NCAA Football Thoughts and Opinions Week 13: Comebacks and Champions
There were two comebacks by the same margin having a huge impact on the BCS but for very different reasons. Two teams that overcame 24-7 halftime deficits.
Auburn came back to beat rival Alabama by one point and keep their national title hopes alive
Nevada came back to beat rival Boise State by three in overtime to dash the hopes of the Broncos.
To be honest I am not sure which comeback could be considered better.
I know I enjoyed both of them.
Quick note here that Akron beat Buffalo to close out the season and the watch of the winless. All 120 FBS teams finish the season with at least one win.
The Big XII championship game will have the look and feel of an old school rivalry with Oklahoma and Nebraska meeting for the conference title. This will be Nebraska’s final year in the conference before exiting for the Big Ten.
Joining them on Championship Saturday will be Virginia Tech and Florida State in the ACC title game. This is the kind of matchup the ACC wanted when they raided the Big East years ago, and they got it in the first year. The games since then haven’t had the same feel.
There are three teams with one loss that are sharing the title in the Big Ten. Only two teams from a conference can be in the BCS bowls, and it would appear that Wisconsin and Ohio State will get in leaving Michigan State on the outside.
As mentioned before, Nebraska is joining the conference next season. They are playing to get into a BCS bowl themselves.
It is entirely possible, at this time, that come next season the Big Ten could be the first and only conference that could boast as to having three teams in the conference that won BCS bowls the previous season.
Well, it is after the actual week I am talking about, but I would be remiss not to talk about it. TCU is joining the Big East? I guess it is a good move for them, both but it seems weird. Even though this isn’t an entire surprise as the rumor has been around for a while now. But it is finally official, and it still feels wrong.
Boise State leaves the WAC to join the Mountain West and strengthen their resume. The teams from the Mountain West that generally get the most respect leave for the Pac-12, independence and the Big East. A couple of WAC team join Boise State in the new Mountain West.
So was it really an upgrade?
Let’s take a look. First, we don’t have to worry about the teams leaving. And we won't worry about the teams coming over with Boise. The comparison is San Diego State, Air Force, New Mexico, Colorado State, Wyoming and UNLV compared to Idaho, New Mexico, Utah State, Louisiana Tech and San Jose State.
Looking at the Sagarin rankings, because he ranks all team, we find:
New Mexico at 168 vs. New Mexico State at 165. Step back.
Colorado State at 132 vs. San Jose State at 155. Step up.
UNLV at 129 vs. Utah State at 114. Step back.
Wyoming at 110 vs. Louisiana Tech at 83. Step back.
San Diego State at 44 vs. Idaho at 81. Step up.
Air Force is at 39, but there are no more teams to compare to. Air Force and San Diego State fall right into the area above Fresno but still behind Hawaii and Nevada. Those are the numbers, make your own opinion from them, but I think the SOS stays the same with help up top but damage down low.
FIU are the Sun Belt champs and will be going to a bowl game—the New Orleans Bowl. Pretty impressive for a team that has only been playing football since 2002. Look for head coach Mario Cristobal to be getting plenty of job offers very soon.
That’s how many teams were needing to get to at least 6-6 to fill all the bowl slots this season. There are exactly 70 teams eligible at this moment ending any fears that a team with a sub .500 record would possibly get to a bowl game. There are also still four more teams that could pick up a win this weekend and become bowl eligible leaving a couple without bowls to play in.
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