Tuesday, November 21, 2006

And to Hell With The Big 10 (sic)

Let me for a moment preempt our regularly-scheduled Hate Tech Week rant to: hate Michigan, the BCS, and the various talked-head punditry of the national, paid (well, moreso than any blogger gets from ad revenue paid) media.

I admit my agenda up-front: Ohio State-Michigan part deux for the national title?

Not just “no” but an emphatic, Whitmanian, “Barbaric Yowp”-ian “hell no.”

And here’s why:

First and foremost, the number one fallback argument opponents of any sort of College Football playoff system (even the 4-team variety that would affect the BCS games only) is “the regular season is a playoff.” Every game counts, etc. So…Michigan had their shot, they got 3 turnovers from the Buckeyes and…they still lost. Give the Wolverines a second shot and you have to question what the point was in the first place.

“Ohhh…so Michigan almost beat the #1 team, therefore they must be second best”? That’s the logic we’re using here? The Mets almost took the series with St. Louis…let’s have them play again instead of letting someone else get a shot.

But the most egregious pundit asshaberdashery occurs in their justifications of why “Michigan’s the only team that might give OSU a game.” It’s almost as if they have to have a team to call “the best evar!!!11” or they won’t know what to do. To me the best recent comparison for this team isn’t a juggernaut like Miami at it’s Butch Davis-to-Coker peak, or USC with Leinart-Bush (and a defense), but possibly the 1999 (or 2000) FSU team. Troy Smith is very good, and he’s got a great O-line and WRs. The RBs are good, not great, but put up near-great numbers because the defenses get so worried about Smith. It’s a very good offense. It’s not a great offense, but still very good. Smith should win the Heisman. Like FSU in ’99, OSU started the regular season #1, and finished #1, methodically beating the crap out of overmatched conference opponents. FSU had to tangle out of conference with a Florida team that was certainly the equal of OSU’s tilt against Texas this season.

And yet…neither seemed to inspire total awe. Sure, the offensive side of FSU was amazing (see the game against Georgia Tech), but the D wasn’t an all-time great (like OSU—and for examples see the Tech game again, or Michael Vick’s one-man FSU Defense wrecking crew performance in New Orleans.) The Buckeyes probably are the best team in the land, but teams like 95 Nebraska and 2001 Miami, and yes Mark May, USC 2004 left no doubt.

OSU has given up 150 yards or more on the ground at least four times this year. Mike Hart is good, but we’re to honestly believe Arkansas and Darren McFadden couldn’t do better against the Buckeyes? But oh, Michigan has a passing game. Yep. Averaged less than 200 yds/game coming in too, and Marcus Monk is just as big a threat as Manningham (slower perhaps, but at 6’6 far harder to defend against on fade routes.) And only the most delusional Big 10 (sic) homer would argue that Mike Hart is a better back than McFadden.

But really, this is about why Michigan doesn’t belong. Look at the resume: Oh sure, they beat down Notre Dame. But given the state of Notre Dame’s D (giving up points by the boatload to dumbass John L. Smith and Michigan State, letting UNC—a joke of a college football team this year—score a season high in points) this shouldn’t be as impressive. Notre Dame is a one-loss team largely by virtue of playing no one other than Michigan that was that good (UNC, Michigan State, Purdue? They suck. So does Tech. And I hate them.) And Wisconsin is like Notre Dame, only they haven’t beaten anyone of consequence.

Meanwhile Florida can claim wins over LSU and UT (and Arkansas if they win…*shudder*), and Arkansas can claim wins over Auburn, Florida (here’s hoping), UT and LSU. 4 big wins should trump two.

But this is all still hypothetical. So mainly I say “hell no” to OSU-UM part II because I was sick of the hype for the first one (when OSU reeled off the first 50+ yd rushing TD I went to go see Borat) and the rematch hype (for over a month) would be insufferable.

Just say no kids.

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