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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

WAC Commissioner Proves He's Out of Whack with Reality

Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Karl Benson said that if Boise State goes 12-0, the Broncos should get an invite to one of the BCS games.

Without an automatic berth in one of the five BCS bowls, the WAC champ must finish ranked in the Top 12 of the BCS standings or be ranked in the Top 16 of the BCS standings while also being ranked higher than the champion of a conference that does get an automatic berth.

Look, I understand Benson is just promoting his conference but he really needs to get real. A 12-0 record for BSU shouldn't be a BCS guarantee. Period.

So far, Boise State has survived the "toughest" part of their schedule with victories over Oregon State, Hawaii and Utah. The stiffest challenge Boise State has left is Fresno State at home.

'Nuff said.

You're telling me a 12-0 Boise State would be more deserving than any 10-2 SEC team? Or what about more deserving than Texas if it runs the table but loses in the Big 12 title game? If your answer is "yes," then you need to get yourself a medical evaluation. Stat. And major teams should never play a tough non-conference team again. Ever.

Look, being in a BCS game is about more than just W's and L's. Since schedules aren't all the same, one must give serious weight to the names behind those "W's." If not, there are plenty of undefeated HS teams that should be joining Benson's chorus for a BCS bid.


JD said...

Okay, here goes.

I do think the commish is getting ahead of himself here, true. Where Boise is going to have its problems is in the relative power of the WAC, and its effect on SOS computations.

However, looking at the current rankings, it is probable that Boise will continue to move up in the BCS grid if it runs the table and other teams currently above the Broncs lose here and there. But into the top 12? Distinct though slim possibility. We really won't know until the first BCS grid comes out after week six or so.

I think what Benson is trying to do is to pre-emptively isolate Boise State from the Utah scenario. There were a lot of people who thought that the Yoots did not deserve the BCS bid a couple of years ago (when obviously they did). And now with Boise having just gone into Salt Lake and dropping some Manningham action on Utah, he's feeling his oats a bit.

It doesn't matter anyway, because those Spartans (without the Slappy Coach) from San Jose State are going to win the WAC.

Allaha said...

Perhaps the biggest risk to college football is having all future non-conference games turn into restagings of Godzilla vs. Bambi. The Texas coach publicly announced after the tOSU game he would be reluctant to schedule tough out of conference teams in the future because the risks outweighed the rewards in the polls, which in turn determine bowl match ups.

If Louisville or W.Va. get into the championship game over a 1 loss team from the Big Ten or SEC, it will be clear evidence that strength of schedule is comparatively unimportant. As I said before, goodbye Texas-tOSU and hello Texas-Sam Houston State.

The only solution that I see is having those who vote in the polls significantly reward quality wins, take a neutral view of wins over inferior teams, lightly penalize quality losses, and impose torture for losses to inferior teams. Otherwise, the number of interesting inter-sectional games will fall and the trend of scheduling patsies will accelerate.

Yant said...

I think that a 12-0 BSU squad is much more deserving than a 10-2 Notre Dame. Assuming that ND only loses to USC, their greatest claims to the BCS is losing to two very good teams and having a quarterback that's oh-so-pretty. Two losses and zero wins over Top-25 is less deserving of a bid than going undefeated against the 'powerhouses' of the WAC and PAC-10.

Anonymous said...

I think the buckeyes should get red turf...

Anonymous said...

Re: Yant's comment - I see what you're saying and agree with regards to ND, but I would only go so far as to say that a 12-0 BSU would have no more claim for a BCS invite than a 10-2 ND. It would be like me expecting my Gamecocks to get a BCS invite if they run the rest of the table (and not make it to the SEC championship game), 10-2 would give them wins against UofF, Clemson, Tennessee, and Arkansas the rest of the way out (besides the patsies) and losses to only UGA and Auburn. Complete hogwash to expect them to get an invite to the BCS, so why the hell should ND if they only lose to Mich and SoCal.

srudoff said...

Damn! Yant played the ND angle before I could!

good job

richard cranium said...

Allaha that is because before VY Mack Brown was a coach on his way out and now that VY is gone his team will go back to playing Oklahoma and that being the hardest game on it's schedule. Mack Brown is a pussy ass coach if he does not schedule tough OOC games. North Texas is like scheduling a cupcake anyway and that is a conference opponent.

Anonymous said...

allaha...well said. It makes me sad that the OSU/Texas games might go away. For fans of college football, these are games you can't wait to see. It makes the preconference season so exciting.

50 point massacres in the top 25 weeks 1-4 will become commonplace...and boring.

The King said...

He didn't say that they SHOULD get a BCS berth as in, "we would be entitled to one," he said they SHOULD get a BCS berth as in, "I think we would end up in the Top 12 in the BCS rankings and end up automatically qualified." So he's not delusional in any way, he's just optimistically gauging the post-season potential for a 12-0 team.

And by the way, he's right. If they go undefeated, they WILL finish in the BCS top 12.

Mid-Major haters, I ask this: Why DON'T you people want these teams in the BCS? They added an extra BCS game this year, so you're not taking anything away from any other conferences...you're actually giving them one (or two, if no Mid-Major qualifies) extra slot and, consequently, $10 mill extra. And what's wwrong with seeing a little guy crash the party every now and again? Is watching Boise in the Orange Bowl not more interesting than, say, watching Florida State in the Orange Bowl for the 30th straight time? Besides, Utah's absolute lynching of Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl several years back at least bought the Mid-Majors the right to have an opportunity to prove themselves at the adult table now and again. If Utah had lost baadly, then I could see the argument that these guys don't belong. But they didn't, and until one of the BCS busters does, we really don't have any right to deny them an occassional spot.

aladouche said...

If BSU does go 12-0 I think they should go to a BCS game. Its tough for any team to go undefeated throughout an entire season. Ask Texas, SC, Auburn, Utah, etc....If you don't send BSU and opt for a 10-2 SEC or ND team what message do you send to conferences like the Mountain West, WAC, CUSA, MAC etc? Like they pretty much don't exist in the realm of football.

As for the Goliath vs Bambi scenario, wasn't that was all the talk last year. When the Georgia from the MIGHTY SEC played a lowly West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl? And what happened, oh yeah West VA won that game.

Strength of schedule should matter as well...just because Texas played ohio state (big fucking deal) they also played Div 1-AA Sam Houston state...that shit balances out in the end

schiano for president! said...

north texas is not a big XII team.

Anonymous said...

A couple comments

#1 "Besides, Utah's absolute lynching of Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl several years back at least bought the Mid-Majors the right to have an opportunity to prove themselves at the adult table now and again."

As a team, if you look up at Pitt and think they are a major (as in not a mid-major), you shouldn't get an invite to a BCS bowl regardless of your record.

#2"If you don't send BSU and opt for a 10-2 SEC or ND team what message do you send to conferences like the Mountain West, WAC, CUSA, MAC etc?"

The message that would be sent is that they should either increase the talent in their conference or schedule tougher OOC teams. If this year's 12-0 BSU is truly better than a this year's 10-2 SEC team given the same identical schedule, then yes, BSU deserves it more than the 10-2 SEC team. I just find it hard to believe that this year's 12-0 BSU would do better given identical schedules than even this year's 9-3 or some 8-4 SEC teams. Going undefeated alone doesn't get you the invite- proving that you're a top team does.

Anonymous said...

This is tricky. I agree with you that teams from dinky conferences with crappy schedules don't deserve to be in a BCS game just cause they went undefeated. But I think BSU this year could be the exception. I've seen them play quite a bit this year...they look ridiculous. They're not just winning...they're dominating. And for the first time (and unlike most smaller programs)they are balanced. Now they have a great running game and a great defense. I'm a Big 10 & SEC fan and hate West Coast football...but I'm impressed by BSU. Yes a 2-loss LSU or Florida would be deserving too...but I honestly think (based on what I've seen so far) that BSU could hang with many big boys...probably not win, but can definitely put up a fight.

Now, I do think the commish has gotten way ahead of himself. In fact, I think he just cursed the team. Every time these debates get started, the team in question ends up losing a game it shouldn't have. Example, TCU last year to SMU and this year to BYU.

BSU has to continue to destroy opponents to get to a BCS game...and if they do that, I think they deserve it.

I don't even want to talk about Notre Dame...they can probably lose 3 games and make it in...

Scott Boswell said...


You are missing the bigger picture.

All the BCS conference teams get to send their conference champ to a BCS bowl. In some conferences, such as the Big 12, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are sending their best team. For example, a 6-6 CU team could upset a 12-0 Texas team in the Big 12 CCG and go to a BCS bowl. Is the Big 12 TRUELY sending their best team...or a team that was fired up enough to beat the best in 1 game? This pretty much renders the regular season moot. (But, that's a different arguement)

Let's say that Texas blew out Ohio State but loses to a 1-loss ou team in OT. Assuming that both teams run the rest of the table, ou will get the BCS nod because they won the head-to-head. Texas, who whipped up on a quality opponent in tOSU, will get nothing of significance since a 12-0 Boise St. team beat up on Div-1AA competition. Explain to me how this makes sense?

If the non-BCS conference want a piece of the pie, they should form a BCS conference ot play in a BCS bowl. They shouldn't be living off our welfare while we are hard at work.

srudoff said...

fortunately, osu won't let the osu-texas games go away. we've already scheduled home and away series with USC, Miami of Florida, and Oklahoma, plus we play at Washington next year.

hopefully other teams will follow but until strength of schedule is back as a component, I highly doubt they will.

Anonymous said...

Georgia killed BSU when they were "dominant" last year. ESPN had that game on "upset alert". Zabransky wet the bed and was taken out in the second quarter. And if BSU is in the Orange Bowl with LSU or Texas or whoever it will be a joke.

Utah beating Pitt did not prove anything. The Big East was terrible and Pitt backed into that game at 8-4 I believe.

aladouche said...

"#2"If you don't send BSU and opt for a 10-2 SEC or ND team what message do you send to conferences like the Mountain West, WAC, CUSA, MAC etc?"

The message that would be sent is that they should either increase the talent in their conference or schedule tougher OOC teams."

First off a lot of the big name schools do not want to play a school like BSU. Why? Because the chances of upset are huge. Honestly its rare to see a team in the SEC challenge a quality non-conf opponent...Even rarer to see an SEC team play a non-conf away game.

I applaud Ohio state for playing Texas and scheduling SC next year. But don't act like its some break through for college football....The likes of USC and other Pac-10 schools have been doing it forever now.

Anonymous said...

Years ago BYU was appointed MNC. At that time, one of the strongest arguements supporting them was that any team that gets through its schedule deserves to be the national champion. Yet there were a number of teams that probably beaten them but who had a loss or two.

All a team can do is play their best each game and win against the opponents that show up. If some strange illness devestated the rosters of the other ten team in the conference, would not Michigan still be as good as they are with the players that they have.

Against any of the major conference champoins BSU would be deservedly the underdog. However, if they play well each time out, stay consistent and avoid a letdown that costs them a game, how could they not deserve a chance to prove themselves in a BCS bowl.

If Texas or Auburn can't win their conference champoinship, how in the world can they lay claim to a national champoinship?

Scott Boswell said...

"If Texas or Auburn can't win their conference champoinship, how in the world can they lay claim to a national champoinship?"

That doesn't make any sense. No one is stating that either team would have any claim to the NC. There are several other BCS games than just the MNC game. If you run the table in a non-BCS conference you have virtually no shot at the NC unless everyone has 2 or more losses. Look no further than Utah a few years back. They were MUCH better than BSU.

And, your scenerio DOES in fact happen. In 2001, Nebraska played Miami despite not even playing in the Big 12 CCG. (Texas lost to CU who also whooped Nebraksa their last game) In 2003, Oklahoma played LSU in the MNC game despite losing to KState in the 2003 Big 12 CCG. Both Nebraska and Oklahoma lost...but had they won, are you stating that they shouldn't be allowed to claim the title?

Then what's the point of playing the game?

surrounded in columbus said...

Srudoff makes a good point (did i really just type that??)- too few schools are playing tough, challenging out of conference schools. whatever his other faults, sweaterboy does get credit for taking tosu off the puffed Rice diet cooper had them on and adding interesting games to the schedule each season.

the BCS & the search for the MNC is slowly strangling september football. not to take this off on too much of a tangent but.. a playoff system would really solve a lot of this. if winning your conf title were your automatic bid, an early season game(s) against top shelf competition would become the norm, not the exception. the possible early season loss wouldn't take you out of contention.

further, a 16 team format (like I-AA) would allow room for the Bosie States/Utahs of the world to be given their chance. most would end up crushed in the first half of the first round, but every so often a cinderella would win a game or two (or more), which would create a huge amount interest by itself.

the problem isn't w/ the WAC- it's that the post season is just whacked.

Anonymous said...

Conference championships are a weird bird. For one thing, you have a good chance of the game being the second matchup between the two teams. Is that vicotry more special because it's a "big game", or at a neutral field- more likely because it comes at the end of the season unlike a loss early on which is be more easily forgiven/forgotten by the pollsters.

It's utter BS to say that a team that doesn't win their conference championship game would never deserve a national championship shot for that year. Before you can make such a claim, make sure all major conferences play a championship game. How many 1 loss national champions have there been, how many teams have played for the national championship when they had a single loss? So you're saying they could come up short in a big game as long as it's not the conf championship?

We're all making arguments for a playoff system. If we're not careful, we might just agree on something.

What's the traffic/highway construction situation between Chicago and Gary these days? I'll be in Big 10 land in a couple weeks visiting family.

JD said...

And so it comes around.

The whole "conference championship game" concept has bitten the Big XII and the NCAA on the ahssss on more than one occasion, IIRC. I think the same may be true of the SEC, but I'm not as sure on that one.

It all depends on what the goal of the whole exercise is; if we are looking for the true "national champion" then all teams, whether they be Temple, Boise State, tOSU, Big Blue, or anywhere in between, should have as level a competition as possible in terms of number of games, opponent quality, etc.

"Yearrrrh, impossible!" you say. And you're right.

And so the muckety-mucks have gone in a different direction, namely to squeeze as much moolah out of the power conferences as they can by instituting these silly (and occasionally counterproductive) conference championship games, which occur AFTER the BCS computer has done its tally of who will play in Phoenix/Pasadena/New Orleans/Miami, and rake in big advo and TV and sponsorship bucks. Sometimes the result has worked to the positive (tOSU-Miami), and sometimes it has not (Oklahoma-LSU).

All this discussion is moot right now, as we haven't gotten the first BCS data grid out. It may well be that Boise's performance and SOS will place the Broncs in the top 12. If that is the case and they run the table, then rules is rules and they go to a BCS-level game.

I will confess to being a WAC guy. I would like to see BSU, if they run the table, go to a BCS bowl, because it will mean Good Things for the Western Athletic Conference. It will also mean that, in all likelihood, no team from the MWC will go to a BCS level game, which is also a Good Thing, for the MWC is a buncha pussies who dress up nice, and TCU.

Let's just wait and see what the BCS data grid is when it comes out, then we'll see whether the commish was talking out of his arse or not.

Anonymous said...

Without question an undefeated BSU team deserves a BCS bid. How is this even a discussion? I challenge any team in the nation to walk into Salt Lake City and dominate Utah as they did. That was no fluke, they are that good. Boise lacks only one thing, the money of the BCS. Give the WAC some BCS dollars, and the Pac 10 might want to watch their back.

Teams like Hawaii, Nevada, Fresno and Boise are teams that can beat any average BCS team, and could scare a few top dogs at home.

The talent gap is shrinking every year, sans a few "professional" college teams at the top....


Anonymous said...

you honestly thing Utah in 2004 was better than BSU today? BSU 2004 team would have beaten Utah's 2004 team.

Anonymous said...

If you want BSU to play tougher competition why dont you big boys schedule some home and homes with them instead of playing 2 1AA teams every year?

Teams cancel games against the BSU's of the world. In fact i think michigan state just canceled a game against Hawaii.

All Mid Majors hear is we need to play better competition. Thats fine but the better competition needs to sign up to play us.

Unfortunatly if michigan traveled and played BSU they would get no credit for it in the polls. There is no incentive to play tough teams. Even BSU would be better off playing a bad team because wins move you up and losses move you down. SOS is virtually meaningless.

Anonymous said...

There is no national championship.

Wen 2/3s of D1A teams cant win a championship no matter how many games they win you dont have a national championship. You have a the joke that is CFB.

Anonymous said...

In 2004, BSU finished the regular season #9 on the BCS grid.

This years SoS should be slightly better for BSU then in 2004. If they go 12-0, they will, without a doubt, be in a BCS bowl.

If they "deserve" it or not is irrelevant. BCS conference champions dont "deserve" a BCS bowl at the end of the season. They get one handed to them on a silver platter.

The BCS is a sham. A corrupt system specifically designed to cater to the "6", and make sure the others get nothing but the scraps.

If you want to see a TRUE nation Champion, start with an 8 team playoff, with NO automatic qualifiers.

Anonymous said...

The Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest regions are growing fast. As such, due to resources they are now able to host more than a couple "big" college athletic programs.

The situation that Boise State (and Utah and a couple of other western teams) find themselves is not unlike what schools in the Sun Belt region went through in the 1950's - 1970's. There aren't enough slots for the growing programs yet. If Florida State and VT are the models, they had to wander the no-man's land of the Metro Conference before the stars aligned to get them into BCS conferences. Of course, back in those days there was no BCS so they had some different opportunities and different challenges than the non-BCS schools face today.

The fact of the matter is that the west is growing and at some point some BCS conferences are going to have to make room for the young kids on the block.

College football is presently set up to protect and shield teams and schools that have been playing football the longest. How college football chooses to handle rapidly growing programs is the crux of this issue - particularly in the west where football conferences aren't exactly in abundance. The PAC-10 isn't going to add anyone, so how does this challenge get addressed?