Tricks of the Trade.
No, not costumes and candy tricks and treats … the tricks of the college football scheduling trade are the discussion points this Halloween.
It must be a real treat to be #1 ranked Ohio State.
Play your first challenging opponent in the ninth game of the season. Play a non-conference schedule that includes Youngstown, Akron, and Kent. Win three tough games, do not play a conference title game, and play for the national championship. Sweet.
How about Boston College?
Play consecutive mid-season games with Army, U Mass, and Bowling Green. Play an ACC schedule against a league that may only have one or two other Top 25 teams. Yum.
Those two teams would play for a national title if the season ended this week.
That is a trick, not a treat.
Think Oregon, Arizona State, or LSU might like to trade places with Ohio State and Boston College (the teams ranked just ahead of them in the polls).
The BCS system is inherently unfair to teams from stronger conferences.
By dominating Ohio State in the title game last season, Florida proved what many knew. A one-loss SEC team is often better than an undefeated foe from a weak league. But, keep in mind the Gators only got that chance because USC lost to UCLA.
Let the drumbeat begin … an undefeated team from the ACC does not deserve a title shot over a once-beaten PAC 10 or SEC team.
Also, it is highly questionable as to whether an unbeaten Big Ten team deserves to be taken instead of such a team either.
Here are a few trick or treat ratings for the BCS conferences.
ACC: Trick … Even an undefeated league champ may not get voted into the title game. Treat … those stronger conferences may not yield a one-loss team.
Big East: Trick … U Conn in a BCS game? Treat … West Virginia will take care of that problem.
Big Ten: Trick … Ohio State finally plays decent teams. Treat … The Buckeyes own Michigan, toughest remaining foe.
Big 12: Trick … Kansas gets no respect. Treat: Oklahoma likely to face Jayhawk-Missouri winner in title game.
PAC 10: Trick … national darling USC is out of the race (probably). Treat … Oregon and Arizona State look like real contenders.
SEC: Trick … nation’s toughest conference continues to consume its own. Treat: LSU vs. Bama is a grudge match for the ages.
Around the Nation this Week
In Big Ten country, Top-ranked Ohio State welcomes dangerous Wisconsin to the Horseshoe. Michigan and Michigan State play for the Paul Bunyan trophy at the Big House.
Out West, the PAC 10 features a huge top 5 contest when unbeaten Arizona State travels to Oregon to face the once-beaten Ducks. Winner is very much in the national title picture.
The Big Twelve sees South leader Oklahoma hosting inconsistent Texas A&M, North contender Missouri playing at Colorado, and division leader Kansas welcoming Nebraska.
Florida State travels to Chestnut Hill to play unbeaten and #2 ranked Boston College.
The best game in the Big East is Cincinnati at South Florida.
Around the South this Week
The SEC has LSU playing at Alabama in a game that has more bad blood than the scariest Halloween costume. Les Miles and Nick Saban won’t be exchanging treats.
South Carolina at Arkansas should be worth watching (and has been added to the ESPN schedule).
In addition to the FSU-BC game, the ACC offers up a nice Thursday night game when Virginia Tech visits Georgia Tech. Wake Forest at Virginia is a regional telecast.
See you at kickoff!