Playoffs versus Polls - Week 8 Football

Alabama College Football A.J. McCarron

Playoffs versus Polls - Week Eight

Okay, I get it. It is hard to win college football games if Nick Saban isn’t your coach. But come on! We are heading dangerously close to a repeat of last year when the BCS folded in on itself and the nation begged, no, demanded a revamped playoff format. I always enjoyed defending the BCS. It gave us the best regular season in sports, bar none. Every college football game mattered from September through January. It also gave us a matchup of arguably the best two teams of the year for the championship. This is also something that other sports don’t always deliver, a very often overlooked factor. When was the last time the World Series was between the two best regular season teams? And they play 162 games for gosh sake; let the two best teams play for the title! College football gave us that. The BCS was perfect: it was computer/stats based, it was biased towards strength of schedule and as exclusionary as a gated community; it had it all. The only thing that ever brought down the system was a year where there was clearly only one great team. Who deserves to challenge this behemoth should be played out in some sort of playoff format. It only makes sense. And instead of going out on top, with the BCS giving us a couple final years of perfection, it instead looks like we might have kryptonite in back to back seasons: a one and no two.

Of course through eight weeks it is too early to say this is a guarantee, but things are shaping up that way. Just one short week ago, we had so many possibilities and then some teams let us down, in big ways. West Virginia was stomped by a team they had no business losing to. Perhaps they were looking ahead to their game against Kansas State but championship caliber teams don’t get caught by the trap game, and they certainly do not get demolished in it. If Kansas State (or even a one loss Oklahoma team) does not win out, the conference is a lost cause. Throw the Big 12 in with the Big 10. If WVU didn’t have the decency to show up last week, they should at least lose to KSU this week to keep the conference’s hopes alive.

And it just seems like the SEC is doing everything they can to try to repeat last season’s heroics. It was magical once; don’t push your luck! With South Carolina’s loss to LSU, not only are the Tigers still suddenly alive with a game against Alabama still pending, but the Florida Gators now have as good a chance as anyone to be a one loss title game participant. With the opening BCS standings pegging them in second, running the slate and losing to Alabama in the conference championship could indeed have Florida second overall at season’s end. They must take care of South Carolina this week though, in a game so obviously filled with damaging ramifications. A loss by UF here would destroy the transitive property of equality and push the Oregon Ducks back to second place, where we all thought they would be anyways.

And just lurking in the periphery is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In a playoff year, their inclusion in the top four would be almost guaranteed with the strength of their remaining schedule and their publicity domination. However, they still sit comfortably behind the second, third and fourth ranked teams in the BCS standings. No amount of popularity can sway the Harris Poll. I have had them finishing in the top four in the predicted playoff for a while now. It remains to be seen whether real life will relent.


AOTM Predicted BCS Top Two:

(1) Alabama vs. (2) Oregon


AOTM Predicted Playoff Top Four:

(1) Alabama vs. (4) Kansas State; (2) Oregon vs. (3) Notre Dame


Week 8 Football - What to Watch For