Chat with Brad Edwards
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Matt (South Bend, IN)
Why does the BCS enjoy penalizing undefeated teams. Why take a team in Ohio State that's been badly beaten in the last two years?
Brad Edwards (12:14 PM)
This is a good topic to get out of the way at the start of the chat. We all know there is an attempt to identify the best two teams in college football and match them in one BCS game. After that, nothing about the BCS matchups is intended to be fair or take into account which teams are most deserving. The Fiesta picked the Buckeyes because Texas-OSU looks great on paper and will rate through the roof. Boise State probably would've sold more tickets than Ohio State will, but with Texas in the game, that's not really a concern. Plus, the locals will be more interested in coming to watch OSU than Boise.
Why isn't Florida number 1? I mean come on they beat the number one team in the country!
Brad Edwards (12:17 PM)
It only affects what color jersey they'll wear. But the reason is that Oklahoma is much stronger in the computers. Florida was actually No. 1 in the human element of the BCS formula.
what are you thoughts of a plus one system with the top two teams after the bowls playing for the championship?
Brad Edwards (12:24 PM)
Let's examine what that would look like this season. Fiesta: Oklahoma vs Alabama, Sugar: Florida vs Texas, Rose: USC vs Penn State (other bowls wouldn't have any impact). They'd play those games, then the BCS Standings would be run afterward to determine which two teams would play for the title. As great of a matchup as USC vs Penn State is, we'd basically have national semis between the Big 12 and SEC in the Fiesta and Sugar. This particular year, the unseeded plus-one would be perfect. Not so sure it would always work so well, but at least more than one bowl game means something.
Michael (Evansville, IN)
I read an article today by Rick Bozich (Pat Forde's former colleague at the Courier Journal in Lousville). He is calling for the removal of the coaches from the BCS selection process. He cites Mike Leach's decision to rank Texas Tech 2nd as proof that the coaches can't be trusted. Do you think that we could eventually head toward a committee (sort of like the NCAA men's tourney selection committee) to pick the National Championship game? Do you see any other tweaks in the selection process???
Brad Edwards (12:31 PM)
In previous years, there have been many examples of coaches being out of touch with reality. The bottom line is, even though coaches know football, they don't have the chance to watch these teams play on a regular basis and, therefore, should not be asked to determine which two are the best. I've been equally disturbed by evidence of personal biases at work in the Harris poll. There's no question that the polls have plenty of flaws, even though most people choose to only take shots at the computers. If they could put together a committee of former players and coaches and set them up to watch all of the games each Saturday (as we all do at ESPN), that would be my best-case scenario for choosing teams, whether it be two teams, four teams or eight teams. Only catch is that you'd likely have to pay these guys for taking away their weekends, and that would throw a wrench into it.
Where can we find out how the coaches voted?
Brad Edwards (12:33 PM)
Not sure if this link will activate here, but you can cut and paste if it doesn't. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/graphics/coaches_fb_poll_2008/flash.htm
Jon (Fort Worth, TX)
Do you think Texas is willing to give their BCS bowl appearance over to TxTech? After all, Texas' fans have been crying all week about how head-to-head is all that matters. Didn't they lose to Tech?
Brad Edwards (12:35 PM)
This would've come back to haunt Texas if Oklahoma State had beaten Oklahoma, giving Texas Tech a chance to win the Big 12 title. But as things turned out, I go back to my earlier statement: the BCS isn't intended to be fair.
Texas was .02 points behind Florida in the final standings. Florida finished first in the Harris poll in second in the Coaches poll. If they had finished second in the Harris poll would that have been enough for Texas to jump them?
Brad Edwards (12:40 PM)
That margin is much greater than it might seem. For Texas to have finished ahead of Florida in the BCS, the Longhorns would've needed to finish within 6 points of the Gators in the Harris poll. The actual margin between the teams was 160 points. Not so close.
Rob (New Orleans)
Brad, this is why the system should take the 6 BCS conference winners, and 2 wild cards. The wild card picks would leave room for another team from a BCS conference, and/or a non-BCS team. It's fair and settles things on the field. Your thoughts?
Brad Edwards (12:44 PM)
In general, I like that idea for an 8-team playoff. But in seasons like this one, I have a problem with the ACC and Big East champions getting in.
Scott (Dallas, TX)
Why do all human voters not have specific voting guidelines that they agree to upfront? Would voting guidelines improve the way voters vote?
Brad Edwards (12:49 PM)
To me, this is one of the major flaws in the polls ... and as far as I'm aware, there has never been any specific direction given to voters as to what they are supposed to be voting on. Is it the best team right now? Is it the team that had the best overall season? Is it the team with the best record? To what degree should schedule strength and scoring margin be taken into consideration? Voters are just told to vote, and it's up to each one to decide what criteria to use. Quite a few of these guys could use a little guidance.
Darrell (Orlando, FL)
Does Utah really have a chance or will that game be as disappointing as the Hawaii game?
Brad Edwards (12:52 PM)
I think it depends on Alabama's mindset. Don't forget that Bama will have a huge crowd advantage. If they come to play and get that crowd behind them, it could be a very long night for Utah. But I also think this was the best draw Utah could've gotten in the BCS aside from playing Virginia Tech. Alabama almost always beats up its opponents, but it rarely shows on the scoreboard.
Tom (River North)
Brad, do you think coaches should be allowed to vote for their own teams? I feel like if that were taken away, the coaches poll could gain some more credibility.
Brad Edwards (12:54 PM)
They couldn't do that unless every coach voted. Only 61 coaches have a vote.
Why does Bama get the short end of the stick and play Utah? I would think they would prefer a match up like Bama and Texas.
Brad Edwards (12:59 PM)
The selection order often dictates the matchups, and that's what happened here. The first pick went to the Fiesta, which chose Texas. The second pick went to the Sugar, which chose Alabama, so there was never a chance to match those teams. Those were both compensatory picks for losing the Big 12 and SEC champs to the BCS title game. The next pick went back to the Fiesta, which took Ohio State. The Sugar took Utah, because its only other option was Cincinnati.
Brad Edwards (1:02 PM)
I need to run, but I'll leave you with one thought. If we had a four-team playoff, who would be in it? There would still be some pretty good teams left out, and there would still be a lot of angry fans. Each of the last two seasons are proof that a 4-team playoff wouldn't solve college football's problem.
Brad Edwards (1:04 PM)
Thanks everyone for your participation this season. Enjoy the bowls and Happy Holidays!