The Paper Champs

November 24, 2009 – 4:26 am by McD


The recent economic disaster was caused by unbelievable cheating, dishonesty and stupidity by insiders while the appearance of “fairness” was maintained publicly. Most got away with their misdeeds because there was a total lack of oversight by the federal government and a lack of knowledge of their doings by the general public. In some cases, there were even actions bordering on corruption by members of the government.

The American people were upset, yet not surprised.

This is essentially the state of major college football as well. The power lies not with the NCAA, which grants real national championships in every other sport except football, but with the Bowl Championship Series: a collection of the “major” conferences and bowl games that gave themselves the power to decide who gets the richest payouts from the biggest bowl games, to the exclusion of virtually all else. The BCS was meant to fix college football, to raise it out of the dark ages of random polls and ivory-tower opinion-makers. To give the people a real, fairly-crowned national champion.

Instead, we have been given yet another corporate cabal centered around profit, money, very little real economic competition, and maintaining the status quo that sounds eerily similar to the economic downturn and the health care debate. As Dan Wetzel so eloquently put it: “The simple explanation is that the BCS is a cartel and the bowls are a costly but important way to block the NCAA’s central office from participating”.

Yet no one is surprised. The BCS is America, where small and average people are always the victims.

In the age of the Bowl Championship Series purposely excluding many teams (and still including the Big East for some reason), while pretending college football has a fairly-crowned national champion, there are many liars, cheats and cowards. Foremost among these are the teams who schedule pathetically easy out-of-conference games during the season so they can pad their win total and go undefeated more easily and have a shot at the big money (it’s a somewhat-known fact that many, if not most schools lose money when going to bowl games). And I’d be surprised if the university presidents cared that much about the trophy.

There are many culprits; almost too many to count because this has become such a common occurrence:

Texas has played Louisiana-Monroe (6-5), Wyoming (5-6), UTEP (3-8), and UCF (7-4) out of conference this year. That must have been terrifying.

To their credit, No. 2 Alabama played (and beat) No. 14 Virginia Tech this year. They also played Florida International (3-8), North Texas (2-9) and Chattanooga (6-5 in FCS). Ballsy.

And before you say anything, No. 4 TCU, you know, the team the BCS is going to screw out of a national championship opportunity, did play FCS Texas State (7-4…and they have Sinbad and a girl kicker!). They also played Virginia (3-8), Clemson (8-3), and SMU (6-5), the last two of which are bowl-eligible, at least, and they beat them all.

Hell, even my own alma mater, Indiana (4-8), had an FCS team on the schedule this year (Eastern Kentucky…and they almost freaking lost) and an FCS  school (Murray State) AND Western Kentucky on the schedule last year. In IU’s defense, USF backed out of a home and home series with the Hoosiers, necessitating a quick fix. Enter EKU. Besides, give us a break. We suck.

But no one. NO ONE exemplifies scheduling cowardice quite like the Florida Gators. Their out of conference schedule looks like this: Charleston Southern (6-5 FCS), Troy (8-3), Florida International (3-8) and Florida State (6-5). Every one of those games was (or will be) a home game, and the first three were all wins. Florida State shouldn’t really count in terms of scheduling cowardice because the Gators play them every year. Troy is also a defensible game because they are definitely one of the better teams…in the Sun Belt Conference.

In fact, since the start of the 2000 season (10 years), the Gators have played 34 out-of-conference games, and not counting the Florida State series (five away games), the Gators have played exactly one out-of-conference road game (at Miami in 2003…a Florida loss). Even six total away games in 34 out-of-conference games is embarrassing. Especially considering that all of those “away games” took place within the state of Florida.

More to the point: Florida has played as many different major-conference, non-SEC teams in 10 years as TCU has played in 2009 alone.

That Florida schedule includes two MAC teams (Ball State, Eastern Michigan), five different Sun Belt teams (Middle Tennessee, Louisiana-Monroe, Florida International, Florida Atlantic and Troy), three FCS schools (The Citadel, Florida A&M, Charleston Southern), one school that was transitioning to FBS when Florida played them (Western Kentucky), three WAC schools (San Jose State, Louisiana Tech, Hawaii), four C-USA schools (Marshall, UCF, UAB, Southern Miss), two ACC schools (Florida State, Miami), and one Mountain West school (Wyoming).

The conferences missing from that schedule are: Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, and the Pac-10. In other words, the other BCS automatic qualification conferences.

No random home and home with USC like Ohio State had, or a series with Ohio State like Texas had. Nothing. Just a bunch of non-qualifying schools, and not even one of the good teams from the Mountain West a.k.a. the good non-AQ conference. No Utah, BYU or TCU. Hell, not even Air Force. Just Wyoming, who finished 4-7 in 2005 when Florida played them.

Friends, we are being sold a bill of goods that is nothing less than a con-job on the part of the Florida Gators and the BCS. Yes, the Gators beat Ohio State and Oklahoma to win national championships recently, but did they earn their way there? Absolutely not. There’s a reason strength of schedule should count. Not in a “BCS formula” kind of way, which is a lie anyway, but in a “you’re a wimp for scheduling like that and should be ridiculed as such” kind of way. Any Florida fan that even keeps that schedule in a video game should be mocked by his/her friends.

The Gators will pretend that they have fought their way through a tough schedule in 2009 when in fact they have played ONE RANKED TEAM. One. And it’s questionable whether LSU should be ranked anyway.

I also know what Florida fans and BCS apologists will say here as well: the SEC is just so tough a conference that there’s no need to schedule good teams from other conferences.

Anyone who actually believes that drivel is either Urban Meyer or Orson Swindle a CBS broadcaster because there is no way that conference is so much better than the other major conferences. In 2009 alone, there are no currently ranked SEC teams (in the BCS standings) other than Florida, Alabama and LSU. There were only four ranked SEC teams in the BCS at the end of 2008, five in 2007 (there were also five ranked Big XII teams that year, along with four Pac-10 teams, so eat that SEC hacks), and six in 2006 (when there were also four Big Ten teams ranked).

Every conference has ranked, good teams. It’s the point of conference play. But that doesn’t mean a few conference games are the only thing necessary for a shot at the mythical national championship. In fact, they’re almost totally out of the schools’ control. The only part of the schedule schools have direct control over are the out-of-conference games, and you can see what Florida and others have done with that power.

The number of ranked SEC teams year in and year out is fairly consistent to be sure, but that only means the conference is top-heavy, not that they’re the best. Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and (sometimes) Ole Miss are just as bad as any other power conference’s bottom-four. The SEC also has the benefit of having 12 teams, giving it better odds of having more teams with good enough records to get ranked (especially if they’re all guilty of some weak scheduling too) and leaving them with some perennial losers for the usual eight teams to beat consistently. Baylor, Iowa State and Duke all agree with me.

So when Florida is in the national championship game and the announcers and everyone are praising them for being so great, so clutch, so Tebow-ish, remember that they’re so great and undefeated because they played exactly one major-conference foe outside the SEC whom Florida plays every year anyway and have played exactly two major-conference teams outside the SEC in the last 10 years.

The BCS pretends it is fair because it has created its own rankings system that was supposedly better than the old polls and which is used to match up the two best teams in the country to play for the mythical national championship. It pretends that formula isn’t famously flawed, and that those ridiculous computer polls and coaches polls don’t utterly bias it. It pretends everyone has a shot, when, in fact, they do not. Only Florida, who constantly flouts the spirit of competition by scheduling a parade of patsies, gets a shot at winning three national championships in four years.

I would have loved to see the 2008 Florida team prove itself against some one from a major conference aside from a crap FSU team during the regular season. It’s not the players’ fault they didn’t get to face stiffer competition, it’s the athletic department and the university’s fault. That Florida team might be one of the best of all-time, but we’ll never know for sure because they didn’t play anyone. At least mix in a f*cking road game once in a while.

This is a fake dynasty.

Something must be done.

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  1. 52 Responses to “The Paper Champs”

  2. +1000 McD

    Florida’s last out of conference regular season road game: 1991 at Syracuse.

    By cleet on Nov 24, 2009

  3. Oh my GAWD you sound like a little b.tch! ….Yet no one is surprised. The BCS is America, where small and average people are always the victims…” OH MY, QUE the violins dude. Wait, you can’t be a dude, you HAVE to be a dude-ette! That or a cry’n ass tOSU fan!…HAHA…this was a funny article until I threw up from laughing at you. I’m sending tissues and a “blanky”, hope it helps!
    Man, grow a pair.
    You know WHY Football is the best Sport on the Planet, ’cause its the tUFfest Title to get! You chumps sure didn’t cry when the rules benefited YOUz(Bucknut fans that is, who also have favorable scheduling,…as do ALL the big schools, ya yutz!!).
    Maybe change this site to “Cry & Cry Again”?…maybe?

    By I'm Bitter too on Nov 24, 2009

  4. Sorry, forgot to add (outside the state of Florida).

    By cleet on Nov 24, 2009

  5. The only little sliver of pride that I can cling to is that ND hasn’t scheduled a 1-AA school. Fortunately, Keven White went to Duke, so I don’t see that happening in the near future.

    Granted, we’ve signed up to play Army and Western Michigan, but at least they’re barely 1-A.

    By MJenks on Nov 24, 2009

  6. What a tool,..Florida’s SOS in 2006 when they laid WASTE to Ohio State (also in 1996). Last year, it was #5.
    Since you like doing research (at least to a degree), write up support for any other team; applying your critical bias to the other team(s) too. Try using ALL the faxcts though, not just the ones that support your deeply slanted opinon. Of course you can’t/won’t, that’s the point!
    You seem to be pumping up TCU there, I guess using Boise State’s SOS this year wouldn’t have made you slanted case,..and using TCU next year wont either.
    Go ahead and hate, if it helps you to take it.

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  7. It’s not about their strength of schedule. I actually adress that late in the post b/c it gets inflated by the SEC. This is more about how they never, ever play anyone good outside of the SEC and pretend like that’s enough. Frankly, so do most people, but I think it’s time to recognize Florida’s schedule for what it is.

    By McD on Nov 24, 2009

  8. I think “I’m Bitter Too” is really Vice President Cheney. How’s all that free time working out for you, Mr. Vice President?

    By McD on Nov 24, 2009

  9. Check Rivals, to see where the best kids are going to play. 6 of the top 10 classes are SEC teams. This isn’t proof positive, but its a leading indicator. The best kids navigate to the best conference.
    Sports writers with no vested interest have the SEC as #1, and have for a NUMBER of years. Even in the best case scenario, there might be a major “pub” that’s lists them #2,…but really, are you championing another conference as “better”. No, you’re not. You’re just another in a LONG line complaining because the team YOU like, isn’t very good. Or, isn’t good enough.
    Florida, and most teams with the advantage of being BIG and GOOD, take what it is that they are given. Texas wasn’t mentioned in this article, and they don’t even play an F$U! -No one complained when F$U was a top 5 team for 15 years, that Florida played them EVERY year (and with a #1 ranked SOS won the NAtional Title). Name a school that YOUR favorite team playes EVERY year that has two relatively recent National Titles, and played in 3 other Title games? Go ahead, I’ll wait. Rrriiiiggghhhttt, you can’t!
    The SEC is the best conference, you hating them does not dispel that! Florida won in 2006 w/the #1 sos, and won last year with the #5 sos.
    USC plays some OOC teams, but for the most part they needed that meat on their schedule….and they blew/blow their chances losing to low rung PAC10 teams!
    Your Gator hate aside, the structure of your writing is good!….see, end with a high note!

    Ohj, sorry, Florida players, fans and the like, don’t actually DO some of the things you imply there, like schedule teams. Utah was supposed to be the Opening game this year, for Florida. They said NO to a home-n-home, with their former head Coach. “Facts”, they just get in the way of a good pizzy-rant, dont they..???

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  10. You are out of your mind, when Florida won the National Championship in 2006 and 2008 they had the #1 SOS in the country each year. For all of your research you conveniently leave this fact out.

    By Tim Kennedy on Nov 24, 2009

  11. Utah? Really? Well, I apologize. All is forgiven. There aren’t five other BCS conferences in which to find a replacement. You’re right.

    And I DID mention Texas. Right at the beginning.

    Again, the SEC is good, but not AS good as most people think. They are just more top-heavy than most conferences. That doesn’t mean anything when Florida refuses to play anyone good outside of their own conference though.

    By McD on Nov 24, 2009

  12. So essentially, if we disregard strength of schedule, Florida’s strength of schedule is weak; and if we disregard the out-of-conference road games that they play, they don’t play out-of-conference road games. Makes perfect sense. Florida’s schedule is exactly what it is, and everyone recognizes it. In the end though, the only reason that this has become an “issue” (read: not an issue) is because FSU is in a down-cycle, and will stay there for at least a few more years.

    Remember as well, who are you proposing as more worthy? Boise State had UC-Davis come into Boise for a game this year, and that on a conference schedule that includes Idaho, San Jose State, and New Mexico State. Cincinnati brought in Southeast Missouri State. Texas brought in ULouisiana-Monroe, UTEP and UCF. Hell, Vanderbilt brought in Western Carolina.

    If people agreed with you, then Florida wouldn’t be at the top right now. And while people might nod their heads in agreement with your post, they aren’t actually convinced.

    By kmh on Nov 24, 2009

  13. #

    +1000 McD

    Florida’s last out of conference regular season road game: 1991 at Syracuse.

    By cleet on Nov 24, 2009

    Wrong. Florida plays at FSU every other year, and they played at Miami in 2004. They will return to Miami in 2011.

    You wanna bitch about Florida’s nonconference scheduling? Blame their AD, Jeremy Foley. Gator fans have been aching for a home-and-home against top nonconference teams, but Foley refuses to give up the lost revenue of a home game. He’s done great things for us–Urban Meyer and Billy Donovan, among other things–but I wish the man would grow a pair and do a home-and-home with USC.

    By CBGator on Nov 24, 2009

  14. Refuses?…Really? Well, I apologize. All is forgiven. [Utah, and a win against them, is a big reason you list TCU in the article. Supporting their tough trip to the top]

    Yeah, Opening Day dates are just that easy to fill, generally BIG6 conf teams are banging at the gates to fill in, and get out of their own opening games; –good point.

    IF the SEC isn’t “as good”, then which conference is better? You’ve eluded from giving your answer. Its because you can’t argue another conference in there. This is a generic piece and you could actually fit any team in there, isn’t that right? You only hate on Florida (now) because they aren’t your fav, and they are on top (right now).
    The SEC is number one, and if you win the #1 conf title you actually SHOULD get 1/2 of the Title Game.
    It really doesn’t matter which team you think deserves to play in the game. As it was last year when Okly failed, you’ll just pick up for the next team in line that did win a Bowl Game. “Well, uh, Utah would have — yadda-yadaa” Yeah, right! Its kinda different when you can’t be hypocritical, isn’t it?
    Hey, you can always hope Alabama wins, then at least the Florida part of your SEC hate will be removed; -‘course, then you have to pull for Texas, and, well, once again, you could just go through this piece here and edit OUT the word Florida and insert “Texas” –Which is very likely what you’ll do, huh? Yeah, I look forward to that one too.

    How’s this one team hate helping your hits? Probably doing OK? 119 teams worth of haters agree, the #1 team is popular to hate on!

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  15. Guh, Pump.

    The SEC is indeed the best conference, though it’s not as wide a margin as many would like to believe.

    But that’s not the point of the post, for the third time.

    The point is that, outside of the SEC, Florida never plays on the road (other than FSU, like I said) against anyone from the other major conferences except Florida State (every year) and Miami (every few years).

    By McD on Nov 24, 2009

  16. GUH!…I bet it SUCKED having to type that!

    Who is, or, does play these games you refer to?
    TCU?….and based on the occurance that one of these TCU-like teams rise up every several years, you propose Florida should play some team other than the ones that have won 7 National Titles in the past 25 years?..(with Florida 3, that’s,..uh,…uh, let’s see, 5 plus 2 plus 3…THIS MANNY!) play whom? Clemson?….Utah,(who refused), or BYU? That would ensure your approval?..HAIL NO! You’d tap that they got them in a down year, or the sun was in their eyes, or the bridge was up; –or something.
    You’ve obviously just tossed away the fact that even WITHOUT them, Florida still played the toughest(or close to it) schedule, AND won National Titles. So, why cloud in anything else!?!?!
    This year they (UF) have the best SOS of all the top 10 teams!
    No, you have a good point. They should schedule BYU and Idaho State– Miami and F$U blow!

    Believe it or not, some of the schools you want them to play (or more likely beat and remove so your team will go higher) just may show some reluctance to PLAY Florida;– Early in the year, or late. Gainesville in late August/Early September is brutal at times.

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  17. Despite how easy their regular season schedule may appear, the Gators still have to play an SEC championship game (usually against a top 10/top 5 opponent), plus have to then beat the #2 or #1 team in the nation in the national championship game.

    Last year, the defeated Alabama and Oklahoma in back to back games. What is their incentive to schedule a tough team during the regular season. Ohio State and USC had to schedule each other in home and homes because they don’t play a conference championship and needed a reason for BCS voters to consider them at the end of the season.

    By Danny on Nov 24, 2009

  18. See the 3rd comment down CBGator, I corrected myself. As McD stated you guys are overblowing his whole argument. It’s not that Florida is not one of the best teams or that the SEC is not a very good, if not the best conference, it is showing how the system is flawed by allowing teams to skirt around playing tough non-conference games. The other big teams do it, like he mentioned Texas. Penn State’s OOC schedule was pathetic and they are close to getting a BCS bid because of who they are and not the team on the field. Florida deserves the title shot should they beat Bama, but what if they had slipped up against LSU, then they would have no wins against ranked teams in an SEC that is again, very good, but not as strong as the past couple years. F$U has been down for years now, this is nothing new. If Foley and co. do not want to go home and home and schedule FCS opponents and play one in November then you will just have to live with the criticism but like you say it does not affect the polls at all because the voters have Florida number 1. They have the argument won this year because they have not lost, but it will not sustain them in the future unless they plan on going undefeated every year, especially if you have overhyped teams in the SEC like Ole Miss, Tenn, and South Carolina fall out of the polls.

    By cleet on Nov 24, 2009

  19. or Oklahoma….
    Funny, or rather, odd. You mention that Florida needs to accept the criticism over a scheduling issue (again, as if have the best SOS gets you critiqued!) but the mentioned teams like TCU THIS YEAR, do not?
    Yeah, they are excluded based on that same theory you propose (to Florida). They should accept it!…There you go, case closed!
    AND, yes, had Florida NOT beaten LoSerU, they’d be behind all the undefeatededs right now, and looking to pull down ‘Bammer.
    THe Big1(1)0 has had NOTHING but opportunity to add a 12th and play a Conf Champ game. THEY refuse. Kinda like how they refuse to play into Thanksgiving (or later) then cry about the delay to their Bowl games, well, unless it benefits them (w/injuries).
    Just like the Florida players and fans should “accept” it, maybe there are actually other peole, who might (too) have to just “accept” something..???

    Oh, and for this to be a “playoff” pitch? -Come on. Which Sport IS perfect? Baseball? Where the Yankees get to spend 220 miliion vs teams with 55 million $ payrolls? Yeah, THAT screams fair!

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  20. That’s the problem, teams like TCU are excluded. it is one thing to accept criticism, it is another not to get a title shot when you are deserving. TCU has hammered all the bad opponents they played this year with the exception of Air Force, who has 7 wins and is going bowling. TCU is top 5 in team defense and offense. They hammered, embarassed Utah and BYU. They went on the road and won at Clemson which is a top 25 victory. It should not be a determination of playing in the SEC, Big 12, or any other BCS conference that allows you to get to the “national title game”.

    Boise State’s schedule is a joke and I think the best they deserve is a BCS bowl this year, but TCU has done everything neccessary to get a shot. I agree it is stupid that the Big Ten/Pac Ten skirt conference championship games, it should be the same for all conferences if they want to play for the same title. A playoff is dumb in my opinion if you have a bunch of teams that are not worth it a chance to play for a title but how can you deny TCU, or even Cincinnati at least a shot to win when they have won MORE games against ranked opponents than the Gators and done so on the road. Last year when Florida played SEC teams that have fallen off this year (UGA, SCAR, Ole Miss, even LSU) they rightly deserved their title shot and won it. I am not disputing that but this is a new year and the rankings from last year do not count.

    But it is clear you are a UF homer and willing to feast on the way the system works now. It is the same as if you were a Yankee fan arguing that the above statement you made about baseball is fair and the way it should be.

    By cleet on Nov 24, 2009

  21. I am a Yankee fan….also a Pro Football fan and an ALL COLLEGE Sports fan. NONE of the sports are categorically “fair”!…NONE!

    TCU deserves, AND is getting, consideration. However, so are Alabama, Texas and UCincy. TCU benefited from a system which pays them to go on the road an win games, so they could put $$ in their coffers. Now, they want to bitch about that same stream of money?….or, at least YOU do. At least THIS year. Last year you supported Utah, before that it was Boise State and in the 90’s you fell on the sword for Tulane and Marshall,…right? You rescue baby squirrels from the coyotes too?
    Sure, TCU does and will get their shot, but they need help. That’s a universal belief and really doesn’t depend on whether I’m a UF homer or a Alabama homer or Miami Hurricane. (Of course if I were a ‘Cane fan, I’d rarely go to any of my teams’ games, so I’d probably know less about them)
    Anyway, Florida, Texas and Alabama have ALSO done everything TCU has done, and merit the same support YOU give TCU; –and even though you change who YOU give support to from year to year, its still the same support.
    So, break it down: SEC is the best conference,…sure, that’s got to factor in, when you need to decide Florida/Alabama over TCU. TCU gets easier games, on average. Florida will have played two top 5 teams, AWAY from home, to get to where they are. TCU beat BYU, Utah(who ewas scared to play Florida this year, 6 months removed from complaining about where they finished in 2008), and Clemson.
    Clemson is a solid win, but hardly a #5 team, and a #5 team on the road win. Advantage Florida.
    Texas has also, aside from the Okly games, played well. Played “TCU well” in fact!…to the point they are REALLY REALLY close in the rankings, close.
    I think what most voters are seeing, is that had TCU played Florida’s achedule, would they be where they are now? Yes/NO? Would Florida, having played TCU’s schedule, not also be 10-0? Most are saying SURE. More so than might be saying TCU would have done that in Florida’s place.
    So what do we have…some split hairs?…AT best? (best for YOUR argument that is). So this WHOLE blast, is/was based on the interpretation of voter’s having valued Florida over TCU? This BLINDING hate stems from percentage points? YOUR LOVE FOR TCU!?!?!, is based on fractions?
    Seems odd, dawg, seems odd.

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  22. fully agree with you McD. You’ll always have southern rube haters on your case for outing their little secret. Keep up the good work!

    By cheswick on Nov 24, 2009

  23. So you just hater Southerners?…Well!, that brings this all into a more clear light then! SURE!, it makes more sense now! Well, more than most anything written in that “hate essay”! above.

    Enjoy your next Vacation, but dont forget to hate us again come Football season! Well said Ches! How’s that gig at The New Yorker working out for ya?

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  24. I’m not in the tank for any team, I am being objective dawg, you should try it some time. I am basing this on THIS YEAR and the teams’ schedule, results, and they way they play. Florida barely escaped a few games this year against Arkansas(thanks refs) and South Carolina. Even Miss St. gave them a game. I do not see any way you can definitively place Florida above TCU right now. You most likely have not watched TCU play a game this year so you think they are akin to Marshall/Tulane teams of the past which is a joke. You said yourself that TCU and the other teams deserve a shot, and that includes Florida in my own opinion. Utah withdrawing or whatever from the series with UF is irrelevant. I think TCU could handle Florida’s schedule this year I really do. They could beat LSU. The two games against top 5 are games you are projecting. They are not regular season games. Conference championships and bowl games are not on the road by the way, they are neutral sites.

    SEC is thge best conference but all the teams do not play each other every year so that can be skewed. You cannot tell me Kentucky, Vandy, Arkansas, Miss St. are national factors. Even Georgia is a joke this year.

    What most voters are seeing is that Florida were awarded the title last year, have Tebow back, play in the SEC. Does that warrant getting a title shot over a team like TCU? If you think so then no reason can reach you, enjoy the rest of the season.

    By cleet on Nov 24, 2009

  25. Cleet, I said this: …”Florida will have played two top 5 teams, AWAY from home, to get to where they are…” I acknowledged the Conf Champ game was not a home game. I said it was “away from home”. (re-read the post if necc.)
    I also didn’t “say” I thought TCU = Tulane of the 90’s, you implied that. Also, I am aware of the TCU resume, and the fact the SEC brings in better competition-thus causing closer games to BE close(r), for UFlorida.
    Even using your vague formula, there is support for both teams; – Though I cannot say categorically I believe TCU beats LSU. Not in Death Valley, and maybe not anywhere.
    Florida or Alabama winning the Champ game gives them 1/2 the formula, or it sure should. It will have (by then) trump TCU’s “body of work”.
    Just like YOU’RE saying Florida shouldn’t automatically get the nod ahead of TCU, then same can be said for the other way. Clemsom, BYU(F$U Thrashed them in Provo) and Utah don’t compare to beating Alabama(if it happens) and the #5 LSU team in Death Valley. Really, without inside hate for Florida, I think you have a hard time passing that thought as globally accepted.
    I’m not deflating TCU,…not like this article is deflating what Florida has done anyway. I respect what they’ve done, but when it all comes down, comparing the two will lead to a UF invite…or, should anyway.
    Texas has had a much easier road, so why the focus isn’t on them, is kinda odd(since they are perceived as the other 1/2 to the Title game). They, more than Florida, lack a high caliber win…or two, by the time its (likely) all said and done.
    Again, Texas and TCU are ranked very close together, as a result.
    Also, I DID “say” TCU is deserving of a shot,…so why you would then say I discounted them to Tulane status is questionable.
    If Texas, Florida or Alabama falls out, TCU will be ahead of Cincy and BSU, and (will) get the invite. They do NOT, just because they are the little guy get more credit than the others who play in better conferences though.
    Within the guidelines, this is the majority opinion. Doesn’t always make people argee on anything, but it what we have right now.
    Texas barely beat Okly,…and Okly has been BAD this year. You and “McD”-dude said nothing about that side of this, instead, just focusing on beating down Florida. why? Must be hate, and maybe the old “Pull for the underdog mentality”.
    Regardless, all 5 teams are close, and neither deserving of this level of hate. There must be more to it.

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  26. You are being overly protective man. This is about the entire system, and Texas has been covered but they are different during this argument because in the past they play tough home and homes (Ohio State a few years ago). Like I said you probably have not seen TCU this year, they are just as good (if not better) defensively than LSU, better offensively, and without a doubt better coached. Gary Patterson does not tell them to spike it with :01 left trust me. You are assuming that other teams are better simply because they are in BCS conferences. You are assuming TCU is inferior because it is not. Why not settle it on the field, that is my whole point.

    Not anywhere in my comments did I say Florida was not one of the best teams and did not deserve a title shot. The whole argument is that Florida does not go on the road out of conference. There is no forumla for that- 1991 Syracuse- the last time they did. It does not take away this year that they deserve a title shot if they beat Bama but it is something that prevents them from elevating them above the other top teams.

    The SEC title game is a de facto semi-final for the title. It will eliminate 1 team but then you have definitely 2 (Texas, TCU) and maybe Cincy if they win out as teams that deserve a shot. You cannot sit there and say without the teams playing each other that you know which one is better and deserves more to play Florida/Bama. Everyone will say Texas because they have the reputation, got screwed over last year(should not have been leap-frogged by Oklahoma), and play in the Big 12. But the Big 12 has been horrid this year.

    Texas’ situation has been noted, but this particular article was about Florida and their OOC schedule and you took it as Florida haterade.

    I am not saying any of these teams deserve a nod over the other, I am saying they should play each other to determine said nod.

    That’s it, I’m out. There will be plenty of justification as to why the title game match-up is what it is but in the end, just like last year all the other years of the BCS, there is no clear cut answer.

    By cleet on Nov 24, 2009

  27. SOS,
    lets begin to look into next year also

    Bama plays Georgia State that has not ever, yes , ever dressed out a team.

    By aujude on Nov 24, 2009

  28. Teaxas and the Big12 agreed an a tie-breaker rule before the season started!…TEXAS did NOT get screwed last year!. It played out just like the rule was written up! Texas showed their colors last year by barely beating OSU!

    I have seen TCU play, Cleetus, and as I’ve said many times, I did NOT discount them from being a top 5 team. You keep bugling them like they are some great mystery. They are not an unknown! To at least 95% of the College Football fans, they are perfectly “known”. Simple as that, regardless of road games this year they will not have had a tougher road to the end than Florida will have had.
    Going to Atlanta to play at a nuetral site is similar to a road game! Sure, its not the same, but its also NOT A HOME GAME!….LSU at Death Valley, when they were ranked #5 was a road game. Those two games are worth more than Clemson, Utah and BYU…YES! Factor in the conference as a whole, and Florida again beats TCU.

    Florida not playing outside the conference road games has nothing to do with qualifying for the Title game! Really, is that the only leg you’re standing on here? They (UF) play in the concensus toughest conference and will have beaten two top 5 teams AWAY from home (even out of State!). TCU has been impressive, but they have NOT (and will not) done that equal. So, if you need to decide between the two, YOU’RE sole argument FOR taking TCU over Florida is the lack of an OOC ROAD game by Florida?…..OK,yeah, I’m sorry. I thought this was a little more than that. No, the Road to the Natiomnal Championship is established strictly by a teams ooc road schedule! Sure, I see that.
    OK, TCU is getting *&#*ed!!!

    Sarcasm aside, if the voter’s held TCU in the higher regard, would that mean the pizzy political slant on this article would have been nulified?

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  29. Georgia State will get a big ash game check, it looks like. Like TCU did to build up its program (again).
    You’re suggesting, though, that this is a bad thing,…right? Yeah, this is purely an SEC practice.
    Yeah, instead of being hypocrites and slinging poo, post YOUR dear sweet balls-to-the-wall fav team and I’ll enlighten YOU to some of the patsy teams THEY’VE played,…and soon will.

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  30. You said: “YOU’RE sole argument FOR taking TCU over Florida”

    I said: “I am not saying any of these teams deserve a nod over the other, I am saying they should play each other to determine said nod.”

    I am not going to have a discussion with someone who has no degree of reading comprehension. Enjoy things from your point of view Pump.

    By cleet on Nov 24, 2009

  31. I said: “I am not saying any of these teams deserve a nod over the other, I am saying they should play each other to determine said nod.”

    THEY CAN’T play each other!…talk about comprehending!???

    Only two of the undefeateds will get to play each other; — and one will reap the benefits of BEING one of the undefeateds’ to have to PLAY a top 2 team (and WON!). Certainly the winner shouldn’t land in a well with the rest, right?….so, “ooc” road record aside, they should qualify, assuming they are indeed still undefeated tp that point.

    …”I am not going to have a discussion with someone who has no degree of reading comprehension. Enjoy things from your point of view Pump…..”
    —Thanks for being so forthright in your view on my blatant disorientation. I am now a better person for your honesty. Thanks man! Because it sure sounded like you were rpomoting TCU over the rest, at least to a LARGE degree! I have diminished capacity now, after that horrible accident, so, my bad man!

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  32. …”What most voters are seeing is that Florida were awarded the title last year, have Tebow back, play in the SEC. Does that warrant getting a title shot over a team like TCU?…”

    —-That hardly sounds like you’re saying they all should PLAY each other!…then again, I have a head wound!

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  33. Yeah, Florida doesn’t play anyone out of conference or on the road if possible. This will change (barely) with future slates that include a trip to Miami and home dates against South Florida; Miami would be the first OOC road game in 20 years, I think.

    That said: This isn’t exactly brand new, and it’s not unique to Florida. Look at Michigan, this year: Somehow, they managed to not leave the state of Michigan until October 10th.

    Teams do this, and often. Florida just abuses it better than most, keeping records padded.

    By Andy on Nov 24, 2009

  34. Pump,
    Dude, use spell-checker please. Or at least re-read your comments before posting them. Reading them is like trying to decipher hieroglyphics after downing a quart of vodka.

    By Phillips on Nov 24, 2009

  35. I SAID I HAD A HEAD WOUND!…Kay-rist Phil!
    A whole quart huh?….I must be feeling better!

    By Pump on Nov 24, 2009

  36. What I want to see is a southern team play an out of conference game in the north in November. It’s not like they couldn’t, as Florida schedules a tomato can between SC and F$U every year. Even Florida’s game against Syracuse in 91 was indoors. But that game was scheduled before Foley arrived, who made it policy to never go north again. I think it would be fun to see a warm weather team be in a position to possibly play in the snow.

    Ideally, if there’s ever a playoff, the first round is played at the higher ranked team’s home field. Imagine if Alabama had to play at Nebraska or Miami had to play at Iowa in December. Now THAT would be fun.

    Full disclosure: I went to Florida in the early 90s.

    By DJ on Nov 24, 2009

  37. The BCS is structured to get major teams to major bowls to capitalize on tourism money, television deals. The NBA or the MLB hope to get a Celtics-Lakers or Dodgers-Yankees final…the BCS takes hope out of the equation.

    It’s partly my fault, I’m a big college football fan but I went bowling instead of watching Alabama Utah last year, it was my loss, that game was the best, just as Oklahoma Boise St was the best game of the year when they played.

    It’s not a fluke, I think two good tested teams playing each other create good games. The last BCS Championship that was good was USC-Texas, so I’d say the last 4 years were semi-fraudulent.

    If teams played real schedules, we would really know what teams are. LSU is pretty awful, but talented and well coached, they were ranked 8 before losing to Ole Miss, but I have a hard time putting LSU in my top 25. I’m not criticizing LSU, but I just don’t know if their top 10, or paper champs.

    The only way to find this out is to give teams incentives to play competition by having a playoff where teams get automatic bids for winning their conference, then like basketball, early games would be scheduled against top competition to give your team experience they’ll need to win the conference and make a deep tournament run.

    If this isn’t done, maybe a Bowl Scheduling Committee (BSC?) can insure that teams like Boise can get a decent game in non conference scheduling.

    I love the article it points out the hypocrisy of teams that beat their chest and flaunt their rankings while they are afraid to play anyone.

    Also I’d love the Pac 10 and Big 10 to alternate playing in the Rose Bowl and in Cleveland Brown stadium. I’m sick of hearing Angelinos brag about owning the Rose Bowl they should try running 5 wide off the shores of Lake Erie in January.

    By buffalo beach, ca on Nov 24, 2009

  38. Seriously? The Gators play I-AA patsies every year granted, but as you yourself said, so does EVERY OTHER HIGH PROFILE TEAM.

    On the Gators schedule EVERY year is LSU due to conference tie-ins, Florida State and the UGA game in Jax due to historical considerations and if it is a year that they are nationally significant, the SEC championship game.

    I can guarantee you that year in and year out, a schedule that includes LSU, FSU, UGA and the SEC West Champion is tougher than almost any school that you could compare them to. Aside from this year, typically at least two of those teams finish the year in the top 15. Or have you forgotten that FSU finished in the top five every single year from 1987 to 2000 or that LSU finished in the top 10 five times in the last decade or that Bama looks ready to dominate the SEC West and National rankings for the foreseeable future?

    So call it paper champions if you want but it sounds like sour grapes to me.

    By Perry on Nov 26, 2009

  39. Oh and also – they likely will play and have to beat the #2 ranked team in the nation to “prove” that they deserve to get to the MNC game. Which team that you want to say that is more deserving than the Gators is going to be able to say that?

    Yeah.. Thought so..

    By Perry on Nov 26, 2009

  40. You conveniently left out the fact that Florida’s schedule was ranked #1 in 2006 and #3 last year. The only reason it’s weaker this year is because the SEC is in a down year and FSU is a joke. In fact, I remember in 2006, most pundits were saying Florida had “no chance” to win the national championship because of how hard their schedule was and that it would take a “miracle” to do well against it.

    Last year they beat four, yes, 4! teams that were in BCS bowls the year before (Hawaii, LSU, UGA, and Oklahoma). The ONLY other time that any team has beaten at least 3 BCS teams from the year before? Florida, in 2006. They beat UGA, FSU, and OSU. No other team in the BCA era has had to beat more than 2 teams that were in BCS bowls the previous season.

    So don’t give me this wah, wah crybaby bullshit about Florida having it easy.

    By Steve on Nov 26, 2009

  41. classic fail, McD.

    By smokestack on Nov 26, 2009

  42. McD should probably learn that research is something that helps in coming to an informed decision. Seriously this is pathetic. You should cry in embarrassment.

    By Meteor on Nov 26, 2009

  43. Your ignorance is palpable.

    The ACC is a BCS automatic conference, contrary to what you wrote. In other words, you not only don’t know what you’re talking about, you also lack the minimal computers skills to use Google. That, or you were willing to manufacture a lie to support your argument.

    Yes, the ACC is an automatic conference, and Florida plays FSU every year, and played Miami a few times as well. What does that do to your argument?

    Add to that the very simple fact that Florida plays one of the hardest schedules in the country year in and year out, just by playing in the SEC.

    Finally, the argument might hold water if it played out in the bowl games. By this thesis, Florida is really quite weak and hides that behind a thin schedule. Were that true, the Gators would get blown out in the bowl game, instead of DESTROYING the teams that play such marvelous out of conference schedules. Does that happen? Not so much.

    The ability to type is not the same as the ability to think, or the ability to be honest.

    By David Honig on Nov 26, 2009

  44. So the SEC having 12 teams makes it easier to produce ranked teams? What kind of dumbass are you? would it not also make it easier to
    produce more unranked teams?? Same % and averages both ways. Do you have a day job too? might better hang on to it for a while until you get better at trying to be a journalist.

    By sonny tillman on Nov 26, 2009

  45. Nice little ignorant rant you have there, too bad you have little comprehension of facts. To reiterate and expand on a few points already made:

    Strength of Schedule – There are scores of polls, human, computers, etc that use varying assumptions. This particular site compiles dozens of them

    This particular link was after UF won the 2008 SEC championship, and based upon a composite of all these polls, UF was number 2 going into the MNC game – and of course defeated the #1 team per this poll. So by any objective quantifiable criteria, UF was one of the top 2 teams going into the final game.

    2. As a Gator fan, I have been critical of occasionally scheduling a chump or two, but that said, we play FSU, an out of conference in state rival, every year. While still competitive, FSU has been down a bit the past few years, but still is one of the top teams in the nation if you look at the past 15-30 years spans. I can only think of a couple of other examples of teams that have consistently scheduled such a recurring rival

    Miami vs FSU (note both play in a much easier ACC conference

    USC vs Notre Dame (Notre Dame has historically not been to the level of FSU)

    GA vs GA Tech (Ga Tech has not consistently that high)

    South Carolina / Clemson (SCe or Clemson has not been a top 10 team in a long time

    Finally, conferences like the Pac 10 and Big 10+1 don’t have conference championships. Such games often guarantee you add one more top 10, or occasionally even top 5 opponent to the schedule. This has really been the difference of why the SEC and Big 12 gets into the top game. If you win, it rightly boosts your SOS. However, it does add a level of risk – ala undefeated OK getting b1tch slapped by K St years ago (and still going to BSC title anyway) or favored TN losing to underdog LSU in 2001.

    By L-Boy on Nov 26, 2009

  46. Also, let’s look at this idiotic quote from the author:

    “The number of ranked SEC teams year in and year out is fairly consistent to be sure, but that only means the conference is top-heavy, not that they’re the best. Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and (sometimes) Ole Miss are just as bad as any other power conference’s bottom-four. The SEC also has the benefit of having 12 teams, giving it better odds of having more teams with good enough records to get ranked (especially if they’re all guilty of some weak scheduling too) and leaving them with some perennial losers for the usual eight teams to beat consistently. Baylor, Iowa State and Duke all agree with me”

    Actually, one of the SEC’s strength is the depth of its conference. The worst of the SEC are typically still competitive teams, and much better than the other conferences bottom of the barrel. Even the historically very worse, Vandy and KY, have had winning records and bowl appearances of late

    Looking at the same ranking site from last year, pre bowl game

    Rankings were as follows

    Ole Miss 26 (and they beat a highly ranked TTech team)
    Vandy 52
    Kentucky 64
    Miss St 92

    (Actually TN 62 Ark 65 and Aub 73 were lower than Vandy, but all of those are historically good teams in down years)

    Lets look at the Big 12 bottom of the barrel

    TA&M 85
    KSt 79
    Col 71
    Baylor 66

    Big 10+1 bottom 4:

    Indiana 103
    Michigan 90
    Purdue 75
    IL 61

    Pac 10 bottom 4:

    Wash: 114
    Wash St 113
    UCLA 83
    Stanford 63

    The only conf that compares favorably is (surprisingly) the ACC

    Duke 70
    VA 54
    NC st 48
    MD 43

    Finally, this statement makes absolutely no sense:

    “The SEC also has the benefit of having 12 teams, giving it better odds of having more teams with good enough records to get ranked”

    WTF?? Yes, with more teams, on balance you will have more highly ranked teams and more lower ranked teams. Fun with numbers. So what? As I demonstrated above, in spite of the greater number of teams and the potential for higher dispersion, the bottom the SEC compares favorably to other conferences.

    By L-Boy on Nov 26, 2009

  47. Last year Florida had to beat the #1-ranked team in consecutive games to win the BCS Championship.

    They proved their mettle on the field…where it counts. You don’t do that on paper.

    By wyogator on Nov 26, 2009

  48. Here’s the problem with ripping on Florida’s out of conference schedule. You can do it on opening day but you haven’t had a real chance to get your stuff together in game action. Oregon and V Tech this year. They could do it in the second week like USC and Ohio State did this year but Florida has a rivalry game the next week against Tennessee. Doesn’t make sense. The SEC requires teams to play on the weekend prior to the SEC championship. So Florida runs into the same problem with a game right before a major rival. In this case FSU. And they are a lock on the schedule. They could move the bye week around but then they would be scheduling around LSU and Georgia. This scheduling thing is easy, huh?

    By John on Nov 26, 2009

  49. I can’t believe I am responding to this incredibly biased waste of time and air. You must have just started watching football two years ago or something; you know nothing about scheduling. Like a previous responder said, do you want cheese with that wine?

    Florida’s AD Foley who does the scheduling smartly realizes that the school DOESN’T NEED to schedule anyone out of conference; it doesn’t help the gators’ SOS EITHER WAY! Doesn’t matter, if they schedule Texas, TCU, Boise, Utah, or even USC for that matter. There is nothing to prove, and I will repeat: it DOES NOT help our SOS. Why would your team need to that, when your SOS typical is in the top 5 annually?

    Now I have a question for you:

    Who did TCU play? WHO again?

    Who does Boise play? And why do they deserve more credit?

    Who does Texas play, for that matter? They played Baylor last week. Baylor! No one talks about how they have FLOATED through their easy SOS.

    Who does USC play, or Ohio State? And have they ever been forced to play a conference title? NO..

    You’re a whiny hater dude, get over it..

    By Joel on Nov 26, 2009

  50. there really is no argument that needs to be said other than florida’s strength of schedule in 06 was the top rated schedule and last years was rated #3.

    and i like how you tried to make an argument for tcu with their weak ass teams being “bowl eligible” but you tried talking down texas’ win against a 7-4 ucf team.


    By Mike on Nov 26, 2009

  51. The premise of the article is just absurd. So many reasons you don’t know what you’re talking about I don’t know where to go first.

    Ok, for starters as about 100 people have pointed out, Florida’s strength of schedule in the years they won the national championships is better than any other national champions …without exception. If Florida isn’t deserving, i guess no other champions are either.

    I heard you with the pathetic complaint “I’m not talking about strength of schedule look at their OOC schduling.” Let me ask you this. If Florida’s schedule is consistently better than most of the other major schools with this OOC system, why are you complaining about it? Why not go tell USC to stop scheduling San Jose State so that maybe they can get a strength of schedule equal to Florida’s. Why not tell Ohio State to stop scheduling Akron and Toledo so that they can maybe match Florida’s strength of Schedule? Go complain about Texas’ game against UTEP. If Florida’s strength of schedule is already tougher than the above, why should they be the one’s to schedule more aggressively?

    You can’t draw some stupid artificial distinction between conference games and OOC games. It doesn’t matter where your losses come, you won’t be playing for the national championship if you have too many.

    Florida doesn’t get to play Northwestern, Indiana, Michigan State, Illinois, and Minnesota in conference. Nor do they play Baylor, Iowa State, Colorado, and Kansas, and Texas A&M. Find me 4 or 5 teams that weak in the SEC…it’s not possible. The fact is an SEC schedule is tougher than any non-SEC conference schedule. That’s why Florida can schedule weak OOC games and still end up with a tougher Strength of Schedule rating.

    You have to look at the whole schedule. Complaining about only OOC scheduling is like going out to dinner and having the best steak you’ve ever eaten…then complaining about the bread before your meal. The other major conferences ruin your steak and then complain about our bread. Thank God, i’m an SEC fan.

    By Steve on Nov 26, 2009

  52. Printing this must have been community service. Stop the short bus and ask one of the kids to write you an article while you take the Thanksgiving weekend off. The single dumbest thing I’ve read on the net in weeks (which is saying a lot). Florida’s OOC isn’t strong, but they play in the toughest conference every year. Then they’ve beaten the “best of the rest” in the National Championship. You are functionally retarded, but only barely.

    By Michael on Nov 27, 2009

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