Monday, December 04, 2006

Roses and Screw Jobs

Michigan gets the Rose Bowl. I should be happy with that. It's THE Rose Bowl. We're playing Southern Cal. Big Ten Pac Ten. The way it should be. This is where Michigan should be on the first day of the New Year.

I little while back I wrote that USC (pre-loss to UCLA) should have the opportunity to play Ohio State on the basis that they were the best team out there that hadn't lost to Ohio State. I also said that should USC lose, Michigan should be in the National Championship game.

Well. As you're well aware, that didn't come to pass.

In what can only be described as a "make-up" for leaving undefeated Auburn out of the national championship game a few years back, the AP and Coaches Polls ensured that the SEC finally got to play in the big game. As Brian said: "Congratulations to Urban Meyer, the Florida Gators, [on] their 66-10 loss to Ohio State."

How 71% of the coaches who voted on this thing lost their {bleep}ing minds in the span of 24 hours utterly baffles me. Yes Florida played 13 games. Yes they only lost once and won their conference championship. Fine, the streets of Gainesville are lined with gold and Urban Myer pees a stream of diamonds that smell like sunshine. I'll give you all of that.

However, here are the facts:

The SEC is Overrated This year. Toughest conference my ass. Watching SEC football this year was like watching a horror movie. SEC Champion Florida was 73rd in the nation in turnovers with 24. Tennessee turned it over 17 times, Auburn 18, LSU 19, Georgia 20, Arkansas 23. For the record, Michigan had 10 turnovers all year. The point of this is, no one in the SEC could hold onto the friggin football. Games were constantly flip-flopping on sloppy play. Watching Chris Leak play against a competent defense was worse than SAW 3. The LSU Florida game was a perfect example. LSU outgained Florida, and held Leak to 155 yards no TDs and 1 INT, yet lost because they turned the ball over 5 times including three JaMarcus Russell INTs.

With those types of turnover numbers you'd expect the defenses to be pretty good. To the contrary, 7 teams averaged more than 25 points a game (with Georgia[!] averaging 24.7 a game despite not being able to find it's ass with both hands for the majority of the year). Basically you have a conference that can't hold onto the football and can't stop you from scoring.

"Yeah, but Florida, LSU and Auburn are all ranked ahead of Michigan in Scoring Defense!" Whup-de-do. Florida's average is skewed by shutouts of a 1-AA team and Central Florida. Same goes for LSU and Auburn, artificially inflated numbers. Take out the pansy non-conference games and watch the numbers skyrocket.

But what about their records? The SEC's got great numbers! Propped up by shoddy scheduling. Looking at Florida's Schedule as an example, when 1-AA Western Carolina (2-9) and Central Florida both appear on a schedule you can't brag to me about how though the schedules are. The SEC was notorious for scheduling 1-AA teams. And it's not like it was the bottom feeders in the conference doing it (e.g. Northwestern in the Big Ten), it was Georgia, Arkansas, and Florida. Hell, when the SEC ran out of 1-AA teams to schedule they rode the Sun Belt like a rented mule. Louisiana Lafayette, FIU, Louisiana Monroe, Middle Tennessee State, and Arkansas State all played SEC teams this year.

Here's my point. I'm tired of the half-ass rationales for Florida jumping Michigan.

The SEC is overrated. Don't give me this toughest conference America crap as a justification for putting Florida in the MNC game. Don't tell me Florida had the toughest schedule when they schedule 1-AA teams. Don't tell me Florida's body of work was better than Michigan's when they should've lost to South Carolina and Tennessee when the only team Michigan should've lost to was Ohio State. Don't tell me they won their conference and should get to go because Louisville has a real good argument then too. Don't tell me Michigan got worse because their conference doesn't play past Thanksgiving. Finally, don't tell me Florida's a better team. It's not.
Just tell me Michigan got jobbed. Just tell me you screwed us because Auburn got screwed a few years ago. Just tell me you did it because you don't want a rematch.

Just don't tell me Florida's better. Because then you've got a fight on your hands.

Michigan got screwed. As the worst part about it is I'm angry that someone just gave me Roses.


At 11:44 AM, Anonymous The Football Gods, Reggie Nelson... and Ball State said...

...just wanna throw ya'll some orange n' blue love for Michigan... here, here to taking down the Trojans in the NIT Tournament errrrrr... i mean Tournament of Roses Bowl

At 2:04 PM, Anonymous YMB said...

I won't debate who is better, because the truth is, nobody knows. What you forgot to mention in your schedule analysis was the following:

Miami, OH
Kent St
Indiana St
N. Illinois (2 times)
W. Michigan
BGSU (2)
E. Illinois
C. Michigan
W. Illinois
Ball St (3)
E. Michigan (2)
Temple (2)
Youngstown State
N. Dakota State

All examples of the rigorous Big Ten OOC schedule. Spare me the talk of tradition between the Big 10 and the MAC - it is still a gimme game.

Also, what do the following teams have in common?

New Hampshire
S. Illinois
UConn (new to Division I)

Answer: They all beat Big 10 teams.

Any team (like Fla and Michigan) loses its right to bitch after it loses a game. All you can do is hope for the best in this f'ed up system.

Cheers - Have fun in Pasadena

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Maize n Brew Dave said...

I didn't mention them because they weren't a part of the analysis.

I readily admit that the Big Ten was down this year. Teams like Iowa, PSU and MSU fell flat on their faces. I'll also happily admit that a few Big Ten teams played 1-AA teams. But neither Michigan nor Ohio State played 1-aa teams wereas the Conference Championship teams in the SEC both had 1-aa teams on their schedule.

My point is simply that the SEC is over rated. To say toughest schedule because the SEC is littered with big names doesn't work for me. The SEC's OOC was terrible, just like the Big Ten. But the quality of games in conference was terrible in the SEC. As I pointed out, high scoring high turnover affairs don't equate to good football.

My problem with the top SEC team's scheduling is a problem everyone, including gator fans should have. 1-aa teams have no business on a premier program's schedule.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger nerpzilla said...

yeah, and my favorite part is this "winning the conference" meme going through all of the talking heads. boise won their conference, and are undefeated - why aren't they number two? obviously the stats and standings can only take one so far, and as soon as you admit your judgment is based on the actual ability of the team, um is second best in the nation. i still don't know how i feel about a rematch, but i do know how i feel about espn peeps lying to me that um's failure to "win their conference" is the straw that broke the camel's back. combine that your analysis of "tough" schedules, and the only reason why it isn't um is the rematch issue. honestly, i understand the gripe with it, but i don't understand why they can't just admit it; because the bcs is so perfect otherwise?

besides, if florida had lost, are you seriously telling me next in line (except um) wasn't conference failure lsu? (couldn't pick arkansas after lsu took them down, and nobody, nobody is ready for a bcs championship game with louisville in it).

and as long as tressel and co win the championship, i'll be very happy. who needs competitve games? serves the bcs right that the championship game will be a schlacking. um/usc might be a barnburner, though.

At 3:06 PM, Anonymous The Football Gods, Reggie Nelson, and oh yes... Ball State said...

Second Rounds on Me Dave

"The SEC... since it split into two divisions in 1992, has won more bowl games and compiled the best winning percentage among major conference in those games despite ridiculously difficult tie-ins, such as the No. 5 SEC squad (No. 6 this year) facing the No. 2 selection from the ACC in the Peach Bowl.

Furthermore, among the five major conferences, the SEC has the best record in both BCS bowl games and BCS title games. And of course, the SEC has sent more total players to the NFL and more players on average per school than any other conference since 1992."

"... The SEC has six teams that rank among the top 20 national programs in terms of facilities, resources and consistent flow of athletic talent: LSU, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama."


At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Matt K said...

Mr. Excessively Long Named Commenter, I fail to see how any of what you just said is relevant to deciding whether or not Florida is better than Michigan. The only thing you're doing is trumpeting SEC talking points. You have not made one valid argument as to (A) why Florida is better than Michigan, or (B) how Florida can beat Ohio State. The reason is because there is no answer for either question.

The problem here is that we aren't comparing the SEC and the Big Ten, because it's mostly irrelevant. What is relevant is to evaluate Florida and Michigan based on which team you think is better. Come on. This is like a fucking 4th grade argument where all the SEC people keep talking in circles and hoping that we lose patience with it. Since when did the SEC become our 3rd political party? Because that's what it fucking sounds like when you listen to them talk.

If you actually show some thoughtful analysis and consideration of why you think that Florida is better than Michigan, I will tip my hat to you and call it a day. I don't think I'm that unreasonable. I'm just sick because all I hear is SEC talking points and nothing of substance. Prove me wrong. Please. So I can sleep.

At 5:52 AM, Anonymous YMB said...

Matt K,

I believe that Mr Excessively Long was rebutting the original post of the blog.

As I said originally, nobody can absolutely claim either team's superiority. It is clearly a flaw in the so called system. But just because the system is fucked up, that does not mean that Michigan is better thatn Florida. Just because UM had the good fortune to lose to Ohio St, that doesn't make them any better than Florida or Louisville or Boise St. for that matter. What does Michigan say other than "We lost a close game to the #1 team"? O.K., so did Illinois.

I'm not saying that Michigan is not deserving, just that neither team can deliver a cogent, bulletproof argument as to why it is better, and each team had its chance to go undefeated and blew it; so why not give a shot to the team that hasn't had a chance? That makes as much sense as any other argumet that I have heard. Is it fair? Probably not, but this is fucking college football - it doesn't have to be fair.

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Matt K said...


I get what you're saying, but it's still not answering my question. And I just want to poing out the idiotic logic in the "they had their chance" argument, because what you're saying is its okay to play the MNC game in Columbus infront of 100,000+ screaming Buckeye fans? That's okay then? If that constitutes "our shot", then you should be screaming for Florida to go up there and prove it can be done.

At 9:50 AM, Anonymous YMB said...

Obviously, I am not going to scream for the chance to play in Uzbuckistan, but that is part of being a national champion - winning difficult games on the road.

Also, I will beat you to it - UF lost its most difficult road game at Auburn, but UF did beat Tennessee in front of 100,000 screaming rednecks at night. Like I said, it's not always fair, nor can it be without a playoff.

I'll ask you - Since there is no way to objectively determine who is better between UF & UM, how should it be done?

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Big 10 is better than the SEC at the very top (e.g. OSU, UM and Wisconsin) but not as strong overall.

Traditionally good programs such as Iowa, Purdue, Michigan State, Penn State and Minnesota didn't look very good this year. Indiana and Northwestern looked better than some years (much better in IU's case) but still nothing to write home about. and Illinois stunk.

If you take: Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Auburn and LSU, I think you have six teams that are better than any other division's best six teams.

BTW, how would a "plus one" or playoff system work, and how would they avoid both the problems you refer to AND the "mid-major" issue?

At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Mr. Excessively Long Named Commenter, The Football Gods, Reggie Nelson, and oh yes... Ball State said...

preaching on this blasphemy Matty Boy...

"The SEC is Overrated... Toughest conference my ass." and every other one of Dave's Maize n' Blue clouded opinions... errrrrr i mean "facts"

...the national champion should be crowned this way...

8 Team Playoff...
-6 BCS Conference Champions get automatic spots
-2 At Larges(Big X RUNNER-UP Michigan-esque, and/or undefeated Mid Major Boise State-esque)
-To keep the 'Bowl' game aspect (and revenue)... split the quarters & semis into to 2 cities (kind of like FINAL-FOUR-esque)... and so 8 teams play divided two ways into lets say the Sugar Bowl & the Orange Bowl
-the two "final 4" champs meet in a national champ game in one of the 4 ever rotating bcs bowls
-that takes three bcs bowl games outta the way... the fourth? maybe could hold a mid-major non-bcs tourney? runner-up game?
not sure yet (but they'd bitch about revenue)
-this way...

1)every team in a bcs conference has a shot... no more toughest this, over-rated that
2)a team michigan-esque or boise state-esque would probably have a shot
3)the bcs bowl games wouldn't bitch about their revenue (a premier reason for the present non-playoff system)... in fact two out of four years... holding one of two final fours... you'd have fours teams in your city, four armies of fans, 3 nationally televised games, double the amount of hotel rooms, double the money spent (bowl & citywide)... double the revenue for these greedy bastards? maybe that'd make up for that one year out of four they'd be left out the bcs playoff bowl???
4)introducing the UNDISPUTED NATIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS... ahhh sounds refreshing???

At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Matt K said...

I agree with Mr. Excessively Named Commenter. Play it off, please. I'm not sure I'd do 8 teams, but I'll admit, I love the system you just laid out. I honestly think that our best chance to get this in place is a "plus one" which would look way awesome this year. OSU-USC in the Rose, Michigan-Florida in the Sugar, let the winners duke it out somewhere warm like Miami or San Diego. Or in a fun city with a dome like St. Louis. Whatever, just play it off.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Harry Balzac said...

Oh, you poor, poor pitiful Michigan fans. Just fess up and admit that the SEC is better than the BigTen (or is it eleven?). You guys can't even count. Here's some numbers to practice counting with...

Records against the current BCS Top 25 teams...
BigTen Top Five
Michigan 2-1
Ohio State 1-0
Wisconsin 0-1
Penn State 0-4
Purdue 0-2

That's a whopping 3-8.

SEC Top Five
Florida 3-1
Arkansas 2-3
LSU 2-2
Auburn 2-1
Tennessee 1-3

That's 10-10. Hmmmm.

Instead of clamoring to be #2, all you had to do was beat a weak Ohio State team who never played anybody all season. Ohio State. 1-0 against the BCS. Don't talk to me about weak schedules.

End of arugment.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Florida is a better team offensively and defensively. It will be proven when the Gators upset the Buckeyes and Michigan gets beat by USC... book it!

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if you take away the West Carolina (1-AA) win for Florida, they are still 11-1 (same record as MI. Plus when you barely beat Ball State.... you don't get to talk about out of conference schedules. Oh...also, the other three non conf games for Florida this year, Southern Miss, UCF and FSU... All bowl teams last year.

I feel for Michigan, but I have always said, if you go undefeated(and play in a major conf) and dont get a chance at the title you have a right to complain, but as everyone knew at the begining of the season, if you loose a game you do not control your own fate.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger GOGATORS said...

Michigan didn't even win the Big Ten ok the have one loss good team but really who did they play outside of Ohio State really how tough was the Big Tem this year outside of Michigan and Ohio State. SEC is the toughest confrece and Michigan couldn't walk out of the SEC without having 1 to 2 losses this year. With Florida playing 6 top rated teams on there schedule out of 12 then playing the SEC championship against the top rated rushing team in all of NCAA football and outrushing them. Ok lets make that 7 top rated teams on our Florida's schedule this year. So Michigan can take thier Roses and just be happy they got them.

At 10:20 AM, Blogger j-rulz said...

Mich. defense gave up over 40 points and 500 yrds. You really think a team that does this deserves a 2nd chance? Come on, you had your shot. Did you watch the game, it wasn't that close! OSU dominated you! My little sisters cheerleading squad would prob give up less yrds and points. Move over and see how a real defense, an SEC DEFENSE, stops Mr. Heisman.

At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No proof who is better!!! Want proof? FIGHT for a playoff!!! Stop complaining and throwing insults at Michigan and Florida! They are both good teams! Florida is in, Michigan is not, DEAL WITH IT!!! Everyone is wasting time arguing who is better without solid proof and it accomplishes NOTHING!!! A playoff is the only answer. If the presidents are worried about the students playing too many games, cut back on the ooc games during the regular season. Let the conferences decide their champions and the champions go at it for the national championship. Independent teams would either need to join a conference or be ranked above 10-15 (or whatever is decided to be fair) to get a shot. Conference 2's, 3's, 4's, etc. can have at it in the other BCS Bowls.

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, We could argue strenght of schedule, home field, which one loss is more of a loss. In the end, it comes down to Florida did what they needed to do and Michigan did not.

Dallas, TX

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Overrated eh? Right! Oh and by the Florida shouldn't have lost to Tennesee, the beat them fair and square. I wouldn't bring up playing 1AA opponents either when UM almost lost to Ball State. Ball State may as well be a 1AA team.

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what the best part of all your senseless ramblings and speculation is...No matter what idiotic point you try to make, Florida's in, Michigan's out. Say what you will about the Big 10, SEC or whatever. At the end of the day Florida is in - and deservedly so. Whether you or any other Mich. fan agrees with that is completely irrelevant. You can lament your fate all you want. After all, at this point, that's all you really I understand. Keep crying about just makes everyone else that much happier that Mich,'s out!

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calm down Michigan fans, the system sucks. We knew it going in and know it now. Play it off!

That being said, my biggest problem with Michigan playing for the title (under this terrible system) is "THEY DIDN'T WIN THEIR CONFERENCE."

The SEC is a better conference overall this year (and most). The Big 10 was a three team coference this year. So, Michigan finished second in a three team conference.

This crap about about Floirda's nonconference schedule is just that, crap. They got 10 SEC games plus FSU (granted, a down year for them - still capable and a rival). They have played 10 bowl teams!

There are many fine programs that deserved a shot through a playoff and Michigan is certainly one of them.

Eight team proposal. Five automatic bids (SEC, Big 10, Big 12, PAC 10, ACC) and three at large bids.

This year (in no order):
5.Wake Forest
8.Louisville (sorry ND, beat someone first)

OSU probably still wins but at least it would be more deserving.

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not picking a side but I would have LOVED to have seen what Michigans final record would have been if they had played Florida's schedule. In consequence, I am assured Floridas record would have at the very least been 11-1 and possibly 12-0. Every thing is coming up roses whinereenes.
Tennessee...GATOR BAIT!

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michigan sucks the juices out of my dogs anal glands. BTW FLORIDA IS BETTER, and you are all pussies that have been severely fucked by Urban Meyers 12" cock!

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Gators Can and Will Beat Ohio State
Posted Dec 4th 2006 4:06PM by Ryan Ferguson
Filed under: Florida Football, SEC, BCS, Bowl Games, NCAA FB Fans, NCAA FB Gossip, NCAA FB Rumors

Ohio State fans are pretty sure of themselves these days. My esteemed Fanhouse colleague, JD Arney for Ohio State, wrote a little ditty after Florida was selected to appear in the title game. It was called: "Ohio State Wins 2006 National Championship." In JD's mind, Florida's BCS selection was nothing more a formality. JD, and plenty of other Ohio State fans, it seems, consider the Gators to be nothing more than cannon fodder. Apparently, by their reckoning, Urban Meyer's 12-1 SEC Champion Gators are destined to be crushed by the Sweatervest Juggernaut on January 8th.

"The ratings for this game will be a flop," commented one OSU fan. "It'll be over by halftime," says another. The giddy scarlet-and-grey crowd even predicted scores along the lines of 65-3. They're probably lining up to buy their championship gear already.

For reasons too numerous to get into here, that sort of cocky self-assuredness is a recipe for disaster if you root for the Bucks.

Not that the Gators need much help, but that serves as nothing more than m-o-t-i-v-a-t-i-o-n. Added incentive to give Ohio State the game of their lives.

Take a deep breath, Buckeye fans, and get ready to come to grips with the following statement:

The Buckeyes have no idea what they're about to tangle with when they face #2 BCS Florida in the national spotlight in Glendale, Arizona, on January 8th. And I mean that sincerely.

Why? Because Ohio State and its Heisman candidate quarterback would never have survived the SEC with a 12-1 record. They've yet to face a good, let alone great SEC defense. And they're not ready to keep up with the speed and athleticism of the Florida Gators.

How can I support this heresy? The old-fashioned way.

With facts.

Before we go any further, let me warn you: this is not a quick read. If you need a bathroom break, or a Diet Pepsi (my favorite beverage!), take care of those needs now. In fact, here's an outline for what lies ahead: we will review Ohio State, its schedule and its opponents first, followed by Florida. Then we'll compare. More after the jump.

Ready? Good.

Let's start by taking a look at OSU's schedule.

Date / Opponents / Result

September 2 Northern Illinois W 35-12
September 9 at No. 2 Texas W 24-7
September 16 Cincinnati W 37-7
September 23 No. 24 Penn State W 28-6
September 30 at No. 13 Iowa W 38-17
October 7 Bowling Green W 35-7
October 14 at Michigan State W 38-7
October 21 Indiana W 44-3
October 28 Minnesota W 44-0
November 4 at Illinois W 17-10
November 11 at Northwestern W 54-10
November 18 No. 2 Michigan W 42-39

Out of the twelve games played this season, Ohio State has matched up with two Top 5 opponents, one Top 15 opponent, and one (barely) Top 25 opponent.

Now, let's look more closely at those ranked opponents and play "Where Are They Now?"

Team / Rank at time of game / USA Today rank at end of regular season / Record / Drop/Climb

Texas No. 2 -> No. 16 (9-3) Dropped 14 places
Penn State No. 24 -> Unranked (8-4) Dropped out
Iowa No. 13 -> Unranked (6-6) Dropped out
Michigan No. 2 -> No. 3 (11-1) Dropped 1 place

Out of OSU's four ranked opponents, only two were arguably any good. Let's justify that with a quick look at Iowa and Penn State.

Iowa bowed to football powerhouse Indiana, lost five of their last six games, and finished unranked at 6-6. They never beat a ranked opponent, despite a winnable game against #16 Wisconsin. Kirk Ferentz's popularity bulb dimmed pretty quickly after a decent 2005 season.

And Penn State? They, too, failed to beat a single ranked opponent. Their wins include Akron, Youngstown State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois, and Temple. Their best win was probably over Purdue. The win-loss record of the other teams they beat is far from impressive. (Northwestern only won 2 conference games; Michigan State and Illinois only won 1. The name "Temple" says it all for that team. And Youngstown State and Akron -- well, we won't go there.)

And let's not forget defense. Who is Ohio State putting up the numbers against? Only Wisconsin, Texas and Michigan offer Top 25 defenses:

Wisconsin is #3 in Total Defense with only 16 TDs, but their defense has played the worst offensive teams in the country.
Michigan is ranked #6 in Total Defense, but suffer from the same problem: a bevy of weak opponents. (See below.)
Penn State: ranked #16 against the same terrible batch of teams.

Texas is ranked #22 in Total Defense.

(source: NCAA)

So: like I said, only two were any good. Any disagreement on that assessment so far? Any questions? No? Good. Let's zoom the microscope in just a little closer. Texas and Michigan remain.

How about Texas? They started the year ranked #2 and were seemingly blown out by the Bucks, 24-7. It cranked Troy Smith's Heisman hype up to overdrive and gave OSU plenty of momentum to run the table. But hold the phone, Dookie. Remember that Texas was starting a freshman QB by the name of Colt McCoy? He was outmatched in this game by Troy Smith. And the score seems to suggest a statistical shutdown of Texas.

But not so fast, my friends!

In fact, the numbers were quite even:

Total yards OSU: 348 / UT: 326
Passing yards OSU: 269 / UT: 154
Compt-att OSU: 17-26 / UT: 19-32
Rushing OSU: 79 / UT: 172
Yards per rush OSU: 2.7 UT 5.5
Turnovers OSU: 0 / UT: 2
Time of Poss. OSU: 29:34 / UT: 30:26

There are several interesting deductions here. First, the total yardage was almost identical (348 vs. 326.) Second, the two quarterbacks -- Smith a senior, McCoy a freshman -- were fairly even in pass completions (65% for Smith, 59% for McCoy) with an obvious advantage going to Smith for his 269 passing yards. But here's the nut we really want to crack: how does Ohio State give up 172 yards rushing and still win? The answer is simple: turnovers, and a freshman quarterback's inexperience. An interception by McCoy and a costly fumble gave the Bucks the opportunity to score three TDs and a field goal on Texas.

But the fact remains that Texas ran wild on OSU, and their freshman QB was able to complete a lot of passes against the Bucks' vaunted defense. Defense? Big 10? Who needs it?

So what you have here is a match which is far more competitive than it ever should have been for Ohio State, especially when you consider the QB mismatch. 24-7 looks good on paper, but it doesn't reflect the reality, which is that OSU's defense is average at best, and their offense... well, we'll get to that in a minute.

But Texas? The defending national champions? After handing Oklahoma their only true loss of the season, which was by far their best win -- and lucking out in a 22-20 victory over then #17 Nebraska, in which a last-second brain fart by the Huskers gave the ball back to the Longhorns -- they lost to Kansas State (!) and Texas A&M, both unranked teams. Yeah, I hear you now -- Colt McCoy was injured. But last time I checked, McCoy didn't play both ways, and the UT defense gave up 45 points to Kansas State. And against unranked Texas A&M, they could only put up a single TD.

What we're getting at here, and we think most objective fans will agree, is that Texas ain't all that great this season. They're a 3 loss team that should have lost four, and other than Nebraska, who almost doesn't count at #22, only had one victory over an opponent who finished in the Top 25.

Was Texas a quality W for Ohio State? It was at the time, or so the media told us. But if we're assigning OSU championship points, hindsight indicates they get precious few for that victory.

Finally: Michigan.

Let's start by giving Michigan credit. In the games we've seen them play this year, they look like a big, tough, physical team. A prototypical Big 10 warrior: not the fastest group of kids around, but athletic and disciplined. They act the part of a Top 5 team, although they have yet to play a team with speed.

Despite that, the Wolverines have precisely one strong win. In fact, they've only played one ranked team other than Ohio State -- Notre Dame, which from any imaginable perspective has to be one of the most overrated teams of the 2006 season. The Irish are a two-loss team who only by the grace of God, John L. Smith and Karl Dorrell avoided two additional losses at the hands of 4-8 Michigan State (who finished 1-8 in conference play) and UCLA, who finished with a 7-5 overall record (5-4 Pac-10), avoiding a six-loss regular season thanks to their miraculous victory over cross-town rival USC.

Anyone who watched the Irish against Michigan State knows that John L. Smith's coaching career was over after his staff guided the Spartans to a come-from-behind loss, snatching defeat from the mighty jaws of victory in a fashion which history has seldom seen.

And UCLA? Hey, the Gator Nation is a big fan of the Bruins. We're deliriously happy that, in Hugh Johnson style, UCLA brought down the whammy on the Trojans. But let's face the facts; for the Irish, beating the unranked Bruins with a last-second miracle pass is not an impressive victory.

So, you have that. Yes, Notre Dame was ranked, and yes, Michigan trounced them. But Notre Dame has been a pretender all year long; in fact, since the arrival of Charlie Weis, they have yet to beat a team which finished their season in the Top 25. Not one. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

Who else has Michigan beaten this year?

Here we go: Central Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the aforementioned Spartans, Penn State, Iowa, Northwestern, Ball State, Indiana, and... Vanderbilt.

None of those teams were ranked at the time they played Michigan. (Wisconsin ended up in the Top 15 after an 11-1 year, beating mostly the same group of terrible Big 10 teams and some big names like SDSU, Bowling Green, and Western Illinois. Following a familiar theme, the Badgers did not beat a single ranked opponent.) The one fly in the ointment is Vanderbilt, the perennial doormat of the SEC, who appeared to suffer mightily at the hands of the powerful Wolverines in their season opener in Ann Arbor, losing 27-7. But a closer look at the box score reveals that the game was close until late in the 3rd quarter; Michigan led by only six points -- 13-7 -- with 2:29 left in that period before scoring the game-busting TD. Vanderbilt held Michigan from scoring again until the meaningless final moments of the game, when, with 2:11, Mario Manningham caught a lob from Chad Henne to put an exclamation point on the final score.

Vanderbilt was never ranked and finished 1-7 in the SEC and 4-8 overall.

Since Michigan and Florida played the same team, the comparison is inevitable; but we'll get to that in the next section, when we talk about Florida's schedule.

One of those victories by Michigan deserves special attention: their 34-26 "win" over the dreaded Ball State Cardinals.

Let's make something clear. Ball State is bad. Really bad. Some would argue that they belong in the I-AA category. The Cardinals lost to Indiana, Purdue, ND State (I've never even heard of ND State!), Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, and Western Michigan.

Ball State outscored Michigan in the first and fourth quarters, and tied them in the third. Michigan could only outscore the Cards in the second quarter of play, by 14 points. In the first quarter, Ball State not only ran a Chad Henne interception back for six, they forced a safety! Ball State also outpassed Michigan -- 250 yards vs. 155 -- but simply couldn't run the ball at all, which ended up being their undoing.

That leaves a loss. It was Michigan's most impressive performance, so they say; their loss to the Buckeyes on November 18th.

A game in which they achieved 397 yards -- 267 in the air and 130 on the ground -- and 39 points, thanks in large part to OSU's -3 turnover margin.

Impressive? Maybe if you're a Big 10 fan.

Let's sum up Ohio State:

12 wins, zero losses...
... but only 2 wins of any significance whatsoever.
Both of those wins came over teams (Texas and Michigan) who beat a combined total of 3 ranked opponents in 2006.

One of those teams (Texas) lost to two unranked teams, Kansas State and Texas A&M.
The other, Michigan, beat only a single ranked opponent -- overranked and overrated Notre Dame.
The remaining victims of Ohio State were: Northern Illinois (MAC), Cincinnati (Big East), Penn State, Iowa, Bowling Green (MAC), Michigan State, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, and Northwestern, none of which have seen the inside of the Top 25 this season.
Speaking of the Zooker: Ohio State Struggled against 2-10 (1-7 Big 10) Illinois, winning 17-10 while putting up fewer total yards (224) than Illinois (234) and passing for only 108 yards vs. the Illini's 134. Illinois also earned 4.5 yards per carry on the ground vs. OSU's 2.5, and was nearly even in rushing yards (99 to OSU's 116.)
This is the team which will put 60+ points on the helpless, unworthy Gators?

Let's find out. It's time to talk Florida.

Date / Opponents / Result

September 2 Southern Miss W 34-7
September 9 UCF W 42-0
September 16 @ No. 13 Tennessee W 21-20
September 23 Kentucky W 26-7
September 30 Alabama W 28-13
October 7 No. 9 LSU W 23-10
October 14 @ No. 11 Auburn L 27-17
October 28 @ Georgia W 21-14
November 4 @ Vanderbilt W 25-19
November 11 South Carolina W 17-16
November 18 Western Carolina W 62-0
November 25 @ Florida State W 21-14
December 2 No. 8 Arkansas W 38-28

Out of the twelve games played this season, Florida has matched up with two Top 10 opponents (Arkansas, LSU) and two Top 15 opponents (Auburn, Tennessee). Unlike Ohio State's schedule, each and every one of these opponents put a quality product on the field. That's not even Including some of the unranked teams Florida beat -- teams who must face the upper crust of the SEC every year. I'm talking about teams like South Carolina (who came within a snaggletooth of beating Auburn and Florida, and were competitive in most of their games) and Georgia, who, despite quarterback and offensive woes throughout the season, always fielded tough defenses and eventually righted their ship with big victories over No. 5 Auburn and No. 16 Georgia Tech. Even Kentucky, bowl-bound at 7-5 for the year, was no slouch; they'd have eaten the Big 10's lower half alive, and given the Top 5 a real run for their money.

This is the SEC, of course, so let's talk defense. Of Florida's opponents, two are in the Top 10 for total defense; two are in the Top 20; and one is in the Top 25, for a total of five Top 25 defenses faced this year:

#4 BCS LSU is ranked #2 nationally in total defense, allowing only 18 TDs all year;

Unranked Georgia finished their regular season ranked #9 in total defense, allowing only 25 total TDs:
Unranked Florida State is #15 in total defense, allowing only 28 TDs;
Alabama and Auburn round out the list at #18 and #25 respectively.

The biggest difference in these stats vs. Ohio State? The teams these defenses play. SEC defenses are constantly going up against Top 25 teams. Big 10 defenses -- well, you already know who they play. The Northern Illinois' and Ball States of the world.

(source: NCAA)

"Where are they now?" Looking for where the ranked opponents ended up:

Team / Rank at time of game / USA Today rank at end of regular season / Record / Drop/Climb

Tennessee No. 13 -> No. 18 (9-3) Dropped 5 places
LSU No. 9 -> No. 4 (10-2) Moved up 5 places
Auburn No. 11 -> No. 10 (10-2) Moved up 1 place
Arkansas No. 8 -> No. 13 (10-3) Dropped 5 places

Already, the stats are starting to favor the Gators. Florida has played four ranked opponents, and when you consider those teams' victories...

Tennessee played three Top 10 opponents and two Top 15 opponents, ending up with a 9-3 record;
LSU played three Top 5 opponents (#3 Auburn, #5 Florida, #5 Arkansas) two Top 10 opponents, finishing with a 10-2 record;
Auburn played (and beat) #2 Florida and #6 LSU, and lost to the then-unranked but ascending Arkansas Razorbacks, the SEC West Champions -- final record 10-2;

Arkansas played two Top 5 teams, two Top 10 teams, and a Top 13 team, finishing with a 10-3 record after losing to Florida in the SEC Championship game.
... it's clear just what kind of quality Florida brings to the table when they win. In fact, all but one of Florida's SEC opponents is bowl-bound.

Not one of Florida's ranked opponents dropped out of the Top 25. Two moved up; two dropped; but none tanked. LSU is a BCS team headed to the Sugar Bowl to bring immeasurable pain to Notre Dame, Auburn's going to the Cotton Bowl and Arkansas has a Heisman-quality running back in Darren McFadden. Georgia will probably find their way back into the Top 25 if not the Top 20 if they win their bowl game.

Again, I remind you: UF lost a single game to that group of teams. And that loss came largely on the strength of a badly botched official review.

One more data point: not one of Florida's ranked opponents lost a single game to an unranked opponent. The Big 10 is light years away from being able to say that.

Buckeye fans, do you still doubt the power of the SEC?

(Rhetorical question. Don't answer it.)

Okay, let's get this out of the way: "But what about Western Carolina?"

What about them? They were a Division I-AA team that would have been competitive with Ball State. (Difference is, Florida put 62 points on WCU, and did it with their second, third, and fourth strings. Even walk-ons made it onto the field.)

Let's sum up Florida:

12 wins, one loss...
... against four ranked teams.
Florida's ranked opponents beat a combined total of eight ranked opponents, including one Top 5 team, six Top 10 teams, and one Top 15 team!

One of UF's wins -- Arkansas -- came during an extra game which Ohio State didn't have to play -- the conference championship matchup with No. 8 Arkansas.

Two additional teams were unranked but fielded Top 15 defenses.
Florida's schedule included a total of ten bowl-bound teams.

Florida's defense is ranked 10th in the country in Total Defense, 6th in the country in rushing defense, and 6th in scoring defense.
I know what you're thinking.

"Ohio State can move the ball, Ferg. They put up a lot of yards. Florida can't do that."

Is that so? Let's see what the NCAA stats say:

Ohio State total offense average: 409.75 yards
Florida total offense average: 398.08 yards.

"Quarterbacks," you're thinking. "Troy Smith is better."

Ohio State passing efficiency: 66.56%, 165.93
Florida passing efficiency: 63.26%, 151.90 rating

"Rushing," you say.

Ohio State rushing offense average: 180.08 yards per game
Florida rushing offense average: 160.31 yards per game

What makes those numbers truly remarkable is that while they're essentially pretty even, Florida does it against the nation's toughest defenses, while Ohio State does it against teams like Northern Illinois, Cincinatti, Indiana and Bowling Green.

The Bottom Line...

Florida not only can and will win, an objective review of the stats indicate that they should be favored to win. But let's not tell the world just yet. I want that 8.5 point Vegas line to keep growing. It all just adds up to more m-o-t-i-v-a-t-i-o-n. Now if we can just get some bulletin board material from the Bucks' players, so we can tack on some "style points... "
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Senior Gator

Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 446

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:48 pm Post subject:


"The Buckeyes have no idea what they're about to tangle with when they face #2 BCS Florida in the national spotlight in Glendale, Arizona, on January 8th. And I mean that sincerely".

That may be the most badass quote i've ever read! I want to play tonight!!! Awsome,Awsome article!!!

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there's a valid reason you're feeling screwed Dave. It's obvious to me and the rest of the world that you're a big crying pussy.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger done said...

I've got a better idea....

Since Michigan is the only team deemed worthy of having a chance of beating Ohio State, both of you secede from the NCAA and form your own two team league. Then, play each other weekly for 11 weeks (the 11th game on a neutral field) and declare your own National Champion.

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy shit!!! you are a badass and my hero.

At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That long post above titled "The Gators Can and Will Beat Ohio State" pretty much sums it up. Is there a reply to it?

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous LadyGator said...

Even if Florida loses to Ohio State by 55 points, they are the more deserving AND better team to play for the national title over Michigan. Since when has Michigan had to play a tough schedule and still be in the top 5 at the end of the season? Dry your whiny little eyes and get over it. You want to complain that Florida has I-AA teams on its schedule, fine. Then what business does Michigan have playing Ball State?????

Florida had to beat Tennessee in Knoxville, Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, Georgia, and Arkansas to get to play Ohio State this year. Other than Notre Dame and Ohio State, who did Michigan play all year? There's a reason why the Big Ten is referred to as the "Big 2 Little 8" everywhere else. It's a puny conference and has no business dominating the national title game. If you don't want to reward teams for winning 10 games in a tough schedule, that's your problem, but that attitude is simply wrong. If you can't face the reality that Florida does have the toughest schedule in the country this year, then your team deserves nothing but the consolation prize that it got. With only two ranked teams on its whole schedule, Michigan doesn't even deserve to go to the Rose Bowl. You make me sick.

Only a few teams outside the Big 2 Little 8 has had the opportunity to play Ohio State for the national championship. Why should Michigan get TWO tries? All season long, all we heard was that the winner of the Ohio State-Michigan game would go to the national championship game this year; no sooner did Michigan lose that game and suddenly we started hearing nothing but the screechy whine "I WANNA REMATCH!" Only one word can accurately and fairly describe your post: pathetic.

If you really think Florida "should have" lost to Tennessee and South Carolina (which is completely wrong), then Michigan "should have" lost to Ball State. If your team can't beat an unranked team by more than 8 points, you have no business criticizing Florida. I'm not saying Florida is perfect, but I am sick to death of hearing you Michigan freaks complain about getting the shaft because you didn't get a second chance to beat Ohio State. If you had lost the second time, what then would you have demanded? A third try? Will nothing satisfy you people? Complain all you want; the rest of the country will do nothing but pity you because of how ridiculous you look with your blue-colored glasses. No wonder Ohio State hates you so much.

At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michigan didn't even win the Big Ten. Ok they have one loss good team, but really who did they play outside of Ohio State, really how tough was the Big Ten this year outside of Michigan and Ohio State. SEC is the toughest confrece, and Michigan couldn't walk out of the SEC without having 1 to 2 losses this year. With Florida playing 6 top rated teams on there schedule out of 12, then playing the SEC championship against the top rated rushing team in all of NCAA football and outrushing them, pleaseeee!!!. Ok lets make that 7 top rated teams on our Florida's schedule this year. So Michigan can take thier Roses and just be happy they got them.

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not saying who's better, but Florida played 10 teams this year that are going to bowl games. UCF fizzled, but they were a bowl team last year...

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crying will not change the fact that Florida will play Ohio State. Yea, there are many good teams that the system screws over....bitch for a change, not the team that was chosen by other people....

At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rage much? Florida is better. How's that? UF played 10 teams that are bowl eligible. Michigan played 7. UF went 9 - 1 in those 10, Michigan went 6 - 1. Michigan struggled to beat Ball State. ND was overrated (see USC game). Quit whining and get on with life. Now tell me, why should Michigan get a mulligan to decide who the Big 10 champion is?

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you say, "SOUR GRAPES!"

UF, 9-1 against bowl teams. 3-1 against teams in the BCS top 12.

Michigan, 1-1 against the same competition. Eight-point win against Ball State, at home!

Nuff said!!

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Mr. Excessively Long Named Commenter, The Football Gods, Reggie Nelson, and oh yes... Ball State said...

my orange n' blue brethren is finally here... amen... amen

At 5:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

youre a stupid Michigan fag, you had your chance to beat Ohio State and you lost, get over it. You cant even win your own conference but yet, you deserve to play Ohio State again ? If you were to play them and beat them, it wouldnt be a championship anyways, Furthermore , the only reason you were even in the game with Ohio State was the fact that the Buckeyes got lax on the play calling and turned the ball over. It was a 3 point loss because Michigan got a trash TD. Shut up and enjoy the Rosey Bowl you bunch of whiney fags !

At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Michael said...

"Don't tell me Florida had the toughest schedule when they schedule 1-AA teams."

Florida played 10 bowl teams and beat 9. Michigan played 7 bowl teams and beat 6. 10 of 13 were bowl teams! Yeah, we played a 1-AA school, but we killed them. Michigan played Ball State who SHOULD be 1-AA, and they were in the game until late in the 4th quarter!

Michigan had their chance, if you had won on November 18th, then we would be playing YOU, and not OSU.

I'm tired of everyone saying "Michigan is the better team." PROVE IT! What is Michigan going to say when we beat OSU? Oh well we should've still had our chance?

This just in, you had your chance. YOU LOST!

At 7:06 AM, Blogger Harry Balzac said...

"LSU outgained Florida, and held Leak to 155 yards no TDs and 1 INT, yet lost because they turned the ball over 5 times including three JaMarcus Russell INTs."

It's called having a defense. If Michigan really had one, they would have beaten Ohio State.

How do you score 39 points...AND LOSE?!!!

"Offense wins ball games.
Defense wins championships."
--Vince Lombardi

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If nothing else these posts proove Michigan fans are classier. Let's see how many F fans post after the game.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Harry Balzac said...

Yeah, classier cry babies.

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous gatorman007 said...

Hey asswipe, win your conference and you are in the national championship game no questions far as comparing the Big 10 and the SEC, it doesn't matter who's stronger..get behind a playoff system and all this goes away..but for now, gut it up and quit crying're embarassing your fine team and conference..

At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

42-39 = a thrilling three point loss deserving of a rematch

13-10 = an ugly defensive struggle.

At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there Michigan fans!!! Do me a favor, cry me a river!! Boo fucking hoo!!

At 5:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

they should've lost to South Carolina and Tennessee when the only team Michigan should've lost to was Ohio State

This is pure genius. With this kind of logic we wouldn't even need a playoff system. Let's just figure out which teams should have lost which games and then pick the champ from there. Brilliant!!! Should've lost, could've lost, whatever, they won and there is really no argument for that. Is Michigan a good team? Sure they are. Are they hands down better than Florida? Based on what? There is really no argument for who is the better team. The Vanderbilt games? Michigan in Ann Arbor and Florida at Vanderbilt. What? Home field doesn't matter? Then shut up about not getting your chance against OSU. Neither win was very impressive against Vandy. Florida gets to play in the Championship game because they are champions and Michigan is not. Plain and simple. You can skew the facts to argue either point but the fact you can't skew is Florida is in and Michigan is not. UM better lock and load for USC or all this will be for nothing.

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Ryan Ferguson is my hero! I've been looking for a good analysis like that and finally have it! Why can't the media compare it like you did! Man, those Michigan fans got pretty quite after that. I love hearing them cry! I love knowing that none of this bitching even matters because we're going and they are not! I'll be in Vegas before Glendale and plan on putting all my savings on those Gators!

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You still think you belong in the Championship Game?

No way.

At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't heeeeaaaarrrrr yoooouuuu!!!!!

At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Big Ten fanboys can suck a big SEC cock.

UF vs. Ohio State 41 - 14
USC vs. Michigan 32 - 18

Ohio State 0-8 vs. SEC schools
2006 5 SEC teams in top 25
2006 7 SEC teams go to bowl games
2006 SEC teams bowl record: 5-2
2006 Teams beaten in bowls:
-Ohio State
-Notre Dame
-Virginia Tech

Enough said.


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