Fresno State's rush defense totals last year
106 yards allowed against Rutgers (3.9 YPC), a good rushing team
Then things get crazy
297/6.5 (Toledo), 234/6.2 (UCLA), 172/5.2 (Hawaii!), 215/5.5 (Idaho!), 206/5.3 (Utah State!), 280/6.7 (LaTech), 472(!)/7.7 Nevada
-9/-0.6 (New Mexico State), -5/-0.2 (San Jose State)
That might be the largest one game swing in history
But then they reverted to form
246/7.2 (Boise State), 362/9.3 (Colorado State)
The outgoing Pac-10 Commissioner speaks with ESPN's Ted Miller, here. Good stuff in the sense that his rare longevity among the conference commissioners offers some perspective of what leadership was looking at when he first started and how certain issues have evolved.
The fact that members of the Football Bowl Subdivision, by a wide majority, prefer a bowl system where 6,800 young people get to have a post-season experience and the aversion to a playoff that would quickly go to 16 teams. People talk about a one-game playoff or a four-team playoff -- it can't happen. We were forced in the BCS from political pressure to expand from eight berths to 10 berths.
Were there to be a playoff, you'd have to have 11 automatic berths [for every conference] and you'd have to have a berth for Notre Dame, and that would cut you down to just four at-large berths. Most years you'd have an argument about that. Then, with that many games, you'd have to play on the campuses of the higher seeded teams. You couldn't possibly travel teams week by week to a neutral site -- the NFL doesn't even do that. And no one really stops to reflect upon the fact that the NFL has all the playing slots through December and January [on the weekends].
So finding attractive playing times and dates and television availability would be a great challenge. So there are so many negatives to a playoff, to say nothing of probably the most important one which is the presidents do not want football being played into the second semester. It's not just missing class. It's the impact it has on the academic program of the institution. There's a long list of reasons these institutions favor having one game per team in the post-season and stopping it at that.
Take it away, Senator Blutarsky (emphasis mine):
This is where I think playoff supporters are on thin ice in this debate. It’s very easy to focus on what I call the competition side of this – making sure that every deserving school has the chance to play for an MNC – and downplay the economic side, the side that pushes for a redistribution of the wealth that college football generates. You can satisfy the former with a small scale playoff; you can’t satisfy the latter without an extended playoff controlled by the NCAA or some similar entity making sure that the moneys are spread more broadly throughout D-1. And an extended playoff is death to pretty much everything that makes college football unique.
It’s shortsighted to brush off the financial considerations here. Next week’s hearings are being conducted by the Senate Antitrust Committee. Whether it matters to its members or not, antitrust law isn’t about whether Utah gets to play in a title game. It’s about business practices, monopolies and money.
Ultimately, guys like Jim Delany don’t care nearly as much about Utah playing in that title game – and don’t forget that there’s nothing in the current BCS formula that prevents that from happening – as they do about having their conferences’ revenue streams reduced. That’s what’s at stake with these antitrust threats and that’s why I don’t think the Harvey Perlmans of the college football world should be so easily dismissed when they promise to defend their turf.
Friendly territory fortunately via one of the nicest, most fun commentators at my other gig at FanHouse, "Orange Chuck". The interview.
I discuss the 2009 season a bit, my gameday rituals, the BCS/playoffs stuff, the SEC, conference title games and Syracuse football among other items.
Its pretty fawning up at the top and I chalk that up to Chuck being just a really nice person. Enjoy.
Phil Steele, with math, on why Utah wasn't championship game worthy last year.
Essentially: if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is a duck. Utah wasn't a duck.
Their 2004 team, in my view, was much better than last year's (Sagarin predictor agrees 2004 vs. 2008) and if that team had been around in 2008 or better yet the grotesque show that was college football in 2007 they make a much more compelling case to be in the championship game. So much of college football is timing though and their timing was off last year as a trio of excellent teams emerged in Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.
Utah made the mistake of going undefeated but keeping its powder dry until the bowl game, after the regular season had already been played out. When folks looked back on their 2008 regular season, they saw a narrow road victory over the worst Michigan team in decades, a furious fourth quarter rally to blow past rival BYU (aided by a +6 turnover margin) and nail-biting escapes against Oregon State and TCU.
Scoreboard yes, but at some point you gotta do something mighty more than once against the good teams on your schedule.
That or pray you land on "Ohio State 2002" in the annals of good timing and luck.
First of all I am against an 8 team playoff. There is no way that you could find a single #7 team in the country the last 12 years that had a legitimate claim to being in the national title game. For more on why I think the College regular season is the most important in college football and why an 8 or 16 team playoff would ruin it, check out page 24 and 25 of this years magazine. College football changes on a yearly basis. I can see a proposal where the MWC and the Big East battle for the
AKA Senator Orrin Hatch is an idiot
No, the BCS doesn’t create the disadvantages; it merely amplifies them. The BCS isn’t the reason San Diego State can’t get a stadium lease signed and it isn’t the cause as to why the WAC doesn’t have the same TV contract the SEC does. In college football, the money flows where the attention goes.
If we want actual "fairness" in the upper division of college football, schedules need to be relatively even which means that the number of teams need to be reduced from the current 119 or 120 to something like 30-40 with everyone in equal-number divisions playing round-robin conference schedules. Even then a playoff built around single-elimination games would still be a tragic mess (take a lesson from every other playoff that isn't the NFL's or lower-division football, go to at least double elimination, better yet best of three between teams).
Of course nobody actually wants that to happen because that'd be the end of the bulk of teams in first division football and would end college football as we know it, which by the way has never been more popular in spite of all this hand wringing about the BCS.
Come on people, think about the issues for once and just enjoy the show, college football is wildly unique and enjoyable. In the end I think in most of our hearts we don't want true finality, as my friend Heisman Pundit's said many times the game is like a never-ending Constitutional Convention. Its the back and forth and discussion that has such great appeal in addition to the product on the field.
Q: How can you say the BCS has been good for the Pac-10? Oregon finished No. 2 in the polls in 2001 but didn't make the title game. USC was No. 1 in the coaches' poll in 2003 but finished No. 3 in the BCS.
A: Each conference has had some disappointments. . . . The BCS, through obvious great foresight of the commissioners who were involved, has been an extraordinary success in terms of the regular season being so strong. Television, attendance, everything about college football is much better than before the BCS started.
Q: Does it bother you that you are portrayed as an obstructionist by the pro-playoff crowd?
A: I primarily reflect the view of the conference. . . . If people disagree with that view, I don't take it personally.
I think many of the people who advocate a playoff have no real understanding in the difficulty of a playoff.
Q. Would that include the president of the United States?
A: Yes, and I don't think he begins to understand the difficulties of a playoff. I think he's probably very well-versed on North Korea and the Middle East but not particularly the college football playoff.
Q. Does it complicate the issue when someone so prominent goes public with his position?
A: I would be much more concerned if a president in our conference came out in favor of a playoff than I am of President Obama saying it.
It would be so negative for college football in my opinion that it just doesn't make good sense. Including the fact it would be 16 teams, not the four that many people advocate, because politically you couldn't stop at four, you couldn't stop at eight, you couldn't stop at 12. And even at 16 you'd have problems.
Q: Are you confident the BCS can withstand another legal challenge?
A: I am confident. We've had excellent legal counsel. And I trust lawyers from all over the country who comment that there's nothing illegal about it.
The only thing the federal government could do to force the issue, I think, would be to cut off funding for higher education. Well, that isn't going to happen.
Q: Is it easier to take more chances or risks at a program like that versus a BCS-type program?
A: I don't know. I don't care what league or level you're in, you've got to do whatever gives your guys the best chance to be successful. I don't think it's any more of a risk at that level. I think you see the game changing each year. Even look at what Oklahoma did last year. They ran a no-huddle pace like we did at Tulsa. I really see the game going that way.
Q: To ask that another way, do you think other conferences, such as the Big 12, have been quicker to embrace new ideas on offense than, say, the SEC?
A: There might be some truth to that. It's pretty traditional in the SEC. It's probably one of the last conferences to have a little bit of an open mind as far as doing different things on offense. I think Florida's the team that's the most unique, and, of course, they've had great success.
Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian wants you to check out the page you're already looking at:
The Alabama coaching staff can't get enough noise: