Sunday, December 03, 2006

Florida in the Championship...Calamity ensues

After weeks of campaigning, Urban Meyer's wish was granted

Perhaps you've noticed that I've limited my discussion here regarding Ohio State's opponent in the National Championship game ever since the 18th. Thanks to my stupid superstitions, I decided that me not saying a word about it gave Ohio State the best shot of not having to play Michigan until next November. I almost jumped the gun and wrote a break-down on a potential USC/Ohio State match-up earlier this week, but my inner-journalist decided to play it safe and not jump to conclusions until all the facts were out.

At the end of it all, the computers were irrelevant, it all came down to the human element, and justice was served. Okay, maybe not to those in Ann Arbor, but allegiances aside, I'd have to say that those fans with the best interests of the game in mind, and not just those wanting a senseless rematch, are pretty happy with the results. The bottom line is that a rematch is not good for the game of college football in the least bit. Why? Well there's plenty of reasons.
  • Finance. As MotSaG pointed out a couple of weeks ago, Ohio State and Michigan would receive $42 million, which would have been shared amongst the rest of the conference. This would obviously double the amount of the conference's bowl income, and it would leave the SEC without quite a pretty penny. The reason that there is no playoff to begin with is that money rules everything, and taking money out of the pockets of another conference would not fly with University Presidents.
  • If Michigan wins, nothing is settled. Sure, the game would be played on a "neutral" field, and the field would be "more playable" (Hey, believe it or not Michigan fans, we were playing on that same field!). Regardless, the game was not as close as what the media is trying to lead you to believe. Two fumbled snaps and a fluke interception led to 10 Wolverine points in the second half, the pass interference call on Jamario O'Neal kept Michigan's hopes alive, and as Brian at mgoblog said, "If it ends in the other team recovering an onside kick, it wasn't that dramatic." The gap between 1 and 2 is much larger than the 3 point difference would lead you to believe. If Michigan wins, it's like playing a two game World Series. What does it really prove? The controversy going on now would be nothing compared to the one that would happen if Michigan were to come out victorious.
  • If Ohio State wins, nothing is settled. An Ohio State victory would only prove the points I just made, and it would only show that Ohio State is the best team in the Big Ten, and not much else. The SEC has been hyped all season long as the nation's best conference, and although most would argue (including myself) that it is overrated, how do we really know without them going against a team like Ohio State? For all we know, the upper tier of the SEC could be powerhouses beating up on each other. It's unlikely, but it's something that needs to be tested. The point of the creation of the BCS was to show which team truly was the best, and not make it a voter's best guess. Allowing Michigan to play Ohio State would go against everything the BCS stands for.
  • A rematch would denounce the notion that "The Regular Season is a Playoff." One of the most famous arguments in favor of the BCS is that it puts much more emphasis on the regular season, and that it increases the quality of gameplay. Earlier today, I heard an analyst saying that the beauty of this season has been that the last six weeks have been the equivalent of a single-elimination tournament. If this really is the way things are going to be, then it has to apply to every team out there, regardless of how good they are. When a #1 seed loses in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, they aren't given extra chances to win it all just because they are more talented than the other teams in the Final Four. The more talented teams lose all the time, and they pay the price of a championship. Just look at the Yankees. There's no doubt that they were a better team than the Cardinals, but the Cardinals didn't blow it.
I could go on and on, but I feel I've made my point clear. I hope this is the last time that I have to bring up Michigan until the off-season, and that I can focus the next month on Florida.

Congratulations, Michigan. You had a great season, but you didn't come through when it counted, and you have to pay the price. You'll have your shot next season.

Oh, and if a top-10 battle wasn't interesting enough, that basketball game on the 23rd just got a whole lot more interesting.

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