As much as I hate to say it, Penn State has no chance of making the championship game after their stunning defeat at the hands of Iowa. No matter how you cut it, the loss just came too late in the season. Its a shame that the BCS system is still in place, for were it not I wouldnt be writing this blog. But the BCS is used, and the Nittany Lions are done in the computer's mind.
The real flaw with the system is that if you lose a game early in the season, but run the table after that, you still have a shot at the title. Oklahoma, USC, Florida, and Texas all come to mind. They have the same amount of losses as Penn St., but they lost earlier in the season, so they have time to crawl back up the standings. As unfortunate as it is, Penn St.'s loss came too late in the season for them to salvage any title hopes.
Another problem with Penn St. is that they lost to Iowa. IOWA. Oklahoma and Texas both lost top 10 teams, and they stayed relatively high in the standings. What about Florida and USC?, you say. Well I say look at the second paragraph. They lost early and have been able to climb back up the standings throughout the season. Besides the fact that they lost too late in the season, they lost to an unranked team which by itself would almost entirely dash a teams championship hopes.
Lets not forget that Penn St. plays in the Big Ten. With the Big 12 and SEC dominating this year, it is very difficult for a team to do well in the BCS unless they stay undefeated (which Penn State had until yesterday). Their "weak" strength of schedule hampers their value in the computer's mind.
And lastly, there are just too many other good 1-loss teams. Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, USC...and lets not forget two other non-FBS unbeatens Utah and Ball St. Who knows what could happen in the last two weeks. A lot of those teams could lose, and Penn St. could make it back up to the top. But for now, it looks to me that Penn St. can count itself out of the BCS championship game. Sorry, JoePa, but it doesnt look like this is your year.
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