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Oregon Ducks Get Shot at Miami Hurricanes: BCS Playoff What If, 2001 Version

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Oregon Ducks Get Shot at Miami Hurricanes: BCS Playoff What If, 2001 Version
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
What happens if Joey Harrington gets a shot at 2001 Miami?

Epic fail, season two.

Due to an implausible series of very specific late-season upsets, Nebraska and Heisman winner Eric Crouch sneak into the national title game versus Miami despite having lost the last game of the season and not winning their conference’s division.

Amazingly, we’re eight seasons removed from this debacle, and the BCS has still not addressed the issue. (2008 Big 12 South...I’m looking in your direction.)

Sorry, but it is absurd and unacceptable that a team that did not win its division—let alone its conference—is still eligible to play in a one-game national championship “series.” Call it the long-anticipated Nebraska Rule. Forget all the other nitpicking of formulas and subjectivity and exclusivity and antitrust issues. The BCS is a joke for this very reason alone.

Miami was clearly the cream of the crop this season, but many felt Oregon deserved a shot to prove itself. We don't argue. 

         Seed   Team (conference/final BCS ranking/pre-bowl record)

  1. Miami (Big East, first, 11-0)
  2. Colorado (Big 12, third, 10-2)
  3. Oregon (Pac-10, fourth, 10-1)
  4. Illinois (Big Ten, eighth, 10-1)
  5. Maryland (ACC, 10th, 10-1)
  6. LSU (SEC, 13th, 9-3) 

Who wins the 2001 BCS playoff? (possible opponents in parentheses)

Submit Vote vote to see results

Top conference champs left out: BYU (WAC, unranked, 12-1), Louisville (CUSA, unranked, 10-2), Toledo (MAC, unranked, 9-2)

 

Revolting Fan Prediction

Oregon over LSU. Illinois over Maryland. Oregon over Colorado. Miami over Illinois.

Championship: Miami over Oregon.

 

Observations

Chaos, chaos, chaos. The changes made to the rankings in the last weeks of 2001 border on insanity. Additionally, both polls adjusted their voting when it became clear that Nebraska might make it into the national championship game, further underscoring the need to reduce the impact of the subjectivity of the human polls.

Starting with the Colorado upset of Nebraska, no fewer than four teams whiffed on their opportunity to land in the playoffs in the last two weeks of the season. This season probably deserves a revisit at some point. Stay tuned.

How would 1998 have played out?  Click here.

Click here for 1999.  

Click here for 2000.

2010?  Click here.

Recap of the rules for my 6-team playoff:

  • All FBS conference champions are eligible, top six qualify
  • Top six conference champs seeded in order by the final BCS rankings
  • Conferences determine their representative as they see fit
  • Top two conference champs receive a first round bye
  • Five championship series games are played at the current four BCS bowl sites  
  • Remainder of bowls operate as is, independent of the championship playoff
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