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The W - Football - The State of the BCS - Week 7
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Texas Kelly
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Since: 3.1.02
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.44
THE STATE OF THE BCS - Week 7

My sincerest apologies for the absence of your BCS fix last week. I promise it will not happen again. (Well, with less than a week until the bowls are officially announced, it can't, as next week will likely be nothing more than a summary piece.)

CURRENT BCS STANDINGS
The bracketed sequence following a team's name in the BCS standings refers to (in order) the team's Harris Interactive poll ranking, the team's USA Today coaches' poll ranking, and the average of the six computer rankings (Anderson & Hester, Richard Billingsley, Colley Matrix, Kenneth Massey, Jeff Sagarin, and Peter Wolfe). The average of these three rankings determines the team's BCS ranking.

1. Southern California [1, 1, 2]
2. Texas [2, 2, 1]
3. Penn State [3, 4, 3]
4. Louisiana State [4, 3, 7]
5. Virginia Tech [5, 5, 5]
6. Ohio State [6, 6, 4]
7. Oregon [8, 8, 6]
8. Notre Dame [7, 7, 10]
9. Miami [10, 10, 8]
10. Auburn [9, 9, 11]
11. West Virginia [13, 12, 9]
12. California-Los Angeles [11, 11, 12]

-----

Since there were no shifts in the top twelve this week, one would conclude that everyone took care of business the way they were supposed to this week, and my answer to that would be... not necessarily. There's the great Notre Dame dilemma (which I'll get into more detail with in a little bit), and then, of all teams, there's Texas. Their struggles against Texas A&M this week, while not unforgivable, had the effect of increasing USC's margin for error this week against UCLA. It's going to take a blowout win by UCLA now to knock USC out of the title game for Penn State, whereas before a victorious close effort might have been enough.

As far as Notre Dame goes, the pundits are saying that they locked up a bid with their survival effort against Stanford. Contrary to what I've been saying for weeks, the pundits are probably correct. Although it would go against established precedent (unless LSU & Virginia Tech both manage to blow their conference championship tilts this week), there is a history for the Irish getting selected at (what will likely be) Oregon's expense: The last time they participated in a BCS bowl, it was as a #11 seed in 2000, getting plucked for the Fiesta over teams like Virginia Tech (#5) and Nebraska (#8). The only issue left in this debate, I think, is whether or not the team that is ultimately left out will place the blame where it belongs: not on Notre Dame, but on the Big East and the automatic bid that they don't deserve.

Next week in this section, I'll be discussing my proposed standard for BCS automatic bids, and seeing how it would apply to each of the six major conferences in recent years. Before I move on, though, I feel like digressing a little bit:

THE WACKED-OUT FOOTBALL WISDOM OF MY FATHER

I was watching the Notre Dame/Stanford game with my father, mostly in silence until it got to the denoument: Irish lead 30-24, first & goal for the Cardinal at the Irish 4. Ostrander rushes to the left for no gain, and Weis calls timeout to stop the clock with 1:50 to go in the game, which causes my father to start shouting vehemently at the TV. When I ask him why, he claims, "There was no need to call the timeout because Stanford was going to spike the ball on the next play."

That, of course, leads me to do a double-take. Why on God's green-earth would Stanford want to spike the ball and waste a play there? They have second-and-goal, which means that barring a penalty (something that they can't assume will happen) they have only three plays to work with in order to score the touchdown and go-ahead extra point. There's almost two minutes left on the clock, and logically, one would think that they'd want to take as much time off the clock as possible so as to limit Notre Dame's opportunity to answer back (which they ended up doing since Stanford scored on the next play). So not only would spiking the ball take away a play and a shot to score the touchdown, it prevents them from running the clock down as well. There would have been plenty of time to call the play in the huddle (the reason my father gave for the spike) even with the clock running, as well.

Can anyone who thinks outside the box possibly think of a reason why Stanford would want to spike the ball in that situation? Because I've been trying for two days, and I can't...

PROJECTED BERTHS
Projected automatic conference berths are based on a team's record in conference play. Mandated conference tiebreakers are used where possible to break ties for automatic conference berths. In the case of a tie that cannot be broken, the tied teams' BCS ranking is used to break the tie. A team's name in boldface indicates that they have officially clinched the associated conference's automatic berth.

ACC: Virginia Tech
Big East: West Virginia
Big Ten: Penn State
Big 12: Texas
Pac-10: Southern California
SEC: Louisiana State
At-Large #1: Notre Dame (Independent)
At-Large #2: Ohio State (Big Ten)

-----

Most of the excitement in this week's games lies with the conference championships, and while I agree with Stewart Mandel's assertion that conference championship games are largely ill-advised and meaningless (there's no way that Florida State or Colorado should be anywhere near a BCS berth after the way they've played in recent week), I disagree with his assertion that USC/UCLA is the week's biggest game, simply because as a friend of mine pointed out to me this Saturday, there's nothing on the line but school pride. (USC would win the conference outright with a win; if UCLA won, it would result in a three-way tie between USC, Oregon & UCLA, which USC would ultimately emerge from due to UCLA's loss to Arizona and USC's win over Oregon.)

Nope, the biggest game of the week is once again in the best conference in the land, the SEC, where not only is the conference's automatic bid up for grabs between two teams that deserve it in LSU & Georgia (not the case in USC/UCLA) but a strong regional rivalry exists to sell the game (neither of which the other two conference championships can claim) and a heartwarming national story - in LSU's attempts through sport to help the Gulf region recover from this year's devastasting hurricanes - has a chance to further play out (which none of the other three games can claim).

PROJECTED MATCHUPS
Pac-10 champion Southern California & Big 12 champion Texas are automatically placed into the Rose Bowl due to their #1 & #2 rankings, respectively. ACC champion Virginia Tech is placed into the Orange Bowl and SEC champion Louisiana State is placed into the Sugar Bowl due to traditional conference tie-ins. The only bowl to lose a traditional tie-in is the Fiesta Bowl (Big 12 champion Texas) so it gets first choice of the remaining teams.

This is where we enter the great unknown: Usually, the selections to fill the remaining slots after the national championship game and the traditional conference tie-ins are done in accord with BCS rankings, meaning that the Fiesta would select Big Ten champion Penn State as its first representative. However, a strong case can be made that the Fiesta would select independent Notre Dame to host its game based on prestige and prior precedent. Hence, this week, I am providing two sets of projected matchups based on this deviation.

Priority for the remaining selections is based on a bowl's payout and its priority stature in previous years. (Each bowl submits a list of its top three teams, and the bowl is given the highest-listed team available based on the bowl's priority.) The BCS has established the following priority order based on these factors for this year's bowls:

1. Orange Bowl
2. Fiesta Bowl
3. Sugar Bowl

By rule, if a conference champion is available for this last stage of allocations, they cannot be ranked third on the list that a bowl submits.

Fiesta Bowl Selects Penn State
Rose Bowl: Southern California v. Texas
Fiesta Bowl: Penn State v. West Virginia
Sugar Bowl: Louisiana State v. Ohio State
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech v. Notre Dame

In this scenario, Big East champion West Virginia is the only conference champion not allocated, and trails both Big Ten at-large Ohio State & independent at-large Notre Dame in the BCS rankings. Hence, they would be ranked second on all lists.

The likelist means of allocation in this scenario is that Notre Dame is selected first by the Orange Bowl, despite their BCS ranking being poorer than Ohio State's. West Virginia would then be selected second by the Fiesta Bowl, in order so that a matchup between members of the same conference does not occur. Finally, Ohio State would be selected third by the Sugar Bowl.

Fiesta Bowl Selects Notre Dame
Rose Bowl: Southern California v. Texas
Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame v. West Virginia
Sugar Bowl: Louisiana State v. Ohio State
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech v. Penn State

In this scenario, Big Ten at-large Ohio State is the only non-conference champion not allocated. Hence, they would be ranked third on all lists, and would be allocated to the Sugar Bowl. Big Ten champion Penn State would be selected first by the Orange Bowl due to its strong BCS ranking, while Big East champion West Virginia would be left to face Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.



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Since: 24.7.02

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.92
Except for your father and Dan Fouts (and as an Oregon alum Fouts had a rooting interest in them not taking it), there was no one watching that game questioning Notre Dame taking the time out. Unless Stanford really lost their mind, they would try to take as much time between plays as possible so that Notre Dame didn't get the ball back with a chance to win the game (unless of course they were going by Keith Jackson's belief that the point after to get to 31 won the game).
Considering the Rose is the National Title game, does this mean Keith is calling it? He was great, but, now he can't tell the difference between a ball being intercepted by a defender 5 yards in front of a receiver or being caught by a receiver. It actually was sad at times listening to him call Notre Dame vs. Stanford.



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ShotGunShep
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Since: 20.2.03

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.69
Damn Cardinal. I'm not looking forward to playing a 7-5 Colorado team in the Holiday Bowl. We played them in the 96 cotton bowl, 98 aloha bowl and the 01 fiesta bowl. I am really hoping for the improbable and a chance to expose Notre Dame for what they are.

I can live with us not going to a BCS game this year because next year we should be favorites to win the pac ten. Write it down. We have more than enough skill position players and return our entire O-line.

Oh and Keith Jackson has been pretty bad at least since the 03 season. We see him here on the West Coast all the time and he has been making these mistakes for a while.
redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.90
    Originally posted by ShotGunShep
    Damn Cardinal. I'm not looking forward to playing a 7-5 Colorado team in the Holiday Bowl. We played them in the 96 cotton bowl, 98 aloha bowl and the 01 fiesta bowl. I am really hoping for the improbable and a chance to expose Notre Dame for what they are.








Something Oregon and the rest of the Pac 10 should really complain about is the shitty job the league has done with the secondary bowls. 2nd place gets the Holiday while 3rd gets the Sun. Conversely, middle of the pack SEC and Big 10 teams get entertaining New Years Day match-ups, and even the middle of the pack ACC teams get good match-ups.. Oregon in the Capital One Bowl against Auburn would have been a nice lead in for ABC to the Fiesta Bowl. Or even the Pac 10 trying to replace the Big East in the Gator Bowl on NBC with Miami facing Oregon instead of Louisville would be an exciting game. That the 3rd place team plays closer to New Years than the 2nd place is also puzzling.
Of course, I strongly disagree with the Oregon dismantling Notre Dame premise.



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Dahak
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Since: 12.5.02
From: Junction City OR.

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.33
Shotgun as a fellow Duck fan I feel your pain. Also the Ducks should be pretty good next year. Clemens, Trucks, and Whitehead are graduating but the team has a lot of underclassmen. Hopefully Ngata will stay another year. Also the Pac 10 should either add another game to the season or get rid of one of the nonconference games. If the Ducks and UCLA had played each other the winners case would be a lot better to get into the BCS.



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JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.55
    Originally posted by Dahak
    Also the Pac 10 should either add another game to the season or get rid of one of the nonconference games. If the Ducks and UCLA had played each other the winners case would be a lot better to get into the BCS.


Starting next year when all the I-A teams can (and will) play 12 games, all of the Pac-10 teams will play each other.

Also, Todd Turner said he was shocked at the Pac-10's "no one outside of the west follows us"-approach to the bowl, and he'd DEFINITELY like to see the Pac-10 get better second tier bowl deals. I've never understood how New Year's Eve in El Paso was a reward.



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Crimedog
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Since: 28.3.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
COMBINED RECORD OF TEAMS "RESURGENT" NOTRE DAME HAS PLAYED THIS YEAR:
58-62

COMBINED RECORD OF TEAMS "UNDESERVING" WEST VIRGINIA HAS PLAYED THIS YEAR (assuming W.Va. beats South Florida):
62-57

Just making a casual observation.
Dahak
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Since: 12.5.02
From: Junction City OR.

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.33
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
      Originally posted by Dahak
      Also the Pac 10 should either add another game to the season or get rid of one of the nonconference games. If the Ducks and UCLA had played each other the winners case would be a lot better to get into the BCS.


    Starting next year when all the I-A teams can (and will) play 12 games, all of the Pac-10 teams will play each other.

    Also, Todd Turner said he was shocked at the Pac-10's "no one outside of the west follows us"-approach to the bowl, and he'd DEFINITELY like to see the Pac-10 get better second tier bowl deals. I've never understood how New Year's Eve in El Paso was a reward.


Damnit I can't believe I forgot that since I read it 2 weeks ago in the paper. However my basic point still stands. If UCLA had played UofO the winner would be a lot stronger 10-1.



Marge I am just trying to get into heaven not run for Jesus.
Quezzy
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Since: 6.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.01
    Originally posted by Crimedog
    COMBINED RECORD OF TEAMS "RESURGENT" NOTRE DAME HAS PLAYED THIS YEAR:
    58-62

    COMBINED RECORD OF TEAMS "UNDESERVING" WEST VIRGINIA HAS PLAYED THIS YEAR (assuming W.Va. beats South Florida):
    62-57

    Just making a casual observation.



I hear ya, I'm not crazy about the notion that Notre Dame went 9 - 2 against opponents who went 58 - 62 and is a GOD. And Urban Meyer went 8 - 3 against a schedule that went 68 - 52 and the Gators season is a disappointment. ESPN even included Florida in a poll for who had the most disappointing season with Oklahoma and Tennessee which is a joke to include them in that.



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THAT IS AWESOME!
BigSteve
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Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.34
    Originally posted by Quezzy
      Originally posted by Crimedog
      COMBINED RECORD OF TEAMS "RESURGENT" NOTRE DAME HAS PLAYED THIS YEAR:
      58-62

      COMBINED RECORD OF TEAMS "UNDESERVING" WEST VIRGINIA HAS PLAYED THIS YEAR (assuming W.Va. beats South Florida):
      62-57

      Just making a casual observation.



    I hear ya, I'm not crazy about the notion that Notre Dame went 9 - 2 against opponents who went 58 - 62 and is a GOD. And Urban Meyer went 8 - 3 against a schedule that went 68 - 52 and the Gators season is a disappointment. ESPN even included Florida in a poll for who had the most disappointing season with Oklahoma and Tennessee which is a joke to include them in that.


What's a joke is that Oklahoma is in there. They have a 7-4 record, but the four teams they lost to have a combined record of 39-4 with the "worst" team in the bunch being a 9-2 Texas Tech team. I know expectations were high, but that is a brutal schedule.

As for Notre Dame's strength of schedule, I think it's a little misleading. It gets an artificial boost because of the loss to USC. It's more informative to look at the strength of victory - the record of the teams the Irish have beat. The nine opponents they defeated had a whopping 43-56 record. Can someone explain again how Notre Dame actually earned a BCS bowl berth and the number six ranking in the country?
Crimedog
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Since: 28.3.02
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by BigSteve
    What's a joke is that Oklahoma is in there. They have a 7-4 record, but the four teams they lost to have a combined record of 39-4 with the "worst" team in the bunch being a 9-2 Texas Tech team. I know expectations were high, but that is a brutal schedule.

    As for Notre Dame's strength of schedule, I think it's a little misleading. It gets an artificial boost because of the loss to USC. It's more informative to look at the strength of victory - the record of the teams the Irish have beat. The nine opponents they defeated had a whopping 43-56 record. Can someone explain again how Notre Dame actually earned a BCS bowl berth and the number six ranking in the country?


Yeah, even though Oklahoma had Adrian Peterson back, they lost a LOT. It's really, really hard to win a whole lot of games with a bunch of freshman and sophomores and a brand-new quarterback.

As for Notre Dame, they lost early and they played USC close. That's how they're No. 6. If they had lost by, say, 21 points to USC, they probably wouldn't be in the top 15.

There's a large chunk of people out there who always want Notre Dame to be good. So when they actually put together a decent season, the hype gets blown WAY out of proportion.

And it's part of a larger problem, too. People judge teams only by wins and losses, yet don't put it into any context. Consider: Last year's "horrible" Notre Dame team finished 6-6 against a schedule that had a collective record of 83-52 (counting bowls). So maybe Ty Willingham wasn't such a loser after all. It's hard to look like a genius against a schedule like that.
Dahak
Frankfurter








Since: 12.5.02
From: Junction City OR.

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.33
Notre Dame probably has more fans than any other team. Notre Dame almost certainly has more people hate them more than any other team. So I can understand the BCS picking them over Oregon.
College football just needs to admit the truth and get rid of the BCS and put in a playoff system.



Marge I am just trying to get into heaven not run for Jesus.
redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.90
    Originally posted by Crimedog
    And it's part of a larger problem, too. People judge teams only by wins and losses, yet don't put it into any context. Consider: Last year's "horrible" Notre Dame team finished 6-6 against a schedule that had a collective record of 83-52 (counting bowls). So maybe Ty Willingham wasn't such a loser after all. It's hard to look like a genius against a schedule like that.








No, the Notre Dame offense was putrid to watch last season under Willingham, much as it sucked the prior two years he was there. His first season they lived off of turnovers/special teams until they finally turned the ball over 7 times against Boston College and then hit the Carson Palmer express which caused them to be 9-2 and out of the Top 12. You could see the bubble screen coming from a mile away in the previous offense.
As for the schedule, it was the same schedule as the season before, except for Syracuse replacing Boston College. Tennessee, Pitt and to a lesser extent Michigan had off seasons. Entering the season it was viewed as a death schedule with USC, Tennessee and Michigan in the preseason Top 5. I mean, I know Tennessee isn't the threat that Montana State historically is, but, they needed someone to fill out the schedule.

(edited by redsoxnation on 29.11.05 2122)


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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.68
    Originally posted by Dahak
    Notre Dame probably has more fans than any other team. Notre Dame almost certainly has more people hate them more than any other team. So I can understand the BCS picking them over Oregon.
    College football just needs to admit the truth and get rid of the BCS and put in a playoff system.


I can understand it because Oregon didn't beat any top 20 teams this year. Yeah Notre Dame didn't have a big victory really either, but keeping it close against USC while Oregon was blown out seals the deal for me.

" It's going to take a blowout win by UCLA now to knock USC out of the title game for Penn State, whereas before a victorious close effort might have been enough."

I disagree. I think if USC loses, you'll see a lot of voters really want to give the shot to Penn State, close game or not. Joe Pa is obviously close to retirement(aka death), so it would not shock me one bit if they got in. If you disagree, give Tom Osborne a call.
Whitebacon
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.44
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    I can understand it because Oregon didn't beat any top 20 teams this year.


Fresno State says hello.



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Since: 28.3.02
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by Whitebacon
      Originally posted by wmatistic
      I can understand it because Oregon didn't beat any top 20 teams this year.


    Fresno State says hello.


You mean the Fresno State that's ranked No. 23? And was ranked No. 23 when it lost to Oregon?
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.43
They did manage to climb to 16 for a couple of weeks. That loss against Reno was excrutiating though.



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Since: 2.2.04
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.68
    Originally posted by Whitebacon
    They did manage to climb to 16 for a couple of weeks. That loss against Reno was excrutiating though.


And Tennessee was ranked number four at one time this year too so beating them must mean more! Oregon just doesn't have a great case unfortunatly, cause I do like that team. And Notre Dame is overrated too, but still. The facts show ND had a slightly better season.

Now Fresno State I love. Being an FSU guy I can say that it's great to see another team go with the old Bowden "King of the Road" strategy and build a team into something special out of nothing. With thier success and location I can see things getting better if they keep the same coaching staff around.
BigSteve
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Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.34
    Originally posted by wmtastic
    The facts show ND had a slightly better season.


What facts? Going back to strength of victory Oregon's nine I-A wins came against teams that were a combined 46-52 (.469). Notre Dame's nine I-A wins came against teams that were a combined 43-56 (.444). Both lost to #1 USC. That was Oregon's only loss while Notre Dame lost to a poor Michigan State team. Oregon beat four likely bowl teams (Fresno, Cal, Az St and Houston) while Notre Dame only beat three (Michigan, BYU, and Navy).

The only advantage that I can see that says Notre Dame is definitvely better is that they almost beat USC while Oregon was blown out by the Trojans. It's important not to look to far into one single game though. After all, Oregon completely blew out Stanford while Notre Dame stole a win in the final minute. By that logic, Oregon is much better than ND. Of course that's foolish logic. If ND had beat USC, then I understand the argument, but as it stands it was a loss.

Is there something I'm missing about why Notre Dame is better than Oregon (let alone Ohio State should Texas or LSU lose)? I guess I'm beating a dead horse at this point, but from what I see, if the stats show anything it's that Oregon had a slightly better season.
ShotGunShep
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Since: 20.2.03

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.38
Gotta agree with BigSteve.

The national media has had a huge hardon for ND since the SC game. Oregon and ND shared 3 opponents this year, USC, Stanford and Washington.
Oregon only showed up for a half againts USC. ND played them to the buzzer. Both games were at home.
Advantage ND.

Both teams killed Washington. Oregon did it at home while ND was in Husky Stadium.
Even.

Both teams played at Stanford. Oregon won by 24. ND scratched out a victory.
Advantage Oregon.

So they are even on my count. Each team has one good win, Michigan for ND and Fresno for Oregon.
The only difference is that ND lost to a bad Michigan State team. Advantage Oregon.



(edited by ShotGunShep on 30.11.05 2158)
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