Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ohio State, others still chasing

After Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College left the Big East for the ACC a few years ago, some college football analysts questioned whether the weakened Big East might lose its automatic bid to the Bowl Championship series.

The Big East is doing fine, with three consecutive BCS wins (two by West Virginia) since the ACC expanded to 12 teams. The ACC and the Big Ten are the conferences struggling to prove they deserve their automatic BCS bids.

Virginia Tech’s loss to Kansas in the Orange Bowl was the ACC’s eighth consecutive defeat in a BCS game. The ACC’s last BCS win came in the 1999 season, when Florida State stopped Michael Vick and then-Big East member Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl to win the BCS title.

The ACC was 2-6 overall in bowls, concluding a miserable season against nonconference opponents. The ACC finished the season without a nonconference win over a team ranked in final Associated Press Top 25. Defeats of Big East co-champ Connecticut by Virginia and Wake Forest were the ACC’s most impressive wins, and the Huskies received a whopping three votes in the final AP poll.

The failures of the ACC can be explained somewhat by the idea that the conference is known more for basketball than football. The Big Ten has no such excuse.

Consider the Big Ten’s four BCS games over the last two seasons. Ohio State lost 38-24 to LSU and 41-14 to Florida in BCS title games. Southern California crushed Illinois 49-17 and Michigan 32-18 in consecutive Rose Bowls.

All season long, Ohio State fans e-mailed claiming the Buckeyes’ defense had more speed than the 2006 defense that seemed stuck in the mud against Florida. The fans didn’t mention that when Ohio State’s defenders try to tackle, they look like Hollywood stunt men trying to hold onto the windshield of a moving vehicle. LSU’s Early Doucet bowled over would-be tacklers as if he were Larry Csonka or Jim Brown. Except Doucet is a wide receiver, not a bruising running back.

It’s time to say it again. The last thing the BCS championship game needs is Ohio State matched up against a faster SEC team. That was true in the 2006 and 2007 seasons. It will be true again at the end of the 2008 season.

– Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Maybe the ACC should add Appalachian State?

Anonymous said...

Yep, Ohio State should be ashamed of themselves for playing in the BCS Championship Game two years running. What a shameful thing to do! What were they thinking.