OSU #1? Damn straight.
Posted by disappointmentzone on 17 October 2007
The Ohio State Football Buckeyes emerged from the first BCS rankings at #1. They are #1 in both the AP and Coaches’ polls as well. Yet if you were to take a straw poll of AP voters and college football coaches and television pundits you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would unequivocally defend Ohio State as the best team in the country. Most would point to teams like LSU or Oklahoma, coming as they do from conferences that are undeniably better than the Big Ten. Though LSU and Oklahoma have indeed played tougher schedules than the Buckeyes, in a year in which nearly ever team has suffered an unexpected loss to a team coming out of nowhere, why should the relative ease of OSU’s schedule serve as red herring for how good the team actually is?
Is there not an argument to be made that in a season in which Michigan has lost to a D1AA school, USC lost at home to one of the worst teams in college football, Cal lost at home to an unranked Oregon State, Oklahoma lost to unranked Colorado, etc., etc., etc., that avoiding such a crippling and humiliating loss is actually a pretty solid defense of OSU’s current ranking?
A number of writers are trotting out the usual calls for a playoff, using the jumbled mess of the rankings and unpredictability of the season as the catalysts in what is probably the strongest argument from a playoff yet. Parity is the word on everyone’s tongue. The balance of power has shifted to the point where an unranked team knocking off a powerhouse should not be treated as necessarily that surprising. That’s just the age we are living in. Broader media coverage and fewer scholarships are driving athletes to schools that have never been considered elite or, in the case of South Florida, schools that just a few years ago didn’t even have a D1 football program. Parity is the word and it’s the word used to push through a playoff agenda.
I just want to say that no one who points to parity in college football should be allowed to decry OSU’s ranking on the grounds that they haven’t beaten anyone. It’s one or the other, guys. Either the difference between the top programs and the middle programs is so small that the only reasonable way to determine whose the best is to have them play it out on the field OR beating mid-level teams does not justify a high ranking in the BCS. It can’t be both.