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Another BCS mess: Florida gets the title bid

December 3, 2006

Who gets the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Bowl Championship Series title game in Pasadena?

Will it be the Michigan Wolverines (who already lost to undefeated Ohio State) or the Florida Gators (SEC champs, lost to Auburn).

One hint came in already, as the Florida Gators moved ahead of Michigan in the coaches poll — one of three components in the final BCS rankings.

Will post here with reaction after the announcement. But one of those reactions will certainly be TIME FOR A PLAYOFF SYSTEM!

Personally, I wonder, why would you give Michigan a rematch when they didn’t even win their own conference?

However, Florida beat a damn good Arkansas team Saturday, and I think deserves the nod for the title game.

PS: I already know that we’ll see the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Outback Bowl on New Years Day. Way to go guys. But did you hear Joe Paterno intends to coach the game (with his injured leg) and wants to coach for a few MORE years? Wow…

[UPDATE: Here come the bowl pairings….

FIESTA BOWL: Boise State (WAC champ/undefeated) vs. Oklahoma (Big 12 champs)

ORANGE BOWL: Lousiville (Big East Champs) vs. Wake Forest (ACC Champs)

SUGAR BOWL: LSU (10 wins, second to Florida in SEC division) vs. Notre Dame (11th in BCS rankings, 2 losses – to Michigan and USC)

And now, the controversy…..

ROSE BOWL: Michigan (one loss, to Ohio State) vs. USC (Pac-10 champs)

NATIONAL TITLE GAME: Ohio State Buckeyes (undefeated Big 10 champs) vs. Florida Gators (SEC champs)

[SECOND UPDATE: So Urban Meyer, who two years ago took a Utah squad to an undefeated season and Fiesta Bowl win, gets a crack at the BCS title at the Florida helm. Meyer has an Ohio State master’s degree…irony!

But, in the end, Michigan and Florida both tied in the BCS computer rankings, so the votes from the college coaches and the Harris media polling decided the matchup.

Obviously, it was decided that Florida’s play on Saturday in the SEC title game makes them the better matchup.

Either that, or coaches/media decided that Michigan doesn’t deserve a rematch, and that made the vote for the Gators automatic.

That’s a horrible way to vote — it should just be the better team, and that’s the whole problem with the BCS system. Michigan didn’t have the benefit yesterday of playing for pollsters, since the Big Ten doesn’t play a title game.

Another big problem I have is NOTRE DAME in the Sugar Bowl. Notre Dame finished 12th in the BCS standings, which is the bare minimum they needed to be selected.

I think it’s horrible to leave SEC runner-up Arkansas, BCS 8th-ranked team Auburn, and 7th-ranked Wisconsin in the lurch to put in ND, who has lost their last 5 bowl games.

However, an 8-team playoff would have been seeded something like this:

8. Wake Forest vs. 1. Ohio State

5. LSU vs 4. USC

6. Louisville vs. 3. Michigan

7. Oklahoma vs. 2. Florida

In this system, the six major conference champions get berths, with the top two non-champs ranked in the BCS ranking system. So Michigan and LSU get into the mix with the 3rd and 4th spot in the poll (see final BCS poll here). Still leaves the smaller-conference teams out.

A 16-team tourney would be more fair, with more small-college conference teams getting berths, but then you have issues with academics, plus you’d have the NFL crying that you’re infringing on their playoffs.

But for now, let the debate begin. An ESPN columnist is already crying foul, seeing Michigan on the outs.   And if your team is going elsewhere for bowl season, here’s a schedule for all the bowl games.

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