Forde: Sugar Bowl a Travesty

Submitted by 1464 on December 5th, 2011 at 4:10 PM

I created the title to this thread to reflect the title of the article he wrote for Yahoo.  I was up in arms while waiting on my browser to load the page and until I scrolled to the part about the Sugar Bowl.  Forde does not think Michigan is undeserving, instead thinks that Boise and K-State got hosed.  No news there, as the twittersphere has been active with the topic.  Below is the excerpt from the article that pertains to our bowl game.  I hope Va Tech sucks as bad as everyone says as the bulletin material has definitely been one sided.

Side note: While we all think the BCS is a flawed system, I argue that the flaws are what appeals to the NCAA.  Aside from the obvious (cash) incentives, talking about teams getting screwed is a yearly thing.  It encites passion among its fans, both positive and negative.  It keeps our interest.  The old addage about Howard Stern applies...

Click here for the link

The presence of Virginia Tech in a BCS bowl is an absolute, complete and utter travesty. The Sugar Bowl should be ashamed of itself for taking the Hokies over more deserving candidates Boise State and Kansas State.

What did Virginia Tech do to deserve its bid? It played three games against ranked teams – and lost two of them, by a combined 48 points. The lone victory was against Georgia Tech, a team that was No. 21 at the time but resides well outside all top 25s now.

Aside from the Yellow Jackets, here’s who the Hokies beat to earn their bid: Appalachian State, East Carolina, Arkansas State, Marshall, Miami, Wake Forest, Boston College, Duke, North Carolina and Virginia. They beat nobody ranked higher than 45th in Jeff Sagarin’s computer ratings.

Boise State, meanwhile, pounded Georgia (No. 16 in the final BCS standings) by two touchdowns in a de facto road game. The Broncos’ lone loss was by a single point to No. 18 TCU.

Kansas State played four ranked teams and split those games, defeating Baylor and Texas and losing to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Wildcats’ schedule is ranked 10th-toughest in America by Sagarin, while Virginia Tech’s is 56th.

But Tech gets the Sugar Bowl reward, while Kansas State goes to the Cotton Bowl to play Arkansas and Boise State is shuffled off to the Las Vegas Bowl to play an Arizona State team that fired its coach. Ridiculous.



December 5th, 2011 at 10:01 PM ^

An you think that is okay? This is about players who bust their ass trying to get into a BCS Bowl and they get shafted because of who a few fat old farts in suits think would travel better. If you think there's nothing worng with that then you don't get sports...

Forde is 100% right. VT should NOT be there... Baylor, Kansas State or Boise State, among probably 7 other teams, deserves to go to the Sugar Bowl more than VT does.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:09 PM ^

While true, the problem is that people all around the country hold up a BCS Bowl as a prestigious accomplishment. The first time next season that someone disagrees with something Hoke does, there will be three people waiting in line with "HE MADE A BCS BOWL IN HIS FIRST YEAR!!! SHUT UP!!!"

That tickets and thusly hotel and restaurant business are such a big part of the equation certainly reduces the logic of there being such a prestige factor, does it not?


December 5th, 2011 at 4:17 PM ^

Stewart Mandel is also ripping the Sugar Bowl for taking Virginia Tech but didn't have anything bad to say about Michigan being there. 


December 5th, 2011 at 4:22 PM ^

I would much rather play a tougher opponent and I think that both Boise and Kansas State would give us that.  If they'd let us play LSU and we got our asses handed to us I'd be okay with it.  I think our coaches and players would both rather play the best and know that they are worthy of a tough opponent.

Having said all of that.  The only Bowl games that are about being the best of anything are the MNC and the Rose Bowl.  All other bowls are only exhibition games albeit some are more valuable from a dollar and exposure perspective.

I don't know with any factual basis how well these other teams travel so I can't consider that side of the equation.  I do believe that fans would rather see Boise simply because they want to either confirm them as a fraud or the real deal.

Bottom line.....we're going to a great bowl, we deserve it from a football and $$$ perspective sooooo.  GO BLUE!!


December 5th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

It is a joke. None of us can give a valid reason why they are there other than money. But, in the end, i dont care who we play. Let's just hope we take them out back and blast them, and not give them reason to say they were right.


December 5th, 2011 at 4:25 PM ^

All it will do is provide the Gobblers with a crapton of motivation. It'll make Beamer's job even easier.

After the travesty of the Big Ten ADs voting to send OSU to the Rose Bowl after the 10-10 tie in 1973, the Buckeyes had to listen to the entire football universe trashing them for a solid month before their game against USC, who had blown them out the previous year.

They proved just how unworthy they were by assblasting the Trojans 42-21.

Picktown GoBlue

December 5th, 2011 at 8:05 PM ^

Hey Pat, don't use Massey either, since it seems too strongly correlated to Sagarin.  I'm sorry but there is no way that anyone's rational Top 25 includes 8 of the 10 Big 12 members (Massey rankings in parens):

3 OSU (2)

5 KState (4)

6 OU (7)

7 Baylor (6)

14 Texas (14)

16 Missouri (16)

17 Texas A&M (19)

21 Iowa State (23)

I guess the secret algorithm is "If you're bowl eligible, and you're in the Big XII, you must be a Top 25 team"

When these computer rankings use their circular logic to boost you up according to your opponents' records, and if you only have 3 OOC games like the Big XII so little chance for cross-pollination, this certainly seems to be an area that needs to be fixed.  I seem to recall the Pac 10 had this complaint leveled against them in the past when they played a 9 game conference schedule.  Would be interesting to investigate this theory...


December 5th, 2011 at 4:27 PM ^

The whole system is goofy, but how it is that anyone is surprised by this is beyond me...Also, I'm with Don that I don't like all this motivation being given to Va. Tech. 

Sail to the Victors

December 5th, 2011 at 4:31 PM ^

Forde has always been an advocate of Boise State. Every time the man tries to hold Boise St down, you know he's going to have an opinion. This one follows suit, explaining why he would write an entire column regarding VaTech in the Sugar Bowl.


December 5th, 2011 at 4:35 PM ^

The BCS is about money and ratings, which lead to more money. If you want to hit them where it hurts, don't watch the BCS championship game, and make sure everyone you know skips it as well. If they have the lowest ratings of any championship game ever, they will at least fix the system so that this can't happen again. Best case scenario is that the idea that Ok St and Stanford had as much right, if not more, to be in that game as Bama and it cost everyone money will crush the BCS and we move on to a new system.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

I won't be watching the BS Sham-pionship game, but I won't be boycotting it.  I'm just not interested in watching a rematch between two teams who played one of the most boring games of the year the first time around.  

I hope there is an utter lack of interest in the game, and that the networks have to give massive refunds to adversitisers after the ratings come out.


December 5th, 2011 at 4:37 PM ^

has never shown to my knowledge that they can beat good teams in most any year, so I don't blame people for choosing a better name (Va Tech) over them. K State and Snyder made their name on beating 1-AA teams and scheduling no one, then typically getting waxed against better teams. Boise is anothe story despite their weak conference-- I'd bet on Boise any day before I'd bet on K State in a bowl game.


December 5th, 2011 at 4:40 PM ^

None of which matters.  Five years from now (heck, one year from now), all anyone will remember is that Michigan and VT were in a BCS bowl, not whether or not they deserved it. 


December 5th, 2011 at 4:48 PM ^

I don't get what makes Boise and KSU automatically more qualified. They didn't win a division, or conference, or anything of significance either. They are no more or less worthy of being in the game than Michigan or VT if you ask me.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:03 PM ^

Did you miss the part about Va Tech not beating any top 25 teams?  BSU dismantled what turned out to be a pretty good Georgia team, and they were one very makeable FG against TCU away from going undefeated.  Their only loss was a one-point loss to a good TCU team, while Va Tech got stomped twice by Clemson.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:00 PM ^

It's interesting that a word like "deserving"  gets thrown around as much as it does in a BCS discussion really. If it were by the record alone, he has a point, I think, but it the BCS is about eyes on TVs, and the Sugar Bowl's ratings will be anchored largely by people who have a rooting interest in Michigan or are curious about our return to BCS bowls. I'll be honest - V-Tech fans travel all over almost like we do, and that's means $$$.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

Reading it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, mainly because he was lukewarm on the fact that Michigan was in and not blatantly calling it a travesty. Nonetheless, I always tend to think he lacks professional ability. If I can recall his reasoning for the national championship being a valid choice was that Alabama barely lost to LSU while Oklahoma State lost to a 7-5 or 6-6 Iowa State. Thus his reasoning is Alabama's loss was a better loss. Then he completely flips his logic when analyzing the choice between Boise/KState and VT. He focuses the brunt of his criticism on the fact that Kansas State had more quality wins over ranked teams versus VT. If he were to apply that same logic of Alabama's better loss, VT's losses still might be worse, but Kansas State lost twice in the regular season and did not lose to the same team in their conference championship game. Additionally, he crtiticizes the close wins over the mediocre schedule that VT played, but examining Kansas State's schedule exhibits every win was less than a TD except for the blowouts of Kent St and Kansas. These close wins include Eastern Kentucky by 3 and Iowa State by 7 among others.

My biggest gripe is that he refuses to apply the idea of wins over more quality opponents to the Alabama and Oklahoma State dispute. I believe Oklahoma State has 7 wins over teams with winning records (excludes 6-6 records; also they played some random Louisana team that doesn't really count so really only 6). Alabama has played 4 teams with winning records, and lost to LSU. That includes a 16 point win over Penn State and a win (blowout) of 7-5 Auburn. Wisconsin beat Penn State by 38 points (played at Wisconsin though). The supposed SEC dominance (could still be true as they clearly have the best team in the country...well we cant be sure since they get to play someone they beat) can be summed up with wins over Clemson, 6-6 Texas AM, close win over Penn State, a beat down of Oregon at LSU. The biggest contrast is Boise clearly dismantling Georgia on a road game; Georgia is the "3rd" best team in the conference, which happened to make LSU look quite mortal during the first half of the SEC championship game.

I agree completely with his argument against the money corrupting the system and the BSC soiling of college football. That being said, he still can't tell me something that I can't read on RCBM, any other random blog or twitter account, or something I can do in 20 minutes (above material). He criticizes the BCS yet he represents some of the powerful forces giving the BCS life: stubborn refusal to overcome partisan bias and conservative fandom to really challenge college football. What I mean is, instead of arguing to see if Oklahoma State can beat LSU and prove that perceptions of college football are wrong. Match Boise with Alabama. MSU with Stanford. Mix and match things up to see what we can learn. His conservative and stubborn refusal to give Oklahoma State a chance to prove everyone wrong only reinforces the BCS. I think I hate him.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:04 PM ^

Can you tell me exactly how BCS is flawed???

All BCS does is one thing - get #1 ranked team to play #2 ranked team. That is IT! Everything else is just cleaning things up after that matchup is established (get replacements for those bowls who lost #1 and #2 teams).

If you want to blame individual bowls for their choice on who to invite, then do so. But it is not BCS who tells them who to invite (other than eligibiity requirements).

If you want to blame eligibility, then blame the polls.

Placing the blame on BCS is just mis-guided.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:06 PM ^

Boise is quite deserving. K-State is no better than Va Tech.

I was afraid of columns like this, even from jackasses like Forde. The Sugar Bowl did Michigan no favors in terms of building our rep by selecting the Hokies. 


December 5th, 2011 at 5:21 PM ^

but I don't get the whining about KState. Does anybody really think they are a BCS bowl caliber team? Really? I think all the sportswriters are upset because now they have to scrap all of their "Bill Snyder Leads Miraculous Turnaround at Kansas State All the Way to New Orleans" articles


December 5th, 2011 at 7:06 PM ^

K-State is not a better team than Va Tech, but they also didn't get blown out the night before they were selected. Most recent impressions are a big part of images. We wouldn't be the hot property we are now if we went 10-2 but the losses were to Nebraska and OSU.

Rather be on BA

December 5th, 2011 at 5:23 PM ^

I would much rather play Boise, or even K-State than VT.  I would especially love a U of M Boise match up.  I think it would be a great game with much more intrigue and excitement.  Michigan is the defnition of big time, big conference program (albeit we have been down recently, but the name is still there), and Boise is everything opposite of that.  I want that match up.  I dont want to bash on VT too much, because who knows what could happen in this game, but they do not deserve to be playing in this game.


December 5th, 2011 at 5:54 PM ^

"Side note: While we all think the BCS is a flawed system, I argue that the flaws are what appeals to the NCAA.  Aside from the obvious (cash) incentives, talking about teams getting screwed is a yearly thing.  It encites passion among its fans, both positive and negative.  It keeps our interest.  The old addage about Howard Stern applies..."


This is one of the reasons I think the system won't change.  People love controversy.  Controversy gets people talking and creates buzz that is more effective than any ad or puclicity campaign could ever be.  Why would the BCS/NCAA want to change that?