Saturday, January 3, 2009

Time Machine: The 2006 Bowls under the ACCFR Plan

Following up on my bowl/playoff manifesto, I'm going back through each BCS year to see how my system would have played out versus what actually happened. For those who don't care to read over my plan, here's the gist:
1- We play five major bowls on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 (Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar, Rose)
2- Each BCS conference has an auotbid for it's champ (Cotton- Big East, Fiesta- Big XII, Orange- ACC, Sugar- SEC, Rose- Pac 10 vs. Big 10)
3- That leaves 4 at large-spots, which are chosen based on the 4 highest ranked available teams in the final regular season BCS poll; the only rules are no rematches, no teams from the same conference in a bowl, and a champion of a non-BCS conference ranked #8 or higher must get selected.
4- The bowls (except Rose) rotate each year on the order of at-large placements
5- After the Five Bowls, run the BCS poll again; #1 and #2 then play the next Friday night (7 to 13 days after the bowls) in the BCS Championship Game.

No, my plan is not a playoff, but it still gives you a 1-vs-2 game and it makes the major bowls actually matter again.
Let's see how this plan would've worked in 2006. Here were your final regular season BCS rankings:

1- Ohio State (Big Ten champ)
2- Florida (SEC champ)
3- Michigan (at-large)
4- LSU (at-large)
5- USC (Pac 10 champ)
6- Louisville (Big East champ)
7- Wisconsin (at-large)
8- Boise State (at-large)
10-Oklahoma (Big XII champ)
14- Wake Forest (ACC champ)

We don't have a comparable order-of-selection to use since the BCS treated the title game like a bowl and they didn't have the Cotton included, so based on the picking order I used for 2007, we back up and find the order of selection in '06 to be Fiesta, Cotton, Orange, Sugar. Given that, these would've been your 2006 BCS bowls:

FIESTA- Oklahoma (Big XII champ) vs. Michigan (highest ranked at-large)
COTTON- Louisville (Big East champ) vs. LSU (2nd highest ranked at-large)
ORANGE- Wake Forest (ACC champ) vs. Wisconsin (3rd highest ranked at-large)
SUGAR- Florida (SEC champ) vs. Boise State (4th highest ranked at-large)
ROSE- Ohio State (Big Ten champ) vs. USC (Pac 10 champ)

That's a helluva lineup; the Orange Bowl doesn't look sexy, but Wisconsin should have been in a BCS bowl in '06 rather than Notre Dame (who you'll recall got trounced by LSU in the Sugar Bowl). Wake-Wisconsin would actually have been a good matchup in terms of styles of play. That Louisville-LSU Cotton Bowl would have been a treat, with both teams in striking distance of the title game with a win. How about Florida vs. Boise? Nice! Oklahoma vs. Michigan would have been a curious game. And once again, USC would've taken care of Ohio State and the Buckeyes wouldn't have sullied an actual title game.

After the Five Bowls, the BCS Championship Game likely would have paired Florida and USC, or perhaps Florida and LSU. But what if the Broncos had upset the Gators? Boise State-USC for the title? Perhaps. Or maybe LSU-Michigan.

The ACCFR plan again would have been a massive improvement over what actually took place in 2006. On to 2005...


Lee said...

Man enough to put the Utes at the top of the final blog poll? If Oklahoma wins in a rout I would have to think about it but a close game or a Florida win and I see no logical argument that puts Florida #1 and Utah #2.

Marcus said...

Let's see how the Fiesta Bowl and UF/OU game play out. Remember, it's all about the resume.

Lee said...

no amount of wins makes up for losing at home to a semi-decent team or losing on a neutral field by 10+ to a good one. Utah blew the doors off of Bama, that game was never in question they just were nice enough to take the foot off the peddle.

Lee said...

and even here lets say LSU Michigan and Boise State win. You would get LSU v Michigan and Boise who would certainly have proven they belonged would be left out. lame.

Marcus said...

A loss is a spot on the resume. That certainly is taken into consideration. I'm tempted to put Utah up there, but if UF beats OU 65-20, or vice versa, well, sorry but I'm voting that winner #1.

If it's a more competitive (or sloppy) game, then I'm taking a long, hard look at the winner's resume vs. Utah's.

Lee said...

Yeah. A blow out either way would probably tip the scale. I still cringe at the idea a team with the name "USC" or "Florida" or "Oklahoma" on the front of their jersey basically gets on free crap loss a year and they are right there as a national title contender and then 200 other programs have to be perfect to even enter the discussion. Starting to wonder if the Big 12 was all that great after all. Not much in the impressive Bowl Winning Department.