mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!
According to the Sagarin ratings, which predict actual game outcomes:*
IN BB, UM is #1 in the B1G. In the nation, UM is #3, IND #4, and Ohio is not in the top 10.*
IN FB, on a neutral field UM would still be favored over Ohio (by 0.15 pts). Why? UM’s nonconference opponents included the two teams now favored to be in the national title game. By contrast, Ohio’s “marquee” nonconference game this year supposedly was Cal, which is now not even in the top 70 nationally. Moreover, Ohio’s other wins were often very narrow. In fact, even for the UM game, they were only +2 pts after subtracting 3pts for home field (not even considering the injury to UM’s starting QB).
What then should we make of Ohio’s claim that they could win the AP national title? That claim should be laughable to any educated voter. In fact, Ohio is not even ranked in the top 20 nationally by Sagarin (they are #24, whereas UM is #22). Also, Ohio will not be tested in a competitive bowl or conference championship. Indeed, in the latter, on a neutral field, they would be favored by less than half a point vs WISC, 2.5 pts vs NW and they would be underdogs to both NEB and UM.
Interestingly, ND's delusions of grandeur also should be tempered. Although human pollsters will no doubt put them #1, would ND actually be favored to beat all the other teams according unbiased Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings? No, not at this point. Why? ND had many narrow wins, even over marginal teams and teams expected to be huge challenges--like USC--turned out not to be so great. Thus, by Sagarin's ratings, while ALA is #1 and Oregon #2, ND is only #3 Both ALA and OR both would be favored over ND by large margins on a neutral field. In addition, unlike ALA but like Ohio, ND will not be tested in a conference championship game.
*I report only those ratings that predict actual game outcomes. For BB I take the average of ELO and PREDICTOR ratings. For FB, I report only PREDICTOR ratings (not the ELO-CHESS, which is used by the BCS but does not consider margin of victory or predict actual game outcomes).
Reasonably, one might argue that the should be a rematch in cases like ALA vs. LSU. Or one might argue that there shouldn’t. But at least one should be consistent.
However, recall what Gary Danielson said on WXYT AM Radio in Detroit, MI, December 4th about the controversy over Michigan losing out to Florida: He said:
“It wouldn't have been fair for Michigan to have to play them again..
Winning it on the field is all that matters.
There was only one team in college football that had the opportunity to play their way into that game against Ohio. Michigan had a shot.”
So, you would figure that he would be consistent and say:
it wouldn’t have been fair for Alabama to play LSU again,
that winning on the field is all that matters,
that there was only one team in college football that had their opportunity to play its way onto the field, that Alabama had its shot.
But what does he say now?
He calls for a rematch of LSU and Alabama and says that it’s inevitable
He says “fair is fair, these are the rules, there is nothing to prohibit a rematch.”
You would at least think that Danielson would recall and try to justify his apparent inconsistency. Taking his side, one might argue “look at what happened in the later bowl games in 2006—that UM lost to SC and Fla beat Ohio. But that was totally irrelevant. It was unknown at the time a decision was made about whether UM or some other team should have for the national title. In fact, we can never know what would have happened if Fla had played USC on their home turf, against USC or if MI had a rematch with OSU. If Fla played a USC team tht used players that should have been ineligible, like Reggie Bush, then FLA might have lost by 40 points. If UM played Ohio—who also had consistently cheated under Tressel’s tenure-- on a neutral field, it might have won by 40. Recall too that FLA played OSU without their only good receiver: Ginn. Urban Whiner’s team twas losing until Ginn was injured.
Indeed, one might argue that UM only lost the game in Columbus in 2006 because they didn’t have home field advantage. Tressel grew the grass to a a foot in length—called by Bo Shembechler “worst field conditions (he had) ever seen. As a result, UM defensive players like Lamarr Woodley would slip on the grass when pursuing Troy Smith (an already slippery character who had taken dirty money from a Tressel-associated booster). I don’t think Woodley would have slipped on the astro turf of a neutral field. In retrospect, we see that Woodley is far more talented. He is a multiple-time all-star on a Super Bowl winning team, while Smith is a marginal player on a USFL team in Idaho.
Moreover, consider the main difference between the head-to-head MI-OSU game in 2006 and the Ala-LSU game already played this year. The 3-point loss of Michigan in 2006 was really a tie even if you ignore Tressel’s cheating and just consider the usual advantage of a home field. The 3 point loss of Alabama to LSU was really a 6 point loss when you consider ALA’s home field advantage.
No doubt the SEC proponents—who ignore the SEC cheating and oversigning and dismissal of substandard recruits—will argue that their conference is better than the Big Ten. I suppose they are entitled to their opinion. Maybe, if the SEC is voted the by best conference, we should just have a rematch of the two top SEC teams in the title game and ignore the rest of the teams in the country. Unfortunately, most games the SEC plays are vs the SEC. Nobody really can reliably measure conference strength in such cases. Even then, nobody really knows how important conference strength should be when weighed against other factors
My point, however, is not that Alabama is unworthy. They may rightly state that their team will be the second ranked team in the BCS. But recall that UM should have been the second ranked team in 2006 according to the objective computer rankings. It also was ranked higher in one of the two human polls. And it would have been ranked higher too in the other human poll—if not for the campaign of Urban Whiner and Gary Danielson. They got voters to change their minds in the Coaches Poll, which was appointed by the SEC chairman, dominated by southern voters and other biased coaches like Tressel.
But I guess that we should take the SEC commentator, Gary Danielson, for his word when asked about whether his opinion in 2006 was influenced by his employer [CBS]. He said:
"So is everybody else's, but that's not true.”
So, Gary says “yes” but “no”.
Thanks for being so consistent, Gary.
Colin Cowherd just said that the Big Ten needs Michigan to win and that OSU should be rooting for UM to go 11-0 into the last game.
He also said that unlike the SEC, the Big Ten has no second team to "carry the mantle" of the conference.
He also said "The offense is a nightmare, and now you're not getting West Virginia athletes, you're getting Michigan athletes. I'm here to tell you, if Rich Rodriguez, and I really believe this. If they give him a chance there and give him 5 or size years, Michigan's winning a national title."