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The First 2013 BCS Standings and My Analysis

The initial 2013 BCS Standings are out and I was shocked. I never would have guessed the Oregon Ducks would drop below the Florida State Seminoles. Since the beginning of the season I have been impressed with FSU quarterback Jameis Winston but I never would have guessed he would lead his team to a #2 BCS ranking when the first polls were released. Oregon has done nothing but win easily yet they are behind FSU. Even though Oregon is #3 right now they still have the opportunity to move up. The Ducks will play both UCLA and Stanford in the next two weeks so their strength of schedule will increase drastically. The biggest loser in the initial BCS standings is Ohio State as they are stuck between a rock and a hard spot.

Ohio State and the BCS

It is very hard for me to feel sorry for Ohio State because I feel as if they would not be able to compete in the national championship game. Even if they go undefeated they will have beaten nobody. That is correct. They play in the B1G conference which is as weak as ever this year. I saw a tweet recently stating that the B1G Conference had four teams in the top 25. Interestingly, three of those four come in between #21 and #25. This means the B1G Conference has one team in the top 20. Obviously, that one team is Ohio State. Even if Ohio State runs the table and wins the conference championship game their schedule will likely be too weak for them to get into the BCS National Championship game.

I would have sympathy for Ohio State if they would schedule someone outside their conference. I know Ohio State fan will claim they scheduled a decent Cal team from the PAC 12. Give me a break. If you want to schedule a team from the PAC 12 why not schedule Oregon, Stanford, USC or UCLA? Heck, I would even accept Arizona State or Oregon State. Instead you go out and find a Cal team that has been struggling since the Aaron Rodgers days.

Also, the MAC loves you for handing them money but play someone besides Ohio University or Miami (Ohio). There is no reason Ohio State cannot schedule an SEC game. The academic department needs to suck it up and schedule a game at Auburn or at Florida. Even if they scheduled a game at Vanderbilt or Mississippi I would be impressed. Instead they find a way to get directional Michigan on the schedule. In the long run this really doesn’t help Ohio State in any way. If you think it does just go back and look at the BCS games in which they played an SEC school. Ohio State is going to have to step up their level of play in the regular season if they hope to compete with the big boys during the bowl season. That will definitely be the case when the college football playoff starts in 2014.

Does Florida State Deserve the #2 Spot?

When Florida State went into Death Valley and throttled the Clemson Tigers they proved they are one of the best teams in the ACC. That said, some are still wondering if they are really a contender for the national championship. Clemson was #3 heading into that particular game but Clemson has not exactly had a strong reputation for winning big games. Now that Florida State has brought Clemson back to reality it will be interesting to see how they play over the next few weeks. Up next is NC State before the Miami game. The NC State game is a definite trap game as the Miami game could be a top 5 matchup. This will be two top 5 matchups in three weeks for the Seminoles. If they can pull lopsided wins out in each of these games it is safe to say they have their swagger back.

The one concern I have about the Florida State Seminoles is their strength of schedule. Much like Ohio State, it may come down to the end of the season and Florida State has not beat anyone that good. If Clemson spirals downhill and Miami ends the season with a few losses, Florida State will not have had a big win all year. To conclude the season Florida State will take on the Florida Gators. At the beginning of the year this looked like a huge game; not so much now. The Gators have already lost three games and they are reeling. Some believe Will Muschamp is on his way out in Gainesville. Florida State needs to hope Florida gets it together before the end of season game.

The SEC and Alabama Remain Atop the BCS

The Alabama Crimson Tide keep on rolling. It is amazing to see them throttle team after team in the SEC. On Saturday, October 19th they did it again to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Other than the Texas A&M game the Alabama defense has been out of this world. Another shutout against Arkansas on Saturday and it looks like this Alabama team could be better than the team that won the national championship last year. If the offense continues to improve we might as well hand another BCS title to Nick Saban and crew.

As if the Alabama dominance is not enough now we have to look at Missouri from the SEC. Missouri and Texas A&M are the newest additions to the conference. Almost every SEC guru felt as if Texas A&M had the best shot to win the SEC as a new member rather than the Missouri Tigers. After seven games it is the Tigers from Columbia, Missouri that are in the drivers seat to head to Atlanta to play in the SEC championship in early December. When looking at their remaining schedule it looks promising that the Tigers will have a shot at the Crimson Tide. Missouri’s two road games are at Kentucky and at Ole Miss. If you know anything about Kentucky you know that should be an easy win; especially with basketball season having started when the game will be played.

The SEC had a weekend of turmoil recently as many of their top teams went down. As I have said many times, the SEC is amazing top to bottom so it should come as no surprise that some of the best teams take a beating. There have been years in which a two loss SEC team has gotten into the BCS National Championship game. I do not think that will happen this year but there is a strong possibility that a two loss SEC team could be better than an undefeated team from another conference. We won’t name conferences.

Early BCS Rankings Don’t Matter

It is very important for all sports fans to recognize that early BCS rankings don’t matter all that much. The BCS will figure itself out by the end of the year. The only thing the BCS is asked to do is to place the #1 and #2 teams in the championship game. When all is said and done that is exactly what will happen. Ohio State, Oregon and Baylor fans have no reason to complain. If we get to the second week in December and they are undefeated and not #2, then they might have a reason to complain.

I find it very interesting that college football fans will find a way to complain about almost anything. If their team were #1 in the country they would complain they did not receive enough first place votes. If a team is not #1 there must be something wrong with all those that are submitting a poll. Unfortunately, college football fans are some of the most biased people in the world. It is best to take off the tinted sunglasses and look at the big picture. While a college football playoff will be fun there is nothing we can do about it right now. Heck, there is nothing you can do about your team going undefeated. Enjoy college football for what it is and stop worrying about all the things you cannot control.

The only thing you can control when it comes to your team is being in the stadium cheering on your alma mater. If you are a diehard college football fan that wants your team to get to the best bowl game possible you should make it a point to attend every game. Teams that get the best bowl bids are often teams that have fan bases that travel well. There is a reason Clemson and Georgia get some of the better bowl bids even when they have not had the best season. Travel with your team, cheer them on and you will find a great location for your January 1st bowl. If you are unhappy with the teams performance do not go to the game and stop donating money. That is the only way a change is going to happen in the athletic department. That is another story for another time.

Are Sporting Events More Enjoyable Live?

Throughout my younger years I did everything in my power to go to live events. Whether they were concerts, sporting events or even musicals. There is just something special about being at a live event. Unfortunately, some live events have gotten out of control and it is hard to enjoy oneself when there are 50,000 to 100,000 people that are out of control. I am not old by any means, but I am much older than I used to be. I know, that is rocket science! In my youthful days I was more than happy to get down in the mosh pit and crowd surf at a concert. I would stand in the student section of a college football game. I would even go to a major pep rally in which fans were not in the best of conditions. At the time, I enjoyed the experience. Now, I get frustrated as some people simply do not know how to act in public.

Live Sporting Events

When I was in elementary school I started to go to live sporting events in the form of high school volleyball and basketball games. I had an older sister that was very good in both sports so my mother would drive us to all of the games. I would try to pay attention for some of the game but I was an 8 year old boy looking to get into trouble. Even though I was not 100% into the games I still learned what it was to attend a live sporting event and be respectful of those around me.

After growing up attending live sporting events it was something that was in my blood. During my middle school and high school years I was either playing sports or watching sports. During any given week I attended three to five live sporting events. On Tuesday and Thursday it was volleyball games. On Wednesday it was a cross country meet. On Friday it was football. There were even Saturdays that I would travel to a different town just to catch another sporting event like a golf tournament or a tennis match. Let’s just say that I had to be doing something at all times and many times this involved live sporting events.

When I walked on the campus of North Carolina State University I immediately sought out the sports schedule to see what was going on. I joined the Student Wolfpack Club so I could accumulate points for going to live sporting events. I would watch volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer and any other event just to get away from the classroom. On Saturday I would spend the entire day tailgating and gearing up for the football game. There were very few Saturdays in which I was not at an NC State football game. No matter where we were playing I was at the game. I traveled as far as Columbus, Ohio and Tallahassee, Florida to watch the Wolfpack play when I was in my undergraduate years. Even as a busy college student I was still attending three to four sporting events a week.

As I grew older I was unable to attend as many sporting events because life called. Sometimes the job gets in the way of attending those games. After moving to Chapel Hill about 16 months ago I decided that I would try to attend as many sporting events as possible. I make my own hours so I have the ability to go to events during the week and even during the day. This past fall I attended a volleyball, soccer and field hockey game all within 24 hours. College football and college basketball are gearing up as well. During the spring months I focus on lacrosse but I will also go to track meets and tennis matches. From a personal perspective, I truly enjoy going to sporting events where there are not a ton of people. During women’s lacrosse games, in the spring, there will be between 50 and 100 fans. This is Heave to me. When there are 50,000 fans things start to get out of control.

Are Sporting Events Too Big?

When the UNC basketball season starts there will be 20,000 fans ready to watch the Tar Heels take on the Kentucky Wildcats. With this many people excited about an event I try to stay away. I can watch this event on my HD TV and I do not have to deal with parking and getting in and out of the game. I also don’t feel like dealing with all the people around me that have no clue as to what is going on. The few times I have been to UNC basketball games I have sat in the student athlete section. I have some friends that are student athletes and they know what is going on when the basketball team is playing. If I were to sit in regular seats I probably would not be able to stay for the entire game.

The same is true when it comes to college football. When I was at NC State I went to Columbus, Ohio to see the Wolfpack take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. The attendance for that game was in excess of 100,000. I sat in the middle of the Ohio State student section and it was difficult to swallow all the things that were being said in that section. I am a very open minded person but some of the college students were downright dirty. I can assure you that this does not change as you get outside the student section. I have been to several games in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. I have heard similar or even worse commentary. When sports and alcohol are mixed some people just do not know how to act. I attended an Oregon vs Tennessee game in Knoxville a few years back and I promised myself I would never attend a game in that stadium again. Well, since then I have done all I can to avoid going back because of the experience.

There are many people that only want to watch sports if they are at the event. I am the exact opposite. When I am at some of these sporting events I enjoy people watching but I am not as interested in the game. I tend to watch the jumbotron and I do not focus on the field. Part of this is because I love to analyze a game. If I am sitting in a seat at the game I am unable to see everything that is going on on the field. In my college days I would always get seats as close to the 50 yard line as possible so I could keep an eye on all the goings on. My friends were shocked at how much I noticed during these games. If a player was limping or not in for a play or two I would notice it immediately.

HD TV Continues to Get Better

One of the main reasons I do not enjoy major sporting events anymore is the home HD experience has improved so much. TV channels like ESPN, NBC Sports and CBS Sports offer close up video of all the events I enjoy. I have attended a few golf tournaments over the last few years but nothing compares to sitting back and watching the final round on CBS Sports on a Sunday afternoon. The announcers have their eyes on everything on the course and you do not miss a good shot. If you are attending a golf tournament it is highly likely that you will be following one group of golfers. I think every golf fan or golfer should attend a few golf events in their life just to see what it is like for the professionals to hit the ball. After you have been to a few events you will understand why watching on TV is so enjoyable.

Something I would suggest all sports fans do is to go to a live event for their favorite team or player once. When I go to a golf tournament I love to walk the course on a Thursday or Friday so I can sit back and watch it on TV over the weekend. You have a much better understanding as to how hard the course is after having walked it the previous day. You will also get to experience seeing some of the things you would never notice on TV. In the golf world most people may not realize how much talking goes on while the players are on the course. This is especially true during the rounds early in the week. When attending a football game some people are shocked at how loud the stadium can get during certain times of the game. If a team needs a stop on 3rd down some of the NFL and college football stadiums can make your ears ring. Make sure to partake in some of these sporting events to truly enjoy watching on TV later in time.

 
By Jesse Wojdylo

Why ACC Football Will Never Change

Saturday, October 5th, 2013 was a great illustration as to why the ACC will never change. During the entire summer I made fun of the ACC because of the lack of depth and quality football. There is no arguing the fact that the ACC is one of the best basketball conferences in the nation. In fact, it can be argued it is the best basketball conference because of the number of championships won in the last three decades. That said, football is a much different story. The ACC has been throttled in BCS Bowl Games since the inception of the BCS. The middle to bottom half of the conference is downright bad. We saw more of that in recent weekends which should come as no surprise to most diehard college football fans.

Maryland and UVA Are A Joke

The University of Maryland came into Saturday, October 5th, 2013 undefeated and #25 in the country. Some analysts were predicting an upset of the top 10 Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee. Maryland was coming off a huge win against West Virginia and they had tons of momentum. When all was said and done Maryland had the wood laid to them at Florida State. They left Doak Campbell Stadium with a 63 spot hung on them. To make matters even worse, Maryland couldn’t even get on the scoreboard. While Florida State and Jameis Winston are very good in 2013 they are not so good that the final score should be 63-0. This is all too typical of a subpar ACC team that breaks into the top 25.

Another lackluster performance on the weekend of October 5th took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Cavaliers have not been a good football team in years but most thought they could beat Ball State in Charlottesville today. When the scoreboard read zeros it was Ball State with a total of 48 points and Virginia with 27; absolutely embarrassing. This is no disrespect to Ball State but no ACC team should allow a MAC team to drop 48 points on them in their home stadium. At one point the ACC thought they could be one of the elite BCS football conferences when they added Virginia Tech and Miami in the early 2000s. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While Maryland and Virginia laid eggs today it is important to note that other cellar dwellers sucked it up as well. North Carolina State University lost to Wake Forest in Raleigh and the UNC Tar Heels took another conference loss. These teams are just straight up bad. If they played in the SEC or PAC 12 they would get routed every single week. It is almost basketball season on Tobacco Road so there isn’t too much longer to wait for something exciting to happen. That said, college football season will continue to grind on through the end of the year. Clemson and Florida State are very good college football teams but the rest of the conference is just plain terrible. What is interesting is that both Florida State and Clemson have been rumored to be leaving the conference to head to the SEC. With a few more years of terrible ACC football I believe it would be smart for them to leave.

Should Clemson and FSU Go To The SEC?

When SEC expansion was a hot topic a few years ago two ACC schools continued to come up – Clemson and Florida State. It makes perfect sense that these two schools would jump from the ACC to the SEC. First of all, they are not historically strong in basketball. In fact, Clemson has gone over 50 years without beating UNC in Chapel Hill in round ball. Florida State has been good recently but it has not been a long term trend. The ACC is historically strong in college basketball and they are trying to expand that even more by adding Louisville, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. The second reason it would be smart for the Tigers and Seminoles to go to the SEC is because of their football history. We can all agree that the ACC has not been strong in football. In fact, it has been well over a decade since the ACC has had a team in the national championship game in college football.

Part of the reason the ACC does not compete well in big time games is the level of competition. If Florida State and Clemson want to truly step up their level of competition they will go to a better football conference. Florida State’s main rival is Florida which happens to be in the SEC. Clemson’s main rival is South Carolina which happens to be in the SEC. These are just a few more reasons it would make sense to get out of a basketball conference and into a football conference.

The other issue is money. The SEC Network will start in 2014 and that will be a huge revenue generator for the conference. This will put more money in the pockets of all the teams that are in the SEC. Right now, there are no plans for the ACC to start a network. There are deals with the ACC with major networks but they do not have their own cable or satellite network. It would be smart for the ACC to get things in place before some of the bigger players in the conference decide to jump ship for more money. This has already happened with Maryland leaving the ACC to head to the B1G conference. Ten years ago there is no way Maryland would have left but the B1G Network is a huge revenue generator and the Terps want that extra cash. If the ACC continues to stumble it may be the case that it no longer exists as it is today. It might end up being just a basketball conference on Tobacco Road and the northeast.

Florida State and Clemson would like to improve in basketball but it is quite obvious they are more focused on football. For quite some time I have said that universities should focus on something they have been historically good at. NC State does a terrible job of this. They have won two national championships in basketball yet the alumni want a good football program. The NC State football program has never been good over a five year period. Instead of sinking money into Carter Finley Stadium they would be smart to spend money on the basketball program. Duke and UNC are just down the road so it should not be hard for NC State to get recruits that want to play at the highest level of basketball.

Is the ACC Just a Basketball Conference?

In the next two years the ACC is going to add Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Louisville. Louisville is coming off a national championship in college basketball and Syracuse has been one of the best teams in the Big East for several decades. One of the reasons the ACC is adding these schools is to have the ACC Basketball tournament in Madison Square Garden. This will be a huge draw for ACC fans. Most ACC fans are used to going to Atlanta or Greensboro for the ACC Basketball Tournament so this will be something completely different. If they do finalize plans on MSG I think it is safe to say that the ACC is a basketball conference and will always be a basketball conference.

Florida State and Clemson have a little bit of an identity crisis in the ACC. Clemson rarely makes it out of the first round of the ACC Tournament and Florida State has only recently had success in this tournament. That said, they have no problems running up and down the field on ACC teams during the football season. If Clemson and Florida State end up in the top 10 in football this year I predict the SEC will make a strong push to pull them out of the ACC and into a conference that is football centered.

As we continue to move into basketball season most schools in the ACC are gearing up for a huge season. In Chapel Hill they are getting ready for Late Night with Roy. In Durham, Coach K and the boys are hoping to make another Final Four run. Teams like Syracuse and UVA are hoping to make a strong run in the ACC Tournament. These are teams that do not care about college football. They have all been throttled in the last week on the gridiron so the fan bases are looking for revenge on the hardwood.

I can clearly remember being at NC State years ago and hoping college football season would come around because our basketball team could not beat Duke or UNC. I was a little bit short minded in that I should have accepted that the ACC will forever be a basketball conference. This weekend proved that ACC football is not going to change in the near future. The only way it is going to change is if the conference loses the power teams to the SEC or another power conference.

 
By Jesse Wojdylo