So, Saturday seems to have cleared a lot up. We know that the the following three conferences stand no chance of getting at-large bids:
- The Big East. If West Virginia trips, there’s a plethora of more qualified two loss teams.
- The ACC. Miami’s loss took care of this…there’s better two loss teams than the Hurricanes. Presumably, Virginia Tech beats FSU for the automatic bid, but if the Hokies trip, they’re not going to the BCS.
- The Big 12. Presumably, Texas will win this conference. If they lose to A&M or the Big 12 championship, the entire picture is screwed up. Texas Tech is definitely too weak of a two loss team to be considered.
Obviously, USC and Penn St. have their respective conference bids locked up. The SEC be the winner of Georgia and LSU. If LSU loses, I think they’ll have a hard time getting in just because they will have ended on a sour note.
So, given all this, there’s really four teams vying for the two at-large spots: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, and Auburn. In my opinion, it should be Ohio State and Auburn. Yesterday, I detailed why the Buckeyes deserve it over the Irish. With respect to Auburn, I just that they get more street cred for their schedule and wins and loses than the Irish this year.
Now allow me to rant about the fact that the one loss Ducks are being considered over these three teams with two losses. The problem with the Pac-10 teams is this: it’s basically the WAC save for the fact they have one national powerhouse in USC. Given the weakness of the conference, any arguments in favor of a team not named USC basically revolves around circular logic. The Ducks beat Fresno State (more about them later) by three and lost to number one USC by 32. Notre Dame lost to the same USC team on a last second TD. Ohio State lost to a Texas by three. Besides that game, no one’s came within 19 points of the Longhorns! Based on this season alone, I fail to see how one can consider USC a better team than the Longhorns at this point. So, the Buckeyes lost by three to a team that’s as good, if not better than, the team that beat Oregon by 32. There’s been nothing to indicate the Ducks are a better team that the Buckeyes.
OK, now one final complaint about the reverence given to USC by the human pollsters. As mentioned above, I don’t see how you can argue that the Trojans are a better team than Texas based on this season’s play alone. When Ohio State lost to the Longhorns, they slipped from four to nine in the polls. That’s fine…about what would be expected. When Notre Dame lost to USC in similar fashion, they didn’t drop a single spot in the polls (I believe that they were eight at the time). Fine, this rarely happens, but I could accept it for that game. Now, Fresno State has the same thing happen when they lose to USC…16th before and 16th after the loss. Why in the heck is it that, rather than USC dropping by barely beating teams they were strongly favored against, the opponents get treated as if the loss never happened? If this was any other team, they would have dropped below Texas. USC has won by an average of 48.5 to 21.5 (27.0 point difference) while Texas has won by an average of 50.1 to 14.3 (35.8 point difference).
Finally, I’ve got to throw in that Reggie Bush is something special. I know he has USC’s line and the top quarterback behind him, but I think he’s going to be great in the pros. If the Heisman is for the best individual player in the nation, he deserves it hands down this year.