Sunday, 3 December 2006

BCS Title Game: Ohio St. vs. Florida

UPDATE: For my BCS National Title Game Preview, check here.

Let the debate begin. After moving up in the Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll, the Gators jumped the Wolverines into the #2 spot in the BCS, pitting them against Ohio St. in the National Championship game. Throughout this whole process, I have held to two beliefs:

(1) Michigan is a better team than Florida
(2) Florida has done more to deserve the title spot than Michigan.

I'm not much into the argument that Michigan should not be in the title game because they didn't win their conference. Just because the best team in the country happens to be in their conference does not mean that they are not the second best team. The other argument I don't like is the sentiment that Michigan had their chance so there should not be a rematch. Look, if the goal of the BCS is simply to match the 2 best teams in the National Championship game, then it should not matter if they already met earlier this season. That is completely irrelevant.

Really, the only issue is (or at least should be) whether the fact that the only loss Michigan had this year was by 3 points on the road at Ohio St. outweighed by the fact that Florida had the overall tougher schedule? That's a matter of opinion, and I won't and can't even attempt to answer that question. It can't be answered definitively.

So at the end of the day, I'm not upset Florida is in the BCS Title Game over Michigan, and I wouldn't have been upset if Michigan was in the BCS Title Game over Florida. The only thing that I'm upset about is that this has to be an either/or situation. No, a playoff system is not a perfectly fair way to determine a national champion, but it's the fairest way, and it sure works well in every other sport that I know of.

One other question, and this is purely speculation, would Florida have jumped Michigan in the polls if USC had won? How many people didn't want to see a rematch and so they voted Florida ahead of Michigan? Again, this is pure speculation and we have no way of knowing if this is true, but I have my doubts that Florida would have jumped Michigan if USC had won. And I find that to be a little bit of a problem.

But in the end, we have Florida vs. Ohio St. As The Sports Pulse writes, the consensus seems to be that Florida has no shot in this game. I think that's a badly mistaken thought. Florida will be the best defense the Buckeyes have played all year. Florida has the playmakers offensively (see Harvin, Percy) to put points on the board. I think Florida is being underrated a little bit by a lot of people, but the fact is they are a very good team. Better than Michigan? Well, since we don't have a playoff system, we'll never know. Which is really too bad.