Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Six Degrees of a National Title

Realistically, the chances are looking slim for Rutgers to get an invitation to the Championship game even if they manage to run the table. Rutgers is #2 in the computer averages, however they've only been able to climb as high #6 in the overall BCS standings because of their standing in the Harris Interactive Poll (7th) and Coaches poll (8th). These are both human generated polls, which are in large part influenced by a team's preseason positioning. Basically, because noone expected Rutgers to be any good at the start of the season, the Scarlett Knight are unable to leapfrog the teams that coaches had predetermined would be championship contenders- even tho many of those contenders have one loss. The computers are blind to such prejudice. Unfortunately, it appears unlikely that the human voters will be able to surrender their preconceived notions.

Many people discount Rutgers because of their schedule and the strength of their conference. But while their conference isn't deep, it is top heavy with good teams. That same statement could be used to describe the Big 12, Pac 10, and Big 10 this year- and the ACC is very average this season. The Big East is still a BCS conference, so it would seem to me that an undefeated champion within that conference should merit more consideration for a championship bid than a one loss team from a different conference. Besides, if you break down the top 10 teams in this week's BCS standings, here is how the conferences are represented:

Big Ten: 3 teams
Big East: 3 teams
SEC: 2 teams
Pac 10: 1 team
Independent: 1 team
Big 12: 0 teams
ACC: 0 teams

So explain to me again how the Big East is the worst conference in the BCS?

Just for fun, let's see how an undefeated Rutgers team would stack up against the current top 10 teams in the BCS standings.

#1 Ohio State- Rutgers shut out Illinois 33-0. OSU only beat Illinois by 7, 17-10.

#2 Michigan- No good comparisons available. I guess Michigan will have to beat OSU and then play Rutgers for the title.

#3 USC- Stay with me on this one. Rutgers beat Louisville, who beat Kentucky, who beat Georgia, who beat Auburn, who beat Washington State, who beat Oregon State, who beat USC.
(Alternatively, Rutgers will have beaten West Virginia, who beat Mississippi State, who beat Alabama, who beat Vanderbilt, who beat Georgia, who beat Auburn...)

#4 Florida- Using the two above scenarios up to Auburn, who beat Florida.

#5 Notre Dame. They share Navy as a common opponent. Rutgers shut out Navy 34-0. Notre Dame beat Navy by 24, 38-14. Also, Rutgers beat Illinois who beat Michigan State who led Notre Dame by 16 going into the 4th quarter.

#7 Arkansas- Take either of the USC scenarios and then add in that USC beat Arkansas.

#8 West Virginia- If Rutgers is to go undefeated, they'll have to beat West Virginia.

#9 Wisconsin- They share Illinois as a common opponent. Rutgers won by 33. Wisconsin won by 6.

#10 Louisville - Beat Louisville 28-25.

And if that isn't enough, consider this:
James Gandolfini is an alumnus of Rutgers university. Gandolfini was in Get Shorty with Rene Russo, who was in Tin Cup with Kevin Costner, who was in JFK with Kevin Bacon....

C'mon, what more do you need? Rutgers' students deserve one more moment of glory before Greg Schiano is given a king's ransom to rebuild the University of Miami. The BCS committee should tell Rutgers' cheerleaders to pack their swimsuits and send them to Arizona.


At Wed Nov 15, 12:31:00 AM PST , Anonymous The Big Picture said...

nice my man! Greg shiano would be happy to give you a reach-a-round.

At Wed Nov 15, 07:50:00 AM PST , Anonymous WBRS Sports Blog said...

Good analysis. I think if Rutgers defeats West Virginia, they will move up in the polls.


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