diddlegnome at 4:13 PM on January 3, 2002


diddlegnome: I was going to say that any team called the Duclks doesn't deserve to play for the championship because of their name alone, but it's not like Cornhuskers are going to scare the opposition.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:21 PM on January 3, 2002


*yawn*

(I'm tired of the discussion because I'm a sports junkie and have overloaded on SportsCenter, espn.com and cnnsi.com)

That said, I propose a "Final Four" playoff system. The top 4 ranked teams meet in 2 semifinal bowl games (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3) on Dec. 23, with the 2 winners meeting Jan 1/2/3 for the championship. Usually, the debate about what teams deserve a shot extends down to about no. 4 in the rankings, and college athletics have good 'name recognition' with the "Final Four" of basketball. Makes marketing sense, I think.
posted by msacheson at 4:22 PM on January 3, 2002


i wonder if there's any controversy about Nebraska playing for the national championship in tonight's Rose Bowl because they didn’t win their division or conference and got crushed 63–26 by Colorado in their last game of the season. nah. nobody really gives a shit about sports, do they????
posted by quonsar at 4:23 PM on January 3, 2002


All I know is that this is the very situation in which Nebraska thrives. No pressure. A week of low-class haranguing to sufficiently piss them off. An opponent who is to be respected, but has been hyped beyond deserving by the national press. An added bonus is that they don't have their traditional home-team advantage roost.

Oh, and quonsar -- tell us about how Miami won their conference championship.
posted by RavinDave at 4:25 PM on January 3, 2002


I can vouch for msacheson overdosing on SportsCenter.

Go buffs.
posted by aacheson at 4:26 PM on January 3, 2002


The real travesty is obviously not having a Pac 10 vs. Big 10 matchup in the Rose Bowl... and no I'm not bitter.
posted by gyc at 4:28 PM on January 3, 2002


I would have rather seen Oregon and Miami and so I'm not happy about the BCS this year. But I think this system provides a much better result than the old way.

The old way had lopsided contests and games running at the same time. Teams that came on strong at the end of the year had to pay for a crappy start by ending up in a lousy bowl.
posted by perplexed at 4:30 PM on January 3, 2002


Useless Fun Fact™: Oregon is the only sports team licensed to use the likeness of a Disney character as their mascot, a very angry-looking Donald Duck. More on the mascot's history here.

Also, the new Oregon "O" logo is comprised of concentric ellipses representing Autzen Stadium and the track at Hayward Field, the old football venue.
posted by gazingus at 4:48 PM on January 3, 2002


If the BCS algorithm is public knowledge then it is up to the coaches to arrange their team's schedule to maximize their score on the system. Nebraska did it by loading up on home games. Obviously they know how to play all aspects of the game and not just what goes on between the sidelines.
posted by srboisvert at 4:49 PM on January 3, 2002


the bcs stinks.

but mind you, the old system was even worse. in fact, you'd be hard pressed to call it a system at all. bowl games weren't even taken into account until the mid 1950's (and not by all polls until around 1970). split championships were, and as tonight points out, can be quite a common happening. there wasn't any real effort to get the top teams together, because the good old boy network of bowl officials and their lackeys tied up conference champions without regard to the title situation.

regardless, the bcs does stink. it stinks to high heaven, and i cannot stand it.

here's the lescour method, which you will note, is fabulous.

12 teams. take the conference champions from every conference:

ACC
Big East
Big 10
Big 12
Conference USA
Mid-American
Mountain West
Pacific 10
Southeastern
Sun Belt Conference
Western Athletic Conference
--Highest ranking non conference champion/independent

seed them according to a committee, just like ncaa basketball tourney. top 4 seeds get a bye the first week.

some of these conferences aren't as strong. so what? with their conference champ automatically going to the big dance every year, recruiting will improve for them.
posted by lescour at 4:52 PM on January 3, 2002


Perhaps this will serve only to demonstrate how little attention I pay to sprots, but when did they stop having the Rose Bowl on New Year's?
posted by kindall at 4:55 PM on January 3, 2002


any team called the Duclks doesn't deserve to play for the championship because of their name alone, but it's not like Cornhuskers are going to scare the opposition.

Heh. Good point. I used to live in Nebraska (during the Johnny Rodgers years, when the Huskers won two national titles), and now I live in Oregon. And my college teams' nickname was the Pilots, which is only marginally better than Ducks and Cornhuskers. Apparently, I'm drawn to places with wussy mascots.

Since this is football, none of it matters much to me anyway (I'll take hockey). But because I read the papers and work in an office, I've absorbed a lot of it through osmosis. And the whole thing does seem unfair to Oregon and Colorado.
posted by diddlegnome at 5:22 PM on January 3, 2002


From Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning QB (the greatest sports column ever): "In other NFL news, here's the difference between the NFL and the BCS: The Bowl Championship Series designed an incredibly scientifically advanced computer formula able to choose, as No. 2 in the country overall, a team that finished third in its own conference. When you see Nebraska take the field at the Rose Bowl, keep this in mind about computer projections on the economy, global warming, etc."
posted by owillis at 5:39 PM on January 3, 2002


Colorado has three losses including one to Fresno State. They got what they deserved from Oregon for spouting off about the BCS. Nebraska is a worthy opponent for Miami. Still, I'm going to watch 'Will and Grace'.
posted by treywhit at 5:56 PM on January 3, 2002


The Ducks rule this year, but our Oregon State Beavers are also high quality...
posted by Mack Twain at 6:35 PM on January 3, 2002


Part of me would have liked to see Miami upset, for no reason other than to create complete BCS anarchy. But it is entertaining to watch Dorsey just pick apart the Nebraska defense. 34-0 at halftime is just funny.
posted by padjet1 at 7:05 PM on January 3, 2002


Nebraska should be banned from any championship consideration on the grounds that they are just too freakin' BORING. Playoffs work wonderfully well for college football... the smaller colleges have been doing it for years, with great results. One bad game early in the season doesn't eliminate you from title contention, and each of the playoff games carries much more weight than all but one of the major-college bowl games.

How bad would it be if college basketball did the poll/bowl dance each year, instead of the playoffs? No contest!

Oh, and Ducks all the way, baby.
posted by apollo at 8:20 PM on January 3, 2002


Then again, Nebraska essentially lost the game in the first half, getting behind 34-0. I'm just wondering how many viewers got bored themselves and didn't come back at the start of the second half.

I don't think this is what the BCS or the network wanted.
posted by dragonmage at 8:44 PM on January 3, 2002


Apollo, how the heck can you find Nebraska boring? The option, and watching Crouch run that ball, was one of the best things going in college football. I'm going to miss wathing him play next year.

As for tonight...ugh. That second quarter made me want to hid beneath a rock and never return.
posted by megnut at 9:10 PM on January 3, 2002


I'm just wondering how many viewers got bored themselves and didn't come back at the start of the second half.

It's a true football championship game, then, worthy of almost every Super Bowl.
posted by diddlegnome at 9:19 PM on January 3, 2002


how the heck can you find Nebraska boring?

Nebraska is boring because they're so one dimensional, and not in a good way. Furthermore, they played a ridiculous amount of home games this year against not so good competition. Furthermore, the problem with teams that depend solely on a running attack is that once they're down, it's hard to comeback. In this day of the west coast offense and 4 receiver sets, people want to see the ball moved quickly down the field. Even the Big 10, once the conference of three yards and a cloud of dust, has teams such as Northwestern, Purdue, and Illinois which feature spread out pro-styled offenses.
To see the an even more eletrifying QB run the option, look no further than Antwan Randle-El. So why did Eric Crouch deserve to win the Heisman again?
posted by gyc at 9:54 PM on January 3, 2002


The playoff system should be as follows

8 Teams...the 6 major conference champs, plus 2 wildcards (the 2 highest in the polls, so Florida and Nebraska this year). The first round uses the old bowl rivalries, such as the Pac 10 Champ playign the Big 10 Champ in the Rose Bowl. The winners go to the semis, thus to the finals, thus an undisputed national champion.
posted by Kevs at 12:27 AM on January 4, 2002


If bowl games were played in chillier places, Nebraska might win more often.
posted by Carol Anne at 7:29 AM on January 4, 2002


kevs,

your playoff is an easier sell, and is probably closer to what will eventually happen once the revolution comes. (aramaic, what is your position on this?) i'd like to see some of the lesser conferences involved, because of the excitement this brings to the basketball playoffs.

and carol anne, you are correct. if miami had to go play nebraska/michigan (et al) up north in late december, they would would definitely find it tougher sledding. so to speak.
posted by lescour at 8:56 AM on January 4, 2002


if miami had to go play nebraska/michigan (et al) up north in late december, they would would definitely find it tougher sledding

But it all evens out. When the northern teams come down to S. Florida in September, half their squad ends up in the emergency room with heat exhaustion.

Just for the record: WE'RE NUMBER ONE! (again.)
posted by groundhog at 10:07 AM on January 4, 2002


I'm just wondering how many viewers got bored themselves and didn't come back at the start of the second half.

My wife found me asleep in my chair. I don't even remember GETTING to the halftime stuff. And I had wanted to watch the match, too! Had it been more of a match, I may have stayed up.
posted by dwivian at 12:29 PM on January 4, 2002


« Older LNSEMSF's   |   How Cosmopolitan Are You? Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post