Monday, October 26, 2009
Better choices to rank college football teams
Another week, another collective college football voter Cialis moment for Pete Carroll. Maybe its just me, but year after year, it seems that the cerebrally-challenged folks who rank the teams for college football's top 25 polls are simply trying to win the favor of the USC coach (by the way, that's the real USC in Southern California, and you South Carolina folks just need to stop right now). Guys, you remember how you desperately wanted to hang out with the cool guy in school, the leader of the pack, the man who got all the chicks and passed out the ones he didn't have time for to his buddies? That is how the hot dog eaters (hat tip to my pally Kevin Miller for that term) of the college football media and coaching world treat Mr. Carroll year after year, and this week there is yet another downright embarassing example of guys willing to be Pete's urinal hand-man.
Don't get me wrong. Pete Carroll has restored greatness to USC football. The program that was dominant throughout much of the 60's and 70's went through a swoon in the 80's, generating win-loss records that are only acceptable at places that believe they are big time but aren't, like Ole Miss or every ACC school except for Virginia Tech and, lately, Georgia Tech. But the Trojans has been mostly glorious over the past decade, and Carroll gets most of the credit for paying good money for....., errr, for rebuilding them. But Carroll also always gets a pass for losing games that USC should win in about the first five minutes of the first quarter, such as the Washington game this year. The reason for this is, well, he's just so dang cool. Instead of the 50-something guy that he is, Pete acts as if he's 23 and doing Red Bull/Crunk Juice shots on the sidelines during the game. Members of the media act like women trying to catch the garter at a wedding reception as they beat the snot out of each other just so they can inhale three seconds of the Carroll aura. How else to explain the fact that, despite suffering the worst loss of any top-ten team this season, Carroll's Trojans are ranked ahead of not one, not two, but THREE unbeaten teams in the new BCS standings.
I know what those pollsters who are desperate seeking some Cinemax skin-flick time with Mr. Carroll would tell me. "Do you really think Cincinnati could beat USC?" Well, Cincy's thugs beat Oregon State on the road by a larger margin than USC's thugs beat the Beavers at home. "Come on, Ray. TCU and Boise State ahead of USC?" Answer: Boise beat an Oregon team that may go to the Rose Bowl this year, and you have been shopping at those Cali Pot Shops too much if you really believe the Pac-10 is better than the Mountain West. "Who wants to see that dang blue field, again, or something called a Horned Frog when you can watch (cue the Marilyn Chambers music) Matt Barkley, the sexiest...errrrrrr, the best freshman QB in the country?" Bow-chicka-bow-bow. I always thought there was something pornographic about guys who follow football recruiting so closely. Now, we see that extends to media folks and other pollsters living their vicarious "Animal House" existence through those guys after they start their college careers.
Since the powers don't have the cojones to implement a playoff, the only way to fix the fight for college football's mythical national championship is simple. It is time to ditch all the pollsters and only allow a small "blue ribbon" panel rank the teams. Who would be on this panel? Glad you asked.
1) Me. Since, as should be obvious by my earlier analysis of media lust for Pete Carroll, I know everything.
2) Adam Van Brimmer, Savannah Morning News, the only pollster worth his salt. Even though for whatever reason he isn't allowed to write about sports on a regular basis any more, and the SMN's sports section is much worse for it, he is still an Associated Press Top 25 voter, and his rankings actually make some bit of sense. Adam can also defend his rankings with the best of them, using actual on-field results as his guide, not some hypothetical "but seriously, do you think..." rationale that so many other pollsters apparently use.
3) My kids. They are smarter than me. My first-grader could probably crank out a computer program that could correctly predict the results of every football game as well as the number of bribes your elected officials will take while running the country into a ridiculous amount of debt. My toddler, by simply walking up to the computer whenever one of those annoying espn.dot.com auto-play videos starts on every single web page, already watches more football every week than at least half the current pollsters.
4) My cats. I would talk to them about each school, then see how long it takes them to poop on the floor after the talk to determine the rankings. Yes, on the floor, as they apparently believe the litter box is a one-use item.
5) My Magic 8-Ball. I used a radio station contest several years ago to successfully prove that the 8-Ball could predict the outcome of football games as well as any human. Ranking a top-25 with an 8-Ball would be easier than the CEO's version of Marco Polo; "Budget Cuts! Everyone's Fired!"
"That isn't a representative sample of the nation, Ray. You have to have lots of people from all over the country pick the teams to be fair." No, you don't, because that would just lead to what we have this year, a bunch of guys desperate to sleep with Pete Carroll and desperate to keep two teams from what overwhelmingly is the best conference in the nation, the SEC, from playing for the mythical crystal fuball. Also, the beauty of the Steele system is that no one would know who was behind the rankings! We could just pretend that there are still a gazillion pollsters, not tell anyone the truth, and get something that actually resembles the best teams in college football competing for the fake national title every year. No one would ever have to know the truth!
Sure, it's ludicrous. So are this week's BCS standings.