Tag Archives: LSU

Back to the BCS: LSU and College Football’s Potential Nightmare

 

 

The worst possible scenario that could happen next Saturday: Georgia upsetting LSU in the SEC Championship game. Why? Because it could potentially leave the unanimous best team in the country out in the dust, making way for a lesser Oklahoma State to finish number two in the BCS. This is a problem for two reasons: It shows that it’s not about HOW many games a team loses, but WHEN and relying on a computer system is absurd as Tim Robbins fitting into the Warden’s suit in Shawshank.

 

Of the top-five teams in the BCS, only LSU remains undefeated. Analysts are saying that barring a blowout, LSU will make the BCS title game even if they lose to Georgia because of the difficulty of their schedule (they beat eight top 25 teams). But the fact that there’s still a possibility of LSU not making it should be worrying the hell out of college football. LSU is a 14-point favorite against the Bulldogs and they’re expected to win. They will most likely win and by a large margin. But, what if they don’t?

 

Take it back to my point about it’s not how many games a team loses but when. Then take it a few weeks when Alabama lost to LSU, 9-6, in a more exciting game than most people give it credit for (it was the top two defenses in the league, no one should’ve expected a 35-34 finish). Alabama dropped to three in the polls and then climbed back to two, ending their season in a rout of rival Auburn. They sit at 11-1 and guaranteed themselves a spot in the BCS championship game. If LSU loses to Georgia, Alabama would jump LSU as the highest ranked team in the country, regardless of their loss against them. AND, overrated Oklahoma State may possibly jump in the two spot. Basically, the BCS said (in their best Office Space voice), “LSU we know you won 12 games already, but you lost too late in the season and we’re going to have to drop you from the title game. Yeaaah, sorry.”

 

Why is that a problem? Beause it goes to show that the timing of the loss is everything. When a team loses early in the year, they have weeks to make up for that loss and get back into the higher part of the rankings. Plus, a team ahead of them has a better chance of losing one game if there are six left, rather than if there is one. LSU should not be punished because it took them 12 games to lose when it only took Alabama and Oklahoma State to lose nine and 20 respectively. The computers don’t measure wins overall, but losses.

 

How can the BCS be fixed? Brent Musberger said to add a playoff system, which is a solid idea. Take the conference champions and have them play in an eight team playoff to determine the champion. It would create new conference rivalries and create a “March Madness” feel to it. Or add a plus-one to the end of the season if two teams end up undefeated. I love the latter because I want a team like TCU or Boise State to finish undefeated again so they can go up against an LSU or Alabama and get destroyed so we can stop hearing, “But they finished 13-0, they deserve a shot!” (And I am a fan of Boise State, but they do play a dreadfully weak schedule.)

 

Although next Saturday isn’t for certain, one thing is, the BCS needs a change. If LSU drops out of the BCS title game because their loss came at the last week of the season, riots should happen in Baton Rouge.

 

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Trent Richardson Should Win the Heisman

The current Heisman Trophy finalists are: Andrew Luck, Kellen Moore, and Trent Richardson. Russell Wilson (Wisconsin) and Landry Jones (Oklahoma) both lost on Saturday and eliminated themselves completely. There’s little doubt that Luck is the favorite to win it. That leaves one other contender, Richardson. (There’s an argument for Moore because he’ll get the record for most wins by an FBS quarterback, but the respect factor for Boise State is so low because his team ranks 45th in strength of schedule and they play in the Mountain West Conference.) Although Luck is the second coming of Elway and has an NFL tagline of “Suck for Luck,” on a college scale he plays in a weaker conference and doesn’t have the stats that you need to be a Heisman winner. Honestly, he’s just a part of a trend where quarterbacks win any individual offensive MVP award. Here’s the list of Heisman winners since 2000.

2000- Chris Weinke (he was 30 when he won; a 30 year old playing with 18 and 19 year olds. No surprise he won.)

2001- Eric Crouch (my favorite player as a kid. He was exciting.)

2002- Carson Palmer

2003- Jason White (business owner in Oklahoma, what a waste.)

2004- Matt Leinart (coolest college athlete of all time, he hung out with Nick Lachey!)

2005- Reggie Bush (doesn’t matter that he vacated the trophy, we all know)

2006- Troy Smith (smaller faster version of Tebow, just too small)

2007- Tim Tebow (this man is inhuman. Never never never flustered.)

2008- Sam Bradford (accuracy)

2009- Mark Ingram (no doubt about it, clear cut from the beginning he should’ve won)

2010- Cam Newton (absolute stud in college, soon to be an absolute stud in the NFL)

Of the 10 winners, eight were quarterbacks. There are arguments for every player that did win. Tebow is the best college player of all time, Bradford threw 50 touchdowns, and Cam Newton made Auburn a superpower. But did Carson Palmer deserve it more than Larry Johnson who rushed for 2,000 yards? Or did Jason White deserve it more than Larry Fitzgerald who had 87 catches for 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns? Yes, most of those quarterbacks threw 40 or more touchdowns with less than 10 interceptions and many running backs that are finalists have 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns. So there is your standard for what players need to win the award because spread offenses give quarterbacks four and five wide receiver sets and have them in shotgun most of the game and throwing 45-50 times. Compare it to a running back that may only get 15-20 touches a game, but with easy games against inferior opponents, their stats need to reach a certain point too. It’s hard for a running back to win, but when the evidence is there, it should be noticed and rewarded.

 Here’s a comparison on the two favorites.

Richardson- 149 carries for 989 yards and 17 touchdowns

That’s 6.6 yards a carry on only 18 carries a game. To compare, a solid NFL running back averages about 22-25 carries a game. He’s second in rushing yards (50 behind Virginia Tech’s David Wilson) while playing on an Alabama offense who has a game-manager for a quarterback and no explosive offensive threats like a Julio Jones. He also plays in the SEC, the toughest conference in the country and runs for touchdowns like this. The conference has eight of their 12 teams with winning records (compare that to Luck’s PAC-12 that has five of their 12 teams with winning records). The SEC has six teams in the BCS top 25 with four of them being BCS bowl eligible with LSU and Alabama as the top teams in the country. The SEC is known for having the best and fastest defenses and Richardson is embarrassing them. Those statistically around him (like Wilson, Bernard Pierce, and Ray Graham) are in weaker conferences like the ACC, Atlantic 10, and Big East. If he finishes with 225 carries for the season he’ll have close to 1,800 yards and 28 touchdowns (projected).  Reread that last sentence.

Luck- 1888 yards, 20 touchdowns and 3 interceptions

It’s funny that the best pro prospect in 25 years went to the same school as the best pro prospect 25 years ago. It’s also funny that if Andrew Luck lives up to Elway’s hype, then Stanford will have had two of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL as their alumni. Having said that, in competition for a college sport’s “Most Outstanding Player,” do Luck’s NFL potential and talent equate him to winning the Heisman? He ranks 23rd in passing yards and 8th in touchdown passes. His three interceptions are third amongst that top 20.  It sounds like a solid ratio, but look at the teams he played against.  Of the seven teams, ONE team had a winning record,Washington. The others had losing records and Colorado was 1-7. His conference, the PAC-12 has three teams in the BCS top 25 with two of them being bow eligible. The Cardinals don’t play a team in the BCS top 25 until Oregon on November 12; the loser will drop far enough in the BCS that they won’t be BCS bowl eligible. So save Luck’s parade in New York for another day.

The both of them have their biggest games coming up in a few weeks and it will make or break their Heisman hopes. If Richardson runs all over LSU, arguably the best defense in the country, then he will no doubt be the favorite to win the Heisman. The same can be said for Stanford against Oregon. If Luck goes off against the Ducks then that ONE game against ONE good team will propel him far enough in the eyes of voters to win. That’s unfortunate because Richardson is the rightful owner to the Heisman Trophy.