Tag Archives: BCS

Penn State-ment of Protest

By J.M. Comer

With hesitation, I’m going to bring it all up (briefly) again.

Back in mid-May of this year, it seemed there was a week when the stitches from the 2004 wound were picked open on Auburn Tiger fans … again. The playoff argument was bandied about again by football commissioners to no effect, and the Bowl Championship Series decided again to maintain the current non-playoff format.

Of course, our slighted 2004 Tigers were mentioned over and over again in stories and opinion pieces, arguing for and against the current situation in NCAA Division I football.

*Sigh*

But among the frothing blather of do-nothing, nothing-new news, a story about one Nittany Lion’s protest caught my attention.

Joe Paterno says, “Hey Coaches Poll! Can you hear this? Well, maybe I should turn it up.”

In an interview by the Associated Press, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno said he hasn’t voted in the USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll since 2004 because he was not allowed to vote for the Auburn Tigers as the best team in the country. He was forced to vote for the USC Trojans.

In his own words:

“They said, ‘Well, you’ve got to vote or else you can’t participate.’ So I will not participate in the voting,” Paterno said. “Not that I’m against what other people want to do, it’s just that philosophically I think you ought to win it on the field. If I have to vote for somebody only because people have said these are the two teams that ought to be in the BCS championship game and I think they left somebody out that probably ought to be in it, that’s when I’ll feel a playoff ought to be appropriate. I’ve always been for a playoff.”

So does Paterno stand alone in his protest against the Coaches Poll? Well, I can’t believe it, but Tommy Tuberville still votes in the damned thing along with his SEC brothers. What gives?!?!

It has been three seasons and many games since the Auburn Nation’s national championship dreams were quashed, but what would have happened if all the SEC coaches had joined Paterno in protest? It seems that not too many SEC rivals rushed to Auburn’s defense in 2004, so I guess such thinking-hoping-wishing is ridiculous.

SEC pride? I guess it comes and goes for some, but at least Paterno saw something in Auburn’s undefeated team as it slugged its ways through the toughest conference in the country.

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The Acid Reign Begins, Falls Mainly On TWER!

[Ed. Note – There is a wonderful fella who posts comments on many an Auburn blog under the name ‘Acid Reign.’ I’ve been after this ‘Acid Reign’ for a month or so to write a column or a sorta column for The War Eagle Reader as he is, apparently, a living, breathing media guide. I wasn’t the first to notice – a few months back, Jay at Track’em Tigers simply let one of AR’s comment novels about Auburn’s semi-recent history with platooning quarterbacks serve as an entire post. This is basically the same thing. While I feel as though my best contribution to Auburn culture is my willingness and knack for obsessing over the Plains obscure personal histories (Bjork posing inside Jordan-Hare and purchasing toiletries at Toomer’s, that sort of thing), Acid Reign has a prodigious memory and goes brilliantly ballistic with statistics, can reel’em off like he’s reciting the alphabet. For instance, in my last post, going by the wikipedia entry, I state that the BCS began in ’98. Acid said no, and then went on to break down the Bowl Championship Series as only he can. Though I don’t agree with his assessment that Auburn is partly to blame for the great shaft of ’04, its more than good enough to read. Hopefully this is the beginning of something beautiful… be sure to comment and encourage him to keep goin’… and if you feel like writing something to, please, let us know…]

By Acid Reign [returned to original, classic indention format — h/t, as they say, to Mrs. Jones — fear the yardstick!]

….. By my recollection, the BCS started in 1995, with the Fiesta Bowl. Florida and Nebraska met and Florida’s defense couldn’t tackle Tommy Frazier. Florida went down, 63-24. Ye olde ball coach didn’t rest, though. He hired the one defensive coordinator to slow down the Huskers, Bob Stoops. With Stoops revamping the Gator D, Florida roared through their schedule, despite thinning offensive talent.

….. Late in the season, Florida’s O-line was decimated. They suffered a close loss to FSU, which prompted Spurrier to install the shotgun for the SEC Championship tilt with the Tide. Mass attrition occurred in the top five, while Florida was racking up 45 points on a stout Bama D. UF got back into the BCS title game, and mauled FSU in the rematch, 52-20.

….. There was more controversy in 1997, with both Michigan and Nebraska going undefeated in the regular season. The Wolverines beat a mediocre PAC Ten team in the Rose, and it was enough for the idiot press to crown them kings. Nebraska slobber-knocked Tennessee in the BCS Orange, to win the BCS title.

….. In 1998, there were two unbeatens: FSU, and double-lucky Tennessee. As usual, FSU had suspended players for the bowl, and UT won the title game in the Fiesta, 23-16. In 1999 FSU mauled Michael “Dog” Vick and a toothless Va. Tech defense.

….. In 2000, it was FSU backing in over Miami and Washington vs. Bobby Stoops, now at Oklahoma. Howls of protest ensued, but Stoops and Co. won, 13-0. In 2001, there was Nebraska, giving up 63 in their season finale, and failing to win their division, but still making it to the big dance. Miami and Ken Dorsey rolled.

….. 2002 featured the Dorsey dynasty, taking on the Sweater-vest Tressel Buckeyes, and it went to overtime. The officials should get the crystal trophy, because they decided the game with a horrendous call. For the record, Ohio State was crowned. 2003 had more controversy, as somehow, Oklahoma was seeded number one, even after taking a massive thrashing in the Big-12 title game. Southern Cal was squeezed out, and got the sympathy vote from the AP. LSU bested the Sooners for the Crystal.

….. In 2004 the Trojans were still riding high. Despite the abysmal 2003 post-season, Oklahoma stayed at number two all year, even after close wins over losing teams like Texas A&M and Baylor. Auburn, too, was undefeated, but somehow playing the Citadel was a bigger scarlet letter than playing Bowling Green.

….. I want NOTHING I don’t earn, and I learned that at Auburn. We had a chance to surpass Oklahoma, with strong performances against Alabama and Tennessee. Both teams were down to their third-team quarterback. We didn’t do it. We eeeked out the wins, but we needed to kill ‘em. It’s on us. Hail to the SEC Champions of 2004. But regarding our BCS changes, it turned out like it had to.

….. Southern Cal blew Oklahoma out in a lopsided rout. Some say we’d have done better. I say NOT, if we played like we did against Bama and the Vols. Oh, what could have been…

….. 2005 featured the USC machine, against superman, Vince Young. Superman won it. It was probably the most astonishing athletic performance I’ve ever seen.

….. 2006 showcased an amazing pollster reversal. Michigan, riding at number 2 for most of the year, was deemed unworthy at the last minute. Surging Florida was in, and the Gators demolished unbeaten Ohio State.

….. In 2007, no one but the Hawaii Rainbows went through the season unscathed. There was loud outcry for the poor WAC team. Alas, they’d have to take on the SEC’s number three team. And please, spare me the nonsense about UGA deserving the title bid. No, you can’t take lose to a 6-6 team, take a blow-out beating from a mediocre Tennessee team, fail to even win your division, and get into the BCS title game. Or, you shouldn’t. The mighty Rainbows would have struggled to reach .500 in the Sun Belt. UGA should be reported for child abuse, after the Sugar Bowl. That thing was UGGGGLY!

….. So, rant aside, who’s left standing, this year? The defending BCS losing Sweatervests. The Big Ten is tough. Ask Florida. Ohio State deserves their spot, this year. In a bit of a travesty, in my opinion, LSU gets the other spot. This is a banged up team with two losses, albeit in overtime. But, it was to Kentucky, a team that barely beat a Seminole team minus a third of its roster. And Arky, who EASILY had the most miserable bowl performance of all SEC teams. (Has Bobby Petrino installed the Louisville defense in record time or what?)

….. If Oklahoma was better than Auburn in 2004, then one-loss Kansas and Missouri are better than LSU, this year. If LSU’s injury woes are an excuse, then so should have been Oklahoma’s. Of course, Oklahoma may well now be saddled with the “biggest chokers in BCS history” label. The speedy, vicious defense that shut down Missouri was completely absent last night, leading to another embarrassing BCS bowl loss, to headless, lame-duck West Virginia. 349 rushing yards against, is terrible. Laughable.

….. And so, we are left with LSU vs. Ohio State this year. I don’t think motivation will be a problem for the Buckeyes, after last year’s fiasco. Hopefully, LSU will get healthy. That unit that showed against the Vols a month ago will not score enough to win…

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Geaux Figure: Reaction to the latest Polls.

By J. Henderson

In 2004, the Lord blessed Auburn with a magical team. Beer was colder that year, pizza hotter, Coke had more of a burn. The Tigers were alive like never before. We were number one in the hearts of heaven and on the fields of earth, though, in the case of the latter, tragically unrecognized as such – for the most part.

“We’re sorry,” we were told, “you’re only shot to play for it all is for USC or Oklahoma to lose, I mean, sorry…”

And then of course we, an SEC team, were denigrated for our schedule. Never mind that Auburn, Oklahoma and Southern Cal all played the same number of teams (six) who ended the season with losing records. USC’s closest game that year was a 3 pt win over 4-7 Stanford. OU only beat 4-7 Kansas State by 10, and a 7-5 Oklahoma State by 3. Meanwhile, Auburn’s closest game was a 1 pt. victory over 9-3 and defending (one-loss) National Champions LSU. The closest we got to losing to a team with a losing record was 18 pts (Arkansas).

Nonetheless they said — suck it, one of those two teams has to lose. And when they didn’t, and we were kept out, and freaked out, and howled for justice, they said to get over it and to stop acting paranoid, the world’s not against you, Auburn, “that’s just the way it works.”

Auburn knew better. When the Herbstreits said that beating #5 Georgia (10-2) would prove we were for real and deserved a shot and then immediately congratulated us for disemboweling that team by claiming that a blowout of the Bulldogs really didn’t mean anything, we knew. We were all walking to Toomer’s, through the dark tailgates and cellphones, and we saw him say it, right there in the HD glow. People said come listen to Herbstreit, you won’t believe it. We believed it. We knew.

When Florida, the team we were the only ones to beat, went on to win it all last year, we were sorta reminded. (Since the inception of the BCS, the only SEC school to go 13-0 and undefeated has been Auburn, and yet two SEC teams have been crowned champs.)

And when, last weekend, still hot with joy from gutting the (one-loss — to Auburn) defending National Champions, we hear that LSU jumped ahead of USC in the polls to land at #1, when USC struggled to beat a decrepit Washington and LSU struggled to beat a decrepit Tulane, we shook and hung our heads with knowing smiles.

Apparently USC doesn’t have to lose. Apparently you can jump another, higher ranked undefeated team when they’ve had a crap-day, and even when you’ve had a crap-day. Of course, we had no crap days in ’04, but Auburn, we were told, could not jump OU or USC were the Tigers to beat Michigan or Texas or Ohio State or anyone by 100 points as long as the other two teams beat some cripple by 1. When, as the issue was really being pressed on a November Saturday in the final stretch of the season, Oklahoma was beating a 5-6 team (Nebraska) by 27, while we were beating a 10-2 team (again, then-#5 ranked Georgia) by 18. When USC squeaked by UCLA (6-6) by only 5 pts a couple of weeks later, we were beating Tennessee (10-3, two of those losses to Auburn) for the second time, in a conference championship game, by 10. And yet nothing. While Auburn, whose entire backfield from that season was taken in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft, was beating and often blowing out top ten team after top ten team, both OU and USC were barely beating squads they should have destroyed. “But, hey, listen…”

Despite the Tulane angst, LSU deserved to be number one and they got what they deserved. And I hope they hold onto it until we beat them in a week or so, or you know, maybe still even then (I’m thinking 14-7). But yes, apparently that can happen – a team can jump ahead, jump even the vaunted USC Trojans, even in un-defeat… just not Auburn.

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