One final thought for the regular season

Note: I wrote this as a comment on a blog, but I thought it justified itself as a post so here it is …

Why has no one shouted out the fact that Florida, while beating several top ranked teams, has also wins against cupcakes like UCF, West Carolina and Vanderbilt!!

UCF: 4-8, West Carolina: 2-10, Vandebilt: 4-8

I think if Florida had played some real opposition in those three games, they may not have managed to win against those “tough” SEC opponents.

And the other “strong” SEC team, LSU played, among others, Tulane, Fresno State, Mississippi State and Mississippi. Tulane had 4 wins, Mississippi State had 3 wins, Fresno State had 4 wins, Ole Miss had 4 wins!

It is quite sad that everyone is getting washed under this Florida and SEC hype and voting Florida #2 just because they do not want to see Michigan at #2. The SEC was NOT strong this year.

USC on the other hand had opponents with at least 6 wins (except Stanford), most of the opponents being ranked in the top 25 at some point in the season.

Is a two-loss USC which played quality opponents better than a one-loss Florida which played cupcakes?

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11 thoughts on “One final thought for the regular season

  1. RPM,Everyteam tends to have cupcakes on their schedule and that alone doesn’t make them undeserving of a shot at the title game. Florida’s SOS is #1 in the country and that says it all. To me, USC also has played an equally impressive schedule but the bottom line is you cant lose twice to unranked teams and talk about playing in the title game.Also if you think SEC is not the toughest this year, do you mind mentioning which one is? Thankfully, the “other strong team” will have an answer to that against your best quality win.-Hariram

  2. The Pac 10 isn’t as good as the SEC. LSU beat Arizona by 42 points in a game I saw and Arizona might be the worst team i have ever seen which managed to beat both oregon and cal (who got smoked by Tennessee) which are supposidly suppose to be good. The pac 10 had played just as many one double A teams as the SEC so the easy out of conference schedule doesn’t fly. Plus if a weak ole miss team managed to beat both LSU and Auburn then the SEC would have a higher bowl percentage than the pac 10 so i think bowl eligable can a bit misleading. i’m sorry but when your road schedule includes arizona, washington state, oregon state, ucla, and arkansas being the only tough road game you should only lose one game on the road if you are an elite team. USC lost to UCLA and Oregon State so in my opinion they don’t even deserve to be in the top 10

  3. Oh plus Florida played 10 bowl eligable teams so they played just as many bowl eligable teams as USC and won more games. so i guess that also says who is the better team

  4. RPM says:

    @hariram:I disagree with you on two counts:1. Everyone does _not_ tend to have cupcakes on their schedule. You cannot control your conference schedule (not in the Pac-10 at least) and non-conference schedule may turn out to be a cupcake schedule but you don’t _tend_ to have it. Take Texas for example – they chose Ohio State as one of the teams outside their conference. Take USC for example. They chose Nebraska, Arkansas and Notre Dame outside their conference. And what did Florida think in setting up a game with West Carolina? Secondly, Florida’s SOS is NOT #1. Not sure what your sources are, but Jeff Sagarin, of USA Today has USC’s SOS #2 and Stanford at #1. Sagarin’s ratings are at: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbt06.htm

  5. RPM says:

    @katie: First of all, you contradicted yourself: “…so i think bowl eligable can a bit misleading”and “Oh plus Florida played 10 bowl eligable teams so they played just as many bowl eligable teams as USC and won more games. so i guess that also says who is the better team”I will let you figure out what you are saying before responding. All I am saying is that Florida is not a lock, by no means at all. Michigan was better by pure numbers (1 loss and that too against the unanimous #1 team in the country). SEC is not as powerful a conference as you guys make it sound. The Big 10 seemed to be quite strong this year, and so was the Pac 10.

  6. RPM says:

    @hariram: One more note (from Trojanwire) – USC faced 10 opponents who are going to bowl games and is the only school to play all of its nonconference games against BCS-conference schools.

  7. Computer rankings come up with funny stuff quite often like ranking Rutgers #2 (ahead of Ohio State) after their win over Louisville. My source was the NCAA. Here is the link:http://web1.ncaa.org/d1mfb/Internet/toughest%20schedule/ia_9games_cumm.pdfUSC has cupcakes in their own conference which necessitates playing tougher non-conference opponents to boost up their SOS. That’s the not the case for Florida which also plays Florida State every year (they stunk this year though) and a possible championship game against a potential top 15 team if they were to get to any of the BCS bowl games. I guess those could be considered good 12th and 13th games every year. Throw in Miami to this schedule who we would have played 4 times from 2002-2010, we definitely need some breathers like Western Carolina which are welcome breaks when you play physical defenses every week. Maybe USC would have realized this had they played ONE top-25 defense this year. Just to make things clear, my case is just against USC as I am answering your question on how UF is better than USC and not Michigan which has an equally valid case to play for it all.Onto your argument that Big 10 and PAC10 are better than SEC. Just being top heavy doesn’t make a conference the toughest of all. Big 10 has 2 great teams and the rest aren’t great in my opinion. But with all the bowl matchups SEC and Big 10 have (Ohio State-Florida, Wisconsin-Arkansas, Penn St-Tennessee), I am glad that this will be settled on the field. Talking about SEC vs. Big 10 can lead to a good argument but it’s not even close when you start talking about the PAC10. SEC’s # 5 Tennessee thumped PAC10’s 2nd best team. Auburn and LSU had better victories against the Wash State and Arizona than USC did. So other than your massacre of SEC’s # 4 team, what case does PAC10 have against SEC? Again, USC is a great team, but that alone doesn’t make the PAC10 a tough conference which is clear looking at the drop-off from the conference’s best (USC) to the next best team (Cal).

  8. RPM says:

    @hariram: Since it has been so long since your comment was posted and this response, some of my points may be short. Also, of course, there have been 3 Pac-10 opponents who have been crushed in their bowl games, so not much for me to talk about in terms of Pac-10 as a conference when we look purely at results. First off, your SoS link to NCAA computers – I looked at Sagarin, just because I know it is used in the BCS. You are right, the computers throw weird stuff, but that may be in the rankings. The SoS could be a mathematically derived number which could be standardized. The beef I have with SoS in general though, is that the teams’ strength changes as the season progresses and someone who was #2 in Week2 may collapse dramatically if there are a few injuries. Now, if one of their opponents crushes them later, did that opponent crush the real #2 team? That is something that will not be accounted by the computers, not in their current incarnation at least. When you talk about “we definitely need some breathers”, you assume that your traditional opponents plus your conference schedule is always going to be tough. And it is correct for the school to arrange some gimme games simply because at the end of the season no one is arguing (I seem to be in a tremendous minority) whether having 11 wins with 2 gimmes is better than having 10 wins with 1 gimme. Or whether beating 2 gimmes is better than losing to one credible opponent and winning against a tough out-of-conference opponent. My point is simple, at least in terms of this argument – 11 wins by one team is not equal to 11 wins by another. And since BCA and a lot of voters look at simply number of losses in making their decisions, a team like USC tends to lose out against a team like Florida. Of course, this year USC lost to conference opponents so the point is moot, but I hope you get the point I am trying to make. Now, on to the most interesting debate in the entire post – strength of a conference. I don’t know how you can measure the strength of a conference, much less make claims like if some conferences have traditionally been tough, they will remain tough every year. Firstly, what makes a conference strong in any given season? Secondly, how can you determine that at the beginning or even middle of the season? I have a similar beef against some NFL folks who keep saying that the NFC East is the toughest division. How do they make that claim? If a conference has teams that beat each other, you can make the claim that the conference is very tough and that any team can win on any given day. But at the same time you can make the claim that it is so bad that they keep losing to teams that they should not have lost to. If you look at out-of-conference schedules and win-loss percentages, then it comes to my earlier point about having cupcakes in the out-of-conference schedules. I made the claim that the Big 10 and Pac 10 are as good if not better than the SEC simply because I feel there are more teams in the Pac 10 and the Big 10 which can win against quality opposition than the SEC. Of course by now, I see that Oregon, ASU and ucla have been thrashed by their opponents in their bowl games so I lose my argument this year. We’ll see how the Big 10-SEC results look like and of course, USC and Cal’s bowl games are pending.

  9. RPM says:

    @hariram: It does not matter now … congratulations to you and Florida Gators for crushing Ohio State. I really did not see that coming.

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