MNC Wednesday faces a tough year to assess this week, as there was a huge scandal that the NCAA took a pass on after punishing other players/schools for infractions that turned out to suspect, legally. Corruption was full blown at this point, as we discussed a few weeks ago. There was no longer any pretense about cash grabs at any ethical and moral cost.
You know of what we speak: Therefore, we will not consider the Auburn Tigers this year for the mythical national championship. To be clear, the school itself tried to do the right thing, and the NCAA blew it by “overruling” on the matter. The school should have stuck to its principles, but it did not—yet we will … period.
The 2010 MNC: A whole can of worms because the NCAA ignored its own rules
Here is the Associated Press Top 11, including final record with key bowl results:
1. Auburn (14-0) — Won BCS Bowl, 22-19
2. TCU (13-0) — Won Rose Bowl, 21-19
3. Oregon (12-1) — Lost BCS Bowl, 19-22
4. Stanford (12-1) — Won Orange Bowl, 40-12
5. Ohio State (12-1) — Won Sugar Bowl, 31-26
6. Oklahoma (12-2) — Won Fiesta Bowl, 48-20
7. Wisconsin (11-2) — Lost Rose Bowl, 19-21
8. LSU (11-2) — Won Cotton Bowl, 41-24
9. Boise State (12-1) — Won Las Vegas Bowl, 26-3
10. Alabama (10-3) — Won Capital One Bowl, 49-7
11. Nevada (13-1) — Won Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, 20-13
How do we handle a situation like the one the Ducks are in here? Do we pretend their final game did not happen? That is very difficult to do, sabermetrically. Either way, we have to advance them and work with the numbers we do have. Oregon did beat the Cardinal, however, so Stanford is out.
We are not ignoring the Horned Frogs—they move along with an undefeated season, although we suspect their SOS won’t hold up to scrutiny. The Buckeyes lost to the Badgers, so Ohio State did not win the B1G, while Wisconsin lost to TCU in the Rose Bowl.
The Sooners won the Big XII, so we can consider them with multiple losses, for now. With the SEC championship basically being vacated through use of an ineligible player, LSU and Alabama aren’t going anywhere, either. What about the Wolf Pack? We see Nevada the same as TCU, but for argument’s sake, we will consider the small school.
Interesting that the Wolf Pack beat the Broncos on multiple special-teams flukes, but that didn’t stop the voters from putting Boise State higher in the polls. Either way, only Nevada gets advanced, for being the WAC champions. Are we missing any other teams? Nope.
That’s it, as you can see above. In the final analysis, therefore, we have these 4 teams to scrutinize more closely, as we do here. These are the respective SOS ratings for our best teams, after applying the criteria above:
- TCU: 12 Division I-A opponents, -1.73 SOS rating, 81st of 120
- Oregon: 12 Division I-A opponents, 3.92 SOS rating, 24th
- Oklahoma: 14 Division I-A opponents, 5.40 SOS rating, 10th
- Nevada: 13 Division 1-A opponents, -3.54 SOS rating, 89th
This really comes down to the fact that TCU should have been in the “title” game against Oregon, but can we assume the Ducks would have won that, based on sheer sabermetrics? Oregon would have been a 3.5-point favorite on a neutral field, according to the SRS.
That being said, the Sooners played a very good schedule, but with two losses, they can’t overcome the Ducks’ W-L record advantage, if we (fairly) stop Oregon’s season with the Pac-12 championship from the regular season and do not assume any projected bowl win for the Ducks—through no fault of their own, making them still eligible.
In the end, again, this is a huge mess, because the NCAA failed to do its job, and an SEC school—that perhaps tried to do the right thing at first—let itself be corrupted in the end by deceit and greed. This is a sad year for us, in many ways, as once again, we see a beloved sport sell out its principles to profit from the lies. This is the fourth time now, too, in the last six seasons examined that the BCS has failed the fans and the sport.
Either way, this is Oregon’s first MNC in our book, making it the second first-time champ here in the last five seasons. It’s not often we get those in a sport that loves catering to its traditional powers. For Auburn, this is the second time we’ve stripped it of an MNC, although we did give it a rightful one once as well.
Congratulations to the 2010 Oregon Ducks, the mythical national champion!