Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Curious Inertia of Southern Cal

The new BCS rankings are out. First, you have the following top six -

1. Florida
2. Alabama
3. Texas
5. Cincinnati
6. Boise State

All are undefeated. Hard to quibble too much with the order.

Then we have -

7. Georgia Tech
8. LSU

Tech is 9-1 with its sole loss at Miami, so why not?

LSU has two losses, so some other one-loss teams could be argued more deserving, but the Tigers lost to the 1st and 2nd ranked teams, so no real controversy there.

Then -

9. USC

Asinine, your name is college football rankings.

Does anybody paying even the least bit of attention to college football think this year’s Trojans are the “9th best team”? Or, does anyone think 2 loss USC is deserving by resume of being 9th?


The Trojans moved up 3 spots in the BCS after narrowly beating 4-5 Arizona State 14-9, in a game Southern Cal totaled 258 yards (to the Sun Devil’s 347). Arizona State turned it over 4 times, and still USC barely won.

Southern Cal’s national standings right now -

Scoring Offense - 53rd
Scoring Defense - 24th
NCAA Strength of Schedule - 44th

Two loss South Florida outranks Southern Cal in every category above (33rd, 23rd and 25th). The BCS finds USF at 24th.

Not only would I rank USC similar to South Florida, I believe USF is “better” than USC, and would likely handle them head to head.

Maybe there is some cosmic force behind USC’s rankings that I don’t really understand. Call it “Trojaninertia”. This is a team that lost to Washington, played Arizona State, Oregon State and Notre Dame (recent loser to Navy) to the wire, and was destroyed by Oregon, who in turn got blasted by Stanford this past weekend.

That is the same Oregon that is now ranked 4 spots BEHIND the Trojans in the BCS. With the same record.

The BCS system is simply awful. Here’s hoping its demise is imminent.


Floridan said...

Who cares which team is ranked 9th or 13th or 22nd? USC, USF or LSU are not going to play for a national championship.

Right now, there are only three teams competing for the two slots in the BCS Championship game.

Trader Rick said...

What he said.

Mergz said...

Then, why bother to rank the rest?

But I see your point as it relates to number 1 and 2. However, USC is going to get an at large BCS spot, which is ridiculous (I'm assuming Oregon still wins the Pac 10).

Floridan said...

I'm not so sure that USC will get a BSC bowl spot as an at large team. First of all, there are only three at large spots. One of those spots will go to either TCU or Cincinnati if they remain undefeated.

The Orange bowl and Fiesta bowls will have relatively unattractive tie-ins, with ACC and the #2 Big 12 teams. The Orange would more likely go with a Big 10 team, such as Penn State or Ohio State (if they lose to Iowa), and the Fiesta with TCU.

The best bet for USC, in my opinion, would be for an Alabama - USC match-up in the Sugar bowl. This would be an attractive media-wise; two teams with storied histories. Plus, the Sugar bowl won't have to worry about filling seat -- Bama fans can fill the Superdome.

Floridan said...

Oops, I forgot about the Big East tie-in, which will be either Cincinnati (probably) or Pittsburgh.

The question is, does the Fiesta bowl have to pick a Big 12 team if Texas goes to the Championship game (which it almost surely will)? In that case, would the Fiest have the guts to stage a battle of unbeatens: TCU vs. Cincinnati?

The Sugar Bowl is going to take the #2 SEC team, no matter what.

Mergz said...

Floridian, I was going to correct your Big East tie in, but you beat me to it.

ESPN does weekly Bowl projections, and Feldman has USC as an at large in the Fiesta.

Rob said...

The Fiesta MIGHT consider taking the #2 Big12 team if they were in the top 14 and actually eligible.