Sunday, November 09, 2003

The Best Of Both Worlds

We'll give you a little of both today, The College Football Weekend Wrapup, and BAP scores for the last two Cubs-Marlins games. Because the football stuff is very current, and the baseball numbers are extremely late, we'll start with the football, and come back with the baseball this evening.

This weekend's college football games shook out some of the pretenders for the oblivious, as Miami, Florida State, Virginia Tech, and Iowa all lost. Of course, the Eisenberg Sports College Football Championship (the ECF) already had those teams eliminated, so if you're a regular reader here you were a step ahead. The news in the polls and BCS this week will be about the climb of TCU into serious BCS contention, and about some of the new Top 5 teams, like Ohio State. You'll certainly hear talk about the freight train that is the Oklahoma Sooners, and how the USC Trojans solidified their hold on #2 without even playing.

All of these teams - Oklahoma, Ohio State, USC, and TCU - are still in contention for the ECF championship, as are Boise St, Northern Illinois, and Miami-OH. TCU has made the miraculous jump to contender even with that half-assed schedule of theirs, because the pollmasters and the BCS seem destined to give the Horned Frogs the Top Ten opponent they failed to put on their own schedule.

Not that it matters of course. TCU will get crushed like ants within sight of a four-year-old if they ever get into a BCS game. But what about the others? Suppose the Sooners drop the Big 12 Championship Game? Ohio State is going to be an underdog at Ann Arbor, and USC could certainly lose their bowl game with who ever they get matched up with. Who becomes the ECF Champion if all of these teams are eliminated?

This brings us to the final ECF rule. Here it is:

8. The Everyone is Eliminated Rule - If by some chance, at any point in the season or after the bowl games, all 117 teams have been eliminated, there will still be at least one ECF Champion. The way the ECF Champion is chosen is by the following rules:

a. Only bowl game winners are considered.
b. The first game of every team is eliminated.
c. If any team or teams would now qualify for the Championship, they would be declared the ECF Champions.
d. If no team qualifies, then the second game of every team would be eliminated. If there is anyone who would qualify, they would now be considered the Champions.
e. If no team qualifies, weeks from the beginning of the season will continue to be eliminated until we have a winner.

So, if our current contenders are all defeated, where can we look to find this year's Champions? Here they are, in order of who would come up first under the "game elimination" scenario of Rule #8. The number in parenthesis for each team is the number of games that must be "eliminated" for them to qualify for the ECF:

1A. Michigan (4 games) - The Blue have been eliminating Big Ten opponents left and right, and have only a game at Northwestern before taking on the Buckeyes at home. If Michigan were in a conference that had a Championship game, they would still be an ECF contender.

1B. Mississippi (4 games)- They have LSU at home, then go to Mississippi State. Winning both of those games would put them in the SEC Championship game as well.

3. Pittsburgh (5 games)- At West Virginia, at Temple, and Miami at home. Losing to Notre Dame on their own field has cost them dearly.

4A. Tennessee (6 games) - Miss St, Vandy, at Kentucky. No real danger here for the Vols until the SEC Championship, if they go.

4B. Florida (6 games) - at South Carolina, Florida State. Has anyone''s fortunes changed for the better this season more than Ron Zook's? After a rough start with a young team, the Gators have beaten LSU and Georgia, get the Seminoles at home, and can still win the SEC Championship.

4C. Florida State (6 games) - NC State, at Florida. The Seminoles defeat to Clemson yesterday didn't have much of an effect on The ECF standing. They had already been eliminated, and yesterday's loss qualifies as an Acceptable Loss. It's still the home loss to Miami that buries them.

4D. LSU (6 games) - At Bama, At Mississippi, Arkansas. I have trouble seeing the Tigers getting through these three games undefeated.

Well, what the hell, might as well rank them all. Here's my Top Ten, with Top Ten meaning the Top Ten to Win a Share of the ECF Championship.

1. Oklahoma
2. USC
3. Michigan
4. Ohio State
5. TCU
6. Mississippi
7. Pittsburgh
8. Tennessee
9. Florida
10. Florida State
11. LSU

With a big gap between teams 2 and 3, and 4 and 5.
ECF Rules

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