ALA-LSU vs UM-Ohio in 2006. The hypocrisy of Gary Danielson.

Submitted by michelin on November 27th, 2011 at 12:28 PM

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.



November 27th, 2011 at 12:31 PM ^

During the ND-Stanford game last night he said that even if LSU loses the SEC title game to Georgia that the national championship game should be between LSU and Alabama.  I feel like we I am living in bizarro world and have no concept of reality when these assholes open their mouths.

Bama has beaten no one that should justify putting them in that game ahead of the champion of another conference.  They lost to LSU at home.  You got your shot.  I really hope the powers that be don't fuck up the future of college football by allowing this bullshit to go down.


November 27th, 2011 at 12:58 PM ^


Seriously, though, Alabama's season is a classic example of the bizarro-Boise situation: beating up on overrated teams* to look like a powerful squad. The SEC, like pretty much every conference, sucked this season, but nobody will admit it. Instead, the only way to cover up for the incompetence that so grossly overrated the conference in the polls, etc., is to double-down and insist on a rematch between its best two teams (neither of whom, it should be noted, has a quarterback that deserves to start in a BCS conference).

tl;dr: What is this? I don't even.

* Their "quality" wins are against Penn State, Arkansas**, then-#12 Florida (now 6-6), and then-#24 Auburn (now 7-5).

** With heroic victories over then-#15 Texas A&M, then-#14 Auburn, and South Carolina.


November 27th, 2011 at 1:27 PM ^

LSU absolutely should be in the title game.  Even with a loss to Georgia, they have the best resume by far.  Three wins over current top ten teams, played both Oregon and West Virginia in non-conference play, crushed everyone but Alabama.

Also, Herbstreit was for us getting another shot five years ago, so he's not being a hypocrite.


November 27th, 2011 at 2:31 PM ^

I agree, If LSU has a loss on their record, they will still be the best 1 loss team.  Very impressive schedule.  Alabama hasn't had the most impressive resume but is still very good and we all know it.  It's just funny how many of you stood by wanting an OSU vs. Michigan rematch back then, didn't get your way, and are totally against it now.  


It's hard to argue that LSU is not the best team in the nation, even with one loss.  In fact, I find it impossible. Unless you're totally out there and think Housten could be #1 due to their perfect record.  I also think there is a very good chance that Alabama is the second ebst team in the nation.  The only real debate against it is saying they already got their shot.

 Who would be a better matchup?


November 27th, 2011 at 3:00 PM ^

I was for the rematch then and I'm for it now--although I might reconsider if Georgia thumps LSU or if OK State is completely and thoroughly convincing against Oklahoma.

The counterargument that makes sense to me is that there aren't enough quality intersectional games to give us good data on relative conference strength. From the bowl results in '06 I think we might have overestimated the strength of the Big 10, and we wouldn't have known that if we'd played the rematch. The same might be true now about the SEC (and relevant nonconference opponents like Oregon).

But I doubt it.


November 27th, 2011 at 6:49 PM ^

I was against it then and I'm against it now...particularly under the current circumstances...when it was MICHIGAN and ohio, that was the end of both seasons and it was a slugfest...this is a whole different world of pure politics....I'm so tired of having the whole SEC thing crammed down my throat...and I'm at a point speaking from a conspiracy and black helicopter standpoint that perhaps this is an outward plot to push for full playoff systems by seeing how badly you can screw it up intentionally to make people so fed up that the outcry is beyond ignoring...and to that fact...there is no solid evidence a playoff system won't work...happens at the lower divisions of college football...apparently those kids are smarter and better able to keep up with their studies and tougher thus better able to withstand the extra games [/sarcasm]

L'Carpetron Do…

November 27th, 2011 at 3:38 PM ^

I agree - this is ridiculous.  If LSU loses to Georgia and then its still LSU-Alabama then you'll have two teams that didn't win their conference playing for the national championship.  

Herbstreit should be ashamed of himself.  Losses later in the season are weighted more heavily than losses at the beginning (well thats usually the way its been).  If Mich had lost to Ohio State at the beginning of the season, they almost certainly would have been in that national championship rematch in '06.   

SEC bias has to stop - its making a mockery of college football and the BCS.


November 27th, 2011 at 12:35 PM ^

Um......Pretty sure Bo died the night before the 2006 game so i highly doubt he was able to comment on the conditions of the OSU field at game time.  

Just saying.......


November 27th, 2011 at 12:42 PM ^

OSU (NTOSU) save us from an SEC Circle Jerk National Championship game.  I really think that if Ok State beats OU the voters will save us from the Circle Jerk but if not this is going to be the most ridiculous worthless NC game, well, since I started watching football.


November 27th, 2011 at 12:44 PM ^

Let's face at -- these talking heads can say whatever they want. That has minimal impact on the rankings -- the reason Alabama gets its rematch is because they lost early and then all of the teams ahead of them lost.  Michigan lost to Ohio in their last game of the season - there was no time for them to rehabilitate themselves in the eyes of the voters or BCS computers. Timing of the L, which has been a constant theme in college football, is still applicable here.


November 27th, 2011 at 1:26 PM ^

"THE GAME" was early in 2006, played on November 18th.  There were still 2 weeks of games after our game with the Bucks.  And as I recall, USC lost to UCLA and there was another team ahead of us who also lost on the day of the conference championships (it escapes me.)  It was really down to us and Florida. 

The main issue I have is Bama's loss to LSU dropping them just one spot in the polls from #2 to #3...still ahead of undefeated Stanford (at the time).  Yes it was a 3 point loss in overtime.  But can you imagine us being undefeated, losing a critical game in November and only dropping one spot in the polls? 

I started noticing this special treatment that SEC and Florida schools were getting in the polls in the 90's, long before the BCS even started.  In 1993, #1 Florida State lost to Notre Dame in mid-November, and only dropped to #2 in the polls.  Losing to their toughest opponent didn't make a difference at all.  The same thing happened to Florida in 1996.  And there's no surprise that an SEC school (LSU) became the first 2 loss national champion in 2007, despite losing their last regular season game to Arkansas and already having another loss to Kentucky under their belt....KENTUCKY! 

History has shown that If you are an SEC school or Florida State and Miami, you can lose critical games in November.  The rest of us non-southern schools do not have that luxury. 

I doubt many commentators have noticed that Alabama has played only 3 teams with winning records this year anyway.  But you can be damn sure they would notice if we were currently in Bama's shoes.  It's the hypocrisy that drives me crazy.     



November 27th, 2011 at 1:35 PM ^

FSU always seemed to back into national title games/discussion throughout the 90's.  You mentioned the ND game in 1993 where they lost big in South Bend, ND got upset a week later on a last second field goal against BC, and FSU leaped back to the top of the polls and played Nebraska for a shot at the title (which they won). 

In 2000, Washington, Miami, and FSU all finished with one loss.  Washington had beaten Miami, Miami had beaten FSU, but FSU ended up playing Oklahoma for the national title (where they managed to put up just 2 points in the game).

In 1998 a one loss FSU team playing with their back-up QB played Tennessee in the title game after K-State and UCLA lost at the tail end of the season (again, FSU lost due to an atrocious effort on offense). 


November 27th, 2011 at 1:53 PM ^

The media, the polls, the college football world in general was never more in love with a college football coach than they were with Bobby Bowden despite coaching teams with thug players, many of which never went to class.

Nobody could have predicted Notre Dame losing to Boston College in 93.  It wouldn't have mattered anyway.  Dropping to #2 left them in perfect position to play for national title regardless.

In 98, FSU had a 24-7 loss to a very medicore NC State team yet they remained in the top 5, so even when UCLA and Kansas State ending up losing, no surprise as to who was next in line. 

And in 2000, FSU losing to Miami but still getting the national title game over Miami despite LOSING to Miami...I recall the argument there was because the canes had played McNeese State and had one less win over a 1-A team...something stupid like that. 

This got old really fast.  That's why I've loved the fact that FSU has been bad to mediocre ever since.   

Tha Quiet Storm

November 27th, 2011 at 12:46 PM ^

Is there some kind of scientific law which states that the stupidest, snarkiest, least objective hacks will inevitably rise to the top of sports broadcasting and journalism? I feel like we're surrounded by the Danielsons, Sharps, Rosenbergs, Baylesses, etc. of the world and there is no way out.



November 27th, 2011 at 12:58 PM ^

Throw in Cowherd, Mariotti, Rome, Plaschke, etc. and the list goes on and on.  The networks have decided that people don't watch well reasoned pundits who they tend to agree with.  Whether it is true or not (and one would think it is considering their success) they seem to think that people will tune in to watch some one they dislike act like a jackass who the viewer can sit at home and fume at.


November 27th, 2011 at 12:49 PM ^

2006 has nothing to do with this season. The facts and circumstances of each year, the qualifications of the relevant teams are all that matters, not whether or not someone in a past season was treated the "same" (which again is not really an applicable concept because every situation is unique).

All that said, who has a better claim than Alabama?

People say Alabama had their shot? What about Ok St? they didn't have their shot? All they had to do was win out and they lose to a completely mediocre team. Oregon? Please, lost twice including to lsu. Stanford, who got run by Oregon? VaTech? Seriously does anyone want to see that game? Does anyone, I mean anyone think VT could hang with LSU?

I just don't see what the big deal is, it seems like there is general agreement that Alabama is the 2nd best team. To me only Okst has any reasonable claim to get in over Ala.


November 27th, 2011 at 1:02 PM ^

Michigan was widely agreed upon as the second best team in 2006, much like alabama is today. We had one loss, while all others had two losses and we still didnt get in. If OSU or VT finish with the same record as Alabama, there is no way Alabama should go. If those teams all lose another game, I would be OK with Alabama going as I thought Michigan should have been given the same opportunity in 2006.


November 27th, 2011 at 1:19 PM ^

When voters used the rationales that a team needed to win its conference in order to go to the MNC and that a team that had its shot doesn't deserve a rematch to deny Michigan a spot in the MNC, that becomes extremely relevant to the arguments for every other BCS conference champion. That's the whole point that the OP made. Voters set a precedent for this when they picked Florida over Michigan. Rejecting that precedent without offering a reason for doing so undermines any claims they have to legitimacy in picking teams for the MNC.


November 27th, 2011 at 1:29 PM ^

How do you know what rationale voters used? Did you or anyone interview them? No

And now you want the voters to offer a reason? I think you may be mistaking a group of 100 plus coaches and writers (who aren't even all the same in 2006) and computers with a court of law.


November 27th, 2011 at 1:03 PM ^

I don't want a rematch but I don't see how anyone can credibly argue that Alabama and LSU aren't the two best teams.  The game went to OT and could have gone either way.  If LSU loses on Saturday I hope they still make it.  I think it would be even more BS if Bama went over them and they both had one loss.


November 27th, 2011 at 1:16 PM ^

it's not a simple "the best two teams".  If you had a 6-6 team that was the best team in the country, they wouldn't play in the NC.  Frankly I have little sympathy for a conference with ethics as poor as the SEC and see no reason to make it worse by putting Bama into the NC.


November 27th, 2011 at 1:19 PM ^

The season is over and Alabama has beaten three teams with a winning record.  Their best OOC win is a 16 point victory over 9-3 Penn State (a team that just lost by 38 against Wisconsin).  They beat Arkansas (whose best OOC win is a three point comeback victory over 6-6 Texas A&M) and a 7-5 Auburn team whose signature win OOC was an epic comeback to beat 6-5 Utah State by 4 after recovering a late onside kick and scoring the winning TD.  At home.

Being better than Arkansas doesn't make you the second best team in the country.  It just makes you better than Arkansas. 


November 27th, 2011 at 1:38 PM ^

I've done this kind of analysis, it doesn't lead anywhere good. Is Ok St good? Based on which wins?

Heck is LSU good? Based on what? Apparently Alabama isn't that good and neither is Arkansas, they beat Oregon, but all they've done is beat Stanford, and who have they beaten. See my point?


November 27th, 2011 at 1:50 PM ^

I think this sort of analysis is necessary when you are talking about putting a team that didn't win its conference into the national title game to get a rematch against a team that beat them on their home field.  People keep acting in the media like Alabama is some extraordinary team that deserves this extraordinary treatment but a quick glance at their resume shows this just isn't the case.  They missed two of the four best teams in their conference (Georgia and South Carolina weren't on the schedule) and played one halfway decent OOC opponent.  When Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State are sitting there, potentially with conference championships under their belt, it is hard to just assume that they couldn't have also beaten Arkansas and Penn State.

If Va Tech and Ok State lose, then fine, put Bama in.  Houston doesn't deserve it with their schedule and a two-loss team shouldn't jump the Tide.  But until that happens a rematch should be completely out of the question.   


November 27th, 2011 at 1:43 PM ^

the SEC championship, then the B(C)S championship might consist of two conference also-rans from the SAME CONFERENCE. At the very least, Gary Danielson should be forced to argue with Gary Danielson 2006, so we can hear the duplicity and dishonesty loud and clear. I wonder if there is a point where even GD experiences anything like shame.


November 27th, 2011 at 1:05 PM ^

There is general agreement that Alabama is the second-best squad in the country, among people who came into the season thinking Alabama was the second-best squad in the country. They have beaten exactly one strong team, who happened to get blown out by LSU this weekend. They also lost a hideous game to LSU. That is the extent of their resume. Can anyone honestly argue that Penn State was a quality win? Florida? Auburn? They had their shot to knock off the top team in the country and failed. Move on to another team with an imperfect season.

Picktown GoBlue

November 27th, 2011 at 3:39 PM ^

2/3.  Computers are only 1/3.  Hopefully the computers will see Alabama's opponents' overall records and recent losses (Wiscy over Penn State for instance) and bring them down a little - but it's not likely enough yet to take them down to #3.


November 27th, 2011 at 3:46 PM ^

But the computers have come to the conclusion that Alabama is #2. That's the conclusion if they ignore point differential; that's the conclusion if they consider it. Which means that the argument for Alabama as #2 doesn't depend on where they stood going into the season.


November 27th, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^

Taking off my biased fan glasses for a second and putting on my objective observer glasses, even though both games were won by 3 points, Bama's loss to LSU was more impressive than our loss to tOSU in 2006. The LSU-Bama game went to OT and could have gone either way. In our game, we were down by two scores with 2 minutes left when we scored a TD to make it only a 3 point loss. That makes a difference

I guess one thing that falls in our favor is that we lost on the road while Bama lost at home. But then we lost at the end of the season while Bama lost in the middle fo the season. I don't know how those things should factor in exactly, but they do make a difference