The Game: The ‘Cats did it! They finally held on to a late lead. Some say they exorcised their late game demons, but I’m not convinced of that and won’t be until we hold off a legitimate offense in a late game situation. Nonetheless, it was a well played game by the ‘Cats, particularly the defense. With both Colter and Mark forced to the sideline due to injuries, the rest of the team stepped up and made plays when they had to.
Seeing how others (Roche) have already provided a comprehensive analysis of the game, I’ll move on to my ramblings….
The Rambling: I’ve been hearing it since 1998. You hate the BCS. Not only do you hate the BCS, but your school’s head coach hates the BCS. So does your school’s Athletic Director. Hell, your grandma hates the BCS. I get it. Well, actually, I get that you hate it because you’ve told me enough. But, I don’t get why you hate it (aside from the part where Notre Dame gets preferential treatment. Obviously, everyone hates that). Has there been a season since the BCS’s inception where the most deserving team wasn’t playing for the national championship? No. And it’s likely that would never be an issue. In a sport where all hell breaks loose on a weekly basis, are we really that worried about half a dozen teams ending the season undefeated?
What happened last night around the college football landscape was some riveting shit. I was on the edge of my seat and you were too. It was probably the most exciting day of college football since December of 2007. But you know what? It wouldn’t have meant a damn thing had this same scenario played out in 2014. Both Oregon and Kansas State saw their BCS title hopes go up in smoke last night. In 2014? Well, Oregon would still be sitting pretty at #4. Better yet, they probably would back their way into the playoff without having to play a Pac12 title game. Kansas State? Yea, they’d be alive and well too. The annual de facto championship play-in game that is the SEC Championship would knock one of Georgia or Alabama behind Kansas State and there they’d be – right back in the playoff. One week after getting humiliated by a sub .500 Baylor team.
You know that saying in college football: “Every game matters”? Well let’s keep it that way. What we have right now is perfect, so let’s stop searching for something better.
Rooting Interests: We all thought the bowl situation would be clear with a win at MSU yesterday. Oh, quite the contrary. It now appears as though the ‘Cats could work their way up the B1G bowl pecking order with some outside help.
First and foremost, we want Wisconsin to lose, lose and lose some more. With a loss at PSU and a loss to (in all likelihood) Nebraska in the B1G title game, Wisconsin would be relegated behind NU for a spot in the Outback Bowl. The Outback Bowl is contractually bound to not pick a team with 2 or fewer wins or 2 or fewer losses than another available team. If you’re wondering, the ‘Cats could benefit from that rule even if Wisconsin wins this weekend and loses against Nebraska (assuming NU beats Illinois).
So, it’s now looking more and more possible that the ‘Cats could end up in the Outback Bowl. But don’t rule out the Capital One Bowl just yet. The ‘Cats have virtually no chance of jumping Michigan for a bowl bid, but they may not need to in order to secure a spot in the Capital One Bowl if everything plays out to our liking. The SEC has created a major log jam in the Top 10 of the BCS. Ordinarily, I would hate that and try to gauge my eyes out, but in this case it may actually benefit the ‘Cats. Only two SEC teams can make a BCS game. That means that 4 of the current Top 10 in the BCS won’t be eligible for a BCS bowl game. Enter Michigan. As improbably as it seems, if Michigan manages to somehow beat Ohio State this weekend (which I don’t think is going to happen anyways), they would essentially be fighting with Oklahoma (vs. Oklahoma State on Saturday), Clemson (vs. South Carolina on Saturday) and Texas (vs. Kansas State on Saturday) for the final at-large BCS bid. In order to be eligible for an at-large bid a team must be ranked in the Top 14. With all of the ranked match ups occurring in the next 2 weeks it’s very likely that Michigan would crack the Top 14 with a win against Ohio State. But, even if they don’t, the BCS may have to ignore that Top 14 rule this year because of the SEC presence cluttering the Top 10.
In short, it’s a long shot, but the Capital One Bowl is still in play for the ‘Cats.
FYI, for those putting 2 and 2 together, the Michigan to the BCS scenario makes last week that much more painful because that scenario could just as easily be a ‘Cats to the BCS scenario.