Friday, January 09, 2009


To the Florida Gators for their impressive 24-14 victory over Oklahoma in the BCS title game. Coming into the game, I thought Utah had an argument. Given the high level of play in the Orange Bowl, I no longer think so: Florida is #1.


OBloodyHell said...

As I commented to Carl in person -- for me, the key statistic that should apply with regards to Utah is their SOS.

Looking at the CBS 120 Ranking, 6 of the 12 teams they played in the regular season were in the bottom 25% of the 120, ranked 90 or less, plus they played a 1-AA team as well. In total (excluding the 1-AA teams that both the Gators and Utah played), during the regular season, 8 of the 11 1-A regular season teams Utah played were ranked LOWER than ANY 1-A team UF played.

When your schedule is that soft, it's comparatively easy to go undefeated. Come into a game half-assed, and you just turn it up in the second half a notch and boom, you still win the game.

You come in half-assed against a tougher schedule, and you may not have enough notches available to win the game. That's what happened with Ole Miss and UF, The Big-12 triad, and with USC and Oregon State. Hence I respect a 1-loss USC over a no-loss Utah, especially since they both clearly dismantled their opponents.

Don't get me wrong, I respect Utah, and, if there was an 8-team playoff, I'd have said they belonged in it. After the 'Bama win, I'd grant Utah belonged in a 4-team playoff along with UF, USC, and (flip a coin) either OU or UT.

Utah has shown that they can get up for a big game, even against top-ranked opponents -- but not that they can show up for every game. And that's a part of the NC qualities, too.

Mind you, that's not entirely Utah's fault, I do think that the NCAA needs to find ways to encourage more inter-conference playing options for teams looking to buff their schedules. Utah had Michigan scheduled this year, but, unfortunately for them, UM actually ranked into the toilet this year @ 91 out of 120. You just can't build a program any more the way that FSU did it back in the 1980s. But that's my reasoning why I'd give the nod to USC over Utah, if I had any say.

Again, though -- if there was a playoff, I'm not saying I doubt in the least that Utah, USC, or UT might be able to win out over the Gators in the end.

If it splits towards Utah or USC, I'm not going to complain.

2 National Championships in Football, and 2 National Championships in Basketball in 3 years. It's Great to be a Florida Gator!

Carl said...

>Hence I respect a 1-loss USC over a no-loss Utah, especially since they both clearly dismantled their opponents.

Dismantling a Big-10 opponent warrants only half credit. Utah is #2.

OBloodyHell said...

> Dismantling a Big-10 opponent warrants only half credit. Utah is #2.

Yes, but USC already has a full credit for

a) Playing a notably harder schedule than Utah in the first place, even were the PAC 10 weak, they definitely aren't MWC weak. Utah's MWC schedule included five #90 or less schools, plus #42 Air Force and final AP #9 TCU.

b) The fact that the USC+1 conference/////// sorry: "PAC-10 conference", went 5-0, which certainly gains some respect for their level of play across the board*, though they dodged a bullet by not playing any SEC teams, the craven cowards! (snicker)

So that gives them 1.5 credits to Utah's 1 credit...

In any event, the AP went with your reasoning (Utah #2, USC #3), while the Coaches went more with mine (USC#2, Utah#4).

* balancing out the risible accomplishment of having *two* teams so inept that they lost every 1-A game they both played except the one they played each other in. What, they couldn't both manage to lose the game? What if they both refused to come out of the locker room after half time? LOL.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Coach's comment: strength of schedule is enormous on the ground. You see it when high school teams move up a division in competition. Utah might be able to beat anyone in the country on a good day, but it is very, very hard to beat quality opponents week after week. You usually need a talent advantage that is considerable. By definition, you will play below average half the time. To win anyway, you have to be much better.

Getting up for two or three games is easy for kids. Getting up every week is hard.