Split MNC

Submitted by Finance-PhD on January 2nd, 2014 at 8:19 AM
If FSU wins then I think the AP falls right in line no question. If Auburn barely bests FSU do you think we could split the MNC like the 2003 season? I would just laugh and laugh because the BCS changed the rules 10 years ago to stop that from happening.

Lots of big "ifs" there I know but is it something you could see happening? If it does what impact do you think that would have on the playoff selection?



January 2nd, 2014 at 8:35 AM ^

with who? Not Sparty or Alabama. Surely not FSU. This seems like a year where there will definitely NOT be a split.

If Auburn wins they will have beaten the #2 and (assuming Alabama wins) #3 teams head to head. How do you see a split happening in that scenario?


January 2nd, 2014 at 9:51 AM ^

The OP's question was a reasonable musing on this relatively quiet sports day as we lead up to the game on Monday.  There's no reason to snark-slap him. 

The one downside of the resurrection of voting is it brought out a lot more snark and pithy one-liners in an attempt to get upvotes.


January 2nd, 2014 at 8:24 AM ^

specific teams in mind or are you just musing out loud? I'd say MSU made a hell of a case yesterday. The media is always looking for an excuse to give Alabama every chance it can get. FSU would just have the one close loss.


January 2nd, 2014 at 8:33 AM ^

Generally. I just was reading an article on CBS about how the deserving teams are playing but not the best team. It got me wondering if the AP voters would have a revolt against the BCS like they did 10 years ago. I love the chaos.

Mr Miggle

January 2nd, 2014 at 8:33 AM ^

I'd say the only question would be if they would get every single first place vote. There are not a lot of big ifs there. How on Earth would your scenario affect future playoff selections? That seems even more unlikely and that's saying something.


January 2nd, 2014 at 8:46 AM ^

What are the options for teams to tie with Auburn? Let's see:

#3 Alabama - doubtful based on head to head result.
#4 Michigan State - doubtful, B1G is weak. Plus, are they even better than Alabama?
#5 Stanford - lost
#6 Baylor - lost
#7 Ohio State - doubtful, same reasons as MSU, plus they lost to MSU.

I could go on, but I won't. The only way a split title happens is if #3 is about as strong as #2, and there is no head to head data or #3 beat #2 early in the season.


January 2nd, 2014 at 9:02 AM ^

You more or less paint the only potential scenario -- FSU loses to Auburn, but just barely, in a mistake-filled and ugly game.  Alabama convincingly thrashes Oklahoma.  OSU loses to Clemson.

That puts eyes back on Alabama and the one loss to Auburn.  That loss was last-second on a weird play.  Still a loss, but it's not like Auburn man-handled Alabama. 

So again ... Alabama stomps Oklahoma, and FSU/Auburn turns in a keystone cops game with Auburn pulling it out.

I'm not saying that would result in nod going to someone other than FSU or Auburn; I'm just saying that's the scenario that could.



January 2nd, 2014 at 9:36 AM ^

sure how convincingly you can win a bowl game. If they dominate too much, then it's just Oklahoma had nothing to play for. If it's close, well then we aren't having this discussion. 

The only situation I could see a split is between FSU and Auburn if one team was to win on an egregious call. I mean this call is so bad that officials etc are apologizing after the game. Not likely but the only situation I could imagine.


January 2nd, 2014 at 9:52 AM ^

By "convincingly" I had in mind a show of utter machine-like domination.  Not just a blow-out on the scoreboard, but a display of football dominance of epic proportions.  For example, Alabama holding OU to less than 100 yards rushing, less than 100 yards passing, something like 1 for 15 in 3rd down conversions for OU, OU never cross the 50, and time of possession favoring Alabama 42 minutes to 18. 

You know, the kind of game that leaves people slack-jawed in awe ... and left wondering why what they saw wasn't the best team in the land.

That, coupled with a sloppy display by Auburn and FSU in a bad Auburn win might ... emphasis might ... flip things to Alabama for the#1.


January 2nd, 2014 at 11:11 AM ^

Everyone talks about a playoff as something that would "settle things on the field" so if there's anyone who votes Alabama over Auburn despite having settled things on the field, they ought to be kicked in the face.

I realize the Iron Bowl was a wacky ending that didn't leave any convincing feeling that Auburn could do it again if they had to, but if I'm to believe that a playoff "settles things on the field," then I also have to believe that any time two teams meet and one beats the other, the winner is the better team that year, all else being equal.  Style points don't and shouldn't count.


January 2nd, 2014 at 3:24 PM ^

I think once the playoffs start and people have a chance to accept that it's an elimination tournament down to the #1 spot the "on the field" results will rule. 

I'm thinking back to the 2011 season, and I recall watching the SEC championship game where undefeated LSU was playing Georgia.  I remember someone -- Gary Danielson, I think -- stating without qualms that if LSU loses to Georgia they should still go to the BCS championship game. 

I remember thinking, "You can't have it both ways -- you can't call for a playoff system and reserve the right to grant survival based on 'body of work.'  Come the day we have a playoff, you lose and you go home, even if undefeated Team X loses to 2-loss Team Y."

Apples vs. oranges, I know ... that was then and the playoffs will be different.  My point is there's a deep well of sentiment in college football that gives bonus points for style, schedule, etc., etc.  People will have to get used to the fact that with a playoff the hot team that wins is #1.


January 2nd, 2014 at 3:53 PM ^

Which is exactly why all the talk about how Michigan deserved to be in the NC game after the loss to OSU in 2006 was just whining by fans whose team lost.

I've no doubt that if it had been Michigan winning 42-39 that OSU fans would have been whining just as much.


January 2nd, 2014 at 11:16 AM ^

what happens in the MNC game, if/when Alabama beats Oklahoma (and I'm expecting an ass pounding) Alabama will be #2 in the country in the final poll. Probably with a number approaching double digits in parentheses behind their name.

French West Indian

January 2nd, 2014 at 11:57 AM ^

Even with the BCS, it is still a "mythical" national championship because—unlike all other sports—the NCAA does not award a championship at the FBS level.

And as I understand it, even with upcoming playoff it will still be "mythical" because I don't believe that the NCAA will actually be awarding an official championship to the playoff winner.

At the FBS level, the "national championships" are technically bestowed upon by the voting organizations, such as the AP.  The assumption is that voters will choose whoever wins the upcoming playoff but that's not neccessarily a given because, for example, what if a season ended with 5 or 6 undefeated teams?  Or perhaps more likely, 5 or 6 teams with one loss?



January 2nd, 2014 at 3:35 PM ^

I can only imagine the uproar if the winner of a playoff gets shafted by the voting organizations.  You may be right ... that may very well be their prerogative.  But wow ... if it ever happens.  Duck and cover.

PS - I mentioned "pre-BCS" in my original answer because I believe that's when the term "mythical" first came in to use.  Back in the good old days the two main polls were the AP and UPI, and they often didn't mesh come final tally.  The BCS was supposed to address this.  For the most part it has, but not enough to avoid a playoff structure.


January 2nd, 2014 at 8:59 AM ^

Going back to 2003, wasn't the split caused by a combination of a weird confluence of things, such as a couple coaches going against the mandate to vote for the title game winner and the tweaking of the BCS "formula", which eliminated margin of victory but kept strength of schedule? I remember reading somewhere that the computers' assessment of a couple key games that year actually created a situation where LSU and USC were literally within a tenth of a point of each other. I could be misremembering this, but there was a ton of drama regarding it, as I recall. 


January 2nd, 2014 at 10:22 AM ^

Oklahoma was undefeated but then lost big in the Big 12 championship game (35-7).  Somehow in the computers, they were still ranked high enough to play in the BCS game.  All 3 teams had 1 loss.  USC, despite being ranked #1 in both human polls, was left out.  LSU beat Oklahoma 21-14 to take the BCS Title whereas USC beat Michigan 28-14 to take the AP Poll.


January 2nd, 2014 at 9:27 AM ^

as college coaches and sports writers agreed that they would always vote the winner of the NCG #1.  FSU or Auburn: whomever wins is NC


January 2nd, 2014 at 12:45 PM ^

But they always do. The split title happened in 2003 when the AP was still part of the BCS formula. Well, the AP removed itself from the formula, so with the current system in place, the AP poll is completely meaningless. The only champion right now is the winner of the BCS title game.


January 2nd, 2014 at 3:28 PM ^

The AP removed themselves from the Bull Crap System formula, but they still:

  1. Publish a poll
  2. Give a trophy to the #1 team at the end of the season
  3. Call that team the "National Champions"

So they declare a national champ who is just as valid as the ESPN/USA Today champ.  Their trophy is, however, not a crystal football.


See?  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/d1/Apnationalchampions…


January 2nd, 2014 at 9:34 AM ^

There are still some bitter feelings in the Michigan fanbase about the split with Nebraska in '97.  Can you imagine the vitriol if Auburn and Alabama had to split a title?


January 2nd, 2014 at 9:40 AM ^

I don't see how the winner of the championship game wouldn't be considered the champion, even if it's technically possible for there to be a split. If that were to happen, it's not going to be the least bit controversial who the consensus national champion will be.


January 2nd, 2014 at 10:02 AM ^

Absolutely not.  MSU has a couple of nice wins, but unless OSU rocks Clemson I'm not sure how beating a 2-loss Stanford team and a 2-loss OSU team qualifies you against the winner of an MNC that had to beat a number of other top squads.