BCS / Bowl Post

I guess I can”t go all year writing about LSU and college football and not do something on the way the BCS shook out. So here goes: You can make a damned fine case that Florida had the second-best season and deserves to play in the BCS title game instead of Michigan. Look at the schedules, the number of bowl teams beaten, the fact that they played one more game … I think objectively Florida wins the argument. And, by the way, the argument is not who is the “second best team” as ESPN Radio is fond of saying. It”s who had the “second best season”, which is a combination of you being good, you winning and who you beat. I might argue that LSU is a better team than Florida or Michigan, but we didn”t prove it and certainly didn”t have the “second best season”.

But what happened on Dec. 3 was not an objective analysis of the merits of Florida and Michigan. It was the simple human bias and poll politics I”ve written about so often as the flaw of human polls. The human voters didn”t want Michigan in the game, so they voted them out. That”s just plain wrong.

Or maybe this was the one instance in the history of human polls where the tradition of holding the status quo gave way to a rational and reasoned analysis of each team”s season. Somehow I doubt it.

Florida deserves to play in the BCS title game, but Michigan still got screwed. Screwed because they played by the same rules all other teams did. The expectation Michigan had was that polls would work as polls always do. That was reasonable, but the human pollsters conspired against them to stop an OSU / Michigan rematch. That sucks.

And although it sucks for Michigan to get screwed over, there”s potential bright spots here. First, look for the Big 10 to stop playing their last games two freaking weeks before real conferences. The Pac-10 got smart and at least scheduled rivalry games on the first week in December so they stay relevant despite the lack of a conference championship.

I wouldn”t expect the Big 10 to actually move to a modern format and get themselves a championship game – I think they”re more likely to lead the playoff push – but they need a strategy for getting their relevance back.

As for the BCS, it”s getting what it deserved. After USC was properly kept out of the 2004 title game, the influence of cold, hard science was lessened in favor of human polls. See what you get?? I don”t think the BCS would go back to more of a computer influence, but look for a new rule that would have at least disqualified Michigan – you have to win your conference to play in the title game. Except, of course, in the case of Notre Dame, which doesn”t have a conference and gets special BCS treatment.

That brings me to LSU”s fate in the BCS shakeup. Hard to complain about the Sugar Bowl, of course, but having the Rose Bowl prospect hanging out there makes a trip to New Orleans a bit of a downer. And Notre Dame squeaked in and looks a lot weaker than they used to. It should be a good game, though. I”ll be watching it at home.

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