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Hmmmmm. Third down.
Shaky kicker. Down in the game. Boston College goes for a touchdown pass
over trying to get into better field goal position, and you’re probably
going to praise the call and the play while saying Matt Ryan should get
the Heisman. Meanwhile, you spent an entire first part of your Cavalcade
of Whimsy calling the Les Miles call at the end of the Auburn game dumb.
Yeah, the situations were sort of different, but are you going to be
consistent and call Ryan and the BC coach dumb for doing that?
A: I love CFN readers. I really, really do. I had the exact same thought
as it happened, and sure enough, it wasn’t five minutes after Andre
Callender caught the game-winning touchdown pass and I got seven e-mails
from LSU fans. There are a few reasons why it was different, and why it
wasn’t a bad play like the call at the end of the Auburn – LSU game.
First, LSU was down one at home and BC was down three on the road. Had
LSU been down three, I’d have had less of a problem going for the win.
My problem is that it was an unnecessary risk, but more on that in a
moment. Second, the Virginia Tech D line was gassed and Ryan was in a
dream of a zone. No offense to Matt Flynn, who threw a perfect pass to
beat Auburn, but Ryan is a possible number one overall draft pick. You
put the game in his hands, especially if he's in an epic groove like he
got into. Finally, and most importantly for this discussion, it seemed
like BC was looking for better field position for a field goal, or at
least with an option of getting in better range, but Ryan found his open
receiver in the end zone and made a throw that, maybe, five college
quarterbacks could hit.
How are you possibly criticizing Les Miles for his
call that beat Auburn? If you noticed, there would’ve still been
plenty of time left on the clock to call a time out had the pass
been incomplete, and going for the touchdown was the right move
considering Colt David is hardly a lock to hit a 40 yarder. I’m
stunned anyone is dogging Miles for this! – Tiger Fan
A: Of all the e-mails I received about my criticism of the play
call at the end of the Auburn – LSU game, 98% of the ones who
backed Miles were from LSU fans, and almost 100% of those
e-mails argued my point for me.
It was a bad call that just so happened to work, and here’s why.
If David is such a shaky kicker, and the 40-yarder is no gimme,
then you either go for the first down, or you try for a few more
yards to get into better range. It might not seem like it, but
there’s a world of difference between a 35-yard field goal and a
40-yarder. Several things could’ve happened on the unnecessary
pass into the end zone, and outside of pass interference, only
one of them is good. 1) Touchdown LSU. 2) Batted away, likely
one second left, 40-yard field goal attempt. 3) Bobbled, batted,
dropped and time runs out. Half of Bayou nation calls for Miles’
head. 4) Interception. Half of Bayou nation calls for Miles’
head. 5) Sack, quick time out, David has to hit a bomb. 6) Sack,
time runs out.
Most of the Miles apologists on the call are trying to have it
both ways. If you’re saying it was a great call because there’d
still be time to go for the field goal if it didn’t work, then
you still have the 40-yarder from David. At the same time, you
can’t say it was the right call because David is shaky. Which is
it? You can’t have it both ways. Had LSU been down three, I
would’ve given the call a free pass because Miles would be going
for the win. But down one, it was a careless, unnecessarily
Yes I’m a homer. Just wanted to know if you will give Colt
Brennan some love if Hawaii beats Boise and Washington at the
end of the year. Or, does Colt have to have an amazing (lights
out) game to beat them to gain some respect from you guys.
Mahalo, - KP
A: Do you even read the site? We’ve been pumping Brennan up
since last year. Colt himself has thanked us for the publicity,
respect and attention. He’s having a great senior year, but he’s
not having the same season as last year with more interceptions,
but he’s pulling some rabbits out of his hat. He held tough in
two key road overtime games, and he gutted it out through some
injuries. Right now, he’s in the Heisman chase, but not like he
was expected to be considering the awful schedule. If I’m
Hawaii, I’m just as worried about Fresno State, and I’m in a
cold sweat about the trip to Nevada, along with dates with the
Broncos and Huskies.
It's amazing how all the so-called experts focus on style
points rather than winning when discussing Hawaii. On the road,
thousands of miles from home and in conference games are very
difficult to win. Ask Cal and LSU about conference road games.
I understand the competition isn't as difficult as other
schools' but no one's arguing they should be No. 1. The goal of
the game is to win and Hawaii has done that. The fact that so
many in the media are complaining about the lack of style shows
how badly we need a playoff. Some of the same people who
complain about Hawaii's schedule also don't want a playoff.
What do they want? Do you think that a 12-0 Hawaii team get's a
BCS invite? – JT
A: “Competition isn’t as difficult?!” You think? It’s one thing
to lose on the road at Kentucky, Colorado, or Penn State, but
it’s another to struggle with Louisiana Tech and San Jose State,
who between them have three wins over FBS teams (New Mexico
State for Tech and Utah State and Idaho for San Jose State).
It’s easy to throw out the term style points like it’s a bad
thing, but in reality, it’s all about actually watching the
teams play. I love watching the Warriors, but they’re fighting
to finish in the top four, and that’s being generous, if they’re
in any of the BCS conferences. With that said, if they go 12-0,
yeah, get them a BCS game. Remember, the BCS isn’t a playoff. If
you’re talking about putting them in the championship, then I
have a problem. If you’re talking about putting them in the
Fiesta Bowl against an Oklahoma or Missouri, then yeah, I’d love
to see it. If they go 12-0, they’ll be in the BCS because
they’ll almost certainly finish in the top 12 of the rankings
meaning they’re automatically in.
Wow, so you had USC ranked 10 in week 6, but then they win
and you drop then 7 places?
So we all agree
this team does not look as sharp thus far compared to pre-season
expectations (and I think 10 or so injuries to
starters/co-starters are only a part of the story, I think there
is a much bigger issue with young players not developing as fast
as expected), ... but they are still the most talented team in
the country with some of the best coaching around and could very
well turn things around, get some of the players back and make
another title run this year. I expect this kind of overreaction
from guys like Corso ... but not from you guys. Think rationally
here! You guys are acting like spurned lovers ...
A: Have you actually seen USC play? Rankings-wise, it’s getting
by on brand name so far, and any rational pollster has to look
past the uniforms and go by what’s actually happening (and don’t
get fired up over a win against a miserable Notre Dame). Sorry,
but this hasn’t been a top ten team so far. However, a major
bout with injuries has been the main reason, so as the team gets
healthier, then it might start to play like the team everyone
pegged as the automatic No. 1 when the season began. Beat Oregon
in Autzen, and then the ranking goes right back up. It’s O.K. to
yo-yo a ranking based on how a team is playing at the moment.
That’s what you’re supposed to do.
I’d emailed you earlier this year asking if you’d been
getting bombarded by my West Virginia brethren when you didn’t
kiss our butt over something. I’m curious now, are you getting
bombed with love since you now have us going to the title game?
A: One thing I’ve learned in roughly ten years of doing this for
CFN is that once a fan base thinks I’m biased, nothing makes it
right for a long, long time. I’m still waiting for my first
“your a genius” e-mail for making the call that the Mountaineers
are going to play for the national title after receiving
hundreds of angry e-mails, with dozens of “your an idiot”
headers, from WVU fans after I said at the beginning of the year
that their team was overrated.
I didn’t say that Mountaineers are going to play for the
national title because I care about them, or like them, or am
looking for any West Virginia love, just like I didn’t mean any
disrespect or have anything against them when I said at the
beginning of the year that I wasn’t sold on the O line and
defense. As I said until I was blue and gold in the face, our
overall ranking at the beginning of the year was based on all
the uncertainty at several key spots, but that if things turned
out fine on the front five and the defense, the ranking would be
changed accordingly. It’s all about adapting and adjusting as
things happen when it comes to analyzing teams.
I totally disagree about making the computers more important
than the humans. Maybe we need to get different humans, but
computers are only as good as the people who program them. So
instead of dozens of humans who vote in the polls, you've got
six humans who are playing computer games. If you want to take
the vote away from the coaches, I couldn't agree more. But give
them to humans who pay attention. Not to computers. – TF
A: There needs to be a better mix in the BCS rankings. I’m a big
fan of the computers because they take the entire season into
account, and not just what’s happening at the moment. As we all
know, it’s all about when you lose. If LSU lost to Kentucky late
in the year, it’d probably be out of the national title hunt
according to the human polls. Lose early, and you’re still in.
The computers don’t care when you lose; they just care about
what has happened on the field. I might think Ohio State, Boston
College and LSU are the three best teams in the country in that
order, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to be ranked that way.
The computers are better at the deserve factor.
I find it stunning that mid way through the season the Big
Ten as two, TWO, teams in the top 25, and one is 25th.
Forgetting for a moment that it is possible that the league
really is that down this year, which I do not totally accept,
what is hurting the Big Ten more: 1) the pre-season perspective
that the Big Ten is just not that good this year; 2) the
complete lack of exposure due to the league offices total
failure that is the Big Ten Network? No one around the country
gets to see these teams, it is like they are just forgotten
about. – Rob
A: Interesting thought on the Big Ten Network. I tend to have it
on several hours a day, and wish the other leagues would have
their own networks, so I forget that few actually get it. I’m
sort of with you on the rankings, but who should be ranked
that much higher than they are now? I’m not sold that all
the SEC teams ranked so high deserve to be there, and I’m not
sold that Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin at the moment
should be so low. There’s a national backlash against the league
at the moment, and it’s coming through in the rankings.
"If you can't win your conference, you don't deserve to play
for the national title". The only problem with taking only
conference champions in a +1 playoff (which I as well believe is
the only real answer to this), is that you could have a team go
12-0 from the SEC, ACC or Big12, but then they must play a
Conference Championship Game. Say in that game a 12-0 team turns
the ball over 6 times, and loses by 3 to a team they beat
handily in the regular season. On top of that, they've beaten 5
other top 25 teams in the regular season. They are done and out
of the big show. Instead a team with one loss to a 5-6 team the
6th week of the year gets in because they won the Big East?
A: Again, why should that team that choked and couldn’t win its
conference title be able to win the national championship? In
our playoff-centric sports world, this is a hard concept to grab
for more people than you’d think. That the SEC, Big 12 and ACC
choose to crown its champion with one game at the end is their
issue. I like the Pac 10 and Big East styles best, but a
champion is a champion. If you’re not going to go by what
happened in the conference race, then why even play the regular
season? That’s the issue with college basketball, where the
regular season is now completely meaningless. Go 0-18 in your
conference regular season, with four games in a gimmicky
end-of-the-year tournament and you’re the champion. Yeah, that’s
Since this is the tenth year of the BCS my questions are as
1. Who has
opened up number one in the first BCS rankings of each year? 2.
How may won the BCS championship?
- Bryan in Columbus
1998: 1. UCLA, 2. Ohio State, 3. Tennessee, 5. Florida State
Eventual Result: Tennessee over Florida State
1999: 1. Florida State, 2. Penn State, 3. Virginia Tech
Eventual Result: Florida State over Virginia Tech
2000: 1. Nebraska, 2. Oklahoma, 3. Virginia Tech, 5. Florida
Eventual Result: Oklahoma over Florida State
2001: 1. Oklahoma, 2. Nebraska, 3, UCLA, 4. Miami
Eventual Result: Miami over Nebraska
2002: 1. Oklahoma, 2. Miami, 3, Notre Dame, 6.Ohio State
Eventual Result: Ohio State over Miami
2003: 1. Oklahoma, 2. Miami, 3, Virginia Tech, 12. LSU
Eventual Result: LSU over Oklahoma
2004: 1. USC, 2. Miami, 3. Oklahoma, 4. Auburn
Eventual Result: USC over Oklahoma
2005: 1. USC, 2. Texas, 3 Virginia Tech
Eventual Result: Texas over USC
2006: 1. Ohio State, 2. USC, 3. Miami, 6. Florida
Eventual Result: Florida over Ohio State