This week has been full of “What-ifs” for Buckeye nation, Tiger nation and Jameis nation. There are so many what-ifs that my head is just about ready to explode. So Auburn just beat two conferences opponents on miracle, late-game plays. One happened to be the number one team (and two-time defending champion) Bama Tide. Rightfully so, Tiger nation is on edge claiming that they deserve to be number two and make the National Championship because their schedule is stronger. Buckeye nation, on the other hand, feels that they deserve to be in the top two and make the trip to Pasadena because they have a 0 in the loss column and haven’t lost in two years now.
Everybody and their mother is biased in some way, shape or form. I recently read an article about the SEC’s dominance and how it is, for a lack of a better word, shaped by ESPN and their 2.5 billion dollar contract with the conference. As I was reading, it all made sense. But, I didn’t notice this until the last week when an SEC team got knocked out of the championship race (for now) and ESPN started to sweat. The discussions started: Ohio State or Auburn, who should go? Nearly all of the analysts were calmly saying how Auburn is that much better than the Buckeyes and just because they have a better schedule they should go dancing. They know, that if they can get enough analysts (most of whom are SEC alum) to claim Auburn over OSU, than the public opinion may just get swayed as well. While that happens, everybody in Columbus just yells at the TV and angrily starts arguments with hating fans. Lets take a closer look at the facts, shall we?
Making A Case for Auburn
- A one loss team that has gone against 6 ranked teams this season, including #1 ranked Alabama.
- They’ve come on strong at the end of the year, pulling off two wins to appear in the SEC Championship
- With a win over Missouri (#4), they would have consecutive wins over Top 5 teams
- 26th Ranked Strength of Schedule
- Wins against ranked teams include: #24 Ole Miss (7-5), #21 Texas A&M (8-4), #25 Georgia (8-4), and #1 Alabama (11-1)… 3 of those teams are no longer ranked and would be considered average by their record
- A 14-point loss against LSU (9-3), where the game was never closer than 14 points
- A 4-point opening win against Washington State (6-6), where no team lead by more than 6 points
- A 4-point win over Mississippi St (6-6), including a game-winning touchdown pass with 10 seconds left
- Needed two miracle, late-game plays to win their last two games (Alabama and Georgia)
- A non-conference schedule that featured: Washington St, Arkansas St, W Carolina and Florida International
Making a Case for Ohio State
- A team that goes into Saturday’s B1G Championship with a 24-game winning streak
- 12-0 this season
- Average Margin of Victory: 27.9 points
- Only scored less than 41 points on two occasions: vs Wisconsin (9-3), vs Iowa (8-4).. Scored 31 & 34, respectively
- With a win over Michigan State (#10), they will have 3 wins over Top 25 teams
- Vegas Knows Best: Say that they would hypothetically place Ohio State as a 2.5 point favorite
- Strength of Schedule ranked 61st
- Play in a weak B1G conference
- Recently squeezed out a win against Michigan (7-5) because of a last second interception
- One of their two ranked wins was #16 Northwestern (5-7)
What About Florida State?
I just read an article that raised the issue of why Florida State is getting off so easy. There is so much discussion about whether or not the Buckeyes deserve to be passed, but no talk about the Seminoles. They are both undefeated teams with similar strengths of schedules. In fact, all of this talk about strength of schedule really is overlooked for Florida State seeing that they are in fact below the Buckeyes in this department (66th nationally). Their signature wins are against a Maryland team (63-0) whose 3-5 since they were beaten by FSU, @Clemson (51-14) whose in the top 15 still and Miami (41-14) who is no longer ranked in the Top 25. Hey ESPN, can we throw these guys into the mix?
What To Watch For This Week
- Jameis Winston’s sexual assault results are going to be revealed at 2pm ET
- Ohio State and Auburn still both need to win their conference championship games to keep the discussion alive
- #3 Auburn vs #4 Missouri, Saturday at 4pm ET
- #2 Ohio State vs #10 Michigan State, Saturday at 8pm ET
The BCS system absolutely sucks and I cannot wait for the playoffs to start next season. Unfortunately, I see us sitting here a year from now having an even more heated debate about whose in and whose not. Looking forward to it.