Chat with Brad Edwards
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Bill (Morgantown, WV)
If a Big East team wins out, what are the chances of them playing for the national championship?
Edwards (12:17 PM)
Given the margin West Virginia has over the one-loss teams in the polls and the huge upside it has in the computers, I think the Mountaineers are in great shape if they win out. If Louisville wins on Thursday, I think they replace WVU at No. 3 in the BCS next week and have an above average chance to stay ahead of all the one-loss teams if they can finish unbeaten. Rutgers is much more susceptible to finishing behind a once-beaten team, because it started so much further back in the polls and doesn't have any history of success. The best shot for Rutgers is to win at WVU in a battle of undefeated teams on Dec. 2.
Brenden, Howell, MI
What are the odds of Michigan and Ohio State playing in the last game as well as in the National Championship game?
Edwards (12:24 PM)
Not good, because a lot of things would have to fall perfectly to make it happen. For starters, the Michigan-OSU game will have to be a classic -- last-second FG or double OT type of classic, not merely a close game. Second, I think there would have to be a shortage of other quality opponents to choose from for the No. 2 spot in the BCS. Keep in mind, the polls account for two-thirds of the formula, and the voters know they have that kind of power. When they fill out their final ballots, they recognize that the first two teams listed are their picks to play for the national title. My opinion is that they don't vote for a rematch unless there's just not another compelling big-name team out there.
Brion (San Antonio, TX)
Looks like the Longhorns don't have much shot at defending their title since they aren't getting any love from the computers. Do they have any shot just by winning out, or do they need most of the teams ahead of them to lose?
Edwards (12:30 PM)
In any normal situation, being the highest-ranked one-loss team in both polls is a huge advantage. But those computers are doing an extraordinary job of holding back the Horns. I confess to being shocked that they've only improved three places in the computers after back-to-back road wins over Nebraska and Texas Tech. Of course, Nebraska's loss on Saturday didn't help. To get into the BCS Championship Game, Texas needs to be ranked No. 2 in both polls (which will probably require losses by both West Virginia and Louisville) AND be ranked at least top 5, on average, by the computers. If there's more than one 1-loss team from the SEC at the end of the regular season, Texas is probably hopeless.
If Florida runs the table and assuming the Michigan-Ohio State winner is the only unbeaten, do you think they will go to the BCS title game? Strength of schedule right now helps them, but could remaining games (Vandy, South Carolina, Western Carolina, and FSU) hurt their SOS and drop them?
Edwards (12:39 PM)
Florida State's struggles definitely hurt the Gators. As strange as it sounds, not too many people will be impressed by a win in Tallahassee this year. Clearly, Florida's best-case scenario is to play another once-beaten team in the SEC Championship Game, and it will also help Florida in the computers if Tennessee finishes with only that loss to the Gators. But if the Michigan-OSU winner is the only undefeated team, Florida might get the No. 2 spot in the BCS by just taking care of its own business.
Why is there such a lack of love for the Hogs in all of the talk of one loss teams? They control their own future, yet every pick I see for the SEC champ game is still Auburn.
Edwards (12:46 PM)
I've wondered the same thing. It sure seems that nobody believes Arkansas can avoid losing twice in November. I'm wondering how many more wins it will take before they finally climb over Auburn in the polls. It's somewhat comical that the voters have Auburn, Florida and Tennessee ordered by head-to-head results, yet Arkansas, which won by 17 at Auburn, also has just one loss and is ranked six spots behind the Tigers. If Arkansas can prove the experts wrong and win the next two games (South Carolina and Tennessee), I predict the Hogs will finally get the love they deserve.
Brad, with Florida jumping to 4th in the BCS poll, will this make it closer in the BCS if Florida wins out, wins the SEC championship game, with an unbeaten WVU/ Louisville? In my opinion, it will depend on how high Florida can get in the human polls.
Edwards (12:50 PM)
While Florida does have a little room to move up in the polls, West Virginia has a lot of room to move up in the computers, and those things should offset one another. My opinion is that an undefeated West Virginia would not be challenged by any one-loss team in the final BCS Standings. If Louisville wins out, I think a one-loss SEC team might have a shot, but I'd still favor the Cards based on where everything sits right now.
Jason Labonte (Jacksonville, FL)
With all the teams in place for the possible #2 BCS spot, if they all played, who do you think would win?
Edwards (12:52 PM)
Sounds like a playoff, Jason. We're not allowed to do that in I-A football. It would probably cause hundreds of players to flunk out of school...or whatever the excuse is this week.
What about Boise State? Are they going to make it to the BCS game? Will the USC loss to Oregon State, which Boise beat, help them?
Edwards (1:00 PM)
Boise's win over Oregon State will help in the computers if USC closes strong, but I think the Broncos are in good shape, regardless. There are some guaranteed losses by teams not too far in front of them (USC plays both Notre Dame and Cal, Tennessee plays Arkansas, Rutgers must play both Louisville and West Virginia), which should ultimately vault them into the top 12. The other good news is that they can get into the BCS without finishing in the top 12 IF they can stay ahead of the ACC Champion. If it's not BC, there's a great chance that happens.
Why is USC #8 and Notre Dame #9 in the BCS when Notre Dame lost to the No.2 team in the nation and USC lost to nobody?
Edwards (1:03 PM)
Because USC is ranked ahead of Notre Dame in both polls. That's a question you'd have to take to the voters.
Do you believe W Virginia, Louisville, and Rutgers belong in the top 15? None of the above listed teams have played ANYONE in the top 25. Futhermore, the only ranked teams they will play is each other. They do not belong in the National Championship talks.
Edwards (1:11 PM)
John, your point is exactly what the top one-loss teams will start pushing to the media if the Big East still has an undefeated team after Nov. 18. If enough voters see it your way, a one-loss team has a chance. My guess, though, is that West Virginia built up enough credibility with its Sugar Bowl win over Georgia, and Louisville did, to a lesser extent, with its blowout of Miami. It could be interesting, though, when the negative campaigning against the Big East goes into full swing.
Mike (Morgantown, WV)
The Big East is under review by the BCS board after this season. After WVU's Sugar Bowl win and what is happening right now with the Mountaineers, Rutgers, and Louisville, do you believe the Big East will retain its automatic BCS bid? Do you think the Big East deserves that bid?
Edwards (1:14 PM)
The way the system is set up right now, every conference is under review at the end of next season. And based on what's happened the last two years, the ACC has more cause for concern than the Big East. That said, no major conference is going to lose its automatic bid. The criteria are strategically worded vaguely to keep that from happening.
Why does the media keep referring to West Virgina's Sugar Bowl win over Georgia. That was last year. What has West Virginia done to build up its credibilty this year. Nothing.
Edwards (1:16 PM)
That's a very fair point, but I think it always comes up because West Virginia returned almost all of its starters from that team. Most people consider these to be the same Mountaineers, even though its a different season.
Chester (West Palm Beach, FL)
Brad, isn't the Big East's best argument--aside from telling people just to watch a West Virginia game--that an undefeated champ of any BCS conference should play for the title if it's one of two such unbeaten squads? If a Big East team can't play for the title in such a situation, shouldn't the BCS get rid of them?
Edwards (1:21 PM)
I disagree with that concept. I think there can be a season in which a one-loss team is clearly better than an undefeated team from another major conference. And the BCS system is set up to give the voters the power to decide if this season is such a season.
Adam (Raleigh, NC)
The BCS was designed to have the top two teams in college football play each other to determine a unanimous national champion...do you find it ironic that arguably the two best teams (Ohio State and Michigan) will already play each other Nov 18 and therefore the BCS Championship will not have the two best teams in college football?
Edwards (1:29 PM)
There is absolutely nothing in the BCS formula to prevent Ohio State and Michigan from playing again for the national title. If the voters believe those are the two best teams, they can make a rematch happen. But keep in mind that the Big Ten doesn't have a whole lot to speak of behind those two teams. It might be wrong to assume those are the two best teams just because they've dominated a conference that is clearly down this year.
Gerald (Melbourne, Florida)
In the eight years of the BCS, has there been an occasion where there arose a groundswell for including a one-loss team in the title game over an undefeated. I remember this happening with Virginia Tech and Nebraska in 1999, so I guess my real question is whether this has ever happened with a non-Big East team involved.
Edwards (1:34 PM)
That's the only time I recall this issue being brought up in the final weeks of the season. As it turned out, that Virginia Tech team sure proved it belonged on the field with Florida State. For anyone who didn't see the game, the final score is very misleading.
For a one loss team trying to earn a BCS berth, is it better to have that loss early in the season or late?
Edwards (1:38 PM)
In the brief BCS era, there have been teams in the championship game that lost in September, October, November and even December, so it doesn't seem to matter. Generally speaking, though, a team's chances of getting back into the top two or three in the polls are a lot better with an early loss. That's one of the reasons computers have value in the BCS formula. They just look at who you lost to -- not when the loss took place.
Edwards (1:39 PM)
Last question...I'm hungry
James (Los Angeles, CA)
If USC wins the rest of its games, how realistic of a shot does it have in playing for the National championship? What is the best USC can do at this point?
Edwards (1:45 PM)
I think USC has a chance if it can climb back to No. 3 in the polls. Obviously, that might require every Big East team to have at least one loss and every SEC team to have at least two (unless Arkansas wins the SEC). If USC runs the table, I believe it will be the highest-ranked one-loss team in the computers. Like I said, though, that won't be able to help them if they can't get back into the top three in the polls.
Edwards (1:46 PM)
Thanks, everyone. Have a good week!