The NCAA is contemplating adding more sanctions to THE Ohio State University for its lack of institutional control of former coach Jim Tressel and his players. Meanwhile, in California, USC coach Lane Kiffin is about to begin the second and final year of an NCAA postseason ban for USC's lack of institutional control.
This was all fine and good for me until one day, for some unknown reason, I decided to look back at the 2008 Capital One Bowl between Michigan and Florida.
Then it'd hit me; what a minute!!! That should been the 2007 BCS national title game matchup!!!
To understand my point of view, you will have to look at the current NCAA scandals.
"In June 2010, after a four-year investigation, the NCAA imposed sanctions against the Trojan football program for a "lack of institutional control," including a public reprimand and censure, a two-year postseason ban, a loss of 30 scholarships over three years, and vacation of all wins in which Reggie Bush participated as an ineligible player, including the 2005 Orange Bowl, in which the Trojans won the BCS National Championship.
Following the NCAA sanctions, BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock stated that a committee would decide whether to vacate USC's 2004 BCS Championship, but the final decision would be delayed until after the NCAA had heard USC's appeals against some of the sanctions. On July 20, 2010, incoming USC president Max Nikias stated that the school would remove jerseys and murals displayed in Bush's honor from its facilities, and would return the school's copy of Bush's Heisman Trophy. On September 14, Bush announced that he would forfeit the Heisman and return his copy of the trophy.
On May 26, 2011, NCAA upheld all findings and penalties against USC in their infractions case on former players Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo. The USC football team will not participate in the Pacific-12 Football Championship Game or a bowl game for the 2011–12 season.
The BCS announced June 6, 2011, that it had stripped USC of the 2004 title; yet USC still retains the 2004 AP National Championship."
In short, it was proven that USC was in violation of NCAA rules prior to the 2006-07 season. They should had never played Michigan in the 2007 Rose Bowl game.
Now lets take a look at Ohio State...
"In December 2010 it was announced that five student-athletes on The Ohio State University football team will be suspended from the first five games of the 2011 season for NCAA violations. The punishments stem from an incident in which at least some of the Buckeye players received tattoos for their autographs, according to news reports. Other violations committed by the players included the selling of several items given to them by the University, such as championship rings.
On January 4, 2011, Ohio State completed its season with a 31-26 win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl to finish with a 12-1 mark. The Sugar Bowl win marked Ohio State's first bowl victory over a Southeastern Conference opponent in ten attempts.
On March 8, 2011 Jim Tressel was suspended by The Ohio State University for 2 games, and fined $250,000 for not informing the university and the NCAA that he had information that 5 of his players received improper benefits from a tattoo shop in downtown Columbus. Among those 5 players, including Mike Adams, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas, Jordan Whiting, was star quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The 5 players are suspended for the first 5 games of the 2011 season. Coach Tressel's suspension was also later increased to 5 games by the University. The NCAA filed a letter of allegations in late April, 2011 with Ohio State University alleging that Mr. Tressel lied to the NCAA in December, 2010 when he claimed to have no knowledge of the players activities with the tattoo shop. Furthermore, he is alleged to have knowingly used ineligible players during the 2010 season. On May 30, 2011 Jim Tressel resigned as head coach.
If the 2006 Wolverines had played legitimate OSU and USC teams, what would had been the outcome?
A 6 June 2011 story in Sports Illustrated reported that at least 28 players, including Rob Rose, T. J. Downing, Louis Irizarry, Chris Vance, C. J. Barnett, Dorien Bell, Jamaal Berry, Bo DeLande, Zach Domicone, Storm Klein, Etienne Sabino, John Simon, Nathan Williams, Jermale Hines, Devon Torrence, Donald Washington, Thaddeus Gibson, Jermil Martin, Lamaar Thomas, and Doug Worthington traded team memorabilia or used equipment for tattoos or other merchandise or services between 2002 and 2010. The report alleged that Tressel had violated NCAA bylaw 10.1 - unethical conduct, three times by not acting when told of the tattoo improprieties, by signing a statement saying he knew of no violations, and for witholding information on what was going on from university officials. The report's author, George Dohrmann, concluded that Tressel's integrity was, "one of the great myths of college football."
So let us take a look back at the 2006 Michigan Wolverines.
"The 2006 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University Of Michigan in the 2006 college football season. The team's head football coach was Lloyd Carr. The Wolverines came into the season with lower expectations than many Michigan teams of the previous few seasons, ranked #14. They won their first 11 games and rose to #2 in the national rankings before losing a close battle in Columbus to top-rankedOhio State. Michigan concluded their schedule in the Rose Bowl against the USC Trojans."
If OSU and USC had been disqualified, it probably would had been Michigan vs Florida that year. Who would had won that game.
Note: the underlined parts of the excerpts. It was a jaw-dropping experience. My 2006 Wolverines were denied a shot at a national championship, against a team they could had beaten, because we'd lost back-to-back games to teams with illegal players on their roster?!? Really???
Last source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYjb-QL5UwY
Carr wasn't perfect, but at least he was honest.
For an honest coach to be denied a national title shot is inexcusable. For us to accept this level of damage, as the direct result of corruption, is repugnant.
The NCAA must do a better job in to enforcing the rules of the game. The NCAA must understand that we the people want the national championship to be decided on the field. That means having the two best LEGAL teams to compete for the national title and not the two best marketable.
That's my two cents, coming from a Michigan fan, who believed that if we had played Florida, we would had beaten them. An Ohio State/ USC matchup, in retrospect, would had been appropriate, because the NCAA would not have gone through the trouble of rewriting an entire season's history.
PS: To Lloyd Carr; sir, I apologize for my lack of faith in your coaching abilities and shall we ever meet, I'll be more than happy to shake your hand and politely ask you for your autograph, for I am a fan of yours again.