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CFB NOTES

   by Larry Ness - 10/28/2004

NESS NOTES (CFB)

The BCS began its reign back in 1998 when its final standings became the basis for the NCAA in choosing its two national title-game participants. Since that first BCS title game featuring Tennessee and Florida State (won by Tennessee 23-16 in the Fiesta Bowl), the only BCS affiliated conference that has not had one of its members win a national championship is the Pac-10! In fact, the Pac-10 has never had one of its member’s even make the title game….

Clearly that could very well change this year as USC has been ranked No. 1 in both traditional polls since the preseason and has been a solid No. 1 in each of the first two BCS rankings released this year. In the most recent BCS rankings the two biggest developments were Oklahoma moving past Miami into the number two position and Utah slipping past Wisconsin into the sixth spot. Of course No. 1 meets No. 2 in the title game and a school ranked at least sixth guarantees itself a BCS Bowl-bid....

There are many injustices in the current system, not the least of which is the polls themselves. Does any one really believe that there are very many schools that would be given the benefit of a doubt shown Florida State in 2004? The Seminoles opened their season with a pathetic effort at Miami-Florida, losing 16-10 in overtime. In that game the Seminoles had just 10 FDs and gained 165 yards. QB Chris Rix was 12-of-28 for 108 yards with two interceptions while the team rushed for just 57 yards in 35 carries....

Florida State also has on its resume a four-point win at Syracuse, a school that has lost in 2004 to Purdue (51-0), Virginia (31-10) and West Virginia (27-6). How about the Seminoles three-point win last week at 3-4 Wake Forest? Honestly, how can FSU be ranked ahead of unbeaten Wisconsin (I won't even mention Utah!)? Why are the Seminoles more deserving of a number-five ranking over one-loss schools like Cal (ask USC how good the Bears are?), Georgia, Texas or Michigan?....

There was much made last year that it was the COMPUTERS that screwed things up. I've always contended that the computers are no more at fault than the writers or the coaches! Any arguments?

One last BCS note. The WAC has two teams ranked in the BCS top-25, Boise State at No. 13 and UTEP at No. 24. The Big East has one, West Virginia at No. 18. Under BCS rules, the Big East champion gets an automatic bid to one of the four BCS Bowls (and about a $15 million pay-out!). As for the WAC champion, most likely an undefeated Boise State team, they'll most likely be headed to the MPC Computers Bowl. No flaws in this system, right?...

Heading into the final Saturday of October, there are still SEVEN undefeated major college football teams and none will play each other the rest of the way. Which two schools will make it to the Orange Bowl where the national title will be decided? If you believe in history repeating itself, keep this fact in mind....

THREE of the last four BCS champions have won the title a year after a five-loss season! 2003 champion LSU was 8-5 in 2002 and they are joined by 2002 champion Ohio State (7-5 in 2001), as well as 2000 champion Oklahoma (7-5 in 1999)! Any one of this year's contenders lose FIVE games last year? Try Auburn, as the Tigers went 8-5 in 2003!...

While there may be seven schools still undefeated, NONE of the seven are perfect ATS. In fact, only ONE of the nation's 117 Division 1-A schools can claim a perfect ATS record in 2004 and that's Louisville. The Cardinals, ranked 14th in the AP, 16th in the coaches' poll and 17th in the BCS are 5-1 SU but 6-0 ATS....

Central Florida remains the last winless team in the nation. The Golden Knights are 0-7 in 2004 and own the nation's longest current losing streak at 11 straight. But even UCF has COVERED a game in 2004, losing 30-28 at Northern Illinois as a 17 1/2-point underdog! The same can't be said for the Washington Huskies!....

Washington is 1-6 on the year, beating San Jose State on October 9, 21-6. However, Washington was an 18-point favorite in that game and has failed to cover in any of the team's six SU losses to-date, making the Huskies the only team in the nation with a winless ATS mark (0-7)!....

CLOSING NOTE....Clearly, 2004 has been a terrible year for the Huskies. Washington lost at USC last Saturday 38-0 ending a streak of 271 games in which Washington had scored! If that wasn't bad enough, the loss also ensured that Washington would finish 2004 with a losing record for the first time since 1976, ending a stretch of 27 consecutive non-losing seasons!...

While 2004 may be a bad year for Washington, Penn State is working on a bad DECADE in Happy Valley. Joe Paterno's team may have hit rock bottom last Saturday with the Nittany Lions' 6-4 loss to Iowa! Penn State is now 2-5 this year, 5-14 the last two seasons and has lost 31 games since 2000. Don't think that's all that bad? Well Penn State lost a total of just 22 games during the 1970s, 28 games during the 1980s and 26 games during the 1990s!...

If Joe Paterno ever needed a sign that it was time for him to go, it's this! Penn State's 6-4 loss to Iowa last week matched the score of another memorable game. College football's first-ever game was played in 1869 between Rutgers and Princeton, a game that ended, 6-4!...

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