This is later than I like to write blogs, because I know a lot of people (particularly in the more Eastern time zones) are asleep. But if I wait until tomorrow, I’ll be writing while games are on, so I’m writing now.
I’ve talked about this general topic before in reference to Florida St.’s initial BCS ranking, but I’ve also seen Missouri called a fraud, particularly now that they’ve lost a game, albeit in overtime and largely due to a bad day for the kicker.
“Now that they’ve *finally* played a good team, they lost” is one comment that stuck in my craw, whatever that means. Well, let’s look at some records that teams have apart from playing Missouri: Florida 4-2, South Carolina 5-2, Georgia 4-2, Toledo 5-2, Vanderbilt 4-3, Indiana 3-3. If you look at the overall records, it’s true that South Carolina is the only team without at least three losses, but Missouri gave three other teams one of three losses and nearly did that a fourth time. I know Toledo, Vanderbilt, and Indiana aren’t great, but they’re not bad 3rd, 4th, and 5th best wins. Having played 6 teams that are at least semi-decent does give Missouri a good enough schedule to deserve some respect.
Oklahoma, by contrast, has two pretty good wins in Notre Dame and Texas Tech, but what’s their #3 win? TCU or WVU? They play each other this weekend, and the team that loses will in all likelihood fail to even qualify for a bowl game. If TCU wins especially, it wouldn’t be surprising if neither made a bowl game. Louisiana-Monroe is probably the #5 win. I’m not saying I don’t understand ranking Oklahoma ahead of Missouri; but if you don’t pay special attention to which loss took place more recently and you put more of a premium on playing a number of decent teams rather than a couple of headliners, it also makes sense not to. For argument’s sake, I guess we can treat the respective losses (Texas and South Carolina) as roughly equal, although I personally think Missouri had the “better loss”.
Of course I did expect Missouri to lose a couple of games even before they finally lost one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up with more losses than Oklahoma. But the Tigers still beat Georgia and Florida when I did not expect them to do so. There is nothing wrong with giving them credit for that for the time being.
I only had one small thought about my Tigers, the ones from LSU. Based on how different a team like Georgia is from earlier games and how strong Ole Miss has come on in recent weeks, I just wondered if LSU would be undefeated if they played Ole Miss in September and Georgia in mid-October. If LSU wins out and Alabama wins the SEC West, I’m still going to be annoyed that LSU had to play such an inter-divisional schedule in the first place, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on those results anyway. (I don’t know why I keep using old-time country expressions. I’m in my early 30s and from the suburbs of New Orleans.)
I have some ideas for upcoming blogs. I have one mostly written about potential Pac-12 expansion. For another one, I used to regularly do blogs called Conference Reports (you can see the tab above if you’re viewing this on WordPress), where I look at how the various conferences have fared against outside opponents. I can’t think of any major inter-conference games this week, so that can wait until next week. I also might do a blog about suggested NFL realignment, but that will probably just make people angry. It’s after 1 a.m. on the East Coast, so I decided to just go ahead and publish this and work on those later.