Texas Hate: What Went Wrong For TCU and Baylor

The most depressing set of rankings in college football this year.

The most depressing set of rankings in college football this year.

Under the BCS, people complained that the college football title was being decided by a number crunching computer. Today in 2014, under a selection committee, is the system better?

The committee had to pick four teams, and what we learned on Sunday afternoon is that crunching numbers is still in charge. Just look at the records for the top six teams and you see right away why teams 5 and 6 were left out.

1. Alabama 12-1
2. Oregon 12-1
3. Florida State 13-0
4. Ohio State 12-1

5. Baylor 11-1
6. TCU 11-1

See the problem. The Big 12 schools had one less game. The top four schools all played an extra game against a quality team this week. TCU and Baylor were just finishing up their regular schedule.

SEC fans and coaches thought the Big 12 had an advantage by not having a championship game. It turned out to be a weakness. It’s not easy to put a team that’s 11-1 over a team that’s 12-1. A computer would not have cared about winning a conference championship. Instead it would have just calculated the strength of schedule to figure out how a C-USA regular season game between losing teams impacted the SEC elite. Stuff us humans don’t really care about. That’s how Alabama and LSU played each other again in the title game in 2011.

Humans do care about conference championships. Humans do care about having one more win than another team. The past month we were waiting for Baylor’s victory over TCU to mean something as the committee continued to put TCU ahead of Baylor. Baylor’s weaker strength of schedule, especially in non-conference play was the reason given.

But on Sunday afternoon, strength of schedule didn’t mean squat. Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State all won an extra 13th game that Baylor and TCU didn’t even play. The result was Texas Christian and Baylor splitting the Big 12 title as Co-Champions. The problem though is how do you let one Co-Champion into the playoff without the other?

You can’t.

Instead the committee just doled out bids to the teams that truly won its conference in the order that its conference is perceived as. SEC is first (Alabama), PAC-12 second (Oregon), ACC third (Florida State) and Big Ten fourth (Ohio State). If the committee truly valued strength of schedule then Ohio State would have been out as its home loss to Virginia Tech was worse than TCU’s defeat at Baylor and Baylor’s defeat at West Virginia.

If TCU and Baylor played each other again this past Saturday it’s hard to see the winner of that game missing the playoff. But they didn’t play each other again, and the conference that was all about “One True Champion” is stuck with two champions on the outside looking in.

This doesn’t mean that a Big 12 team can’t make the playoff. Just means it is a little bit tougher. TCU or Baylor would have had to go undefeated like Florida State to secure a spot. For a one loss team from this league to get into the playoff a championship game will go a long way to keep pace with the other leagues. Either apply for a waiver from the NCAA to get a title game with just 10 teams, or steal two more from another league. Seriously, what does Boise State have to do and how many Big 12 teams does North Dakota State have to beat?

SMU Gets a WinSensor Scans

While TCU is wondering what else it has to do get a title chance, nearby SMU is happy to say it won a game. The winless Mustangs traveled to a UConn team that gave up football season for basketball weeks ago. The result was SMU overcoming a 20-6 halftime deficit to score three unanswered touchdowns for a 27-20 win. It was just the third time this season SMU scored over 13 points. You have to start somewhere I suppose. The game was really a three-hour billboard for how the American Athletic Conference is a mess of teams who don’t fit. Memphis, Cincinnati, and Central Florida all share the conference title. Begging the question, when you share a league championship with two other teams did anyone really win it?

FCS Shocker

I predicted Jacksonville State would win the FCS championship before the playoffs started and whoops. The Gamecocks let me down big time losing to Sam Houston State 37-26 in the second round at home. It was the first loss Jacksonville State has had to a FCS team all year. Give credit to the Bearkats for forcing two interceptions and keeping Jacksonville State scoreless in the second half. I wrote off Sam Houston State after it was blown out by a division II team at home back in September but have gone 9-1 since then.

Jacksonville State’s defeat reflects badly on the Ohio Valley Conference as the league went 0-2 in the FCS playoffs.

No Upsets in Volleyball

The first two rounds of women’s volleyball tournament were completed this week and 15 of the top 16 seeds have made it to the Sweet Sixteen. Only Kansas, the 16 seed, failed to make it out of the weekend. The last underdog team left is Oregon State and it’s hard to call a PAC-12 team Cinderella.

The good news is that the best teams from the regular season are going to fight it out the next two weeks. The bad news is that my bracket looks pretty stupid for all the upsets I was hoping for.

Florida State is the Queen of Soccer

In an ACC battle for the Women’s Soccer Cup, congratulations to Florida State on its 1-0 win over Virginia. It was the first national championship in women’s soccer for Florida State and probably couldn’t have come at a better time given all the allegations the school has had to deal with the past year.

If you think this is not a big deal at a football school like Florida State then check out this scene.

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College Volleyball Tournament Preview 2014: Happy Huskies

Can Colorado State be the mid-major that breaks through in this year's tournament?

Can Colorado State be the mid-major that breaks through in this year’s tournament?

The D-1 women’s volleyball tournament is here, and I’m a little late making my picks.

The bracket was not kind to Big Ten powerhouses Penn State and Wisconsin placing them in the same region. This means a rematch of last year’s championship match will most likely occur in the regional final.

Overall, Stanford is the top seed but Texas and Washington are right behind.

Through the RPI, the matches I was able to catch, and the college volleyball social media guide I did in August, I have to pick Washington to win it all over Stanford in the final. The Huskies gave the Cardinal its only loss and can do so again. Plus, Washington was one of the best schools in promoting volleyball over social media.

As far as upsets I think Nebraska is vulnerable to Kansas State, Creighton should have a good chance over Kansas and my big upset special is Long Beach State making it to the Sweet Sixteen through UCLA. My round one upset is Lipscomb over Ohio State.

I really wanted to pick Colorado State over Texas as the Rams have been the best mid-major this season. Just couldn’t do it so prove me wrong Rams. The selection committee did the Rams no favors with a likely meeting with rival Colorado in round 2.

Here are all my picks.

VB1

VB2

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SEC Takes the Week Off

SEC football teams are loading up on FCS cupcakes this week as the big rivalries occur Thanksgiving weekend. The result is a light weekend that is rescued by a few key games in the Big Ten West and the PAC-12 South.

On the other hand some preseason tournaments are underway in college basketball. Conference tournaments are in action for mid-major volleyball, and both men’s and women’s soccer have their postseason this weekend too. Here is the viewer’s guide. Navi Sol. 11-21

So Many Sports, So Little Time

With college basketball starting up we have four college sports in action this weekend. Welcome to November.

Soccer is having its first round of its big dance for the women and conference tournaments for the men this weekend. Volleyball is having regular season races nearing the finish line and we all know what’s at stake for college football teams this month. Saturday is huge for the SEC with Mississippi State and Alabama but the ACC and Big Ten have key games as well. Minnesota hosting Ohio State has upset alert written all over it and so does Florida State at Miami.

Here is my viewing guide as there is plenty to choose from over the next few days.
Solution 11-14-14

Early Title Games for the Big Ten and Big 12?

Navi Sol 11-8The Fall sports season is reaching its climax as conference races are easy to picture now. Ohio State at Michigan State is virtually the Big Ten title game. Kansas State at TCU could be the same with the Big 12. I like Michigan State and Kansas State for those two. Alabama at LSU is always a big game that could go either way. Arizona State has a chance to stop Notre Dame’s playoff hopes in the afternoon. I’m picking the Sun Devils.

If women’s soccer is your sport than this is your weekend with conference tournaments. The Big Ten, ACC and SEC will have their title matches Sunday afternoon but look for smaller conferences on ESPN3.

PAC-12 Makes Saturday Night Special

Happy Halloween everyone! Just so you know, with Halloween being on a Friday night don’t expect much in the college sports world tonight and tomorrow at noon. Teams know students and fans will have a hard time attending an early game after a late night. This means that college football doesn’t get juicy until Saturday evening with Auburn and Ole Miss, but TCU at West Virginia is a sneaky good game at 3:30.

The big story will be the PAC-12 with three night games that will have a major impact on the conference race. If you can stay up for it I’m sure you will be glad you did. Here is my navigation solution for the weekend.
Navi Sol 10-31

Potential for Shockers This Saturday

Navigation Solution 10-24
The past two weeks of college football have been incredible but this Saturday it appears things will be coming back down to Earth. Just two games involved top 25 teams and three of those four schools are outside the top 15. Still, the games are important as someone is probably going down. Ohio State is one such candidate as it could falter at Penn State. In terms of conference races, watch USC at Utah as it will make an impact on the PAC-12 South.

A couple of volleyball games to watch includes UC-Davis at Cal State-Northridge Friday night in Big West play. The big one though is Nebraska at Wisconsin on ESPN2 Sunday. The Badgers are currently on top in the Big Ten and it’s rare for ESPN2 to air a regular season game in volleyball.