Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December Delirium

March Madness has made its way to December.  A few weeks ago, there seemed to be a clear picture in terms of who would play for the National Championship.  But now, there are three teams and only two can play in the National Championship game, #1 LSU, #2 Alabama, and #3 Oklahoma State.  The first weekend of December will see conference title games, and two of these three teams will be in action.  LSU will be playing in the SEC title game against #14 Georgia, while Oklahoma State takes on #10 Oklahoma with the Big 12 title up for grabs.  What about Alabama?  Well, they lost to LSU, therefore did not qualify for the title game.  This leads many to believe that Alabama is not worthy to play in the National Championship game...with the theory being: not only did they have their chance to beat LSU, but because of their one blemish, they are not even playing in the SEC title game.  With three teams in the hunt for the title, there are many scenarios that can play out this weekend...lets take a look at a few.

LSU Wins and Oklahoma State Lose
     Easy one here, LSU #1, Alabama remains #2 as Stanford would not be able to leapfrog OSU and Alabama, therefore resulting in the LSU vs. Alabama rematch.  This would leave some people angry with the rematch, but it would be very hard to argue the outcome.  Rest assured, it does not sit well that Alabama got in without winning their conference, but they also didn't lose on the last weekend...and in terms of college football is all about when you lose. 

LSU Loses and Oklahoma State Wins
     Here we go again.  In my opinion, LSU would remain in the title game, but this might be the messiest scenario.  If LSU goes to #2, then who takes #1?  Oklahoma State should take #1, so that leaves Alabama out?  I do not see any way Alabama could remain in the top 2, but it is completely possible.  What would happen if the computers find that Alabama and LSU are 1 and 2...and neither won their conference?  That would not be good for college football.  It can happen, but it is more likely in the next scenario. I think in this situation though LSU would fall to #2, and Oklahoma State would take #1.  The BCS has always favored those who have a game over those who have the week off.  With Alabama not deserving the conference title game, it would be more justified for them to lose a spot in the standings, and for LSU to keep theirs top 2 ranking.  When Alabama lost to LSU, they only dropped from second to third, so a one spot drop for LSU would not be crazy.

LSU and Oklahoma State Lose
     LSU to #2 and Alabama #1 by default?  I think that is more likely in this scenario than the last, but once again we will be looking at a title game with neither team winning their conference.  A terrible situation for the BCS.  Do we begin to think about Stanford and Luck creeping in at this point and playing for the title?  Their BCS numbers are a bit lower than the other three at this point, so it is very hard to move them up here.  I do not know if they would have the numbers at this time to propel them, and they are not playing in their conference title game, the inaugural Pac-12 title game, so it would be that much more difficult to move up two spots.  It would be very interesting though.  Any way you slice this one, its going to be a mess.

LSU and Oklahoma State Win

     With this scenario, I think it might come down to how impressive the win against Oklahoma is for Oklahoma State.  If they absolutely hand it to Oklahoma, then this will fare very well for them, and they might gain some votes in the human polls which make up a part of the computer poll.  There will inevitably be controversy if OSU wins and they remain #3.  The same can be said if they win and jump over idle Alabama to claim a shot at the National Championship.  Either way, this will leave people very unhappy and controversy is going to ensue. 
     I am torn on what I would like to see if LSU and Oklahoma State win this weekend.  OSU will be facing a quality opponent while Alabama has the week off.  Last week however, OSU did not have a game, and the last game they played was a loss, yet remained in third place.  Alabama went to Auburn and routed them 42-14.  If OSU was not penalized for their week off, then how can Alabama be penalized?  At the same can Alabama be in the National Championship game...and not even win their own conference?  The fact that they lost to LSU is the only reason that they are still in the championship talks.  It allows them to be excused to an extent and keep their hope alive. 
     At the end of the day, if LSU and Oklahoma State win, we would have two teams with the same record in Alabama and Oklahoma State.  OSU would have won their conference, but also would have lost to a team to an unranked team, on the road, towards the end of the season.  On the other hand, we would have Alabama, who did not win their conference, had the same record overall, but whose only loss was to the # 1 team in the country at home. Personally, I would enjoy either game, but if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma then I think they should be in the title game simply based on the fact that although I do want to see a rematch, I do not think it would be good for college football to see an all SEC National Championship game.

No comments: