As we move into the fourth season of the Bowl Championship Series on MNC Wednesday, we see a pattern developing: well, two, actually. First, the BCS was really good at falling out of the tree and landing on its feet; and second, it’s clear there was a distinct bias against the Best Coast and its indifference to filling football stadiums.
Read on to truly see what we mean …
The 2001 MNC: Once more unto the breach, dear friends!
Here is the Associated Press Top 10, including final record with key bowl results:
1. Miami-FL: 12-0-0 — W, Rose, 37-14
2. Oregon: 11-1-0 — W, Fiesta, 38-16
3. Florida: 10-2-0 — W, Orange, 56-21
4. Tennessee: 11-2-0 — W, Citrus, 45-17
5. Texas: 11-2-0 — W, Holiday, 47-43
6. Oklahoma: 11-2-0 — W, Cotton, 10-3
7. Louisiana State: 10-3-0 — W, Sugar, 47-34
8. Nebraska: 11-2-0 — L, Rose, 14-37
9. Colorado: 10-3-0 — L, Fiesta, 16-38
10. Washington State: 10-2-0 — W, Sun, 33-27
The Hurricanes beat the Cornhuskers in the BCS “title” game, which was a farce, as Nebraska had just lost the Big XII title game by a 26-point margin—and still got “picked” by the BCS to play in the “championship” game. Meanwhile, the Ducks were ranked No. 2 in both polls, but Oregon got shunted to the Fiesta Bowl to face the Buffaloes, the team that laid that 62-36 loss on the Huskers in the Big XII title game.
Got all that? It made no sense at the time, and it still does not make sense 20 years later. The BCS screwed up, period. Anyway, neither the Gators nor the Volunteers won the SEC: With a shocking upset over Tennessee in the SEC title game, the Tigers claimed the SEC crown. With three losses, LSU is not even under consideration here.
Texas and Oklahoma didn’t win the Big XII, obviously, while the Cougars did not win the Pac-10. Are there any teams we’re overlooking? Nope. This was a simple year for the BCS, really, and the organization still got the wrong team into its version of a championship.
In the end, that leaves us with only 2 teams to examine more closely, as we like to do in this space. Here are the respective SOS ratings for our finalists, after analyzing all the context above:
- Miami-FL: 12 Division I-A opponents, 5.08 SOS rating, 22nd of 117
- Oregon: 12 Division I-A opponents, 4.67 SOS rating, 26th
So, the Hurricanes can keep their mythical national title from this season, but what sucks—again, for the fourth year in a row—is that the BCS blew it even if it got the result “right” in the end. These selections over the last handful of seasons have deprived worthy teams of their shot at a clear No. 1 team. You never know what can happen on the field, so it’s just sad in the end.
To recap: A) In 1998, Ohio State got the shaft; B) In 1999, Nebraska got hosed; C) In 2000, Washington was ignored; and D) In 2001, Oregon received the dismissal. Why was the BCS so bad at figuring this out? It is not rocket science, but when they say “follow the money”? They say it for a reason—even if it makes no sense in the first two examples.
Either way, here we go again with an imperfect system getting it right by accident: This is only Miami’s second confirmed MNC from us, by the way, after the Hurricanes’ 1987 title. We have stripped Miami of three other titles because the team was not worthy, and who knows? Maybe they were unworthy of this one, too; thanks to the BCS screwup(s), perhaps we’ll never know the truth.
Congratulations to the 2001 Miami Hurricanes, the mythical national champion!