Top 10 Contenders to the BCS Title – Week 3

Top 10 Contenders to the BCS Title – Week 3

What a crazy week for college football and college sports in general! Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced that they will be moving from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference. The PAC-12 conference looked like they would add four more teams before deciding they would cap the conference at 12 teams. So for now, the Big 12, while unstable, will still survive. And the Big East will look into adding members (East Carolina has already applied for membership).

So what does this all mean? (Anyone channeling the double rainbow guy?)

College presidents, athletic directors, conference presidents, and all involved have let it known to the world that the only thing that matters in college athletics is football and money.

Geographic alignment? Not important.

Traditional Rivalries? Not important.

Fans?

Student-Athletes?

All other sports?

Again, not important.

Obviously, super-conferences have much more negatives than positives.

So what’s the deal here? What could solve the problem of over-expansion?

Well, Yahoo Sports writer Dan Wetzel believes that a college football playoff would fix all money and alignment problems.

And I couldn’t agree more.

I said in my first column that I do not like the BCS system. It’s completely unfair to the players and the fans of college football. Two-thirds of the BCS ranking is decided by two different human polls and one third of the ranking is done by computer with a formula which calculates a ranking based on many different variables (wins, strength of schedule, etc.). So instead of deciding a national championship by playing games on the field, it’s decided by a bunch of people with biases who most likely don’t watch every single college football game. And each year, the computer formula is tweaked in order to get the outcome that the powers that be feel is most correct.

We are through three weeks of football, and many teams have already been eliminated from title contention. Some teams, due to conference affiliation, were eliminated before the season even started. If you aren’t in a BCS conference, it’s pretty much impossible to ever hope to win a national championship.

Are you on a team from the Sun Belt Conference? Ha!

WAC? No way San Jose (State).

MAC? Not a chance.

The greatest thing about college basketball is the NCAA tournament and the potential of the underdogs and Cinderellas. For the past two seasons, Butler University, a team from the Horizon League, has been one win away from an NCAA Championship.

Why can’t we give football players that same hope and dream?

Just last year, Auburn won the BCS title game and finished the season undefeated. However, TCU finished won the Rose Bowl and also finished undefeated. Wouldn’t it have been great if we could have seen a game between the two?

According to Dan Wetzel, a playoff system would make “$700 million more per year than the current bowl system produces.”

So why are we still stuck in this archaic bowl system?

Corruption.

I don’t want to get too long winded with this, so let’s pick up the rest of this discussion next week.

I recommend reading the book “Death to the BCS” by Dan Wetzel, Josh Peter, and Jeff Passan, who are all Yahoo Sports writers. These guys did great investigative reporting into the bowl system and it’s a very revealing read. Buy it now if you love college football. (In fact, an updated version will be released next month).

Alright, enough with all of the negative thoughts, let’s get to some college football! And hey! Look at this, a new graphic!

Michigan State – Kirk Cousins and the Spartan offense could not push the ball into the end zone against Notre Dame and the running game was mostly to blame. Only 29 yards rushing on the day. Cousins has a chance to be a great pro, but his senior season will not end with a BCS title trophy. Though a Rose Bowl is still on the table…

Florida State – The Seminoles looked good against the Oklahoma Sooners last week. I believe they are the definite favorites in the Atlantic Coast Conference. However, Seminole fans can kiss the BCS title goodbye. Now with one loss, playing in the ACC will not give them enough great wins to help them climb up to the first two spots in the BCS standings.

THE Ohio State - The Buckeyes completed four passes last week against Miami. That’s one pass per quarter! Believe it or not, Ohio State has done this before. In the 2006 BCS title game, Heisman trophy winner Troy Smith completed 4 of 14 and threw for 35 yards. You have to wonder if Saturday’s game is an aberration or a sign of what’s to come?

Florida – Last Saturday QB John Brantley finally turned in a good performance at QB (213 yards and 2 TDs), but he can really thank Chris Rainey for a good bit of that (104 yards receiving to go along with 108 yards rushing). The Vols have lost seven straight to the Gators in what was once the best rivalry going in the SEC during the late 90’s, which makes Smokey sad…

West Virginia - The Mountaineers will have their chance to make a statement Saturday night at home vs. the already battle-tested LSU Tigers.


10. South Carolina – The Gamecocks played another close ball game last week, edging Navy by a field goal. You just have to think that if they can’t get the passing game going (102nd overall) that South Carolina will fall to a team they probably shouldn’t lose to. Like Vanderbilt.

9. Texas A&M – One of the great match-ups of the weekend invoke the Cowboys and the Texas A&M Aggies. This will be a BCS title elimination game.

8. Nebraska – The 3-0 Cornhuskers will travel to Laramie, Wyoming to take on the 3-0 Cowboys. After allowing 38 points to the Washington Huskies, it will be interesting to see if the Huskers can tighten up the defense on their way into their first Big Ten season.

7. Oklahoma State - See Number 9.

6. Alabama - The Tide kept it rolling last week but Saturday will be a tough one against Arkansas. It time to see what Alabama is made of this season.

5. Wisconsin - Russell Wilson has lead the passing offense to an average of 267.3 yards per game this season compared to an average of 199.5 yards per game last season. The rushing attack has averaged 238.3 yards a game has stayed pace with last season’s average of 245.7 yards per game. Watch out Big Ten!

4. Oklahoma - I can’t decide whether or not the Florida State defense played well or the Oklahoma offense struggled last week. Either way, the Sooners passed their first test of the season against Florida State, but there are many on the horizon in the Big 12. Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor all have potential to take down the Sooners. I think the schedule will bite them at some point this year.

3. LSU – The Tigers take a trip to West Virginia Saturday to take on the AP No. 16 ranked Mountaineers Saturday. This will mark the third ranked team LSU will have played in the opening month. If they make it through SEC play undefeated or just one loss, the Tigers will have the strongest resume out there. Just to get ready for a trip to the mountains, here is a song sung by John Denver:

2. Boise State - Boise State demolished Toledo 40-15 last week. The Broncos have played their first three games on the road this season and will finally return home to their smurf turf. Hmmm… How many other top college football programs are willing to wait until the end of the first month of games before holding their home opener? Oh that’s right, none.

1. Stanford - The Cardinal took care of their first PAC-12 opponent this week by dominating both sides of the ball. The defense recorded five sacks and Heisman candidate Andrew Luck threw for 325 yards and two TDs. I really feel like the PAC-12 schedule, mixed with the talent of Luck and the offense, is what will lead them to an undefeated season and a BCS title game.

 “Old School” is a column for college sports fans. We will talk college football and basketball all seasons long. Look for a MLB column next season. Contact Aaron at aaron@sportsspectrum.com or by follow him on Twitter @pplcallmeblue. Yes, his nickname is Blue.

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