Cleveland Sports Minute

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01/08 Afternoon Minute: What If?

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Just going through a few hypotheticals here, so bare with me.

Before last night’s game, Ohio State lost to Illinois at home, giving them their only loss of the season.  LSU, Georgia, USC, Missouri, and West Virginia all had two losses.  Regardless of Ohio State losing to the Illini, the selection committee felt that LSU was the “best of the rest” per se, allowing them to play in the National Championship game.

But what if Ohio State wouldn’t have lost that game to Illinois, and went into the National Championship game undefeated?  Even if they lost to LSU, and finished with one loss, what would the pollsters say? 

I’m leaning towards a Hawaii-like treatment, but perhaps not as harsh.  Think about it.  Hawaii was the nation’s only undefeated program, regardless of who they played.  They lost to a team that is arguably better than LSU, and fell to 19th in the Associated Press poll.  The Buckeyes fell to fifth overall, now holding the same record as the other two-loss teams – only one point below Missouri, but only two more than West Virginia. 

Say Tennessee beats LSU for the SEC title.  In turn, Georgia would have likely gotten the nod to play for the BCS belt.  Say the outcome was the same – as Ohio State obviously can’t win against SEC teams.  Then, do the Bulldogs, with losses to South Carolina and the Volunteers, get more respect than an Ohio State team with a possible loss to Georgia?  If the Buckeyes defense could stop Juice Williams on a few select third down plays, and had Todd Boeckman not thrown a boatload of interceptions, where would we be sitting on the AP poll?  What if the Buckeyes had simply gotten the job done at home, against a team that they should have beaten?

Easy schedule or not, you have to wonder what the AP logic would be during a season that featured so many upsets. 

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Written by Scott @ WFNY

January 8, 2008 at 5:57 pm

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