Monday, January 14, 2008

Power Rankings are Bull$h!#- A Continuation Of My BCS Gripe

When you have a team sport that survives on a rankings system, how can I not unload my frustrations? Especially after watching another week of the NFL, and the big boys giving me something to compare. If the NFL didn't exist, or any other team sport, for that matter, the BCS would be comfortably in command, and I would submit to its greatness. But as a spectator, and umm...spectating the outcome of NFL games, I can't help but shake my head in disbelief that certain powers that be are not seeing the same as I, or just not caring.

When the NFL regular season ended, I gave my little gripe and comparison of Pro and college football. In a BCS system, the regular NFL season ends, and the New England Patriots would automatically advance to the Superbowl to meet the Dallas Cowboys, with the Indianapolis Colts locked out and asking "what about us". Sound familiar? I bet it does. But fortunate for the NFL, and fans of said league, they play it on the field and not on rankings in media and coaches polls.

Here's another example of power rankings losing all credibility. At regular season's end, the AFC South was ranked as the strongest division in the NFL. After 2 weekends of trying to prove it on a playing field, of the 3 AFC southern teams qualifying for the playoffs (Jags, Colts, and Titans), there are none left. The AFC South didn't pick up a single playoff victory. In comparison, 2 of the so called "weaker" divisions, the AFC East and West, will be represented in the AFC Championship game. The New England Patriots (AFC East) and San Diego Chargers (AFC West) wiped out all 3 teams from that "power conference" of the south.

And it doesn't end there, because I managed to glance one of the college basketball conference power rankings. And despite having a team win the past two NCAA basketball championships, the SEC is ranked dead last. Why? That's easy. Outside of Kentucky, the SEC is viewed as a "football conference". The ACC, Pac 10 and Big East will always get more respect, because these are supposedly your basketball "power" conferences. Hell, In my opinion, the best team in the country isn't even a member of any of the big money pompous conferences that snag all the media attention. I think the best team in America is playing in Conference-USA, and that team is the Memphis Tigers. Unfortunately for Memphis, I don't get a vote in any of those media polls and rankings. But let it be known to the Tigers, the Horse has your back.

Looking back, how many of the so called "experts" chose Florida to win it all in their first run? Look back again, and how many of those same experts still didn't choose Florida, after they returned for a second run with the same roster? But college hoops has a tournament to show how wrong or right the rankings can be, and in football we're left with those figure skating rules, with judges awarding numbers for synchronization, costume, and dance routines. So just know that your teams weren't left out of the BCS for the lack of performance, but it's because they didn't stick the landing.

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