Sunday, January 6, 2008


Gene Wojciechowski wrote a column for ESPN which, well, let's just quote him:
I hate to break this to the Buckeyes, and the Tigers, and that drunk dude with horse dung on his hands, but I'm not sure Monday night's matchup is really THE national title game. Just because it says so on the TV promos and the BCS crystal trophy doesn't necessarily make it true.

To begin with, are Ohio State and LSU even the two best teams in the country? I'm just asking.

Well, I'm pretty damn sure it's THE National title Game. In fact, I'm 100% positive. Look, I hate the BCS. It's a stupid system. There's a reason the formula gets tweaked every year, and that's because the powers-that-be have no faith in the system itself. That said, the BCS is designed to pick two teams. That's the crappy system we have in place, and it picked two teams. LSU was the team selected among a whole bunch of flawed candidates. Had the BCS spit out another team, I wouldn't have been outraged, but LSU doesn't need to apologize for being the team selected. Is LSU perfect? Of course not. But all of the other contenders were flawed.

Wojo then claims Georgia and USC have a better claim because they are hotter right now. Well, LSU was the hottest team last year and know what that meant? Absolutely nothing. Also, his list is intellectually dishonest, as he leaves off Virginia Tech, who WAS the hottest team in the country until the Orange Bowl. Whoops.

As for USC, they have not lost since losing to Oregon. And that win over Oregon St was pretty darn impressive. Then they beat a Cal team in total collapse, an Arizona State team that was busy performing an epic choke not completed until getting waxed by Texas in the Holiday Bowl, and then a pretty average UCLA team. Sure, they won those games, but that's a pretty weak "hottest team in the country". Oh, and they pasted an overmatched Illinois team.

Georgia hasn't lost since October 6th, when they got absolutely crushed by Tennessee. And they even scored some big scalps: Florida, Auburn, and Kentucky (depending on who you ask if that's a big scalp). Hell, the only game they played decided by less than 10 points was against Vandy. And we saw what they did against Hawaii. So I think it is fair to call them "the hottest team in the country." Too bad they didn't win their conference. The same conference LSU plays in. It's not who had the best second half of the season, but who had the best total season. And that is LSU.

Hell, all of a sudden, Kansas has a better claim than either Georgia or USC. Or West Virginia, who did choke away the title in the Backyard Brawl. The thing is, every team in flawed. Someone had to get picked in our given system. That team was LSU. We don't have to apologize for that.


Richard Pittman said...

I put this right up there with standard whorish writing. I doubt Gene Wojciechowski even believes what he wrote. He just wants to fill column inches with writing that will get attention.*

There's a reason the award is not called the BCS National Championship of the Last Month of the Season and the Post-Season. To win it, you have to perform the entire season. Georgia and USC are certainly good teams, very good even. They may even be the two best teams in the country right now, but in the college football environment as it exists today, games in September and October are just as important as games in November and early December.

The BCS, in my observation, does not decide who is the "best team". It decides who has had the "best season". I believe there is a definite distinction between those two things. The "best team" often loses games, and in particular can be at a big disadvantage in road games, even to lesser teams.

I don't feel any great need to justify our presence in this game. OK, this isn't the 2005 Rose Bowl between undefeated Texas and undefeated USC. Most of these games aren't. Sure, we screwed up, but we made it, because those other teams who might have made it also screwed up, and did so worse than we did.

This is a team having one of the two best seasons in the country this year. We won our conference. we beat a non-conference BCS team by over 40 points. We beat all 5 of our most bitter rivals: Florida, Auburn, Bama, Ole Miss, and Tulane. Granted, two of those aren't exactly tremendous accomplishments anymore, but the other three are. We took everybody's best shot, and while I sure would have liked to have beaten Arkansas and Kentucky, we won our share of big games. We did it through a slew of injuries to many of our best players. What other team in the country can say that it had its starting quarterback, its best defensive player, and its best offensive player all miss games and all play other games while severely limited, only to survive?

If someone else thinks they have a claim to our spot here, that's fine. I have already heard it though, and I find it unconvincing, and so did the voters and the computers.

*GeauxTuscaloosa makes this pledge to you. We will never publish anything that isn't subjectively honest or that is merely intended to inflame or provoke. It's not our style, and frankly, readers deserve better.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything above. The author was simply trying to stir the pot so to speak. I didn't even finish the article. There are much beter reads out there than that.