Tag:LSU
Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:50 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 10:03 am
 

BCS eligibility rules

There is some confusion out there about how teams become eligible for the BCS, so to clear it up, here are the rules.

1. The champions of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC (the AQ conferences) will play in BCS games, regardless of rankings.  There is no exception.  That accounts for six of the ten bowl spots.

2. The top two teams in the BCS standings play for the BCS title.  There are no restrictions.  The teams do not have to be conference champions.  They do not have to be from different conferences.  The top two, whoever they are, play.

3. No more than two teams from any conference can appear in the BCS games.  Exception: if No. 1 and No. 2 in the BCS standings are from the same AQ conference and neither is the conference champion, the conference champion also plays in the BCS (rule #1), thus giving that conference three teams.  Many think this exception would come into play if Georgia beats LSU this week.  Under normal circumstances though, the four at-large teams must come from different conferences.

4. The highest rated non-AQ conference champion automatically qualifies for an at-large spot if it is in the top 12 of the BCS standings, or in the top 16 and ranked ahead of one of the AQ conference champions.  That's why Houston did not have to pass Boise State in the rankings to automatically qualify.  Boise will not be a conference champion.  If Houston loses, it could open the door for TCU, which is 18th this week and would have to get up to the top 16 to qualify.

5. Notre Dame automatically qualifies if it is in the top eight.  lol.

6. If a team from an AQ conference that did not win its league is ranked third or fourth, it automatically qualifies for an at-large spot.  This rule cannot be used to supersede the two-team limit per conference, and only one team (the higher rated) can qualify under this rule.  Stanford qualified under this rule last year, and is positioned to possibly do so again.

7. If there are any spots left after all that, any team with nine wins and a top 14 ranking can be selected at the discretion of the bowls.

There was some erraneous reporting tonight that indicated that the BCS could go down to the top 18 to grab a team from an AQ conference if its league only had its champion in the top 14.  That is NOT true.  Michigan fans - this means you.  Michigan has to be in the top 14 to be eligible, period.

There is a provision to go outside the top 14 for at-large teams, but it only comes into play if it is not possible to fill the at-large spots with teams in the top 14.  That will not be a problem this year.  It almost happened in 2007, which is the year that rule was introduced.

Hope this clears things up!

Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:19 am
Edited on: November 27, 2011 4:57 pm
 

BCS projections, Nov. 19, little movement

There shouldn't be very much movement in this week's BCS standings

Arkansas fell to tenth in the coaches' poll and ninth in the Harris poll.  The Hogs will still be pretty high overall this week, but outside the top five.

Alabama's lead over No. 3 Virginia Tech is 120 points - or more than two points per voter.  That means the Hokies are more like the fourth-rated team than the third-rated team.  Stanford is only two points behind Virginia Tech, and Oklahoma St is another 44 points back of that.  It's hard to imagine voters voting one of those three teams up suddenly next week.

The bowl projections have been updated.  Michigan is still slotted in the Sugar Bowl, although the Wolverines will need to get into the top 14 to qualify.  They project 16th this week.  The projections assume losses by Georgia and Oklahoma, and they should also pass whichever team loses the Big Ten title game.

One thing that baffles me is the notion that we will have an LSU-Alabama rematch for the BCS title no matter what happens next week.  That's silly.  There is no justification for rematching those teams if Georgia wins the SEC.  If there is going to be a rematch at that point, it should be Georgia-LSU, not Alabama-LSU.  Alabama would have won nothing.  Not the division, not the league, nothing.  I realize that is true even if LSU wins the SEC, but it's a lot easier to make the case that the Tide is the second best team in the league (and country) if only one team was more successful than them in conference play.




Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 22, 2011 10:32 am
 

What if....?

The only sure thing in the BCS title chase entering the second-to-last weekend of the season is chaos.  Well, and that LSU will play for the title if it finishes 13-0.

But, what if....

...Alabama beats Auburn?  Barring other upsets, Alabama is likely to play for the title too, but it's not a sure thing.  Voters could get to December 4th and decide they don't want a rematch and/or do want to reward a conference champion.  Is that likely?  It wouldn't seem so, and the only team I could imagine voters going for otherwise would be current human poll No. 6 Oklahoma State.  It's going to be tough for the Cowboys to catch Alabama with Virginia Tech and Stanford ahead of them in the polls though.

...Arkansas beats LSU?  Well, assuming Alabama beats Auburn also, the SEC West falls into a three-way tiebreaker, which in this case, would be decided by BCS standings and head-to-head.  The lowest-rated team of the three in this coming Sunday's rankings would be eliminated, and then head-to-head between the other two would decide it.

So, traditional voting patterns would indicate LSU would drop to third (he who loses last, loses worst).  That would give Alabama the division crown.  You could also make a case for ordering them Arkansas, LSU, Alabama (they beat each other, of course, but Bama's win came at home, while the others won on the road).  That would give Arkansas the West title.  I can't imagine Arkansas winning and still being third, but if that happened, LSU is still the West champion.

In any event, whichever team won would play for the BCS title as a 12-1 SEC champion.  That team's opponent is more uncertain, but it could be one of its divison foes, or again, Oklahoma State.

...Georgia wins the SEC?  I don't think it's a difficult concept to accept that the top two teams in the country could be in the same conference.  But, if that is truly the case, don't you think one of them could manage to win the league?

If the Bulldogs pull it off, expect them to shoot way up the rankings.  They might end up even being the top rated SEC team in the human polls (assuming they beat Georgia Tech this week).  In 2001, two-loss, Big 12 champion Colorado finished ahead of one-loss Nebraska in the polls, but NU ended up in the BCS title game anyway because the polls were only 25% of the formula back then.
In any event, this is the best case scenario for an Oklahoma State or Virginia Tech (if the voters still love them) to get into the title game.  I doubt very seriously that we would have two non-champion SEC teams playing for the BCS title.  However, if that does happen, Georgia still would get to go the Sugar Bowl as the SEC titlist.  That situation is the one exception to the two-team-per-conference limit.

Posted on: November 20, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: November 20, 2011 4:41 pm
 

S-E-C! S-E-C!

The carnage of this weekend will create an unprecedented circumstance in this week's ratings.  The top three teams will all be from one league.  The SEC West trio of LSU, Alabama and Arkansas will rest atop this week's rankings.

After that?  This week's projection much less predicitable.  The coaches still like Oklahoma St to some degree, and only dropped the Cowboys to sixth.  If the Harris folks vote along similar lines (and the projection is changed to reflect that), OSU should still be fourth overall, and viable as a national title contender.

The coaches were also generous with Oregon (ninth - top rated among two-loss teams) and Oklahoma (11th, behind the Ducks and Michigan State).

In the bowl projections, voters may consider Oklahoma State a viable option if the Cowboys beat Oklahoma and win the Big 12.  However, at the moment, they trail both Virginia Tech and Stanford in the polls.  I don't think it's likely OSU would catch Alabama if they have to jump both of those teams without them losing.  Therefore, a rematch between LSU and Alabama is the current projection.

I do have the Cowboys now winning that game and getting to the Fiesta Bowl.

The Sugar would be without an SEC team, so I have them plucking Michigan as an at-large to play Houston.  Stanford would automatically qualify as an at-large team for the second year in a row and end up in the Fiesta.

This afternoon, the University of Miami announced a self-imposed bowl ban in response to the NCAA investigation of the Nevin Shapiro scandal.  The bowl projections will be changed to reflect that decision.

Also, many are asking about Penn State falling out of the Big Ten bowls entirely.  Unfortunately, right now, the Nittany Lions are toxic to the bowls.  Maybe they will soften on PSU over the next couple of weeks.  Maybe one of the lower tier Big Ten bowls will take a flyer on them with the thought that they might never get another shot at Penn State.

Big Ten bowl rules stipulate that the Rose must take the champion and that the championship game loser cannot fall below the Gator in the selection order.  My projection does not have Penn State winning the division, so there would be no restriction preventing the Nits from falling all the way out, even with nine wins.

Posted on: November 19, 2011 9:10 am
Edited on: November 19, 2011 11:36 am
 

It's not even Saturday yet...

...and already the BCS is turned on its head again.  Iowa State stunned No. 2 Oklahoma State 37-31 in double OT and knocked the Cowboys from the ranks of the unbeaten.  It was the biggest late-season loss by a top two team since Pitt decked West Virginia in 2007.  That year, No. 1 and No. 2 both lost on each of the last two weeks of the season.  That Pitt team's defense was lead by coordinator Paul Rhoads, now the Cyclones coach.

Now, if LSU wins out, it will surely face a one-loss team, and today, it's a little more likely that team will be one it already defeated.

Alabama and Oregon are the next two teams in line in the BCS standings, and assuming both win today, you'll probably see Alabama at No. 2 this week, but it's not a given they'll stay there.  Voters like conference champions, and as things stand now, Alabama isn't going to win the SEC, but nobody else has won a conference championship yet either.

On the last day of 2006, Florida jumped Michigan after it won the SEC title.  On the last day of 2011, Alabama could get jumped by Oregon because it wins the Pac-12 title.  Or maybe even the Bedlam winner.  Or, maybe Georgia, even with its two losses. 

Oh, you don't think that Georgia can make that move?  In 2007, LSU jumped from seventh to second on the final day of the season after winning the SEC championship over Tennessee.  They moved past the former No. 1 and No. 2 teams, both of which lost, the No. 6 team, Virginia Tech, which won the ACC that day, and No. 4 Georgia and No. 5 Kansas, neither of which played in their conference title games.  One difference though is that LSU ended with the best record of any SEC team that year.

The point is that unless something changes, Alabama is not playing football the last weekend of the season, and that can hurt them.

And everything I just wrote could get blown up before the ink dries because Saturday hasn't even happened yet.  Gotta love the BCS.


Posted on: November 14, 2011 1:49 am
 

BCS, bowl thoughts, Nov. 13

The more I think about it, the more I think Bedlam will decide one participant in the BCS title game.  Obviously, Oklahoma State controls its own destiny as one of the last two major undefeated teams.  However, if we are in a situation where the Cowboys get beat, especially if Oklahoma is the team to beat them, the Sooners may be the voters only reasonable option if they want to avoid a rematch for LSU.

If that scenario arises, we are looking at three likely opponent choices for LSU:

1. Alabama, which gave the Tigers the better game, but it was a short time ago and the Tide lost to LSU at home.  Alabama won't even be a division champion.

2. Oregon, which was not especially competitive in its season opening loss to LSU, which took place in Dallas.  The Ducks would be Pac-12 champs though.

3. Oklahoma.  The Sooners haven't lost to LSU yet, which would probably appeal to voters, and would also be a confernece champ.  The champion, in fact, of the highest rated league.  Of course, their one loss was a pretty yucky one (yes, that is a scientific term).

I think what little history we have shows voters would go for the Sooners, and the computers would likely back that up.

---

I recevied some comments about Penn State being so low in the Big Ten bowl food chain in this week's projections.  I think bowls may shy away from the Nittany Lions so that their story doesn't become the bowl's story as well.  There is an old saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity.  I would suggest this is an exception.

The Big Ten has a one-win rule for bowl selections, so Penn State can only drop so far, depending on how other Big Ten teams do.

Is this fair to the players?  No, of course not, but bowl selection has never been about fairness.

---

Boise State is the highest rated non-AQ team this week at No. 10, but because it very likely won't win the Mountain West, it cannot automatically qualify for an at-large BCS berth.

Houston at No. 11 controls its own destiny for that berth, which goes to the highest-rated, non-AQ conference champion as long as it is in the top 12 of the standings, or in the top 16, but ahead of one of the AQ champions.  With the Big East cannibalizing each other, it's pretty likely top 16 is good enough again this year.

That means, if Houston falls, TCU, which is currently No. 19, could end up with that spot.  Or even Southern Miss at No. 20, if the Golden Eagles were to win out and knock the Cougars from the ranks of the unbeated in the C-USA championship game.

Southern Miss in the BCS.  We are a ways still from that happening, but who had that at the beginning of the year?  Put your hands down, liars.

Posted on: November 13, 2011 9:24 am
Edited on: November 13, 2011 4:09 pm
 

BCS projections, Nov.12, Stanford, Boise fall

The BCS projections are up for this morning.  I have Stanford dropping to 9th, just above Houston, and Boise State down to 12th after each team suffered its first loss of the season yesterday.

Voters could be in a conudrum if Oklahoma St goes down, especially if it's Oklahoma that beats them.  Right now, lined up behind No. 2 Oklahoma St is Alabama and Oregon, each of which suffered its only loss of the season at the hands of No. 1 LSU.  Voters looking to avoid a rematch may have no good option except the Sooners.

Also, Houston is now in the cat-bird seat for the non-AQ at-large spot.  Even if the Cougars lose, Boise St would not be eligible unless someone beats TCU and the Bronocs are at least league co-champions.  BCS rules say that the non-AQ spot is reserved for a conference champion.,

All data is projected top 25 in each ranking component except the Harris and coaches' polls, Colley and Sagarin, which are actual data through yesterday's games.

The coaches poll showed Boise State doing better than I expected, so I have re-projected Harris to reflect similar thinking.  The result of that has the Broncos now 10th, ahead of Houston.  That does not impact the AQ status for either team.

The Harris poll will was pretty similar.  Stanford is seventh in Harris, but ninth in the coaches' poll.  Virginia Tech is the opposite.

The official BCS release will be at about 8:30 PM ET.


Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:26 am
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Most of the comments on this week's bowl picks, besides questioning merely having Michigan in the BCS (one more loss and all this is moot), question why the Wolverines get in ahead of Oklahoma State, which would unquestionably be the higher ranked team.  To understand that, you have to understand the BCS bowl selection process.

You also have to understand what bowls are looking for when creating their matchups.  They want the best possible game they can get, and bowls measure that primarily in terms of ticket sales and TV viewers.  Things like rankings, records and conference standings are secondary considerations at best.  That's why there are so many bowl selection rules, like the one that automatically qualifies the highest-rated non-AQ team for the BCS, or the ACC rule that protects a team from being skipped over by a bowl for another team that won more than one fewer conference games.  If bowls could be trusted to go in conference standing/ranking order, those rules wouldn't be necessary.

The BCS has ten spots.  Six are reserved for the AQ conference champions.  In my projection, those are:

Clemson (ACC), Cincinnati (Big East), Wisconsin (Big Ten), Oklahoma (Big 12), Stanford (Pac-12), LSU (SEC).

There are also four at-large spots, but two teams automatically qualify for those in my projection:

Alabama, as the highest-rated AQ non-champion, ranked in the top four.
Boise State, as the highest-rated non-AQ conference champion, ranked in the top 12.

That only leaves two spots open.  The rest of my at-large pool contains:

Arkansas, Georgia, Houston, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Virginia Tech.

Note that with LSU and Alabama automatically qualified for the BCS and a two-team limit per conference, Arkansas and Georgia cannot be chosen.

The first thing that happens is that the top two teams go into the title game, and the other contracted conference champions get put in their bowls.  So, we start with:

Title game: LSU vs Stanford
Rose: Wisconsin vs ?
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs ?
Sugar: ? vs ?
Orange: Clemson vs ?

The next step is that the bowls that lost conference champions to the title game get to choose replacement.  They always choose teams from their conference tie-in if one is available.  The Sugar chooses first because it lost the No. 1 team, and takes Alabama.  The Rose picks Oregon to replace Stanford.  Now, we have:

Title game: LSU vs Stanford
Rose: Wisconsin vs Oregon
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs ?
Sugar: Alabama vs ?
Orange: Clemson vs ?

Boise State and Cincinnati still have to go somewhere, so only one at-large spot is open.

The Fiesta gets the first choice of selections for its game in this year's rotation, followed by the Sugar and Orange.  The Fiesta can chose from Boise State, Cincinnati, Houston, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech.

Michigan blows all of those other teams out of the water in terms of fan base and marquee value.  Not even close.  Also, Michigan's fan base would not be jaded by a recent run of success, as sometimes happens with other schools. 

However, two other choices would be much higher ranked:

Oklahoma State isn't a good choice because conference mate Oklahoma is already there.
Boise State would be OK, but the Fiesta has had the Broncos both times it has been in the BCS (including one memorable meeting with the Sooners), and would probably prefer to leave them for someone else.

So, while the Fiesta might go with Boise, but I think the allure of Michigan will be too good to pass up.

The Sugar gets the next pick, and with only Boise or Cincinnati to choose from, the Broncos are an easy choice.  The Bearcats end up in the Orange, and Oklahoma State and its 11-1 record drop out.

Them's the breaks.  Note that if either of the other bowls had first choice instead of the Fiesta, Oklahoma State would almost certainly be that choice.  Also, if the Fiesta did decide to choose Boise, OSU would almost certainly end up in the Sugar.
 
 
 
 
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