Tues. Question - WVU or OSU? Who deserves it?

Posted Nov 27, 2007

Who deserves a spot in the BCS Championship Game more, Ohio State or West Virginia?

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Pete Fiutak     

Q: West Virginia or Ohio State? Who deserves to get one of the BCS Championship spots?

A: If I had to pick which team is better, I'd say Ohio State from top to bottom, although I'm not sure West Virginia's spread wouldn't do to the Buckeye D what Juice Williams and the Illinois attack did. However, when it's about who would deserve to take one of the spots for the national title, assuming Missouri beats Oklahoma, I'd put in West Virginia.

The strength of schedule difference is negligible, with Ohio State clocking in at 46th and West Virginia at 48th. I don't like that the Buckeyes lost at home late in the year when it had everything on the line and only two games to go before getting to the BCS championship. College football doesn't have a playoff, but that Illinois game served as one.

West Virginia's loss to South Florida doesn't look all that great in hindsight, but try to remember what a hot team that was at the time. That was a beartrap of a game in Tampa, with a sold out crown in a nationally televised night game and an electric atmosphere. With Pat White hurt, the Mountaineers still almost pulled off the win.

My big problem with WVU is the lack of a signature wow win. Ohio State beat Michigan and Wisconsin. West Virginia barely got by Cincinnati. Beating Maryland and Mississippi State is nice, but that's not exactly whacking LSU and USC. Even so, if I'm splitting hairs, I'd put Pat White and the boys in.

Richard Cirminiello      

Q: West Virginia or Ohio State? Who deserves to get one of the BCS Championship spots?

: What makes this such a terrific question is that it’s so sneaky tough to answer.  Take emotion out of the equation, and go ahead and try to find tangible separation between the Mountaineers and the Buckeyes.  It’s harder to locate than you think.  Both schools have one loss by less than 10 points to a 9-3 team, and have yet to deliver a defining win over a top-notch opponent.  In and out of conference, both schools’ schedules have been relatively cushy.  Let me first admit that the fan in me would much rather see West Virginia in the title game than Ohio State.  New blood, jaw-dropping offensive talent, and a potential match up with Missouri that would create more fireworks than the folks at Grucci.  Plus, I hate the fact that the Buckeyes ascent toward New Orleans has come after playing their final regular season game.  That said, after taking an unbiased look at both teams’ bodies of work, Ohio State deserves the bid by the slightest of margins.  Yeah, it’s a down year for the conference, but navigating the Big Ten is still tougher than getting through the Big East, which had Connecticut as its runner-up this season.  Here’s an attempt at science behind the decision: Against teams ranked in the top 45 of the BCS, both programs are 4-1 with very similar losses.  The debate can be boiled down to which school’s four quality wins are more impressive.  Ohio State has beaten Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State.  West Virginia has taken down Cincinnati, Connecticut, Rutgers, and Mississippi State.  Edge Buckeyes…barely and begrudgingly  

John Harris

Q: West Virginia or Ohio State? Who deserves to get one of the BCS Championship spots?

When you start to compare Ohio State and West Virginia, as it relates to one of the BCS National championship game slots, it’s like comparing Count Chocula and Cocoa Pebbles, not much difference – a chocolately good breakfast no matter how you slice it, right?

However, this argument is a bit more clear-cut to me than deciding my chocolate cereal of choice.  I think that West Virginia deserves that spot over Ohio State and over any other one loss team.  The Mountaineers had one loss on the road in a tough environment early in the season, while Ohio State lost at home in November.  Does it matter when a team loses?  Heck, yes.  In this system that we have, it sure does.  The Big East is better overall this season than the Big Ten; that doesn’t always indicate that the champion from that conference should be in the game, but here, it does help bolster the argument. 

Plus, I want to see if anyone can stop a fully healthy West Virginia offense on turf indoors under perfect conditions.

Michael Bradley

Q: West Virginia or Ohio State? Who deserves to get one of the BCS Championship spots?

Neither West Virginia nor Ohio State can be considered a truly legitimate national title hopeful, thanks in large part to the schedules they have played and the relative weakness of their respective conferences. And, given that Missouri will lose to Oklahoma next Saturday, the two schools will likely be playing for the "national title." But, you want one, and I'll go with Ohio State, because the Buckeyes are a more balanced team.
West Virginia's offense is great because of its ground potential and the surprise element of the quick pass. But if the Mountaineers ever had to throw on a consistent basis, they would be cooked. OSU's Todd Boeckman isn't a star QB, but he is more than serviceable and has some solid targets at his disposal. When it comes to defense, the Buckeyes have the edge as well, in just about every area. West Virginia has some talent on that side of the ball, but the Buckeye front seven is dominant.
So, it's the Buckeyes. And since there will be an OSU-WVU matchup in New Orleans, consider this an early prediction on the game's outcome.

Matthew Zemek

Q: West Virginia or Ohio State? Who deserves to get one of the BCS Championship spots?

A: Once again--as was the case with LSU and Oregon--the only mature, adult, responsible way to decide this debate is to play a game. Period.
Pretending to know which team is more deserving is naive at best, willfully ignorant at worst. Both West Virginia and Ohio State played garbage non-conference schedules, and they both played in particularly bad conferences (with the SEC and Pac-10 having subpar years, but years that were still better than the Big Ten, Big East and ACC; the Big XII is a hard conference to get a handle on).
Who's more deserving? There's no good or fair answer.
Now that that point has been hammered home, my editor demands an answer anyway.
If you put a gun to my head and formally demand one team only, I'd say Ohio State. The Buckeyes loss came to a better team (even though it happened at home), and relative to the potential of both teams entering the season, Ohio State generally played much closer to its overall capabilities. West Virginia has more skill position talent than OSU, but the Mountaineers simply committed too many turnovers in too many games to be viewed as more deserving than the Buckeyes of a berth in the Big Easy. WVU left too many points on the field, while Ohio State has played in accordance with its personality under Jim Tressel.
This isn't fair. This isn't a legitimate debate (and moreover, it won't matter--WVU leads OSU in the BCS standings). But for what it's worth, if you forced me to give you one team, I'd tell you that the Buckeyes were just a shade more deserving than the Mountaineers.