December 1, 2007

The Kase for Kansas

Quick, name the BCS teams that had only one conference loss this season. There are three: Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and Kansas. Ohio State is in the title game, Virginia Tech is unlikely to make it because of a bad loss to LSU, and Kansas is about to get screwed.

We can all agree that all things being equal, a team that wins its conference should be ranked ahead of a team that does not. We can also all agree that if Team A beats Team B then Team A should be ranked ahead of Team B. So why should KU get in ahead of everybody else? The answer is easy, all things are not equal.

A few things to say first about this season.

A lot of media folks are going to say that every team other than the team chosen for the #2 spot is getting screwed. The reality is that only KU is going to get screwed. No team "deserves" the #2 spot. In college football, when you lose two games, you have no argument that your team should be in the national championship game. None. Whatsoever.

The fact of the matter is that KU has one loss to a top five team at a neutral site by eight points. No two-loss team can compete with that. Considering that KU did not get the chance to play for its conference title because it plays in one of two divisions in all of college football where 7-1 did not get it done, it becomes even harder to defend the "not a conference champion" argument.

Finally, other than the conference champion argument, there is the schedule argument. Kansas quite clearly played a cupcake schedule. But the thing about this season is that everybody sucked. The media is going to talk about how KU didn't beat anybody, and it's true. But nobody beat anybody. LSU, who probably played among the toughest schedule in the country, only beat two teams with fewer than four losses, and one with fewer than three. Not exactly your typically tough SEC schedule.

The media will gripe about how this year finally proves that a playoff is needed. The truth, however, is that it is only their idiocy that will prevent the true deserving #2 team from getting to New Orleans. Ohio State clearly deserves to go. Virginia Tech has a 41-point loss on its schedule. UGA has an ugly 21 point loss on the books and did not win its conference. USC lost to Stanford. Nothing needs to be said about Mizzou and WVU. Screw OU. Appy State has losses to Georgia Southern and Wofford.

The point is, nobody really deserves the #2 spot, but KU doesn't not deserve it most.


JBRATER said...


Schedule was really just about as tough as Kansas and OSU, and they beat Washington just as convincly as OSU did!!!

And they're undefeated!

And don't rip on Appy - those were both playoff teams they lost to, and they're only 2 wins away from a third straight title. HOT HOT HOT!!!

majikman said...

And why is Ohio State the write-in favorite for number 1? I understand that there is a prevailing aura of parity in the college football world this year, but there are plenty of teams who are better than or at least competetive with the two teams we saw in the NCG last year. Ohio State is not one of them. They are not as good as they were last year, and last year's team played as if it didn't belong on the big stage. So why is it that just because their season ends before Thanksgiving, they get to sit around and watch better teams play their way out of a spot in a National Championship? As Frank Calliendo says in his Charles Barkeley impersonation, "that's terrible. Now back to you, Ernie."

WAO said...

While I am in Spain, not all opinions expressed are mine. I, for one, put more stock in the fact that you should have to win your conference to win it all. I also see this season as the best example yet of the need for some form of a playoff to decide this undecideable issue ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD! I'd say some form of a "flex system." Jeff disagrees.

Jaybro said...

First of all, thanks Jeff. Second of all, I'm not sure I can wholeheartedly agree. Your central argument: "all things are not equal," is quite true, but in the sense that this is never equal in college football. I can't comfortably argue we deserve it more than Oklahoma; they beat the team we lost to twice and won the conference. I'm not even comfortable saying we deserve it more than Hawaii, nor LSU with their strength of schedule and conference title. What we need is an 8-team playoff system with the six conference champs and two at-larges, one of which is of a non-major conference and the other of which is determined by the BCS computer system (which would likely be Kansas this year). That's the only thing that seems really fair to me; this system doesn't work.