Think that the champion of college football should be determined on the field, not by a computer? In an ideal world we’d just have a playoff for college football. While we can’t have a 65 team bracket like college basketball, there’s still room for a postseason tournament. The best possibility is a final four type tournament with semifinal and championship games. But just for the sake of it, here’s our eight team tournament that would dictate college football’s, not some computer’s, national champion. Keep checking back to see our results of these games, which will be posted in the upcoming days/weeks (unfortunately no one can watch the games, as they are only carried by the NFL Network):
No. 1 seed: Hawaii Warriors (12-0) - - WAC conference
While not playing the toughest schedule, QB Colt Brennan (above) and the Hawaii Warriors were the only team in Division 1 to finish the season undefeated. Sure they just eeked out a win against Washington at home. But think beating the teams you're supposed to beat is easy? Tell that to Ohio State hosting Illinois, Michigan hosting Appalachian State, WVU hosting Pittsburgh, Boston College hosting Florida State, USC hosting Stanford. And those are only home games, and only a handful of the boatload of massive upsets this year. So while the Warriors only beat one ranked team (Boise State), and while they play in the non-BCS Western Athletic Conference, they did everything they could to win. Hawaii was the only team to not lose a game. There are only two teams that lost one. Therefore, Hawaii gets the nod as we hope for another Boise State type game. If the Warriors blow it, the little guys don’t get as much respect next year.
No. 2: Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1) - - Big Ten
This wasn’t an easy decision. But since we have a playoff, the choice to put Ohio State at number two doesn’t mean everything. They played in a down Big Ten this year. They lost to then unranked Illinois at home. But in the same 25 day period, they also won tough games against Wisconsin and at Penn State and Michigan. While not playing as tough a schedule as some of the other contenders, they were one of two major conference teams to come out of the season with just one loss. And the Buckeyes are much better than that Kansas squad.
No. 3: LSU Tigers (11-2) - - SEC
LSU has the most impressive resume of any team in the top 8. Although the team has two losses, they were both in triple overtime. One game was at then No. 17 Kentucky. The other loss was to a team with Heisman contender Darren McFadden. LSU plays in the nation’s toughest conference, and has six wins against ranked teams (including two against top 10 squads). They beat Virginia Tech by 41. They go for it on virtually every fourth down. Les Miles called for a pass from the 22 yard line when the team was down one point to Auburn. This team is exciting, and impressive.
No. 4: Georgia Bulldogs (10-2) - - SEC
So the Bulldogs didn’t play in their conference championship game. That’s unfortunate as it would have helped their case. But Georgia won its last six games, including four SEC contests and three against ranked squads. The Bulldogs are hot, led by one of the most electrifying players in the nation with one of the best names, RB Knowshon Moreno. Georgia gets the nod at 4 because of their recent success through the difficult SEC. It wasn’t an easy choice, but No. 4 plays No. 5 anyways, so yet again, thanks to the playoff system, the seeding isn’t all or nothing.
No. 5: USC Trojans (10-2) - - Pac 10
Another tough choice. USC could have made it to four, but we just couldn’t justify a loss to Stanford at home. More forgivable is the seven-point loss to Oregon on the road. The team has enough quality wins to sneak in at 5, including wins over three ranked squads. Oklahoma has also beat three ranked schools. But the quality of the Pac 10 is superior to the Big 12, and we know USC always brings it during bowl season.
No. 6: Oklahoma Sooners (11-2) - - Big 12
Oklahoma settles into the number six spot after winning the Big 12 championship. It’s somewhat low for a BCS conference champion, but we’re not buying the Big 12 this year. Texas was down, Texas A&M struggled mightily, and Baylor and Iowa State were horrific. The Sooners, however, did beat a tough Missouri team twice. In one of their losses (to Texas Tech) they were without starting quarterback Sam Bradford. Oklahoma is definitely a solid team, and if they don’t like this ranking, then they can prove us wrong by plowing through the field.
No. 7: Virginia Tech Hokies (11-2) - - ACC
Virginia Tech’s only two losses were to then No. 2 teams Boston College and LSU. But the loss to LSU (their prime out of conference game) was by a wide margin of 41 points. The Hokies also did not have any other prime out of conference games, playing the likes of Ohio and William & Mary. They did win the ACC championship, but the league was inconsistent this season. VT did not have to face ACC juggernaut Maryland either. The Hokies offense has also struggled at times this season. That being said, the defense and special teams are outstanding as usual. VT also beat three ranked teams, and if it weren’t for that last second loss to BC, would be much higher.
No. 8: Missouri Tigers (11-2) - - Big 12
Mizzou slides in the last spot, after just missing out on playing the national championship game. Missouri, unlike other teams vying for number eight (WVU, Illinois), has no bad losses. The Tigers only lost to Oklahoma, albeit twice. But the team won most of its games decisively, including a 36-28 win over Kansas and a blowout of Texas Tech 41-10. They don’t boast an extremely impressive list of eye popping wins, but Missouri took care of business. Also, quarterback Chase Daniel and a dynamic spread offense give the Tigers a chance to compete with anyone.
Hey, what about us?!?!?
West Virginia (10-2) - - Big East – As much as we (Pat) would love to have a Big East representative their best wins, Cincinnati and UConn, don’t exactly blow us away. And they had a shot at the BCS Championship Game if they beat Pitt and couldn’t pull out a victory? Sorry, teams that choke in their biggest moments don’t belong.
Kansas (11-1) - - Big 12 – Kansas is one of just two one-loss teams in the nation, and that loss was to Missouri. But Kansas just didn’t beat anyone good. Is this hypocritical, since we put Hawaii as the top seed? Maybe. Mark Mangino, (pictured below) please don’t eat us.
Illinois (9-3) - - Big Ten – Illinois has some big wins, including a game at Ohio State and against Wisconsin. However, they’ve lost to two teams that are not currently in the Top 25, and we just couldn’t bring ourselves to put in a three-loss team.
Picture Credit (above): http://msnbcmedia2.msn.com/j/apmegasports/200612250004002723105-pf.widec.jpg
Picture Credit (below): http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m158/Jeofrie/kansas/mangino.jpg