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Posts Tagged ‘coaches’

bcs.jpgI know I’m in the minority here, but I am not a proponent for a playoff. People argue that college football is the only major sport without a playoff, and they’re correct, unless you count the season itself, which winds out like one long playoff to reach the championship. No, a playoff isn’t needed in NCAA football, but I’ll concede that a better system for determining who the National Champion is. The plus-one system is the best I’ve heard so far and I’d wholeheartedly support it, but beyond that I don’t want it. I want the best team in the country to win the National Championship, not, as happens with other teams who win their sports’ respective championships, because a team got on a hot streak when it mattered most. No.

But the current method, the BCS, is too heavily influenced by opinion polls, as both the Harris Poll and the Coaches Poll count for a third of the calculation apiece. The remaining third is compiled via six computer polls, throwing out the highest and lowest score for each team and averaging the remaining four. The computer rankings do not account for opinion, they calculate based on record and strength of schedule, unless you consider the fact that the computer rankings are based upon opinion polls. Originally the BCS used the AP Poll, but the AP withdrew their permissions. So the NCAA created another poll to replace the AP in its calculation. 

So why not get rid of the polls?
Because the polls are fun. 90% of the questions from fans on College Football Gameday concern the polls (“Why isn’t (insert team name here) getting more respect from the polls?”). A lot of people argue that no polls should come out until later in the season, at least week four or six, and I’ve even heard some argue that the polls should be done away with entirely. But this isn’t realistic at all (–this is my nice way of saying get real, dumbass), and besides, as I said, the polls are fun. And, more importantly: the polls are popular. Extremely popular. People eagerly await the first preseason poll and the consult the polls regularly throughout the season. But that’s exactly my point: the polls are fun. Sometimes they work, sometimes not, but so long as they’re based on opinion they will be flawed when it comes to determining the National Champion or even for determining who should have the honor to play in the championship game. The first step in building a better system will be to remove opinion from the formula, and derive the results from performance, which is exactly what the computer ratings are designed to do. I’m not going to argue that the combcs-trophy.jpgputer polls are perfect–I’d personally like to see quality losses hurt a team a little less than it does, and I’d also like to see strength of schedule count for more–but at least they aren’t opinionated.

The AP can still award its popular choice for National Champion, as they have since time immemorial, but the official champion should be awarded based on performance alone. Which is why I would like to see the computer polls be the deciding factor to determine the unbiased NCAA Football National Champion. Let’s face it: they’re already separate awards anyway. LSU won the BCS title in ’03 while USC won the AP. So why incorporate their rankings at all if not for popularity’s sake? There is no other reason that I can think of. But the method is not popular, regardless, and may never be until a playoff (which will likely never be) is instituted. So get rid of the polls, determine the players in the National Championship game by the computer averages, add a plus one if needed, determined on a year-by-year basis (sometimes it’s unnecessary), and let it ride.

Now, if you really want to fix the system, look here.

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You know what the thing about U.Meyer is? He’s not a winner. He’s a w-i-e-n-e-r. Sure, you can tell me he won the National Championship, but I can easily counter with the fact that he did it with Ron Zook’s players. There’s one thing about it: Zook, as maligned as he was by Gator Nation, had class and was in the process of building a champion. But Gator Nation doesn’t want class, they want wiener. And it’s for that reason alone that I find myself in support of Gator opponents, including last night’s bout with LSU. And I have to tell you, it was sweet to see Urban’s lips pucker like he was about to burst into tears. I haven’t seen the post-game interview yet, but I’m sure it was framed with such inventive gems as “Losing sucks.”

This is all very surprising to me, because in spite of Gator Nation’s cries during the Zook tenure to “get back to playing Florida football,” I can remember what Florida football really is. Gator Nation didn’t want to get back to Florida football, they wanted to get back to Spurrier football, because Steve Spurrier was the first rflorida-offense-dial.jpgeally successful coach the Gators ever had. And plus, I actually like Florida. I thought Zook had the team running in the right direction, despite the infamous “fireronzook.com” website that booted up practically the day of his hiring. Zook’s doing well in Illinois–good for him. How will Urban do? That’s still left to be shown, of course, but in his third season he’s enduring the first losing streak of his career (at 2), losing to Auburn and the #1 team in the nation, LSU. The thing that should really be distressful to Gator Nation, however, is the fact that Tebow is accounting for 98% of the offense. They have no running game except from the QB slot. How many running backs are going to want to play for a coach who won’t let them run?

I’m sure it’s not all that bad. Urban will benefit from the tradition Spurrier left him, the players Zook left him, and the rich recruiting pool in Florida. In that way, he might just win despite himself, but it’s going to be interesting to watch, either way.

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