VETTEL: Weekly Musings, Episode Thirteen

The football season is almost over and once again the idiotic way college football selects a national champion is being ridiculed throughout the land. It’s basically come down to this, three one-loss teams with very little in the way of common opposition being judged on various criteria, both relevant and irrelevant.

Instead of arguing which eight teams deserve to enter a playoff we are left arguing which team had the “best” loss or the “best” win.

Truth be told, it is easy to make the case for Southern Cal, Michigan or Florida to be in the BCS title game. There is no “right” answer to the argument, except that the argument itself points out the inanity of choosing a champion this way.

Some objective points —– Entering this weekend both Southern Cal and Florida have played nine bowl eligible teams. They will each face a tenth such squad on Saturday. Michigan, on the other hand has played just seven. All three schools have played five teams with eight or more wins. Florida will take the lead in this category after playing Arkansas.

Common opponents scarce —– Florida and Michigan both played Vanderbilt. Michigan had the easier chore, playing Vandy at home opening day as the Commodores began seeking an offensive identity post Jay Cutler. Florida had Vandy on the road. Michigan struggled, leading just 13-7 at the half before winning 27-7. Florida was more impressive early, but had to hold on for a 25-19 win. Florida and Southern Cal will both have played Arkansas, and it’s safe to predict USC’s 50-14 win will be far more impressive. They had the benefit of playing Arkansas without a healthy Darren McFadden and a brand new offense. Finally USC and Michigan both played and destroyed Notre Dame.

BCS Top 25 doesn’t clarify —– Looking at the current BCS top 25, Southern Cal has played # 10 Notre Dame, # 9 Arkansas, # 18 California and # 20 Nebraska. Florida has battled # 5 LSU, # 11 Auburn and # 16 Tennessee. Arkansas will make it four top 25 teams for the Gators. Michigan has faced just three teams in the current poll, but they are all top ten (# 1 Ohio State, # 7 Wisconsin and # 10 Notre Dame).

As you can see, you can spin the facts however you like with regards to the top three contenders. None is truly more “deserving” than the other two as far as I’m concerned, but Michigan, which already got its shot at Ohio State, should not get another chance. I have some other musings this week.

Great jobs are open —– Miami and Alabama are looking for football coaches and both schools have realistic goals. Both are looking for proven winners who will have them playing for the national title just about every year. It’s hard to see who actually fits that description, but I have some suggestions. Miami will try to lure Greg Schiano from Rutgers and might dabble with Dave Wannstedt up at Pitt, but if it were me I’d also talk with Tommy Tuberville. Still, if I were betting, I’d go with Barry Alvarez to take the post for 3-5 years and groom an eventual long term replacement. For ‘Bama, what could be better than bringing in Bobby Petrino from Louisville and rubbing Auburn’s nose in it? Failing that, I look for a run at Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech or Rich Rodriguez of West Virginia.

Cowher to NC State makes some sense —– The Pittsburgh Steelers Coach might well be looking for a more relaxed setting after all these years in the NFL. He’s an alumnus and would open a lot of doors on the recruiting trail. If that doesn’t work out, David Cutcliff should get a call.

All conferences should have title games —– It just makes sense to have these championship games, especially since the proceeds are so lucrative. It would also level the playing field for the BCS title game. I don’t see the Big Ten/Eleven or Pac-Ten going that route, but a guy can hope.

Minority coach opportunities —– NCAA member schools will be closely scrutinized during this round of coaching changes to see if the woefully low number of black head coaches in Division One-A improves. It’s not a good sign that none of the top openings have any black candidates being prominently mentioned. Florida International should try to hire Miami defensive coordinator Randy Shannon or the Gators’ Charlie Strong. Pat Nix at South Carolina may get a shot at North Texas and so on. If none of these jobs is awarded to a black coach there will be some serious and justified gnashing of teeth around the game.

A name for the Noles —– Some say former BYU offensive whiz Gary Crowton could be in line for the offensive coordinator’s job at FSU and that would not be a bad choice. However I think a better one would be Rick Neuheisel. Look at the job he’s done with the Baltimore Ravens and consider the guy has an excellent offensive mind. Not sure he would take a coordinator’s post, but it’s definitely worth a phone call. It will be interesting to see whether Bobby Bowden or Dave Hart takes charge of the search.

Good seats still available —– In Jacksonville, the ACC Championship game promises to be a “partial sellout”. Various reports indicate that the game between Wake Forest and Georgia Tech has not exactly led to long lines at the ticket counter. Last year the game did very well with Virginia Tech and Florida State, but the crowd might be closer to 50,000 or so this time around. That’s the risk that you take in staging a conference title game. The SEC could have some issues if it were ever confronted with a Vandy/Ole Miss game.