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I Love You, Gene Wojciechowski. I Do Not Love You, Lloyd Carr. - Sauce1977 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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I Love You, Gene Wojciechowski. I Do Not Love You, Lloyd Carr. [Dec. 3rd, 2006|09:50 pm]
Sauce1977
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ESPN will probably keep you quiet the next few months, but you wrote the pants off Ivan Maisel and Pat Forde.

The latter two were openly campaigning with Urban Meyer for "anyone but Michigan."



Florida's fine, but how is Michigan left out?

By Gene Wojciechowski
ESPN.com


If you're Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, how do you explain to your players that they won't be in the BCS Championship Game? How do you tell the second-best team in the country to get pumped about playing USC in the Runner-Up Bowl? How do you resist the urge of wishing Nutcracker drills on every person who jumped one-loss Florida ahead of the one-loss Wolverines in the final polls?

Lloyd Carr and Michigan lost to No. 1 by three points...and aren't title-game worthy.
There is no polite way of saying it: Michigan got jobbed. Sunday's rankings are Exhibits A-Z why the BCS means well, but simply doesn't work -- and never will.

Carr had to do what Auburn's Tommy Tuberville did two seasons ago. Tuberville's team finished the regular season 12-0, but was left out of the Tostitos BCS Championship Game in favor of undefeated USC and Oklahoma.

"It's hard," said Tuberville. "It's hard to look them in the eye. Heck, we're still not over it. You never get over it. It's like a question that's never been answered."

Carr is asking those same questions. And he'll get the same shoulder shrugs that Tuberville got.

Let me get this straight: Michigan, which was unbeaten against all teams on its schedule ranked lower than No. 1, isn't going to Glendale, Ariz., for the Jan. 8 national title game because ...

• It didn't win its conference.

No, it didn't. But did you see who did? Team by the name of Ohio State. Maybe you've heard of the Buckeyes? Undefeated. Ranked first in the country. Beat Michigan in Columbus by the grand total of three whole points.

And feel free to show me in the BCS handbook where it says you've got to win your conference to play in the championship game?

• Nobody wants to see a rematch.

Just asking, but how did Ali-Frazier II and III work out? Or that Georgetown-Villanova Final Four?

I know Florida's Urban Meyer doesn't want to see a rematch, but he's not exactly an impartial observer, is he? And if Meyer were in Carr's Nikes, I guarantee you his objections to a second Ohio State-Michigan game would have disappeared.

A rematch, this time on a neutral field, would have been a game for the ages. And if you threatened to take away his precious sweater vest if he didn't tell the truth, I bet you Buckeyes' coach Jim Tressel would rather play Florida than have to face the Wolverines again (Tressel declined to vote in the final coaches' poll).

• Florida played a tougher schedule.

Agreed. But strength of schedule is part of the equation, nothing more. Tuberville's 2004 team had the strongest strength of schedule, but didn't make it.

You want to give the Gators the edge based on scheduling? Fair enough, though you could argue that Florida didn't exactly beat vintage Alabama, Georgia and Florida State teams this year, and Central Florida and Division I-AA Western Carolina were dreadful.

And look at the one loss each suffered by Florida and Michigan on their schedules. You tell me which defeat was more impressive: the Gators' 10-point road loss to an Auburn team that finished the season No. 9 in the BCS standings? Or the Wolverines' three-point road loss to an Ohio State now favored to win the national championship?

• The BCS system rewarded Florida for finishing its season with wins at FSU and against Arkansas at the SEC championship in Atlanta.

And the BCS penalized Michigan twice for being on the wrong end of the calendar: once when USC moved to No. 2 after beating Notre Dame (even though Michigan beat the Irish worse), and now, when Florida overtook the Wolverines (even though U of M's season ended two weeks ago).

How can you call this a "system" when Florida belongs to a league that plays a conference championship, and Michigan doesn't? How can you call it a quasi-playoff when Michigan drops twice in the standings without losing a game.

• Florida has earned the right to play Ohio State.

Absolutely true. But so has Michigan.

Ask the coaches at Vanderbilt (the Commodores played both Michigan and Florida this season) who is the better team, and the consensus pick -- privately, of course -- is the Wolverines. Florida has more speed and a handful of players to die for, they say, but Michigan is more physical, would control both sides of the line of scrimmage, have wonderful wide receivers, and are led by a senior quarterback who doesn't make many mistakes.

Ask them who would give Ohio State the better game, and you'll get the same answer.

Tuberville voted Ohio State, Florida and then Michigan on his final ballot. "But I watched Michigan this year," he said. "Heck, I think they could beat anybody. But that's the way the system is. It's a screwed-up system."

Michigan never had that chance. It was 11-1 on Nov. 18. It was 11-1 on Dec. 3. But between then and now the Wolverines apparently became the cellulite queens and somehow lost the swimsuit portion of this ridiculous BCS beauty pageant.

Michigan didn't do a thing wrong. And yet Carr was the one who had to console his team Sunday night. He did it, but here's guessing he wasn't Mr. Congeniality.

************

Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at gene.wojciechowski@espn3.com.

Gene stated:

Lloyd Carr and Michigan lost to No. 1 by three points...and aren't title-game worthy.
There is no polite way of saying it: Michigan got jobbed. Sunday's rankings are Exhibits A-Z why the BCS means well, but simply doesn't work -- and never will.


Gene's assumption can be grouped with mutliple other reasons that are all valid assumptions. All are certain and resolute in the fact that the BCS does not compare to a true playoffs system.

Florida got screwed until today because they never won sexy games, in terms of 'style points.' Michigan, however, lost to Ohio State for three consecutive weeks, fueled by the utter back-stabbing by Ohio State with preference made clear to play USC . . . to which USC jumped ahead of Michigan the week they played Notre Dame and beat them heavily . . . despite the fact that USC was weak and proved it against UCLA the next week. After all, the start of the chant "anyone but Michigan" originated from Columbus, Ohio, right after the conclusion of the real national championship, #1 Ohio State vs. #2 Michigan.

I feel it is absolutely unfair for Ohio State to play a championship game. They stand the most to lose, and no matter who they faced, Ohio State had to win twice to claim their rightful championship.

There's a bigger transgression with regard to Lloyd Carr's refusal to campaign for a spot in the championship game.

While Tressel's students proclaimed every yearning desire to face USC, and Ohio State expressed unified and general revulsion with the idea of facing Michigan twice, Lloyd Carr and the athletic director and president . . . they sat there and gave no vehement counter.

While Tressel's students were dismayed to watch UCLA take away their weak USC team this last Saturday, Urban Meyer's students ham-fisted their way ahead of Michigan with a steady multiple-week diet of how the BCS was unfair, how Florida's most deserving of a shot at the title, fueled on the sentiment of Ohio State's students.

And, today, I'll bet you the Urban Meyer campaign can be added to yet another list of losses that Michigan should never have suffered. This stands as big, to me, as some of the more dubious Wolverines slips, like the one that Michigan dropped in a previous year to Willingham's weak Notre Dame club. This refusal to campaign is the greatest mistake that Carr, the Schembechler remnant, ever made.

Schembechler, mind you, would never have stood pat while the entire world campaigned against his school.

Lloyd Carr, if you lose the USC game in the Rose Bowl, it won't be the first time your school was shamed by ol' Pete Carroll. It should, however, be the last. I couldn't hate you any more than I do right now. I never forget, Lloyd. You made your last mistake with me a long time ago. They fired Earle Bruce and John Cooper at Ohio State because neither coach could maintain national prominence and competitive games against Michigan. As far as I'm concerned, Lloyd, I have no sentimentality with your connection to Bo Schembechler. You're no Bo Schembechler, Lloyd, and you never will be. Win the Rose Bowl, or you and Bill Martin should turn in your resignation papers.

The University of Michigan Wolverines are football royalty. If you can't win the big games, Lloyd, then you have to leave. If you're about honor, the right thing, and loyalty, then you would do this. In other words, beat USC, or else. You're in a deep hole. Don't ever forget that.

Upon the likely victory of Ohio State in the championship game, Florida will never have known what monster Urban Meyer released. For the sake of a campaigned shot, Ohio State, with a string of top recruits, national exposure, and all the love afforded an outright champion, will make USC's arrogance seem quaint.

College football, and the NCAA, you brought this on yourselves.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2006-12-04 05:00 am (UTC)
I agree that the SEC is a tough conference, but the hype surrounding teams like Ole Miss >>> Iowa, for example, is a bit overblown. SEC schools dog Michigan for Ball State, but what the hell is Florida's schedule against Western Carolina?

Florida and Michigan were 50/50, with a slight edge to Florida for arguable strength of schedule nod. But, I wonder how Leak's going to enjoy possible humiliation on a national stage against one of the more potent and balanced Ohio State teams I've seen in a while.
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