Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Holy Groupthink, Batman!

Per ESPN's "experts" (and I put that word in quotes when Schrutebag is involved), USC is going to win the national title. How convinced are they of this fact? So convinced that that all 12 pick the Trojans. There is also a significant consensus on most of the leagues. 12 of 12 pick Virginia Tech in the ACC. Ten of 12 pick Michigan in the Big Ten. (Eek.) Ten of 12 pick Texas to win the Big XII. Nine of 12 pick Nebraska in the Big XII North. (Kudos for Todd McShay for being the only one to make an interesting pick, as he goes with the Manginos in that division. With the Big XII North as mediocre as it is, that's a great place to pick an upset.) Ten of 12 pick LSU to win the SEC and all 12 pick them to win the West. (Tommy Tuberville, your bulletin board awaits.)

A few thoughts:

1. Does ESPN breed a complete lack of original thought or do they simply select people who are unlikely to think for themselves?

2. This is why I love Phil Steele. He does agree with a lot of the consensus expressed by the ESPN pundits, but his willingness to go out on a limb (such as taking Oklahoma in the Big XII) is in short supply these days.

3. If the powers in each conference are so obvious, then why is USC a consensus pick to win the national title? If Michigan, Texas, LSU, and Virginia Tech are so great that they are clearly the best teams in their conferences, then why is it obvious that USC would beat them, especially with the national title game not being played in Pasadena? Is this not the same USC team that lost two games last year to significantly inferior opponents? The same USC team that had close calls against sides with the word "Washington" in their team name? The same USC team that had to abandon running the ball at times? USC is obviously the favorite, but are they so dominating that no one wants to take anyone else? And is this what East Coast Bias looks like?


OzzieVirgil said...

I have to say that I am amazed by UGA's pick to win the SEC East by 6 out of 12 pundits. That means 6 out of 12 of them either believe UGA will finish ahead of Florida in the top 25 (which would put them top 5 in most pre-season polls) or at the very least they think UGA will beat UF in Jax and backdoor an Eastern Title (seems even more unlikely to me).

peacedog said...

Finishing ahead of Florida in the top 25 is not a given just because UGA goes to the SEC title game (or, for that matter, wins it). None of those things garuntee a top 5 or 10 finish either.

Also, UGA has been to 3 SEC title games this decade. It hasn't beaten Florida in any of them.

Lastly, nobody said the pundits were doing strong work,

I'm a Realist said...

USC playing an SEC Champion LSU in the national title game in New Orleans?

Smart money is on LSU in that game.

peacedog said...

And I should have said "it didn't beat Florida in any of those seasons".

Tripp said...

Agreed with most of your statement. But let's please get this straight. There is no "national champion" - never has, was or for the near future will be. There is a BCS champion and the AP still selects a national champion but no team in the history of Div. 1A football has been crowned a national champion. Here's a quote from the NCAA official site "The NCAA does not conduct a championship for the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision"

Quite frankly I think that is what makes college football so great. It's the regional and historical rivalries that are exciting to watch. And if you buy into the "national champion" then I argue college football does a better job at determining a true champion i.e. the best team.

Think about the day some NFL wildcard team finishes 8-8 and goes on to win a Super Bowl. Does an 8-8 team really deserve to be crowned "the best?" Playoffs determine NOTHING! I enjoy a college football game played in mid October many more times over than any NFL game played.