Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ohio State 42, Michigan 39

I don't know where I'm goin'.

But I sure know where I've been.

Hanging on the promises in songs of yesterday.

And I've made up my mind.

I ain't wasting no more time.

But here I go again.

Here I go again.

Whitesnake, "Here I Go Again"

We lost, and sure, that sucks. But almost every second of today's game was pure pleasure. It would have made Bo proud.

I'm looking forward to the re-match in Glendale.


Crunk Raconteur said...

As I said to Flop last night in our traditional immediately-after-the-game call, to quote the great Apollo Creed at the end of Rocky I: "Ain't gonna be no rematch."

I don't want any more of that team.

I don't even have any trash to talk/

CrimeNotes said...

Philosophically, I agree. I don't think it's right that these two teams should play each other again. OSU should be tested against a non-conference opponent and Michigan should be in the Rose Bowl. Both would crush their opponents and finish #1 and #2.

But analytically -- these teams are just so superior to everyone else that if you divorced them from conference designations, it makes no sense for them not to play in Glendale. There are a lot of one-loss garbage teams. Are Notre Dame, Florida, Arkansas or USC in the same leage as these two teams? Not even close. In a way, theres the sort of a pragmatic and philosophical argument against a rematch, which I support, and an analytical and detached case for a rematch, which I also support. I'll be happy either way.

Crunk Raconteur said...

I'm just looking it from this point of view: I want Ohio State to win the national championship. I am entirely sure that the Buckeyes will slaughter whoever they play in Glendale...unless that team is Michigan.

Good luck in the Rose Bowl. Kick the ass of whoever you play. See you back at the top of the rankings at the end of the season.

And, just in case, we'll be working with Datish on his shotgun snapping and reading the rulebook for little-known penalties (roughing the center?)...

Ryan said...

Yeah. What you guys said.

And that pictures pretty funny, too.

beast of burden said...

Since you asked ...

In high school, long snappers may not be hit, period.
In college, they may be hit after one second has elapsed -- enough time for the snapper to finish snapping and look up.
In the NFL, I believe long snappers can be hit as soon as they snap.

If you watch the replay, the Michigan long snapper was clearly socked before he had a chance to look up, let alone block. An obscure penalty, to be sure, but absolutely the right call.

(What do you mean you don't really give a shit?)

22280 said...

One school of thought is that if you aren't No. 1 in your own league, you shouldn't have a chance to be No. 1 in the country. I sort of agree, but I'm not married to that philosophy. I wouldn't mind seeing a rematch because I don't like Ohio State and would very much enjoy the bitching and moaning that would follow a loss to UM in Arizona.

Also, there are some other things I'd like to see happen in the BCS that would be more likely if USC goes to the Rose Bowl instead of Michigan.

All that said, this entire situation is yet another example of why college football season often comes to such an unsatisfying conclusion. Kirk Herbstreit has spent the last 24 hours echoing crimenotes' position that michigan would destroy any of the other 1-loss teams if they played. This, to me, is completely nonsensical.

USC, Florida and Michigan all have pretty much the same record against completely different schedules. I don't see how anyone can say with certainty which of those three teams is the best. Michigan has wins over the No. 6 and No. 10 teams in the current AP poll. Florida has wins over No. 9 and No. 19. USC could - by the end of next weekend - have wins over No. 5, No. 6, No. 22 and No. 23. Arkansas could have wins over No. 9, No. 14 and No. 19.

(And I'm not even counting the SEC title game b/c that gives Florida and Arkansas an extra chance for a big win that the Big 10 doesn't get.)

I'm not saying these other 1-loss teams are better than Michigan. I'm saying I don't have the first clue who is better - and neither does anyone else. The sooner we all admit that, the better off we'll be. Comparisons like this inevitably involve gut feelings, provincialism and all sorts of circular logic.

For example, if you'd replaced "Ohio State" and "Michigan" on the uniforms Saturday with "West Virginia" and "Louisville" ... every Big 10 and SEC fan with an agenda would be griping about how awful the defense was and how many dumb penalties both teams took.

In a sensible world, we'd take a bunch of teams, put them on the field and FIND OUT who most deserves to play for the national championship. But instead, a bunch of so-called experts (and a few computers) will close their eyes and try to imagine a hypothetical, non-existant game between Michigan and USC. Whoever wins the majority of these make-believe games in people's heads will play for the national championship against Ohio State.

And this is why a lot of us become frustrated.

22280 said...

One more reason why a rematch WOULD be cool:

Because then Ohio State and Michigan would have played their first 12 games over an 11-week span, then sat around for SEVEN before the national title game. If these are the two best teams, they should make it a best-of-five series rotating between all the BCS bowls.

Crunk Raconteur said...

To my mind, from a having-good-football-games-to-watch standpoint, I think the ideal would be Ohio State-Florida in the title game, and Michigan-USC in the Rose Bowl.

That said, if it ends up with Ohio State-USC as 1-2, an online campaign needs to be started to have that game be played where it should be, the Rose Bowl...

CrimeNotes said...

22280: Your indignation amuses me.

Crunk: Myself, I think Michigan-Florida would be a lot of fun. Michigan-USC in the Rose Bowl in two out of four years makes me feel tired/bored. Michigan-Florida, I'm excited about.

CrimeNotes said...

22280: Here's my more substantive thought. I guess i think of the regular season as black coffee and the bowl games as the equivalent of whether you use sugar, splenda or nutra sweet. It's all sort of sugary stuff that doesn't change the underlying base. If you prioritize the final rankings and think that there's a fair and serious way to determine a final ranking (I think that's literally impossible, but for argument's sake I'll assume that it is) I understand your point. But really, the thought of any additional hype or further arbitrary matchups cloaked in the veil of objectivity sort of makes me sick. With this many teams playing so few games in a regular season, there just isn't a way to come up with a rankings system that's going to be satisfyingly definitive.

For whatever it's worth, I think USC and Florida have been skating on thin ice all season, with ugly wins against unimpressive teams. That was true for OSU in '02 as well, so maybe I'm being too tough. Michigan and OSU have delivered consistent thundercrushings all season and played their game against each other down to the final possession. Having watching plenty of these four teams all season, myself, I don't think it's even a close call; I also think there's merit in having Michigan and OSU tested against non-conference opponents (Notre Dame excluded) to see if they're as good as I think.

Flop said...

I tend to be "in agreeance" with CrimeNotes. Yes, Michigan is better than every other team in the country save one. And yes, I would very much like our chances in a rematch (Assuming Bo rounds up the very best venture capitalists in the afterlife to purchase the note on Troy Smith's soul. Because he can't possibly be that good again, can he?).

But I felt bad explaining to a friend who is a die-hard Notre Dame that I might not be rooting super-hard for the Irish against SC this weekend. I mean, I'm philosophically opposed to a rematch, as much opportunity for joy as there might be.

Also, a Michigan-Florida Rose Bowl, while firmly in the realm of "unlikely" would be awesome. I would attend that in person.

Flop said...

I actually looked it up, because I'd never heard of it myself either.

When a team is in scrimmage kick formation, a defensive player may not initiate contact with the snapper until one second has elapsed after the snap (A.R. 9-1-2-XXII-XXIV).

The language on contact with the helmet is just as clear, BTW.

beast of burden said...

Didn't trust me, huh, Flop?

Flop said...

That's not it at all. I was genuinely curious because I'd never heard of a rule. Which suggests to me that players generally respect it and/or referees rarely see violations of it. Not much to be gained by circumventing it except in the most egregious way, which will draw an immediate flag.

22280 said...

From a having-good-football-games-to-watch standpoint, I would probably go for West Virginia versus Hawaii.

And I don't drink coffee.

In all seriousness, though, I agree with a lot of what's been said. Crimenotes is right that there is no satisfying way to rank teams nationally in an objective manner. However, as Flop and I were discussing earlier, individual conference championships are decided in a very objective manner. When the regular season ends, we can be satisfied that the champions of the Big 10/SEC/Pac-10/etc. have earned their titles after playing a full league schedule and coming out on top. (Some of the league skeds are unbalanced, but we'll overlook that for now.)

So I would have a playoff with just the champions of the 11 leagues. The shittier league champions can play each other in mid-December, and whoever emerges from that goes to the quarterfinals.

The worst that would happen under this system is that you'd get a lot of blowouts and the early rounds. If so, who gets hurt? If you're Ohio State, it beats sitting around for seven weeks.

The regular season would still matter because you'd have to finish first in your league to have a chance at winning the national title.

We don't have to have a legit national champion. For years, people cared a lot more about local rivalries than the national championship. But since people seem to care more now about who finishes No. 1 in the country, we should try to come up with a fair system to arrive at that.

voidoid said...

22280, if your system involves only the 11 conference champions, doesn't that exclude any 1-A Independent team that may be deserving of consideration?

CrimeNotes said...

22280 -- So in 2003, instead of one-loss Oklahoma being in your tournament, it would've been Kansas State. That's crazy. What about leagues that don't have conference championship games and often have split titles? Is the representative going to be determined by committee vote?

I don't know who "seems to care more now" about which team finishes number one. I know ESPN cares and a few LSU fans from 2003 care. I'm sure some national advertisers care, and Tommy Tuberville cared before his team collapsed.

Flop said...

CrimeNotes, that is crazy, but it's not 22280's fault. It's the Big 12 that chose such a silly way to determine a champion.

Imagine if the Big Ten did that? We'd all be getting super-pumped for Ohio State-Wisconsin now. Woooo!

Personally, you should disregard the [CONFERENCE REDACTED] altogether from that playoff, and just have the MAC/C-USA and WAC/MWC teams "play in" to an eight-team scenario.

As for the independents, I dunno. Maybe if their unique status is so precious to them, maybe missing out on the national title game is the price they pay. They can barnstorm and declare themselves Indpendent champions when they beat the other independents, and hand out rings to themselves if they only lose to good teams like Michigan and USC.

I'm talking about Navy, of course.

22280 said...

I'm not sure it is all that crazy. Kansas State beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game 35-7 that year and was like 10-3 and No. 8 in the country after that game. Oklahoma was I believe 11-1 and No. 3. I don't have a problem taking No. 8 over No. 3 when they are in different divisions and No. 8 just beat No. 3 by four touchdowns.

CrimeNotes said...

Kansas State beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game 35-7 that year and was like 10-3 and No. 8 in the country after that game. Oklahoma was I believe 11-1 and No. 3. I don't have a problem taking No. 8 over No. 3 when they are in different divisions and No. 8 just beat No. 3 by four touchdowns.

You have just validated what little faith I have in the current BCS system. Oklahoma laid an egg in those last two games, but a three-loss team is a three-loss team.