While ESPN broadcaster Kirk Herbstreit appeared to be sweating throughout the first-released BCS standings of the 2012 season, the Oregon Ducks got plucked by the pollsters.
The Ducks were ranked No. 2 in both the AP and USAToday Coaches' poll, but apparently the computers and the Harris Poll thought Florida was a better team and put Florida in the No. 2 spot. Or maybe the pollsters didn't like the fact that the Ducks were on a bye last week.
What we have here is impending chaos and it's spelled S-E-C F-a-t-i-g-u-e.
We heart the SEC. But the bias toward the SEC is out of control much like the bias toward the Big Ten was five years ago. The very problem with conference bias is that eventually, that fatigue sets in and the conference that once benefited from the bias now gets a different type of bias. Reverse discrimination, if you will.
What if Alabama and Florida are the two best teams in the country at the end of the year? You think voters want to see another SEC versus SEC game? The pollsters may vote a deserving SEC team out of the BCS title game because of last year's debacle between LSU and Alabama. And that's not fair.
Reap what you sow, voters.
Apparently, Florida's schedule was the deciding factor in leap-frogging the Oregon Ducks, but let's take a look at the Gators' schedule in November, when, you know, the toughest games are supposed to occur.
Missouri, Louisiana (Lafayette), Jacksonville State and at Florida State. One conference game. And one road trip that's in-state.
The Oregon Ducks, on the other hand, have this schedule:
At USC, at Cal, Stanford and at Oregon State. Four conference games, three road trips.
November is when attrition and injuries do their worst damage, and playing the meat of your schedule in November is what should impact voters most. It is, after all, when the Heisman is won or lost.
More food for thought: SEC teams play four non-conference games as opposed to the Pac-12 only playing three. That's an extra non-conference game to beef up—for the most part—your schedule.
Does it matter? Ask Stanford how it matters. The Cardinal lost to Notre Dame in a controversial game last Saturday, 20-13.
Florida does play Florida State on November 24 but North Carolina State probably already stole the Gators' thunder when the Wolfpack beat the Seminoles, 17-16.
Florida is a very good team, but let's also remember how the Gators struggled against inferior competition (Bowling Green) while the Ducks blew out their inferior competition. That's the way it's supposed to work out, right? No excuses.
If both Oregon and Florida are undefeated in October and go undefeated in November, which team deserves to go to the BCS Championship game, assuming both teams win their respective conferences?
Oregon may have to play USC twice, once on November 3 and once at a to-be-determined location. How difficult is it to beat the same team twice in one year? Ask LSU.
Meanwhile, Florida will have beaten Alabama in the SEC Championship game. If it's a real close game, pollsters might reward Florida for barely losing to No. 1 Alabama.
The beat goes on. Been there, done that.
We all know the BCS mantra of "every game counts" but the lack of love for the Oregon Ducks—who beside Alabama, look unbeatable—is obvious. No crying here, folks. None at all.
Just pointing fingers.
Pollsters need to watch some Pac-12 games instead of retiring to bed when the Ducks have just taken the field for a 7:30 p.m. local time game. Too late for you to stay up? Fine. Relinquish your ballot to someone west of the Mississippi.
Coaches need to stop handing off their ballot to a sports department employee while they study game film. The ballot, after all, has your name on it.
As of right now, the Oregon Ducks cannot control their own destiny. That could change but right now, they've been plucked.
The BCS has spoken in its first week of standings and as usual, no one is shocked except maybe the folks in Eugene, Oregon
The Ducks just have to remember this: Lights up in September, lights out in November.
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