Wednesday, November 08, 2006

BCS to English Translation

Remember, kids, when a highly ranked school from a power conference struggles against someone they ought to wax by 35+, it's called "proof that they can overcome adversity".

When a highly school from one of the non-power conferences leads by less than 20 at halftime against someone overmatched, it's called "proof that they're overrated."

When highly ranked schools from power conferences score a gajillion points off one another's defenses, it's "exciting football".

When highly ranked schools from one of the non-power conferences do it, it's called "proof that their defenses aren't good enough."

When highly ranked schools from one of the power conferences pay $600K for the privilege of throttling Buffalo, Temple, and the rest of the soft underbelly of the MAC, it's "smart scheduling".

When highly ranked schools from one of the non-power conferences do it, it's "they didn't play anyone."

The short version is, of course, that it's all about money - getting it, keeping it, and not letting the other guy get their share of it. The 5 other BCS conferences would have dumped the Big East in a heartbeat after the mass defection to the ACC if they thought they could have gotten away with it - and if they weren't afraid that they might be dumped next. Such foresight is prescient on the part of the ACC, a majority of whose schools seem to have acquired 7 win seasons by playing Duke and UNC multiple times. But even if a conference without "tradition" - and let's face it, most of that "tradition" is two decades old, at best (yes, I'm talking to you, Miami and Florida and Oregon and...) - is reluctantly allowed in the BCS, the other boys don't want new iconic programs to spring up, to compete for merchandising dollars and players and coaching talent and fat conference television contracts. So the talking heads yammer on about how they're "not convinced" that a Big East or a non-BCS school could ever be that good, while sidestepping the fact that the "name" schools have no interest in ever letting that proof happen. 3-for-1 scheduling commitments are more than enough proof of that.

I have no doubt that, ultimately, Louisville is going to get screwed in the BCS standings, in large part because a large part of the BCS is determined by human voters. For all the complaining about how the evil computer spits out weird rankings, it's still a case of GIGO, and the garbage comes as much from the human-generated poll results as anywhere else. All of this leaves mushmouthed Lee Corso, looking eerily like Mel Brooks during a script session for Robin Hood: Men in Tights, to proclaim that the real good teams come from the real good conferences because they're full of real good teams.

Or something like that.
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