Wednesday, October 22, 2003

College Football Weekend Preview

The Northern Illinois Huskies are the big news in college football this week, as they became the first MAC team ever to appear in the Top Ten in the BCS standings. This achievement only served to heighten the excitement about Saturday's Northern Illinois at Bowling Green matchup, the only game this weekend between two ECF(Eisenberg's College Football)-eligible teams. This game would appear to give the Falcons an opportunity to defeat a top ten team, an ECF qualifier that often knocks teams from the non-BCS conferences out of contention.

Here is the "Top Ten Rule" for Eisenberg's College Football Championship:

"7. The Top Ten Rule - Teams must beat another team that is in the Top Ten in either Poll when they play, or in the Top Ten later in the season. This is an attempt by Eisenberg Sports to insure that strength of schedule is considered, and gives our poll-loving fans something to do."

I read this, and tried to remember. Did I deliberately not say "BCS standings" along with "either Poll" when I wrote it? It would make some sense, seeing that I was trying to keep things simple, which the BCS definitely is not. So I've been debating this, trying to figure out whether or not to rewrite the rule, when I noticed that BG is a 3.5-point favorite in this game. I checked each team's stats to see why, and came across a game I had totally forgotten about:

Bowling Green 27 at Purdue 26

Wow! This game happened on September 6. Purdue hasn't lost since, and this week is number 10 in both polls, and number 8 in the BCS. This means that Bowling Green has already fulfilled the Top Ten requirement, and now only needs to run the table in order to be an ECF Champion. But on top of that, a win this week for the Falcons would give them TWO WINS over top ten BCS teams! Who could argue with a team that beats Purdue and Northern Illinois, runs through their conference schedule undefeated, and wins their bowl game? The Falcons, favored at home Saturday, are seriously in the hunt for a share of the ECF Championship, and they are completely off the national radar.

This will continue too, as the Huskies present them with a classic Catch-22. If they beat Northern Illinois, then everyone will say the Huskies really weren't any good, but if they lose, the Huskies stay in the race. About the only chance the Falcons have to be recognized by the national media is if Purdue goes undefeated, but they may not even survive this week, as they are 4.5-point underdogs in Ann Arbor.

Does Northern Illinois really deserve this hype more than Bowling Green? The Huskies are being rewarded for being undefeated and for three wins over BCS-eligible teams, but Alabama and Iowa St have been awful, and the Huskies had to go to overtime at home to beat Maryland. Meanwhile, the Falcons are being punished for losing by a touchdown in Columbus when Ohio State was still the Undefeated Champion. Doesn't seem fair to me.

Bowling Green is led by first year head coach Gregg Brandon, but to find the architect of this team, you have to look to Salt Lake City, the current residence of former Falcon coach Urban Meyer. Meyer, in his first year at Utah, has the Utes ECF-eligible. To read a fantastic story on Meyer, go to Introducing the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle".

Here's the rest of the ECF schedule:

Road ECF teams

Purdue +4.5 at Michigan
TCU -5.5 at Houston
OK St -6 at Texas A&M
USC -10 at Washington
Va Tech -14.5 at W Virginia
Louisville -16.5 at E Carolina
Ohio St -21 at Indiana
MiamiOH -22 at Kent St
Oklahoma -25 at Colorado

Home ECF teams
At Washington St -8 Oregon St
At Utah -8.5 New Mexico
At Boise St -25.5 SJ St
At Georgia -29 UAB

ECF Championship Rules

Dave's Email


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