Monday, December 03, 2007

Why Virginia Tech Deserves to Play in the National Championship

Ohio State is a one-loss team conference champ, and the lone team who can fit into that category, so of course they deserve the number one ranking and a berth in the national championship. However, LSU isn't standing on such firm ground. Yes, LSU has two losses resulting from multiple overtimes. Yes, LSU blew Virginia Tech out in their meeting this season. Yes, LSU plays in the toughest conference in College Football. But make no mistake my fellow BCS (err BC-MESS) critics, by the numbers LSU received their berth in the national championship by popularity, not by what they earned.

First and foremost, they have two losses, not overtime losses. The NHL distinguishes between the two, but the NCAA does not. Therefore, they have two losses. Those two losses came at the hands of teams who do not have a Top 25 ranking at the closing of the pre-bowl season. Virginia Tech stands out as the only conference champion to have two losses to teams currently ranking in the BCS Top 25.

Secondly, the thought of a head-to-head tie breaker doesn't hold water. The schedules of these two teams are very different given that they play in different conferences. For teams playing in the same division of the same conference, such a tie breaker makes sense because there is a level playing field. (Pardon the pun, unintended.) This is not the case between Virginia Tech and LSU.

Thirdly, favoritism towards SEC teams is discriminatorally unfair. LSU plays in the SEC by their own choice. If they wanted to play in another conference, they very well could. Weighing one conference above all others in terms of bowl selection promotes bias that can lead to assumptions that skew perception of how good teams really are. The most fair way to judge a team is on what they've earned on paper, not public opinion. And Virginia Tech has earned more than LSU. The BSC system has only, in this respect, screwed Hawaii more so than it has Virginia Tech this year.

Fourth, LSU has had to overcome injuries in their games this year. So has Virginia Tech, probably more so that LSU. I can list Ed Wang, Vince Hall, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon (although only briefly), and Eddie Royal just off the top of my head. You could even consider Branden Ore playing a number of games not at 100% with his ankle problems. The BCS standings didn't consider Oregon's loss of Dennis Dixon, so LSU shouldn't receive consideration any differently. Injuries are part of the game and too subjective to incorporate in BCS standings and bowl berth selection.

Fifth, and this is the king daddy of them all, after defeating number 16 (number 14 from last week) Tennessee, LSU leaped over two other teams who won in the BCS standings, one of whom was Virginia Tech who had defeated number 14 (number 11 from last week) Boston College.

Sixth, Hokie fans would travel to the national championship as equally well as LSU, so that's no excuse for the BCS big whigs.

Lastly, some may argue that Oklahoma may deserve the national championship game berth ahead of Virginia Tech. WRONG! Again, Oklahoma has two losses at the hands of teams not currently ranked in the BCS Top 25.

I am more mad than Mad Jay when he thinks of Brian Stienspring. I hope the Hokies give Kansas the most merciless pounding the history of the Orange Bowl and that LSU has the worst day of their entire life as a football program, which I'm considering to not even watch as a form of protest against this shoddy decision making.


Jeremy said...

The computers, which see a loss as a loss and do not discriminate between overtime and regulation, have Virginia Tech as NUMBER 1. The leap in the human polls by LSU was absolutely ridiculous.

Furthermore, while Les Miles was out in the media lobbying for a chance at the BCS title, there's no way a classy guy like Frank Beamer would do such a thing.

Jeremy said...

Holy cow! I had stumbled across this blog via Google search and didn't notice Anand's name up there. Hokie CS! WOO-HOO!!!

MadJay said...

I have several issues with your post.

1) Head to head should carry a small amount of weight, because the two teams are completely different now than they were at the beginning of the season. VT is playing a LOT better and LSU is playing worse. But it still needs to carry some weight when comparing two teams with the same record and LSU has the edge there no doubt.

2) There was definitely SEC favoritism, but NO ONE got as screwed as Missouri in the BCS this year. They beat Kansas and Illinois and yet didn't get in while both of those teams did.

3) I don't think injuries played a role here. You're right all teams had to deal with them.

4) You have a good point that LSU jumped the Hokies in the BCS but I bet it came down to the head-to-head and voters weren't going to put VT back in the title game over a team that beat them 48-7.

5) NO team would travel to the Superdome as much as LSU because it's practically a home game for the Tigers.

In closing I would love to have seen VT in the title game. If one of their losses had been to any other highly ranked team other than LSU, I bet you that the Hokies would have been in the title game against Ohio State.

However, this goes to show once again that a playoff is required. At least 4 and probably 8 teams need to determine this on the field. The BCS is so stupid, and once again several teams have a legitimate argument to claim they deserve a chance. An 8 team playoff with Ohio State, LSU, VT, Georgia, Oklahoma, Hawaii, West Virginia and USC would leave absolutely NO ARGUMENT that the winner was the national champion. No other team can argue they deserved it more than one of these teams. This just needs to happen. The BCS needs to go away. It sucks.

Anonymous said...

You guys are dilusional. LSU didn't just beat you, they whooped you. They made you look like a JV team. You guys are the ultimate homers, have a little less of a bias. LSU would smoke VTech anywhere, anytime, VTech does not deserve to be anywhere near the national championship game, grow up

Anonymous said...

One other person who disagrees with your opinion on whether LSU deserves to be ranked higher than the Hokies is Coach Frank Beamer. In the final poll he ranked LSU #1 and Virginia Tech #2.

Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi said...

First of Jeremy, this blog derived from HokieNotes! We've grown a bit since those days! Good to see you've found us again.

Second, yes LSU completely destroyed us, but you have to take a look, as Ice said, who they lost to:

Kentucky took a nose dive after looking very strong and Arkansas who were unranked when they did beat them.

However, LSU is 4-0 against teams that are currently ranked including the current #3.

VT is 4-1 against teams that are currently ranked. The highest ranked win would be Boston College).

I think we're splitting hairs here, but both teams really have a claim.

I will however be ranking the Hokies number one in this week's poll as I have always believed that Ohio State has been constantly overrated this season. LSU will most likely wipe the field with them.

Scott said...

To "anonymous", you had an argument until you stated "LSU would smoke VTech anywhere, anytime, VTech does not deserve to be anywhere near the national championship game", which is pretty much the same as you plugging your fingers in your ears and shouting "SECSECSECSECSEC" over and over. That said, I do hope your Tigers give OSU a good shellacking. :) Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Here is the solution to whether it should be VaTech or LSU...are you ready? Oh, BTW, I am neither an LSU nor a VaTech team is not even a candidate, but as far as VaTech or LSU...thats easy -


Brent said...

This post is exactly right. I've been furious for several days about all things surrounding the BCS bowl games.

This was completely a popularity contest. I don't think I heard anyone on ESPN mention the points brought up here, nor even consider Tech for the NC game.

There has to be a stop to this silliness of the past two years. The voters have hand selected who they wanted in the championship game and ranked them 1 and 2 in the polls without any real regard for whether those teams deserved those rankings.

LSU certainly did not deserve to jump that many teams.

Anonymous said...

Scott - I am not an SEC fan, I hate the SEC and I hope they lose all of their bowl games, I am an ACC guy big time, but LSU completely dominated V Tech, while V Tech first lost to BC and then struggled to beat them in the ACC championship bowl (BC blew that game).

I am just more unbiased than you are -

LSU would throttle V Tech anytime, any place, as would Oklahoma and Ohio State. face the facts, V Tech isn't as good as those teams

lefty said...

Saying that "LSU would smoke VTech anywhere, anytime" is flat out asinine. I'm sure the same was said about Appy State vs Michigan or Pitt vs did those games turn out? I personally wouldn't bet on the Hokies in a rematch vs LSU or even in a game vs Oklahoma, but making a blanket statement like that is foolish...unless of course your a 12 year old, in which case I apologize.

Scott said...

In the world of the anonymous internet-blog-comment-submitter, absolutes are realities (there is no gray, especially not in the BCS!), there are no probabilities, blanket statements are irrefutable, the other guy is always more biased, great teams never falter (especially not within the same season!), and so-so teams never ascend.

I have faced your facts, sir, and I bow to thee.

Internet: 1
Scott: 0

Have a Happy Bowl Season, all!

Austin from DCS Football said...

This blog was linked to from the ESPN message boards in a thread titled, "LSU Fans Need to Face the Fact." Along with comments like, "Les didn't want to face VT again." I give you my reply.

A few of his facts are incorrect. He said LSU lost to two opponents that are unranked "at the beginning of pre-bowl season." Arkansas is currently ranked in the AP and Coaches' Polls. Also, he said in a comment that VT is 4-1 vs top 25 teams, while LSU is 4-0. So did the loss to LSU or the loss to BC not count here? Also, you just can't wipe out a meeting between teams, early in the season, or not. That's like magically creating your own season. You can't pick and choose after you start playing.

That was no more than a angry rant; he just as much said so at the end. However, I did take the time to read all of it because I would hope other people would take the time to look at my online stuff too. At least I'm not biased, though. He just dismissed important facts like they're nothing.

For the record, two-loss teams have no gripe about being left out of the NCG. Lose less games. The same would go for LSU if they didn't make it.

Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi said...

Austin, thanks for your comments. Plus it's great to see that we're being linked to on ESPN!

Just a clarification, I think Where's the Ice was talking about BCS rankings when he referred to Arkansas. It is true that they are ranked in both the human polls. Heck, they're ranked in our poll!

I will also concede that we are biased (duh!) and that the article might have been written in the heat of the moment.

We don't hide the fact that we're opinionated and biased. (We are Tech Superfans after all!) Every team in that 2 loss (and in the case of Kansas: 1 loss) category in the top 5 or 6 in the BCS has an argument for why they should be in the game. I personally think it should be LSU and Tech in a rematch game and OSU has been overrated playing in a overrated conference. But that's just me!

I also agree that we must look at the whole season. I must say that I truly believe that the Hokies are the best team in college football right now, but we cannot overlook the whole season and yes we were not a great team in the beginning of the season. It just cannot be ignored.

But I must say that I think that many of the voters in the human polls tend to do this overall. They do tend to forget the big picture sometimes. This is a totally different topic, but it's our unanimous opinion that there should not be a preseason poll and that the voters should not vote until the 8th week for the first BCS game. I know this will never happen because there's no drama, no excitement, and therefore no money in showing games with no rankings associated with them.

Anyway, thanks again and we'll check out your blog too!