Our efforts this week on MNC Wednesday bring us to the 2012 season, where the SEC love affair got out of hand in multiple ways—the least of which was handing the Heisman Trophy to a freshman from a newly added team to the conference. We’ve commented on the asinine Heisman voting processes elsewhere, but this really was another laughable move by the corrupt sport to line its pockets.
Anyway, without further adieu, here we go with another mythical national championship retroactive analysis! Enjoy …
The 2012 MNC: A truly shocking surprise, even to us
Here is the Associated Press Top 10, including final record with key bowl results:
1. Alabama (13-1): Won BCS Bowl, 42-14
2. Oregon (12-1): Won Fiesta Bowl, 35-17
3. Ohio State (12-0): No bowl (probation)
4. Notre Dame (12-1): Lost BCS Bowl, 14-42
5t. Georgia (12-2): Won CapitalOne Bowl, 45-31
5t. Texas A&M (11-2): Won Cotton Bowl, 41-13
7. Stanford (12-2): Won Rose Bowl, 20-14
8. South Carolina (11-2): Won Outback Bowl, 33-28
9. Florida (11-2): Lost Sugar Bowl, 23-33
10. Florida State (12-2): Won Orange Bowl, 31-10
The Crimson Tide actually won the SEC this year, so we can legitimately include them in our group of finalists! The Ducks missed out on the Pac-12 title thanks to a three-point loss to Stanford, so why didn’t the BCS pick Oregon for the title game instead of Alabama, which lost by five points to Texas A&M? Yes, we jest, but it shows the continuing double standards applied in favor of the SEC during this era.
The Buckeyes are an interesting case here: They were on probation, due to some players receiving free tattoos from a Columbus parlor. So, to recap, Auburn (in 2010) was not penalized for the father of its star player shopping around his services to the tunes of thousands of dollars during the recruiting process, but Ohio State was penalized for some kids getting free tats? Again, the SEC bias just magnifies itself.
We will not DQ the Buckeyes: We use logic and reason here, as we have shown each and every time a situation like this arises. Ohio State was therefore the de facto champion of the B1G, since it never lost a game and was deprived of a chance at both the conference championship game and a bowl bid. It may not matter in the end, but we will include the Buckeyes in our group of finalists, because it’s right.
Stanford won the Pac-12, so they get moved along, while the Seminoles won the ACC, so they can move into our finalist bunch, too, although with two losses, it could be hard for either team to make up ground on an undefeated team, for example.
Any other teams we’re overlooking? There was a four-way tie for the Big East title, with Louisville getting the league’s champion bowl bid, and the Cardinals beat the Gators in that Sugar Bowl (exposing the overrated SEC, in the process). There was a three-way tie in the MWC, so Boise State (11-2) once again can get some consideration as a co-champion there.
Utah State (11-2) won the WAC, so we can look to the Aggies for a spot in the final analysis below. And that’s about it? That leaves us with 7 (!) teams to scrutinize more closely, as we do here. These are the respective SOS ratings for our surviving teams, after applying the criteria above:
- Stanford: 14 Division I-A opponents, 6.58 SOS rating, 4th of 124
- Boise State: 13 Division I-A opponents, -5.08 SOS rating, 114th
- Alabama: 13 Division I-A opponents, 5.51 SOS rating, 14th
- Ohio State: 12 Division 1-A opponents, 0.89 SOS rating, 54th
- Florida State: 12 Division I-A opponents, -0.66 SOS rating, 63rd
- Louisville: 12 Division I-A opponents, -1.96 SOS rating, 73rd
- Utah State: 12 Division I-A opponents, -4.68 SOS rating, 108th
We can eliminate the Broncos, the Seminoles, the Cardinals, and the Aggies right off the bat for their poor schedules. The Buckeyes also played a relatively average schedule, even if they were deprived of improving it at the end. Still, we did the right thing to consider them, but Ohio State was still too far down the SOS rankings to really be a contender here.
So, yes, that leaves us with the Cardinal and the Crimson Tide. And we have a coin flip? We have to throw out the correlative scores of the two teams playing Notre Dame, since the Irish lost their bowl game: That is a boon for Stanford, obviously, which lost to Notre Dame. Also, since Alabama scheduled a cupcake (Western Carolina), that weakened the overall SOS—and costs the Crimson Tide here, dearly.
In the end, the two teams are tied in our analysis, and the tie goes to the team with the better SOS—and that is, shockingly, the Stanford Cardinal. Two road losses by 11 combined points hurt the Cardinal with the voters and the shallow-thinking BCS, but the retroactive sabermetrics do not lie. This is Stanford’s first MNC in our analyses, and again, it’s the seventh time Alabama has lost an MNC in our analyses.
How overrated can one school be? Pretty thoroughly, it seems, when you look at the hard facts/numbers.
Congratulations to the 2012 Stanford Cardinal, the mythical national champion!