This season has been arguably the best season of college football in years. The way I see it most seasons about 90% of games are over before they begin. But 2007 let us know that would not be the case from day 1 when Appalachian State took down Michigan in the Big House. Now we have see countless top 25 teams fall to teams that left us saying "no way", and "South Florida has a football team, that's news to me." We have watched as #1 teams fall to schools that usually would be down 60 by the third quarter of the game. Stanford took down mighty USC with their second string QB in the game.
(Appalachian State set the tone for this season Week 1, little did we know how many more small schools would follow)
Myself I have always been a somewhat casual NCAA football fan and a diehard NFL fan. Meaning that I follow both, but I will only go out of my way to watch a few NCAA games. But in 2007 I can't take my eyes off of the NCAA action. I just can't get enough of the close games and upsets. To watch Alabama come SO close to knocking off LSU, and to see Kentucky win in triple OT (as Woodson took a cheep shot to his back). It has been magical, while the NFL has left something to be desired for anyone that lives outside of the New England area.
So this is a great year for college football, right? Not so fast. This season may destroy everything we know of college football before it is over. You see NCAA football is really based on over 100 teams playing, but normally only about 3 or 4 teams have a realistic shot at winning it all. This season that is not the case. We have seen about 2 dozen teams have some outside shot at a title at one point or another this year. This really messes with the system. You see since the BCS has been around there have been one or two teams that have complained that their 1 loss or undefeated team got sent away from a title shot. At this point in the season we are looking at 9 teams in the top 25 with 1 or no losses. There is not nearly enough time for this to "work itself out". Most likely we will be looking at 5 to 6 teams that are deserving of a title shot come the end of this regular season.
(it isn't who gets this at the end of the season, it is who will even get the chance to play for it)
Where do they go from there? Well think about this, who do you leave out? LSU? Now I may give the SEC a harder time than anyone on here, but the truth is that if they win out they deserve to be there. LSU's only loss came in triple OT. If LSU looses expect riots everywhere south of Ohio and East of Texas. An LSU loss will assure the SEC of being shut out of the national title. Which is not good business when the title game will be held in Louisiana.
(Can you keep LSU out of the title game if they finish with only 1 loss?)
Alright next on our list is Oklahoma, they can be lumped into a group with Missouri and Kansas. Whichever team wins the Big 12 will be given a shot at the title, right? Not so fast. If Oklahoma wins out they have a loss to an unranked team, so how are they better than a team such as Ohio State that lost to an Illinois team that is currently #20 and on the way up. Missouri wins out and their only loss is to Oklahoma so that makes it a little easier, but still they are not hands down the team to beat.
(Bob Stoops will have a lot more to yell about if his team doesn't get a shot at a title this year)
What about West Virginia? You want to talk about an easy road, take a look at these guys. They have not faced a team that is currently in the top 25 this season. And if they take down Cincinnati this weekend look for the Bearcats to drop from #21 back to the field leaving WVU still with no top teams on a cake schedule.
(This may be as close as WVU gets to a title)
Our next victim is Ohio State. No one wants the Buckeyes in the title game this year. Truth is that after being waxed by Florida last season (in multiple sports) people need a break from the Buckeyes. While OSU's only loss came to the #20 team in the nation, and with an officiating crew that will likely be fired from the Big 10 at the end of the season (http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/news?slug=bigtenmayhavemadeaveryco&prov=tsn&type=lgns). With Illinois, Penn State, Michigan, and Wisconsin making moves into the top 25 that "cake schedule" looks like the Bucks just made it look easy.
(A win this weekend will most likley get the Bucks a trip to the Rose Bowl, no the BCS title game)
A team that people have really forgotten about is (9-1) Arizona State. Their only loss was to a very good Oregon team, who will no doubt finish higher than the likes of Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois, or South Florida. So why is this team an after thought? This team actually beat the Colorado team that took down Oklahoma, and if they win out they will have taken down both teams to get by Oregon. Yet it will take nothing short of a miracle for them to get a ticket to play for the title.
(If Arizona State can get by USC and Arizona they could be back in, but just ask Oregon that is easier said than done)
Should we even look at the mid-major teams? Just ask the Sooners. Boise is back on track, and Hawaii has still not been taken down. What's Hawaii's problem? Location, Location, and Location. No one wants to come play games all the way out there, nor does this team want to play all away games. So they are left playing glorified high school squads. Supposedly Boise State showed the world that these teams were for real last season. All the talk was about how the BCS will stop beating up on these smaller schools, just one year later and an undefeated Hawaii team is on the outside looking in. They even have four 2 loss teams in front of them in the rankings.
(Didn't Boise State show us that mid-major schools are for real?)
But when you really think about it who is going to take a Hawaii vs. Arizona State national title game seriously?
More on that situation in a second, but for now the NCAA has one other problem. That big trophy they give away in New York every year. Who gets the Heisman? Again this is an award usually based on a guy that runs all over then NCAA on the way to a title shot. That guy does not exist this season.
(What about the Heisman? Who has been great this year?)
The easy answer is Tim Tebow, he could be the best RB in college football, and a top 3 QB all at the same time. But what has he done, really? 9 of his 23 TD's came against Western Ky, Troy and Vandy. 5 of his rushing TD's came against South Carolina. Even then his numbers are impressive. My issue here is that the Gators are hanging on to a top 25 spot for dear life. If they lose to Florida State they will be nothing more than another SEC team. So how has he dominated college football?
(Tebow has gotten all of the Heisman hype, but shuld he win it with 3 teams that have had an answer to his offense?)
Next we have Dennis Dixon, when this team has needed Dixon he has, well... stepped out. He had only 157 yards passing and 0 TD's against USC, and only threw 8 passes before being knocked out of the Arizona game. Usually Heisman winners have a signature game (Troy Smith over Michigan last year), Dixon does not have this. And with Oregon's latest loss expect him to fall off of the radar.
(With Oregon's loss look for Dixon to dissappear just like Matt Ryan)
So if not those two then who? Chase Daniel? In his big game against Oklahoma he had 2 Int to 1 TD.
The truth is that while this season will undoubtedly have more and more folks watching it is also going to destroy the way things are ran in college football. There will be multiple 1 loss teams watching the national title game from home. The Heisman winner will be debated over and over. 2007 will truly expose every flaw in the BCS, and show that even a +1 format will not fix this problem. The NCAA will have their hand forced and will have to institute some sort of a playoff system. People have issues with that saying that it would take away from regular season games, really? So you are saying that Ohio State Michigan this weekend would not matter? Two rivals bidding for one playoff spot. And fans will just turn off the SEC title game, who cares who wins that there are playoffs. Lets get real, if there is a playoff system there will be hundreds of teams vying for 8 to 12 spots, the drama will be there, even more. Fans or Georgia would have a little more to cheer for, same goes for fans of Virginia Tech.
(Georgia would love a playoff system about now, just ask Matthew Stafford)
Playoffs are years away, so the reality is that we have to live with what we have now. My suggestion? Sit back relax have a beer for me and watch this whole thing play out. It will be a good time for fannation because we will all "know who should play for the title". The entire BCS is going to crumble, but it sure is going to be fun to watch, that is unless your team is one watching the title game with 1 loss.
(Just sit back and enjoy, and if your team is down, this picture should explain that bad call)