BCS Bowl for Utes?

22 10 2004

To start off let me just say that I am a Utah Man. Only recently have I found love for the football team, as basketball has always been my favorite. I’m a recovering hater of “that team down south” (TTDS) and see that wins in MWC (so weak this year, we might not even qualify another team for our bowls) are all good wins. So please don’t view this bit as a sign of disloyalty to my beloved Utes. Kay Yi!

Will the Utes go BCS Bowling? No. Sad but true. Heres why…

We’ve reached the glass ceiling of the polls! Can the college football world allow themselves to give Utah anymore credit? Can the BCS conferences (less the “Big” East) rank the Utes higher than the best teams in their “far superior” good ‘ole boys clubs? Did anyone else find it interesting that Purdue and Wisconsin switched places in the polls after Wisconsin just barley beat Purdue. It would seem that a weak win over a strong opponent might bump a team up a few nothces, but from 10th to 6th? It seems to me that the the Big Ten gets a spot in the Top 10 and Wisconsin is that team. They certainly deserve it but it smacks funny to me how they arrived. I think the pollsters created a monster in the Utes that they wish would go away. Do they think to themselves, “Did the Utes win again? Can I really rank them higher again this week? Why don’t they go the way of BYU in ’01 when they lost to Hawaii (was that a basketball game?). I hope the Utes continue to win and give the voters something to squirm about. Go Utes! Win out…

The Utes must win out. The only way to even have a chance is to go undefeated. Do we all know this? Have we heard thi enough? I think we have. I think they can do it. With the dominance that they have shown, the home games vs. TTDS & CSU, and their opponents combined recored of 13-19. The road looks good. This is the only part of the equation they control. But the rest of the variable are stacked against them…

So how does the BCS choose it’s bowlers? Sure they have the formula. There has been tons of controversy, but there is far more to it than that. What’s it about? Money and Politics! So it seems that we need to understand the real choosing that goes on behind the formula. We all know that the BCS Poll’s top 2 teams play in the Orange Bowl, but how are the other 3 bowls filled. The remaining spots must go to the teams 3 – 6 in the poll, and then the other 2 spots to anyone in the “at large” range of 7 – 12. Seems simple enough, but there is more to it. The Sugar Bowl is committed to the SEC champ. The Rose bowl pits the Big 10 champ vs. the PAC 10 champ. The Fiesta Bowl takes the Big 12 champ. What if it’s an Oklahoma USC title game, where both teams have won their conference championships? Then the two at large spots are filled with the second Pac 10 team to the Rose Bowl and the second Big 12 team to the Fiesta Bowl. Add to that, that someone has to take the Big East champs. so if the Utes are not top 6 they get left out…

The Utes need some serious losses above them to get into the top 6. The teams ranked above them in the voting polls can all win out. None of them meet. So the Utes won’t likely move up in those polls. There need to be upsets. There are a bunch of tough games yet to go. So get ready to watch some football. Too bad the Utes don’t have any more quality opponents to drive up that strength of schedule (SOS) score.

We’ve talked of the first 2/3rds of the BCS formula and the politics of choosing, so lets add the other major uncontrollable (at least now) to the mix. SOS! Texas A&M is doing their darnedest to make the Utes look good but Arizona and the MWC are dragging us down. NC could help us, but that is doubtful. The last third of the BCS rank is based on 6 computer ranking systems. Most of these have a SOS component to their calculation. As the Utes march through their remaining schedule their SOS score will decrease. This will drop the Utes even further behind Wisconsin and further from the coveted inner 6.

So whats my hope? Upsets baby! What do I think will really happen. No BCS buster this year. I predict a Utah vs. Louisville Liberty Bowl. I think the Utes will pull off a close one and go undefeated. They will finish ranked in the top 5. Then comes next year. If the Utes can hold on to Urban and keep Alex healthy, well now were talking turkey. With a good start in the polls then maybe the Utes could be the buster everyone outside BSC land is looking for. Who knows maybe we could even get Alex a Hiesman. 🙂 Go Utes!




One response

8 12 2004

I’m sure glad that I was wrong! GO UTES!

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