Ask CFN - BCS Possibilities for Several Teams
Posted Nov 3, 2006

BCS possibilities for several teams, the Big 12 North vs. the South, and more in this week's Ask CFN.

Pete Fiutak

Fire over your questions to me at I might not be able to answer them all, but I promise they're all read. Any e-mails sent to this address may be published or edited unless requested otherwise. (Please put ASK CFN in the subject line, and PLEASE keep the questions short ... it makes my life easier.)

Past ASK CFNs ...  
- West Virginia schedule, BCS rules
- Toughest coaching jobs
- Hidden Heisman 5

- Is Temple worst ever?
- Oklahoma-Oregon fiasco
- Has Bob Stoops lost it?
- Is Colorado done?

In the upcoming report of the presidents of various universities to Congress concerning why the NCAA should maintain its tax exempt status, I read that there were two proposals that were put forth (but not endorsed).  One of those proposals would end the requirement that a transfer between schools for athletes requires a one year period of sitting out.  I was wondering how you feel about that.  To me it seems that it will cause huge issues and in theory would create a more professional-like atmosphere in college athletics (especially football).  Recruiting could conceivably last throughout a player’s college career and cause dramatic shifts in teams from year to year. – PM

A: Absolutely, 100% all for it. The NCAA is always preaching that its students and its athletes are one in the same. If a regular student can transfer without penalty, then so should student-athletes. Coaches and recruiters are usually ethical, but they’re all about getting the talent. What if it doesn’t work out and another player emerges as a starter? What if a player signs a letter of intent and then the assistant coach he wanted to play for decides to leave? What if a player just flat-out doesn’t like what school he’s at? Basically, because the coaches are getting paid fortunes and the players don’t get a dime, I say make the coaches work and let the players have as much freedom as humanly possible.

Why is USC out of the national title race? They only fell to #8 in the BCS after the Oregon State loss, and they've got games against #9 Notre Dame and # 10 Cal -- both at home -- to improve their numbers. Shouldn't they be in the Texas/OSU-Michigan loser/one-loss SEC team discussion? – GS

A: You just can’t lose to Oregon State. Losing at Auburn, like Florida did, is one thing, but losing in Corvallis just doesn’t carry the same weight in the minds of the voters considering how average the Trojans played in close wins over Washington and Washington State. However, if the team starts to turn things around and blows out Cal and Notre Dame in impressive fashion, voters might quickly change their minds. It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. Remember, if Arkansas wins the SEC, the computers are going to be in love with the early season Trojan win in Fayetteville.

My question is simple, what happened to storming the field and tearing down the goalposts after a huge win or upset? I understand that it was getting out of control, but how does Oregon State not march those yellow pole out of the stadium after snapping all those streaks USC had going? Why and how did this tradition become extinct in such a short time? –EL

A: Injuries started to become a problem with some kids getting hit with the falling goal posts, and there was even a death. With the emergence of collapsible goal posts, schools don’t want to mess with the dangers anymore and don’t want to pay the expense of coming up with replacements. I do miss the tradition. There was always something cool about it, but I do understand the dangers. I’m all for letting the fans rush the field and letting them jump around; that shouldn’t change.

I don’t believe Ohio State should get a rematch if they lose to Michigan, or vice versa, but please tell me the there is no way that Notre Dame gets in above either of these teams that are clearly superior. – RS

A: Never discount the desire of the human polls to want to see the Irish in big games. Remembering that the top two teams in the Coaches and Harris polls will likely be in the national title no matter what the computers say, here’s how it could happen: USC turns into a juggernaut again and rips apart everyone else on the slate up until the Notre Dame game. The Irish beat USC in L.A. by two touchdowns. Ohio State obliterates Michigan, knocking the Wolverines down to around fifth or sixth. The SEC champion wins less than impressively, or has fewer than two losses. No Big East team is unbeaten. All that would get the Irish close, but at the end of the day, I really believe the voters will still be soured by the blowout loss to the Wolverines.

With the addition of the extra BCS game does the Championship game move around? There are two games in Phoenix this year. Will there be two games at the Orange Bowl, then two at the Sugar Bowl and so on? – SD

A: Yup. Next year the Sugar Bowl will be on January 1st with the national title game played in New Orleans on the 7th. In 2009, Miami gets the Orange and the BCS Championship game, and then Pasadena gets its turn.

Is the Big 12 North that bad, or is the Big 12 South that good?  And why?  -DH

A: It’s a combination of both, but don’t be surprised if things start to turn in the near future. Texas and Oklahoma are established national powerhouses, Texas Tech is solid, Texas A&M has a veteran team, and Oklahoma State and Baylor are emerging thanks to high-octane offenses. In the North, there isn’t the Texas or Nebraska type of team with Missouri and Nebraska each trying to break through and get their programs on track. Colorado has taken a huge dip, Kansas State is rebuilding, Kansas is trying to build some consistency, and Iowa State is always going to struggle with getting the top talent in Ames. Once Dan Hawkins gets things rolling in Boulder, and now that Nebraska is close to getting back to a national title level, the divisions should be more even over the next few years. However, Oklahoma and Texas aren’t going anywhere any time soon meaning the balance of power will always be in the South.

You've said numerous times that you consider UCLA to be somewhat of a sleeping giant in college football. It is now clear to the majority of UCLA fans that Karl Dorrell cannot tap the vast potential that UCLA possesses. Overall his winning percentage is lower than his predecessor Bob Toledo, he has beat no team w/ a winning record on the road and has never competed for the PAC 10 championship or a BCS Bowl game. My question is if you see any way that the Bruins can finally rid themselves of Karl Dorrell, and if so who you do see to be as viable replacements? – MM

A: Didn’t the Bruins win ten games last year? Would you be griping if Brady Quinn didn’t come up with one of the most amazing comeback drives in Notre Dame history to beat UCLA a few weeks ago? You could bring in just about anyone and he’d have a rough time recruiting against the USC juggernaut. This is a transition year for UCLA (yeah, you’ve heard that before) and this isn’t going to be the team’s best year, but almost everyone is back next year. With the improvements on defense, and with Ben Olson having a year of experience, the Bruins have a shot to be a major player. Give Dorrell one more season before you’re looking to get rid of him.

If Ohio State beats #2 Texas, #2 Michigan and #2 BCS in Glendale in January, are we looking at one the top 3 or 4 teams of all time or is it a down year for overall competition? – JK

A: It’s a down year. We’ll crank out the CFN All-Time Rankings Formula in a few weeks once we get closer to the Wolverine-Buckeye showdown, but on first glance, this season (not the team’s talent, but who OSU beat) will probably end up in the middle of the pack. Talent-wise, as good as this team is, there are at least five recent Buckeye teams (2002, 1998, 1996, 1995, and, arguably, 2005) that were as good as the 2006 version. Even so, this is a special bunch with Troy Smith playing at another level and the offensive line playing better than any front five in the Jim Tressel era. Despite the stats, the only question is the defense. How would it consistently hold up against several good teams and not the dregs the Big Ten keeps trotting out? If the Buckeyes win the title, I’m not dogging them at all; it’ll just be hard for it to be considered an all-time great.

Hello I’m a badger fan and I think there is a scenario where they can go to a bcs bowl but I want to double check. If the Badgers win out making them 11-1, Ohio State is 11-1, and Michigan would be 12-0, I‘d assume that Michigan would be number 1 and in the national championship game which means that the second place team in the big ten would represent the big ten in the rose bowl as the champion. If I’m right in the big ten since there isn’t a championship game the team that has the most years winning the big ten becomes the champion, in that case the badgers would be ahead of the buckeyes and would represent the big ten in the rose bowl and OSU would probably be an at large team putting 3 big ten teams in the bcs. Now is my scenario correct assuming the records end up they way I indicated? – JB

A: First, it can’t happen since only two teams from the same conference can be in the BCS. Second, the tie breaker you’re thinking of it if two teams tie for the championship, and didn’t play during the regular season, then the recency rule goes into effect with the team that’s gone the longest since going to the Rose Bowl getting in. Finally, the Rose Bowl doesn’t have to take a Big Ten team if the champion is in the national title. With the Ohio State/Michigan winner likely to play in the title game, the Rose Bowl gets its shot at any at-large team it wants. Now, it’ll likely jump all over the Michigan/Ohio State loser, but Notre Dame might be inviting.

Is the Big Ten the Big Two and Little Nine most years or is it a balanced conference with two lopsidedly good teams this year? – CR

A: It just so happens to be a down year in the Big Ten, and everywhere else but the SEC and Big East. Ohio State and Michigan are always going to be strong, but don’t forget that Penn State won it last year, and others have been in the mix over the last few years. It used to be a whole bunch worse when the Buckeyes and Wolverines dominated each and every year. This year, it’s Big Two, Average Three (Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa), Little Six.

Would a one loss, SEC Champion Arkansas team have a legitimate shot at playing for the National Championship? – AW

A: Here’s the scenario: No one gets out of the Big East unbeaten. USC loses to Cal, but destroys everyone else, including Notre Dame. Texas loses once more. Florida blows up and becomes the “hot” team going into the SEC title game, but Arkansas comes up with an impressive win over the Gators and finishes 12-1. It would be close, but it might be just enough to get the Hogs plenty of consideration.