Sunday, January 14, 2007

To campaign or not to campaign?

Much ado was made about Urban Meyer's alleged campaigning to get into the BCS Championship game. He was roundly criticized for his perceived lack of modesty.

Let's assume that Meyer's "campaigning" did, in fact, influence the poll voters (a premise I don't accept, but will concede here just to make a point). Can anyone argue now, in retrospect, that he was wrong in his assessment that the Gators deserved to be playing in Glendale? Of course not. Many columnists have already written that of the two teams that squared off a week ago it was OSU that looked like it didn't belong.

So let's go back in time and pretend that Urban Meyer had ignored the questions from the media about the Gators possibly playing in the BCS title game. Let's pretend he had kept his mouth shut and been the good boy that his critics claim that he wasn't. So what would have happened?

Michigan would have been selected to play OSU in a rematch, and the Buckeyes would have probably won because Jim Tressel owns Lloyd Carr. But even if Michigan had won, it would have been the biggest fraud perpetuated on college football fans since, well since a couple of years ago when Auburn got passed over.

So if you believe a coach can influence the voters then you should thank Urban Meyer for "campaigning". Because of him at least we know one of the teams that played in that game deserved to be there.

The idea that campaigning under the current system is somehow wrong doesn't make sense to me. In honestly answering questions from the media about possibly being left out of the Championship Meyer asked the voters to look at Florida's resume closely. In saying that Michigan had already had its chance, Meyer appealed to common sense. Is that so wrong?

Would we prefer that the voters make their decisions based on the opinions of so-called pundits at Disney/ABC/ESPN that, in addition to having a lot more influence in the game of college football than they should, also have a vested interest in pumping up the Big Ten while shunning the SEC? No, I think it's the American way to let people speak their minds and make their case. If what they say is garbage then we have to trust that those who have been given the responsibility to make the decisions will see it the arguments for what they are worth.

If we, as a college football watching public, don't want coaches to "lower themselves" by "campaigning" for their teams then perhaps we should try to make winning a championship less of a political process. There's no need to campaign in any other sport because you must simply win your way in.


Anonymous said...

don't forget Florida traveled to one of their biggest rivalries, ranked number two at the time, and lost by three points in a hostile enviroment ending their regular season in 1996.

...but Florida got the REMATCH and beat Florida State in the Sugar Bowl so why didn't Michigan get the REMATCH because of that whining yankee URBAN CRYER...!!!!

Anonymous said...

The BCS didn't exist then, Florida got to play FSU because Florida WON THE SEC, which gives an automatic bowl bid.

Fact is, Florida won the SEC and the bowl game they automatically got invited to because of the SECC win, all the other teams did not win out. Florida wins the NC, not because they were voted to play FSU, but because luck so happened that FSU and UF saw each other again in the Sugar Bowl.


Anonymous said...

People also contrive to forget that UF and FSU are in different conferences - that's not quite the same as having the #1 and #2 of the same conference playing again.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

Shlomo is right. Florida was not selected for the 1996/97 Sugar Bowl, they won the bid on the basis of being the SEC champ. It was FSU that was selected as the at-large team in that Bowl game. Not only that, Florida had to win the SEC title game after they lost to Florida State. Big difference between losing your way into the National championship and winning your way in.

Sorry Anonymous #1, you are a jackass.

Mergz said...

The sports media hates Urban Meyer because -

1. He turned down the job they all think is the end all be all - Notre Dame.

2. He is winning.

When he is asked a question and states Florida's case, that is somehow wrong. Yet, when any other coach does the same (Carroll is the master of this), or when the press does it themselves, that is OK.

Meyer has had the last laugh with a 41-14 undressing of the Little Ten Champ. And all the crybabies like the first poster here can't change that.

Anonymous said...

yeh, it would have been sweeter finding a southern coach and not another yankee like Urban but these days it doesn't matter. look at Bama hiring that Ohio guy Nick Saban, don't understand them given all that money to a yankee. can't we find any southern coaches so the games mean more to us?

Anonymous said...

I could care less where the coach is from, the teams accomplishments are the only thing that means anything.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

Yeah, I don't get that either.

Gator Duck said...

Don't add fuel to Big10 fans fire, anonymous. All over the OSU message boards AFTER the game they were talking about how the southern teams and fans are nothing more than ignorant Stars and Bars waving rednecks.

Anonymous said...

gator duck: "ignorant Stars and Bars waving rednecks" what the uck, now the latest tonight is Ginn might have actually been able to play but held off cause off trying to protect his NFL status and that Gonzo and Pittman also didn't give a crap about playing Florida thus giving a lackluster performance. do ya think there's any truth to this? like this is what college football has become just a means to and end and the end for them stopped with the Michigan game. that's hardly fair to their fans, seems to me our defense chased Smith all over the place but it's true they didn't show. Now tonight breaking news Teddy Ginn Sr confirms it was about "the finacial thing" if anybody is rednecks it's these sorry sorts.