Fixing the BCS

I blogged back in November about adding the simple rule of only allowing conference champions play in the BCS title game. That would have remedied the situation we had this year where LSU is the official SEC champion and Alabama is the National Champion.

There are several issues with what happened. They are:

  • Who is the real SEC champion? We have an official champion, but I feel the conference now has a split title.
  • Is the SEC really the best conference? By not beating another conference in the championship game, that is a fair question.
  • If only conference champions can play, who should LSU have played?

People can argue that the BCS achieved its goal of matching number one versus number two. Of course, that isn’t the true goal. That is just the means to the real end, identifying the best team in the nation and having a true National Champion.

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Ranking Ben Tate Among the All-Time Auburn Rushers

[Edit 2013-01-13: See the updated list including Onterio McCalebb, Cam Newton, and more accurate stats.]

A couple of years ago, I ranked the Top Auburn Running Backs. I thought I would revisit the topic since Ben Tate just completed a solid 2009 campaign and his career at Auburn.

This had been prompted by an online poll and I looked at the results of that poll in a second post. Feel free to look at it.  I’m focusing here on updating my rankings and sharing new thoughts.  I am including all relevant text and commentary from the original post in order try and keep key details together, like the methodology at the end of this post.

So let’s dive into the updated chart.  I used the old numbers and grabbed Ben Tate‘s stats from ESPN’s website.  I also didn’t drop Bostic even though he dropped out of the top 10 for comparison. Note that some numbers are different from before as I was able to get some better stats.

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The Best SEC Teams, 1996-2007

So, Doug Segrest of The Birmingham News decided to play a simulation tourney, the SoS Playoffs II, to determine the best SEC teams of the last 12 years. Setting the tournament up like a mini World Cup tournament, he structured it as follows:

  • Four groups of five teams each (20 teams total).
  • Each group plays a home-home set against each opponent for a total of 8 eight each.
  • The top two teams in each group advances to the quarterfinals.
  • From there it is single elimination to the finals with each game played at a “neutral” site.

Each game is run using the NCAA Football SimMatchup tool at WhatIfSports. It is a fun little device. He takes the first outcome and then captures the box scores. It only goes back to 1996 in stats, thus the limitation in this bit of entertainment.

As a little disclaimer, I started this post about halfway through the Quarterfinals, so I had no idea of the results when I started.

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Recruiting Gone Nuts

This is happening all over, but Auburn just got its first commitment for the 2009 class. The kid is barely through the midway point of his junior year of high school. The only reason that this commitment might actually mean anything is that his uncle is Antonio Coleman, a returning starter on the defensive line.

Family ties aside, this is just nuts. It is also reality and it is only going to get crazier.

SEC Repeat in 2008?

It has been a couple of good years for the SEC in football. We’ve won two consecutive championships over Ohio State. To be fair, this past year, it is hard to say who the best two teams out there were. I figure poor Southern Cal should have been there instead of Ohio State. That is with the benefit of hindsight though. That Stanford game looked pretty bad on the ol’ resume.

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Ranking College Football Winning Tradition

So, the SEC posted a All Time Final AP Football Poll. It is fairly entertaining and takes into all the AP polls since the beginning in 1936. Their methodology is pretty straightforward:

From 1936 to 1961 the wire service ranked 20 teams. From 1962 to 1967 only 10 teams were recognized. From 1968 to 1988 AP again resumed its Top 20 before expanding to 25 teams in 1989. Points were awarded based on a team’s finish in the final AP poll each year. Points were awarded on a 20-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis from 1936 to 1988, and a 25-24-23-22-21-20-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis 1989 to the present.

They gave out half points for ties which was also a good move. There is a flaw in their methodology though. If you were ranked before1989, you got an 5 points less than you would have if you had received an equivalent rating since then. This is unfair as teams shouldn’t be penalized for playing well before the AP voted for 25 teams. To be an accurate measure, being ranked number 1 in 1950 should weigh the same as 2007.

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Signing Day 2008

I hate signing day. Auburn almost always has a solid class, but not a top-tier class. The top 2 classes since 2002 came in 2002 and 2007, but not near our wonderful 2004 season. I always try to read things into the rankings that make me feel better. It isn’t helping much this year. Let’s take at look.

Auburn was ranked 20th by and 19th by ESPN. Even with a standard margin for error, that is pretty consistent. ESPN gave Auburn a B for a grade. However, that is FOURTH in the SEC West and Sixth in the SEC as a whole.

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