January 8th, 2010 at 10:01:56 (top10)
Here is my final top 10 of the season. Boise State with their bowl victory over TCU is my number one. Alabama, the other undeafeated, is number two. Why, you ask, Boise over Alabama? Simple: Out-of-conference schedule. Boise beat three bowl teams, including PAC-10 champion Oregon, out-of-conference during the regular season and another team that won their conference chapionship (UC-Davis). How many bowl teams out-of-conference did Alabama beat? One. Who else did ‘Bama schedule out of conference you ask? Two of the worst three teams from the Sun Belt and a team that is not even in the BCS-subdivision (Chattanooga). What makes the Chattanooga game even worse is that it was scheduled in November! Let me repeat that: November! And not even the begining of November!
This means one or more of a few things things, ‘Bama (and most of the SEC) is scared of playing a quality out-of-conference opponent (esp. on the road – the Va Tech game was a neutral site, 2) they are trying to stack their record, 3) they are trying to rest up for a team that they are concerned they other-wise would have lost to (and the team they played afterwards, Auburn, they almost did lose to as they also almost lost to Tennessee at home earlier in the season – and without some questionable officiating they would have lost one of those games). Seriously, scheduling Chattanooga in November should count as a loss.
I know SEC apologists will say that the SEC is tougher than the WAC. That may be so, but I don’t see the SEC offering a spot to Boise State. I am not going to credit the conference for locking other teams out. In other words, just because your rich, I’m not going to make you richer. You have to earn it, and by not playing quality out-of-conference opponents (esp. on the road in hostile environments) you are not earning it. Now maybe if the SEC would drop teams that are at the bottom of the league and add teams from other leagues that were good, I’d by the strength of conference schedule argument. However, your cartel is no good here. You can’t say that they didn’t play anyone when you refuse to travel to play a good team north of the Mason-Dixon line or west of the Mississippi. You didn’t play anyone in the part of schedule you control: the out-of-conference schedule. I’m not a huge Southern Cal fan, but at least they go on the road and play teams like Ohio State and Notre Dame.
Still, credit ‘Bama with a great season and great victory last night. They beat the Longhorns pretty easily although without the injury to Colt McCoy the game would have been much different. I’m not sure what would have happened and the outcome may have been the same, but the game would have been different.
Without further ado, here is my final top ten of the season:
1) Boise State (14-0) (prev: 2)
2) Alabama (14-0) (prev: 4)
3) TCU (12-1) (prev: 1)
4) Texas (13-1) (prev: 5)
5) Florida (13-1) (prev: 7)
6) Cincinnati (12-1) (prev: 3)
7) Ohio State (11-2) (prev: 9)
8) Iowa (11-2) (prev: 10)
9) BYU (11-2) (prev: unranked)
10) Oregon (10-3) (prev: 6)