Saturday, November 01, 2003

The Folly of Florida State

With all of the Red Sox news this week, I didn't get to do my College Football Weekend Wrapup on Monday, or the Weekend Preview on Wednesday. Saturday morning is late, I know, so this won't be a full WP. But there's some points that need to be covered, so I'll do a quick rundown here.

The very best part of Eisenberg's College Football Championship (the ECF) is that it recognizes that all wins are not equal, and more importantly, that all losses are not equal. Winning in overtime at home is not equal to winning in regulation, losing at home is not equal to losing on the road, losing by 20 is not equal to losing by 3, etc., etc. And yet one of the stories today is that Florida State Seminoles are ranked #5 by both polls, and #3 by the BCS, even though they were throttled on their home field by the Miami Hurricanes.

The fact that it was Miami who did it will get a lot of play in the national media, but it misses the point: No team that is to be considered a National Champion, that could have possibly won a National Tournament, should lose a home game. Ever. The Seminoles were knocked out of the ECF weeks ago, yet they are a couple of upsets away from being the top team in the land. Ridiculous.

And because wins and losses are not all equal, the implications of today's "Showdown Saturday" are not equal for everyone else, either. Before we get into today's games, here is the rule for Unacceptable Losses:

A. Definition of Unacceptable Losses - An Unacceptable Loss immediately eliminates you from ECF Championship contention. This is what constitutes an Unacceptable Loss:

- 1. Any loss on your home field, in regulation or in overtime.
- 2. Any loss in regulation on a neutral field.
- 3. Any loss by 17 or more points on the road.
- 4. Any loss to a non-Division 1A opponent.

So who's in danger today of being eliminated from the ECF, and who isn't? Let's get to work.


At Oklahoma -15.5 Oklahoma St
At USC -12 Washington St

These two games are very similar. The Sooners and Trojans must win in order to survive. The Cowboys and Cougars must be sure to make a game of it, staying within 17 points. Remember, the rationale behind this is that NO team would be favored in Oklahoma or USC. If Oklahoma St or Washington St loses a relatively close one, it doesn't prove they are the lesser team. However, each team would have to stay perfect the rest of the way in order to become ECF Champions.

At Michigan State +4 Michigan - Michigan seems to be on a mission to knock every other Big Ten team out of the ECF. The Spartans need to win in regulation to survive.

Ohio State -7 at Penn St - The Buckeyes have reached their maximum number of Acceptable Losses and must win in regulation today.

Georgia -2 Florida - The Bulldogs must win the World's Largest Cocktail Party, because it is on a neutral field.

Miami -3.5 at Virginia Tech - The Hurricanes will be the big story if they lose tonight, but as long as it is close, they will still be very much alive in the ECF. There's no shame in losing a close game at Virginia Tech.

At N Illinois -15.5 Ball St - The Huskies must win, but doesn't look like any trouble here.

I will have the Weekend Wrapup tomorrow. Assuming Manny isn't traded.

ECF Championship Rules

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