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Reaching the Title Game

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ESPN has a guy named Brad Edwards who they call their “BCS expert” (otherwise known as “the dude ESPN hired to help convince college football fans that having the BCS instead of a playoff is a good thing because it makes them roughly the same amount of money as Guatemala produced in the aggregate last year” but that seems like too long of a title to put under your bio pic online).

Anyway, this guy has been analyzing how the BCS is calculated for years and projects that the first BCS standings (which will be released this weekend) will be these four teams in some order:

1. LSU
2. Oklahoma
3. Alabama
4. Oklahoma State

I don’t think I need to explain to you what this means, but in case you passed out at your desk and bludgeoned your forehead with the escape key, I’ll lay it out…

If Oklahoma State wins the next seven games (six of which they will be favored in) they will play in New Orleans on January 9, 2012 for the national championship.

Edwards goes on to say:

These teams need no help. The first three on this list are self-explanatory, but the fourth may surprise some people. Simply, the BCS computers consider the Big 12 to be the strongest conference in college football, so any team that runs the table through that league will be highly ranked in that portion of the BCS formula. And wins at Texas A&M and Texas should do a lot to position the Cowboys well enough that a season-ending win over Oklahoma likely would get them whatever additional support they might need in the polls to reach the BCS top two.

I agree with his assessment of OSU’s road wins. At A&M and (hypothetically) at Texas are both better road wins than anything Wisconsin or Boise (or even Stanford) is going to put up this year, but I don’t understand how the computers consider the Big 12 to be “the strongest conference.”

I feel like I could sit my wife (who knows literally nothing about football) down and have her watch ten plays of a Tennessee Auburn game and then ten plays of a Kansas State Texas game and say “which league do you think is more difficult to play in?” and she’d nail it every time. Why are we writing algorithms that say otherwise?

Obviously I’m okay with it, but I just think that fact shines a light on the bigger “we need a playoff” issue that I won’t get into right now.

Back to the issue at hand. At what point do we, as a fanbase, go into full-fledged “oh my gosh we could legitimately play for the national title and we don’t even need help” total freak out mode? After Texas? After Missouri?

I don’t think we’ve reached that stage yet but folks, this is unfolding about as perfectly as we could have ever imagined. Which can only mean one thing: Squinky is lurking

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