Wednesday, October 06, 2010

My Top 25 is Both Innocent and Jejune

For my beloved Utah commenter who is no doubt working on his t-shirts for the soon-to-be three-time national champion Utes, here's Brian on where he thinks Utah should be placed:

Point one: Utah is not what you think it is. They leapt up on everyone's ballot thanks to an OT win over Pitt to open the year; Pitt went out and got clubbed by Miami 31-3. Utah's other games have been against terrible UNLV, terrible New Mexico, and terrible San Jose State. This is a typical random end-of-top-25 resume masquerading as a top ten team, and Miami should be well ahead of the Utes on everyone's ballot since their Pitt win was way more impressive (it was even on the road!) and they went to Clemson and won by two scores. Raise your hand if you think Utah beats OSU on the road. Right, then.

I assume that your response will be something along the lines of "of course we would beat Ohio State in Columbus, and then the Utes would clobber the Bengals in Cincinnati the next day before driving west to lose a squeaker to the Colts in Indy.

And speaking of the upstarts from big, empty states, why doesn't Utah play Boise State? Boise State bitches that major powers won't play them. I assume that Utah will make the same complaint when their strength of schedule is held against them in December. Why don't these teams play?* Boise State and Utah are hamstrung by the bottom halves of their conferences, which are terrible. With four or five tomato cans on the schedule already, they can't afford to play any bad opponents in the non-conference slate. Utah can't afford to play San Jose State when they are already playing Wyoming, UNLV, Colorado State, and New Mexico. Ditto for Boise State playing Toledo and Wyoming when they're already playing San Jose State, Lousiana Tech, and New Mexico State. Boise State and Utah are each playing one of the worst teams in the other's conference; what's stopping you from playing one of the best?

* - Yes, this criticism will have less weight going forward when Utah is in the Pac Ten. This is mainly an issue for the inevitable complaints by Boise State and/or Utah at the end of the season if they are unbeaten and asking for their wins to be treated the same as those of teams that played better, deeper schedules.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First off, no fan of Utah is claiming their schedule has been anything but weak to date. Playing Iowa St. on the road is the first team in a month that has had a pulse. However, Utah has been blasting those teams it has played (I note, with margin of victories over UNLV, New Mexico (road), San Jose state, similar to what other top 25 teams have done (greater margin of win than 'Sconnie over UNLV, similar margin of victory over UNM as Oregon, larger margin of victory of San Jose than Alabama).

Second, the schedule doesn't determine the best team. The team determines the best team. If the '85 bears played Boise's schedule, they'd still be the best team. Granted, for people not familiar with Utah's team this year, I understand the skepticism/mystery about them. They've only played one team with a pulse, and had to go to OT to win it. I will note that utah played awful (over 100 yards of penalties, 4 turnovers (3 inside their 20; 1 in Pitt's endzone)) but dominated the game. I also note that Pitt's best defensive player didn't play against OSU.

Third, Utah is very good. Wait and see. Their schedule is back loaded with games at Iowa State, at Air Force, home against TCU, at Notre Dame, and home against SDSU (don't laugh, they are good) and then against a shitty BYU team. Perhaps they will make some believers by the end of the season. It isn't a top 10 schedule, I'll admit that. But again, the team is extremely talented.

Finally, the 2004 and 2008 teams were legitimate championship teams. The 2008 team beat 4 top 25 teams and 2 top 10 teams. They seal clubbed Alabama on the road (insert psychological excuse -- lots and lots of hack psychologists in this area of the country it seems).

Let's see what happens the rest of the way to see which teams are deserving and which are not.