Wednesday, December 07, 2005

More BCS mess...

The BCS rankings accidentally got the matchup right this year, an undisputed #1-#2 matchup between USC and Texas.

This does not mean, however, that the process is without controversy. For the first time, the final coaches poll ballots of each coach were revealed. [The ESPN/USA Today poll is composed of 62 current college head coaches] The bias and outright hypocrisy in the system became evident.

The closest thing the BCS has to a controversy is that a 9-2 Notre Dame team got into the BCS with an automatic bid, but 10-1 Oregon did not.

Looking at the final coach's polls, it wasn't for lack of trying by the Pac-10. With the exception of first year head coach Walt Harris (who had the Irish at 5th), the Pac-10 coaches dropped Notre Dame in their rankings and inflated the Ducks to try and squeeze out some of the $14.5 million payout from the Fiesta Bowl for themselves.

The coaches of the Pac-10 voted as follows:
Bellotti - Oregon: Oregon #4; Notre Dame #9
Doba - Washington State: Oregon #5; Notre Dame #12
Tedford - California: Oregon #4; Notre Dame #10
Willingham - Washington: Oregon #4; Notre Dame #9

The SEC, hoping to get a 9-2 Auburn team in the mix and inflate Georgia's ranking, did the same thing. Phil Fulmer, who actually played ND and got spanked, and Sylvester Croom, whose ballot seemed more concerned with inflating SEC schools than deflating other schools, had the Irish ranked close to normal (5 & 6, respectively):

Brooks - Kentucky: Auburn #4; Georgia #7; Notre Dame #9
Nutt - Arkansas: Georgia #3; Auburn #6; Notre Dame #7
Richt - Georgia: Auburn #6; Georgia #7; Notre Dame #8
Spurrier - South Carolina: Georgia #4; Auburn #6; Notre Dame #14
Tuberville - Auburn: Auburn #4; Georgia #7; Notre Dame #9

The SEC is the worst offender as to incredulous rankings. Houston Nutt had West Virginia, a 10-1 BCS conference champion unranked. He had 7-4 South Carolina, sixth in the SEC, ranked 25th. Steve Spurrier dropped Notre Dame down to 14 (the lowest ranking ND received from any coach), while inflating his barely-bowl-eligible team to 21st.

Interestingly, the only coach that Notre Dame faced this year that ranked the Irish lower than 6th was Tyrone Williingham (talk about an agenda). Carr ranked us 6th, and the other teams we played all ranked us 5th.

As a matter of fact, over half of the coaches that voted placed us at or above 5th. Fourteen coaches with an axe to grind against Notre Dame dragged them down to 6th.

Some examples:
Bob Stoops of Oklahoma, who used to be the highest paid coach in college football and wants to believe that Oklahoma is the most storied program in college football with their 12 claimed championships. Problem is, if Notre Dame counted National Championships the same way Oklahoma does, we would have 18 championships, instead of the 11 consensus championships we actually claim.
Tom O'Brien of Boston College, who is bitter that Notre Dame discontinued their series after BC bolted the Big East for the ACC, then accused Notre Dame of dropping BC 'cause they don't like losing. In fact, the Irish dropped them for unsportsmanlike behavior (trashing the visitor's locker room) and lack of conference loyalty (ND is Big East in everything but football).
Tyrone Willingham of Washington, who wants the Irish to fail miserably without him, to prove that his coaching was the only thing giving Notre Dame any credibility. His bitterness is almost palpable.
Larry Coker of Miami, the Notre Dame - Miami (Catholics v. Convicts) hatred is strong. Despite winning so much over the past two decades, Miami still can't fill its stadium and is constantly in trouble with the NCAA for recruiting violations and player misconduct. The Irish, however, have a national following and pristine reputation regardless of record, although the Irish still are effectively tied with Michigan for winning percentage.
Joe Tiller of Purdue, who hates the entrance of Charlie Weis into the recruiting area. The Irish have already signed the Gatorade Players-of-the-Year from Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, as well as the top 2 running backs in Indiana. The Boilers have yet to get a commitment from a top 15 Indiana recruit.

Screw the rankings, why not have a playoff?

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