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May I Go Just a Little FJM on Rick Reilly


I mean I know we've got a lot to cover what with the Gators coming up this weekend but, this happened on Friday, and I think it demands a response.

Please keep in mind that this isn't a defense of the BCS; I do however demand better arguments against it.

This is long and contains profanity. However that profanity is almost exclusively related to Clemson. You have been warned: 

 

College football has more ways to hose you than Home Depot.

 

I checked it out. There are 896 hoses in 15 departments at Home Depot. I will expect your list of 900 ways in which I am being hosed by College Football to begin now. Go ahead. I've got time. Let's hear em.

There are 10 undefeated teams right now. Thanks to the prehistoric and Mr. Magoo-sighted BCS one-game playoff system, only two teams will get a chance to prove they're champions.

Let's be clear. "Right now" is October 21, 2011, when these ten teams who will likely play for the national championship have between four and five regular season games, in some cases against each other, followed by conference championship games. So, first of all we've still got a little bit of time. Why in the time since you've written this it's down to eight...perhaps a touch premature?

But the second part is right on. Actual exchange between prehistoric men in prehistoric playoff system:

Og: who kill mammoth best in cave?

Grog: Computer say Holgor, but vote of cave elders say Kronk! It is to early to tell beside

Og: RRRRRRAAAAAARRRRGH

/hits Grog with club end scene.

Seriously Rick? Prehistoric is what you went with there to verbalize your frustration with a beaurocratic, needlessly complex, subjective system? In prehistory, man ran from sabre tooth tiger. If man made it into cave, man advance to next round; if not, eliminated. Prehistory was one giant playoff. Ok moving on.

Mr. Magoo-sighted. That's just Green-notebook headed, Alexander Graham Bell - phoning it in right there brother, but let's see how it finishes. A one game playoff with only two teams eh? Thank you for clarifying. Og and Grog wanted a one game playoff in which many teams of cavemen can play. LSU and Alabama vs. the Sabre tooth tigers and Kronk with his club? Of course only two teams can play in a one game playoff? That's the definition of one game.

Compared to the BCS, North Korean dictators are chosen in a richly satisfying process. 

Let me just make sure I understand your position on North Korea. The teams which compete for a national championship will be chosen based on three factors 1) the votes of the independent members of the AP poll 2) the votes of the members of the coaches poll 3) the objective calculation of several computer polls which are transparent and can be recreated by an independent media. I would like to offer a minor edit to that sentence:

 Compared to the BCS op ed pieces on ESPN, North Korean dictators are chosen in a richly satisfying process.

So let's play ... Who Will the BCS Crucify This Time?

Whoa there.....I'm still waiting for my 900 hosings. What happened here, getting crucified is a pretty big jump from getting hosed. Let's chat for a minute about the history of the BCS. In the 13 seasons which the BCS has decided the national championship there have been nine teams which were undefeated but did not play for the national championship. So, and I'm just guessing here, but maybe some of the ten undefeated teams might work themselves out in the next six freakin weeks where teams play there most difficult games and many of the ten teams you are about to mention play each other. But let's talk about the last times. The nine teams who have gone undefeated, but not played for the BCS championship:

1998 - 2003 - none

2004: Auburn and Utah

I think you have a point where Auburn is concerned. In 2004 USC played OU for the national championship - both were undefeated in the regular season. Utah did not beat anyone with more than 7 wins. There misfortune. They're out; no hosing. Auburn had beaten LSU (9 wins), UGA (10 wins) and UT twice (10 wins) while OU had only beaten one legitimate team; 11 win Texas. So I'm going to give you this one Richard. in 2004, Auburn, but not Utah, became the first team in seven years to get hosed out of a BCS championship opportunity. And frankly, I don't care for Auburn much anyway. Moving on.

2005: none

2006: Boise State left out. One loss Florida played Undefeated Ohio State.

Boise State had beaten 10 winner Oregon State and 11 game winner Hawaii. Ohio State beat 10 win Texas, 12 win Wisconsin, 11 win Michigan, and 9 win Penn State. Ohio State clearly not hosing. Florida did lose to Auburn, however they beat a 10 win Arkansas team, an 11 win LSU team, and a pair of nine game winners in UGA and Tennessee. I understand the argument on this one, but I'm not going to say that Boise got hosed by Florida. So we're sitting on one hosing in nine years.

2007: Hawaii - funny thing I just glanced out my window and Marcus Howard sacked Colt Brennan again. Hawaii sucked; arguments to the contrary are a waste of time and energy.

2008 Utah left out; one loss Florida plays one loss Oklahoma. Utah beat an 11 win TCU team and a 10 win BSU team. Florida lost to a nine win Ole Miss team, but beat a 10 win UGA, 12 win Alabama and a 9 win FSU squad. OU lost to a 12 win Texas team but beat an 11 win TCU, 11 win Texas Tech (yarrrrgh), a 9 win Oklahoma State and a 10 win Missouri. Again, I see your point on this one, playoff would be better, but hosed? You honestly think Utah was more deserving? I say no hosing. Still at one.

2009: BSU and TCU left out of undefeated Alabama and Texas.

No one wanted anything but Alabama Texas; you say otherwise you're lying. BSU had one good win - Oregon. TCU had three Clemson with 9 wins, BYU with 11 and Utah with 10. Alabama had 4 that were better, Texas had three that were as good. No hosing.

2010: TCU left out of undefeated Auburn vs. undefeated Oregon. TCU had beaten 10 win Utah, 9 win Airforce, and 9 win San Diego State. Auburn was vastly better. Oregon's only decent win was a 12 win Stanford. I'll give you that TCU got hosed here. I think Oregon would have beaten TCU, but I think TCU deserved a shot.

So grand total is two hosings in 13 years. You were saying:

Will it be ... Oklahoma?

It will not. But you couldn't have known that, let's see why you thought so....

The Sooners (6-0) started the season No. 1 in the coaches' poll and have done nothing but sledgehammer every team since. And yet they're No. 3 in the inexplicable BCS standings -- behind LSU (No. 1 BCS and FBI) and Alabama (No. 2). The BCS is so SEC-bent that even if the Sooners beat undefeated and fourth-ranked Oklahoma State in the Bedlam Bowl, there's insane talk that if the LSU-Bama game is close those two would play again in the title game.

 

The SEC. We don't have to prove anything.

K. So you're saying the coaches votes should have an impact on this now? That's all the BCS is bro, that and some stats. And inexplicable that OU is behind LSU and Alabama? Allow me to explain: Oklahoma, again, prior to losing to Texas Tech had beaten Florida State, and Texas. LSU had beaten Oregon and West Virginia, Alabama has beaten Penn State and Arkansas. it's very close....which is reflected in the standings. And two of these teams play each other. There is virtually no chance of OU being screwed by the second place team in the SEC west. That insane talk would be exactly that, insane. OU winning out (which is now moot) would have involved beating not only OSU, but Baylor, Texas A&M, and Kanasas State probably twice (is there still a big 12 championship? I feel like there is, if not sorry). It's completely impossible. Is anyone except you offering this insane talk?

And the SEC doesn't have to prove anything? You're actually hurting my head Rick.

If you're Sooners coach Bob Stoops, what do you do: weep like Sally Fields? Kick a hole in a window? Egg BCS chairman Bill Hancock's house?

Beat Texas Tech. Be thankful that you got into the 2008 national championship after losing to Texas and getting run off the field in 2004 by USC? These are things you could do.

"I'd be disappointed because I feel like we've played a particularly challenging schedule," Stoops says, "and up to this point have won our games convincingly. But any of us in college football have no choice but to accept it. That's the system we're using so we abide by the outcome."

Bob Stoops, completely reasonable man.

Can somebody buy this man a warm glass of milk? Get mad, Bob! Throw a Naomi Campbell fit! College football head coaches like you are the face of the game. If you started shaking your fists and turning blue, we'd have a playoff system by 2014! Instead, you all shrink like Chippendales dancers in a cold pool

Get mad over the way the BCS occaisionally puts teams which are generally perceived as better than they are into national championship games eh? Bob Stoops memory of 2008 > Rick Reilly's memory of 2008.  

Is it ... Wisconsin?

Would you look at that, another one that took care of itself.

The Badgers (6-0) have been chewing up teams like balsa wood. They've clubbed every team by an average of more than 40 points. They crushed then-No. 8 Nebraska by 31.They finally have a quarterback who can run AND throw. And yet they're ranked sixth, behind Boise State.

What the hell does chewing balsa wood mean? I wondered too, so I googled "chewing balsa wood" and found this informative forum discussing whether eating balsa wood was bad for you. Balsa wood eating forum reader Howell writes:

I've done it for years. The best thing is that micromodels come out the other end....

howell

I will not speculate on what our columnist has been eating.

But wait. Are you serious? Yeah they beat Nebraska, but, UNLV, Oregon State, South Dakota, Northern Illinios, and Indiana? Get out of here. I think the key word in "then number eight Nebraska," is "then." And I cannot stress this enough Rick, they are barely behind Boise State. They have similar resumes, and are ranked very close together. And they have twelve more games to play! Why are you writing this!

True, trying to win a national championship by beating Big Ten teams is like trying to get drunk drinking non-alcoholic beer, but what do you want them to do? They can only play their schedule and they've fricaseed every team they've played, 301-58. It's enough to make a Wisconsin fan hurl his lunch, which would be known as Bielemia.

Right. You know who else has fricaseed (is that possibly the correct spelling for that word?) every opponent they have faced? LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma State. And they have done it to better oppenents. Which is why they are ahead of Wisonsin, and why Wisonsin and Boise are very close together....with SIX GAMES LEFT TO PLAY!

Is it ... Stanford?

 

The Cardinal (6-0) have been holy. It's not just Luck. They're allowing only 11.2 points a game. They've won by an average of 35 points. Who does that and is still only ranked eighth?

 

Teams who do this to SJSU, Duke, Arizona, Washington, Washington State, UCLA, and Colorado? That's the answer right? You don't have to tell me I know.

QB Andrew Luck can shred any secondary in the country, up to and including the Indianapolis Colts'. Just because they play too late for you to watch their games doesn't mean they aren't great. You hadn't heard of Scarlett Johansson, either, had you?

 

And at such time as they shred Oregon and USC I will listen to this argument. And wait a damn minute here. Is this Rick Reilly accusing someone of east coast bias? That....that doesn't seem right.

What the hell do you mean about Scarlett Johansson? What does that have to do with anything? Why am I here?

The irony is that while the humans love the Cardinal, the computers hate them. Imagine that, in the home of Google, Stanford's search will probably be "Not Found."

 The humans all like them less than LSU and Alabama, but even the computers clearly don't hate them. Rick, stay with me here, the hard part of Stanford's schedule is the end. The computers account for this. This is why writing this column now, when there is nearly HALF A SEASON LEFT MAKES NO SENSE!

If they go undefeated, they'll have beaten a solid USC team, Oregon, Notre Dame and somebody else good in the first-ever Pac-12 championship game. And yet they'll be studying trig textbooks when the title game is held.

Hey, BCS: FAIL.

But, you just said it, how do you not understand, they haven't done that? What do you want from the BCS? It cannot see the future? Though I imagine it would not guess that there would be ten undefeated teams WITH HALF THE SEASON LEFT!!! WHY ARE YOU WRITING THIS!!

Is it ... Oklahoma State?

Computers love Stillwater, perhaps because they've never been there. The Cowboys are ranked No. 1 in four computer polls, but fourth in the BCS. They could beat Oklahoma, then-No. 8 Texas A&M and still get SEC'd with a heinous LSU-Bama sequel in the title game.

If the computers love OSU, then only the humans are keeping them out of the title game. LSU and Alabama play each other, do you honestly believe that an OSU team currently ranked (as of your writing) number 3 in the AP and number 4 in the coaches polls, that did the things you described would not jump a one loss LSU or Alabama team? That. Is. Insane.

So, OSU head coach Mike Gundy, would you be hacked off?

 

"Yes," he says, "because you'd like for your team to have an opportunity to play for a national championship if they win every game. But there really isn't anything you can do if this happened."

 

Sigh.

 If this happened. Which would be impossible, but if it did would happen six weeks from now. In between now and then OSU and many other fine programs will each play many games of football....again, and I cannot stress this enough against other undefeated teams.

Is it ... Boise State?

 

Boise State (6-0) has been robbed more than a Sicilian Brinks truck. The Broncos are No. 5 in the BCS and probably hosed again.

Are you implying a Sicilian Brinks truck has been robbed between zero and one times? See above for discussion of Boise State getting hosed.

This would be the third time since 2002 they've gone undefeated and not been invited to The Big Bowl. And yet every time they play a big-conference school they tend to win, including Georgia this year and TCU coming up.

What the hell does that have to do with anything? Boise has played precisely one big conference school this year. And we're (pains to say it) probably the fourth best team in the SEC west right now. Let's not go too crazy there chief. And that TCU team, the one that Boise hasn't beaten yet, that's two loss TCU right? Just checking.

Me? I'd sue.

I have no doubt you would.

But Boise State head coach Chris Petersen? He makes nice.

 

"We only worry about things we can control," Petersen says. "Each week the team tries to play to the best of their abilities and get better. Whatever happens at the end of the season happens. ... The BCS has been very good to Boise State. Twice we've been to BCS games and had great experiences. Six to seven years ago we were not even in the discussion."

 

Sound of me slapping my forehead.

Chris Petersen, reasonable man.

Is it ... Clemson?

 

Fuck Clemson.
Only Alabama has a tougher schedule among The Ten as seventh-ranked Clemson (7-0). If the Tigers go undefeated, they'll have beaten everybody but the Chinese army -- Auburn, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Florida State and South Carolina.

 

 

Clemson beat Wofford by 8 and allowed a combined 83 points to Maryland and North Carolina.

If they get left behind, would Clemson coach Dabo Swinney go out in his back yard and rip out a juniper bush with his bare hands?

 

Dabo Swinney would almost certainly react to this disappointment by saying "you know what, screw it, today I'm doing yard work without the gloves." Unfortunately his wife told him just as he was getting started to get his no good hands of her rock juniper.

"Well, after a 6-7 season last year, I really haven't thought about going undefeated," Swinney says. "At 7-0 we haven't done anything yet other than get some attention."

 

But, Coach, if it happened ... ?

"Well, there are a lot of bushes to be removed from our yard."

Dabo Swinney; silly name, reasonable man.

Is it .. .Kansas State or Houston?

Both are undefeated. Houston (6-0) has a chance to ride it out. Kansas State (6-0), probably not. If either went undefeated and forgotten, it wouldn't start any Occupy Bristol movements, but it's still not right.

You don't even have the heart to make the argument for the Houston Cougars do you? Me neither.

The point is, this could be the most disgusting BCS year yet and that's saying something. We could end up with six undefeated teams that would have a legit right to play in the title game, four of which would get buried alive:

The most disgusting BCS year to date was 2004 in which one team got screwed. And it was Auburn. So it's ok.

Times we have had six undefeated teams in the past 13 years: 0

Times we have had more than three undefeated teams in the past 13 years: 2

Times in which the left out team had a legitimate claim to be in the national championship - I'll say two. Auburn 2004 and 2010 TCU. Maybe 2008 Utah if we're being generous.

1) LSU/Alabama winner

2) Oklahoma/Oklahoma State/Kansas State survivor

3) Wisconsin

4) Stanford

5) Boise State

6) Fuck Clemson

 

This would break the previous BCS stain of burning two undefeated teams in 2004 and 2009, doubling the number of undefeated teams not deemed worthy of the title game.

 

And yet the BCS and its see-no-evil university presidents have no intention of getting it right and giving us a playoff when the contract comes up in 2013.

I've crossed out the situations that have worked themselves out in the last three days. For the record although none of them was burned in 2009 there were three undefeated teams, BSU, TCU and Cincinatti who did not play for the national championship.

The BCS: See, We Just Don't Really Care.

So ...

Q: Who Will the BCS Crucify This Time?

A: Us.

Two things in closing Rick:

1) Everybody's having fun here except you and

2) I was just about to tell you to get off the cross

Later folks

Go Dawgs.

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