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December 2, 2007

Hopeless Logic

It is becoming more and more ominous for the Dawgs. Last night, almost every analyst on ESPN was lobbying for LSU to face Ohio State rather than Georgia. The only exception seems to be the ESPN SportsReporters this morning (who I think generally don't like college football and find glee in pointing out the ridiculous nature of the way the sport determines a champion). In any case, I've heard some interesting points that I thought I would share before the standings come out and we're disappointed.

See if this makes any sense. Suppose I'm trying to figure out the top two choices (in anything) and my methodology is to rank all possible choices and compare the top two. Then suppose after my ranking, new information comes out that says my top two choices are clearly not best. Would it make any sense for me to then compare my third and seventh choices? Of course not. That makes absolutely no sense. You would compare the third and fourth choices. Comparing third and seventh makes about as much sense as having a team that is a national champion, but not a conference champion.

Well, the BCS will rerank and choose today, probably Ohio State and LSU. So, does it make any sense that LSU would jump three teams that did not lose based on it's muddling performance against Tennessee (who looked nothing like the buzz saw Phil sliced us open with in Knoxville)? This argument was given by Coach Richt last night on ESPN. The voters knew UGA would not play in the SEC championship game and still rated us ahead of LSU. It makes no sense to do that if you will turn right around and have LSU jump Georgia seven days later. Why have these weekly BCS polls come out if they will be totally reengineered the day before the selection show?

Another pesky point I've heard from LSU fans is that Georgia's losses are worse than LSU's. LSU, after all, lost both their games in triple overtime whereas Georgia lost in regulation. If that's your argument, LSU, you have a national title you need to give to USC. In 2003, LSU and USC both had one loss. USC's was to Cal in overtime, at Cal. LSU's loss was in regulation, a 19-7 decision against the Gators in Baton Rouge. So, USC was "undefeated in regulation" in 2003 and didn't even get a chance to play for the national title. Was that fair? Of course not.

I don't want to sound like I'm attacking LSU. LSU is a wildly talented football team who is a formidable opponent for any team, although they haven't played like it recently. Both LSU and Georgia have legitimate arguments for their positions. The problem is that each argument advanced for either side has a sound counterargument. Neither team can claim the spot with a clear conscience. (I will gladly volunteer to remain conflicted while sitting at the BCS title game watching the Dawgs.)

The bottom line here is that the system is hopelessly flawed and anyone claiming a national championship should do so with a smirk. There is no logic to this season and no logic to picking its "champion."



Anonymous said...

*Uncontrolled sobbing* This can be filed along with '02 in the "Season that got away" folder.

Crane said...

UGA ranked 4 in AP. Probably can't even hope for a split championship now...

Anonymous said...

UGA is ranked #4 in the Coaches. Unless we get a miracle from the Harris and the computers we can't get in. This is terrible. I can see an arguement from LSU, but why did OU jump us and why did tOSU get rewarded for not playing a conference game and UGA get punished? I know I am preaching to the choir on this one, but it sucks... hard

Anonymous said...

just another example of why this system is so flawed... because when it comes down to it, some team or maybe multiple teams or going to get screwed after the decisions that come out later today.

My main problem with the system is the fact that the polls in the past have been based on "what have you done for me lately" and now the one year where it seems like UGA has done alot to deserve this lately we will end up getting screwed out of this. why no love from the nation for such a good team and great/exciting season?

Ludakit said...

The situation looks bleak. Not even "bleak" but "hopeless."

A few things to question:

1) If LSU doesn't beat UT, then we're not having this conversation. We're talking about hotel reservations in New Orleans on Jan. 7.

2) Why does tOSU get a pass? No conference championship, and no win over a team ranked higher than #21 when played. Are you serious? Did they play like the No. 1 team in their last two games? NO. Our last memories are a loss against Illinois and a tickle pile game against Michigan.

3) Why doesn't OU get the nod over LSU? They beat the one-time No. 1 team in the nation twice. If anyone is deserving, it should be the Sooners (who I think would throttle LSU on a neutral field).

The problem is the media has too much influence on this. LSU is not playing football that would make anyone say "they're the second best team in the country." That argument has gone towards OU, UGA, and USC.

The system is awful and we're not the only ones getting screwed today. We have to remember that while we have an argument, we put ourselves in this position with losses against SC and UT.

It's time to use whatever bowl we go to as a statement and look towards 2008. Everyone needs to know that when the dust settles, UGA is the team to beat next year.

Anonymous said...

i agree we have to be looking at a very good 08 season. And we wont end up with nothing to show for the 07 season. The new polls just came out having us at number four in both so it looks as though we will have our ticket punched for the sugar bowl not the national championship

how does ohio state get to move to number one and LSU and OSU (2 and 3 respectively) get to jump us,,, so flawed

Anonymous said...

By having a system that is based on subjectivity, college football is destined to have its seasons end like this one. The teams that are from large tv markets, have large fan bases, and have media pundits in their pockets are destined to play for titles no matter their performance or the performance of other teams. Tuberville was right, ESPN has way too much influence. Last night when the improbable occurred, ESPN immediately started pushing that LSU should play for the title. Instead of just saying that it was their opinion the pundits started dropping gems like "LSU will play against OSU" or "The voters will select LSU". This afternoon the polls come out and what do you know? LSU is in there at #2. The tail is wagging the dog and it won't be any different next year or the year after or the year after that. In other words, unless you are put into the media darlings group at the start of the season (So Cal, OSU, ND, Michigan, LSU) you are not afforded any losses, but you might be given one mulligan if the teams in the above group lose two or more.

Anonymous said...

this sucks, no doubt. But, i think OU has a better argument than LSU.

OU is the better coached team and they crushed the #1 ranked team last night...yeah i know Mizzou should have never been #1, but they were/.

Anyone else wishing that WVU had won, now? i sure as hell am.

Anonymous said...

Can Herbstreit/ESPN get their story right? Last year, it didn't matter that Meatchicken didn't win the Big 10. Now it matters that Georgia didn't win the SEC.

So which is it, you pathetic homers?

Jmac said...

I wavered this morning, but I've committed to boycotting the Sugar Bowl if we're picked ... because that, to me, is the bigger problem.

Each of the two-loss teams have legitimate arguments to be made for playing in the title game, but it makes no sense whatsoever to ...

- Choose a three-loss Illinois team to play in the Rose Bowl;

- To hurt fan turnout and national interest all in the name of 'preserving tradition';

- Screw over a 9-2 Arizona State team in lieu of taking the Illini.

This whole thing is so preposterous and insulting, it's not worth supporting.

Jmac said...

A refreshing voice to hear.

JasonC said...


Boycotting the Sugar Bowl isn't the answer. Support the Dogs.
Boycotting the "BCS Bowl" is the right thing to do. The people in charge are interested in ratings & money. If UGA fans (and hopefully other fans fed up with this crap) don't tune in they lose part of what the want- viewers.

Anonymous said...

Boycott the sUGAr?

Forget that.

Anonymous said...

Boycott? Sure but not our Dawgs. Red & Black forever, come hell or high water.

Boycott the BCS NC game itself and then, only the sponsors who advertise. Email those sponsors who depend on YOU to buy their products. Tell them what why you won't buy their products for supporting the dishonesty.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how OSU moved up but UGA did not.

It doesn't take a degree in gridiron logic to understand that the bowls are being controlled by a few in the media.

Yes, we lost to Tennessee in a very ugly game but, we paid for it in the SEC when Tennessee, with a worse overall record got the ticket to Atlanta.

Georgia deserved a shot at this and to quote an old souther cliche', we was robbed!

Be mad and make it stick somewhere! Don't roll over and play dead on command!

Anonymous said...

I'm still ticked that OSU moved up and we stayed put. Daddy's po'd.

Anonymous said...

A show of protest... like take the 'G' off the helmets for the bowl game.

We already know our who our Dawgs are.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

One pre-emptive request from my fellow Dawgs: If we clobber whoever in our bowl game and end up ranked #2 or something at the end of the year, please, no talk of a "people's national champion" or "sharing" the title or anything like that. That kind of crap is one step up from bragging about your kid's perfect attendance certificate, and I would hope we're better than that.

Trust me, if you'd lived right in Auburn's backyard through the 2004 season, you'd understand.

Jmac said...

I'm wavering still on boycotting, but I think one can make a reasonable and rational case.

Listen, thanks to ESPN becoming the biggest supporter of LSU football last night, the BCS title talk ended a while back. The problem, as I see it, is the foolish system designed to appease the Big Ten and preserve some arcane tradition that no one else wishes to adhere to.

Wasn't part of the thrill of this upcoming BCS that Georgia had the chance to go to the Orange Bowl or Rose Bowl? Some place where the Bulldogs don't get to normally go? And challenge a team like, say, Southern Cal, that would create great interest.

Instead, we'll have a three-loss Illinois team in the Rose Bowl and Georgia taking on a Hawaii team with no credible wins in the Sugar Bowl ... all in the name of tradition.

Something is very, very flawed about that.

Will said...

Unless I'm in a venue where I have no say about what's on TV, I will not watch:
An Illinois-USC Rose Bowl
An LSU-An Ohio State U BCS title game

Not only out of protest, but also because those will be lousy games likely decided by halftime.

Anonymous said...

Doug... I do. (20 minutes from Auburn)

Anonymous said...

I have long believed that even though the rules state a team does not have to win its conference to play in the BCS game and I am sticking with it despite the fact that it hurts UGA. If UGA beats South Carolina, it is playing the Buckeyes.

I have no issue with Ohio State being in there. They won their conference and they lost fewer games than almost anyone else (Hawaii and Kansas are the exceptions--and their schedules were weaker than Ohio State's). The Big 10 does not have a championship game because it does not need one as the teams pretty much play each other and OSU played all the major teams in the Big 10 this year.

How about doing away with the championship games? If the SEC does not have a championship game this year UGA is playing for the national title. It would be co-champion with UT and LSU and few would be arguing against UGA. Of course if the Big 12 did not have a championship game, then Kansas would probably be arguing to be in the game since it lost only once.

I have never been a fan of a playoff. I do see the day when one of two things will happen and both could placate the Rose Bowl (and the Pac 10/Big 10):

1) The BCS teams would be selected after all the bowl games, or
2) The major bowls would be used as semifinal games for the BCS effectively expanding the playoff from its current 2 teams to 4 teams.

A more far fetched idea is that the BCS will decide to do one of the above and tell the Big 10/Pac 10 and Rose Bowl to join or become second tiered conferences whose teams will not play for the national title. For a few years they might do their own thing, but eventually the conferences would feel the pain (revenue) and join the fold.

Right now I am thinking Ohio States are having nightmares about facing an SEC team although one that is easier to scheme for than Florida was last year and a team that could be beaten. I think UT should have won that game.

Gosh, I really love college football.

Anonymous said...

Understanding the difficulties and the politics of modern colligate sports, there can be no doubt that the prevailing wisdom within the ranks of Division One NCAA Football is to avoid ‘rocking the boat’ as it were. There are just too many people in high places that one does not want to alienate. It is just important to maintain a hold on respect in the sport and moreover, this topsy-turvy world.

But that being said… and certainly, again, understood, it would seem counterproductive to overdo the effort at goodwill by accepting an injustice as just another day at the office. Georgia’s football program began rather slowly this season, suffering a close loss against a Gamecocks team that was spry and hoping to take the division. Following that, there was the immensely ugly loss to Tennessee. But giving respect where it is due, UGA paid the price for this by watching as the Volunteers got the nod to the SEC Championship game… even sporting a worse overall record than Georgia.

The slate was cleaned at that point.

When both Missouri and West Virginia fell and left the two top slots for the BCS championship game open, it would have been only right to advance those two teams immediately beneath them to fill the voids. However, this was not the case. Ohio State, the team ranked just above Georgia did move up while the Bulldogs were left behind in a purgatory of uncertainty.

It doesn’t require a degree in logic to see the inequity here. The logic that Georgia did not win its conference holds no withstanding sway when, again, it was a team with a lesser overall record that was allowed to advance. So one more time, Georgia paid the price for its ugly game in Knoxville. There is no need to pay for it again in the BCS. Moreover, the BCS rules do NOT make a distinction between teams with or without individual conference titles.

For a decade now, the BCS has wreaked havoc on college football. Georgia is just the latest, most pronounced victim. It is time for this injustice and inequity to cease.

I would ask you personally, Mark Richt, coach of our team of choice, to make a stand on behalf of all college football and make a statement of protest against the BCS system by removing the ‘G’ from the helmets of Georgia players during the 2007-2008 Sugar Bowl.

Georgia fans know who their team is already… and the lack of the emblem would be an immediate topic for everyone else.

At the end of the day and season, this is exactly what the sport needs; a dialogue that transcends the naked profit-taking by the corporates who now nearly own the bowl games and, a BCS that is run like a dictatorship with no regard to fair play.

Thank you for your time

Mike Franklin

Anonymous said...

Random comments:
1) Hats off to the UGA staff and players for the season. Admit it, at the start of the year, what did you expect from this team? I was seeing more than 2 losses (although I did not see losing to SC). I could see UGA losing to UT, UF and Auburn. I feared OK state (okay, I fear all teams--I grew up in the Dooley era). This team got slapped around by UT and then when on a roll.
2) This is a young team with a good chance to finish in the top 5 and start off next year in the top 5. If it wins whatever bowl game it goes to (and I am thinking it will be the Sugar), then I cannot see UGA starting the season outside the top 5.
3) If the above happens, I pray 2008 is not like 2007 where top 5 teams lose left and right!
4) Pre-season polls did not begin until 1960 (based on ESPN's college encyc). Perhaps it is time to go back to that. While the first BCS rankings do not come out until several games into the season, it still uses a poll where your starting position makes a difference.
5) The 2008 schedule (as it is right now) starts out soft, but picks up steam and is a strong one including a team that could finish 2007 in the top 10 (ASU), possibly the defending BCS champ (LSU), the 2006 champ (UF) not to mention Auburn, Alabama and Tennessee. I suspect UK will slip a bit and Vandy will be about the same. Be ready for people to lament the first 2 games (Ga Southern and Central Michigan). CMU is going to a bowl and is a conference champion for 2007.

Anonymous said...

Good doggy :)

Anonymous said...

According to the AJC, Wingnut voted Hawaii 4th and UGA 5th in the latest Coaches poll. Sore loser...

Dubbayoo said...

I can't say I think we're really getting screwed. If we had handled our business against Tenn or even SC we'd be fine right now.

As weak as Hawaii's schedule is, they beat all the teams they were supposed to beat. We didn't. Almost every year we flat out blow an easy game. In August this blog said a 9-3 record would be par. Now we're 10-2, staring at our highest season end ranking since the Herschel era and crying about being shut out of the title game.

We ought to be worrying about whether we're going to start 2008 in the top 3 so we have a real chance at a title run.

Anonymous said...

When that fateful announcement is made at 8 tonight, I think a single sentiment should take the entire Bulldog Nation through January 1st: gratefulness, rather than bitterness, for the opportunity we've been given to both play in a BCS Bowl and to debunk Hawaii undefeated hype. The last thing we need is to come out flat in another Sugar Bowl appearance against a flashy upstart team from a non-traditional market. If nothing else, this can be a springboard for both UGA and SEC dominance heading into '08. Hopefully the Tigers recognize the opportunity they've been given and take care of business too. Just hard to watch fervent, unabashed politicking from a rival SEC team's coach have such sway this late in the season...but I'd venture a guess that if we finish next season with even just one loss, CMR won't have to call in to SportsCenter and plead his case.

Anonymous said...

"... gratefulness, rather than bitterness, for the opportunity we've been given to both play in a BCS Bowl..."

I am grateful for a great coach and the wonderful bunch of kids that make up the Georgia Bulldogs.

I am grateful for every season over the last eternity that I have been able to listen to Larry Munson call the games I could neither get to in person or find on the TV dial.

For all the memories and all those moments yet to come, I am truly thankful.

But I see no purpose in thanking the tyrants of this BCS ripoff or those talking jackasses on ESPN and elsewhere.

There have been too many good times to try and pretend to be happy about this. Besides that, until people decide to start speaking out, the circus will continue on its merry way and next time, it will just be some other team.

It’s gotta stop somewhere.

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