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15% Of The Time, You Get Into The Championship Game Every Time

Mind-games-1_medium
In the future, sports journalism will look like this.

You see, it's all mind games.  It's throwing around numbers and pretending to make a point and then not making the point and then conditioning what could be perceived as a knock on an entire league and then ragging on a coach as a convenient punch line. 

The most tried and true formula for reaching the BCS championship game is as follows:

1. Play an easy non-conference schedule.

2. Belong to the Big Ten.

 Let's do a quick history lesson.

Number of BCS Championship Bids: 20
Number of Bids From The Big Ten: 3 (or 15%)
Number of Times That Bid Was Ohio State: 3 (or 100%)
Big Ten Ohio State's BCS MNC Record: 1-2

So the point isn't that the Big Ten has an easy path.  You just don't like the way OSU has performed in three games over the last three years.  Why this has anything to do with Penn State I don't know.

There is no logic to the illogical way college football crowns its champions, though. So this is what you get – a nation of fans already howling that Penn State is running an end around on the system.

 

Well, why wouldn’t it? And why should the Nittany Lions feel bad about it?

 Let's talk about this apparent offensive play call that PSU is running "on the system".  Penn State scheduled two BCS teams out of four OOC.  Cuse is terrible but that game was scheduled years ago.  It wasn't a designed "end around".  Oregon State was a last minute attempt at making the schedule much tougher.  After the status of the Cuse game became apparent, Penn State did the opposite of what you are suggesting: they tried to make the schedule more difficult than it was.  And guess what, it worked.  Oregon State beat everyone's favorite USC team. 

Oh, but I'm sure you have an illogical excuse as to why that happened.

Forget about scheduling only major opponents in the nonconference the way Southern California does....It just increases the likelihood of being worn out and having a silly lapse in league play.

 Guess what: great teams do not have silly lapses, that's what makes them great.  They win games against inferier opponents and they do it comfortably. 

Besides, was USC's OOC really that impressive?  They beat up on bad Virginia team (who later lost 31-3 to Duke), get average Notre Dame at home (who has losses to MSU and UNC), and then, and here is where it comes full circle, have just one signature win against the Buckeyes.  That's hardly the gauntlet and considering the next highest ranked Pac10 team is #24 Oregon, their full schedule isn't actually that difficult.

This next paragraph is so bad I have to take it line by line:

Don’t even consider a conference championship game that might result in a loss for a contender.

NCAA rule: no conference with less than 12 teams can have a championship game.  The Big Ten doesn't have a championship game, not because they won't "even consider" it, but because they can't.  Unless they add Notre Dame.  But Notre Dame doesn't want to join anyway.

It keeps shooting the Big 12 in the foot, doesn’t it?

No, it doesn't.  This is Oklahoma in 2003 before their CCG; This is them getting killed in it.  This is them going to the BCS MNC anyway.  It didn't hurt Texas in 2005, or Oklahoma in 2004, either.

Why play 13 games when the pollsters don’t punish you for playing only 12?

 Since when?  This is Michigan after playing 12 games.  This is Michigan after they were punished for not playing 13 games.  Notice how the record didn't change.

There are a lot of misleading statements in this story, but this is probably the worst on:

How difficult is it to win the modern Big Ten? Well, Minnesota still has a shot at the conference title by winding up 11-1. Last season, the Gophers were 1-11. Nice story, but any league where you can go from 1-11 to 11-1 in a single season is under serious suspicion. It just is.

First of all, Minnesota isn't 11-1, they are 7-1.  They will probably lose two games, maybe three, and that's without having to play two of the best three teams in the league.  Even if they win out, they won't 'win' anything.  Yes, they got lucky by missing Penn State and Michigan State, but no one is actually considering them for the MNC, or really even a BCS bid.  Bringing up Minnesota is a pointless argument and I don't understand what it has to do with why Penn State can't play for the crystal.

And just when I think he's going somewhere with this thing:

This isn’t to say Penn State can’t win the BCS championship game. It’s good enough to win any league.

[...]

Paterno shouldn’t apologize for how the season has played out. 

 Agreed and don't worry, he's not.