Archive for Wednesday, November 17, 2010

To be fair, BCS poll voters should actually watch football games

November 17, 2010


Let me make a suggestion, if you will, to all the coaches and Harrises who vote in the BCS polls:

Watch the games. For once.

Don’t just read the scores as they crawl by on the bottom of the TV screen.

TCU’s 40-35 victory over San Diego State on Saturday didn’t pass the crawl test, as somewhat expected.

When the latest BCS standings were unveiled Sunday night on ESPN, the Horned Frogs clung to the No. 3 spot. But voters in the USA Today coaches poll and the Harris Poll knee-jerked Boise State over TCU and into their polls’ No. 3.

And I have to ask, “Why?”

These voters are supposed to have their hands on the pulse of college football, yet they cast their ballots Sunday as if their heads were up their posteriors.

Watch the games, people, not just the final scores.

On ESPN’s weekly poll announcement show Sunday, commentators actually called Utah “a fraud” and anointed Boise State as “a team on the rise.”

A fraud? But weren’t these the same voters and commentators that had the Utes ranked No. 5 just two weeks ago?

As the voters should know, college football is a game played by teenagers and young adults. Thus, Notre Dame had the benefit Saturday of playing at home, following an off-week, with the visiting Utes still traumatized from their 47-7 crushing by TCU.

The Irish blocked a punt for one touchdown, recovered the second-half kickoff to set up another, and the final score that scrolled across

America’s TV screens read, “Notre Dame 28, Utah 3.”

And just like that, Utah’s victory over Pitt, and its 68-27 smashing of Iowa State, and the fact that the Utes beat Air Force by more points on the road than Oklahoma did at home mean Utah was a fraud?

Note to the BCS voters: Good teams have letdowns. That’s why it’s college football.

It was ESPN analyst Rod Gilmore who kept calling Boise State “a team on the rise” on Sunday’s show.

Really? For beating a pitifully weak cross-state rival, Idaho, that would likely finish near the bottom in every conference in the land?

Shame on the Broncos for allowing Idaho to score 14.

After reading the polls and seeing Sunday’s show, it was easy to come to one conclusion: Not a single one of them had watched the TCU game.

Had they watched, they would have seen the early 14-0 “danger” that the Aztecs reportedly put TCU in was, in fact, the product of a 49-yard flea-flicker and a recovered fumble in the end zone.

The Frogs quickly rebounded. For the next 40 minutes, TCU’s No. 1-ranked defense held San Diego State to not a single first down.

At that point in the game, with around two minutes left in the third quarter, the Frogs were ahead 37-14 and were outgaining the Aztecs 397 yards to 100. TCU was ahead in first downs 23 to 1.

Because TCU was playing a good team — and not Idaho or Cal — the visitors began flinging long passes, hit a few and made the final score closer.

Watch the games, voters.

How do you dock a team that had a 23-1 edge in first downs during its game Saturday, and not similarly react to Oregon’s 15-13 survival at Cal?

The short answer is that they are merely comparing scores, of course.

This isn’t about a playoff, or the Big East’s legacy BCS rights or who’ll get to face Oregon in the championship game.

It’s about how voters, commentators and, yes, newspaper columnists will avoid watching TCU and Boise State on TV, and yet have such strong-sounding opinions on the strengths of the two teams.

The fraud is in the way they’re voting, not in one of the team’s ranked opponents.


Liberty_One 7 years, 4 months ago

Better yet, don't have a system based on polls.

rgh 7 years, 4 months ago

Amen. The only stinking NCAA (D-I, D-II, D-III) sport that doesn't have some type of playoff to determine the true champion!

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