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Great take on the Cal Rose Bowl whining

December 07, 2004 at 01:30 PM

These aren't my words, but it's the best thing I've read on the whole Cal deserves to go to the Rose Bowl and Texas doesn't topic. From SynTex on Hornfans (via D-smoo on Orangebloods):

The Pac 10 commish, the Cal coach, and many others are harping on some of the voting patterns that may have tainted the BCS. Let's talk about it. Let me take item by item some of the problems that have been discussed (and I will make adjustments accordingly).

- You complain about the 3 Texas based AP voters who switched and put Texas ahead of Cal. I'm gonna switch it back for ya. (typing). There you go!

- You complain about the Alabama jerk who suddenly realized Texas is not the #9 team, but he suddenly moved us up to #5. Bear in mind, he still had Texas behind you guys, but what the hay? Let's take away those four points from Texas, shall we?

- You are offended (and you have a case) that some coaches put Texas #2 or #3. You are right. That is wrong. I'm taking it all away. I will take away those points from Texas, and because y'all are so damn confident that you unequivocally outrank Texas, I will reassign all these #2/#3 Texas coach votes to Texas as a #5 vote. (More typing). There we go! And I'm being so nice today, I'm gonna go ahead and leave the pro-Cal #3 vote that mysteriously appeared in the final coaches poll.

- You are offended that 6 coaches put you #7 or #8. Yes, that's wrong, too. Forget the fact that 8 coaches had Texas #7 or #8, the media is not mentioning that fact at all, but whatever. What I will do for y'all... I will take all 6 Cal #7/#8 votes, and because y'all are so convinced you are the better team, I will magically turn those into #4 votes, ahead of Texas.

So where do we stand after all these very generous changes?

#4 Texas 0.8442
#5 Cal 0.8391

That's right. We eliminated a little more than half of the difference. So much for the razor thin margin. So much for the conspiracy taking away your Rose Bowl bid. Y'all need to get together, figure out another injustice, and let me know, so we can try to plug a way for you guys to win.

OK. Now that I have mathematically shown (and given you all are very smart students at Berkeley, and you know based on what I said above, I'm right), let me give you all the reasons why you need to shut up already and just accept your damn Holiday Bowl bid.

1. The "Conspiracy Effect" Doesn't Add Up
This is what was just proven above. In the end, it makes for a neat Trev Alberts, PTI, New York Times, Seattle Times story, but it didn't really matter.

2. You Outranked Us in Both Human Polls
Al Gore wanted a recount, investigations, because he had LOST the human vote. You guys won it, damn it! Not only do you outrank us #4/#5 in the coach's poll, but you have the added benefit of a wedge (Utah) to outrank us #4/#6 in the AP poll. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?? How can you allege fraud in the human polls, when in the end, they WENT IN YOUR FAVOR?

Forget the fact that both teams have identical records, and a good case to make as both teams lost to undefeated national title contenders. It's understandable that some voters will vote Cal #4/Texas #5, and vice versa. If you refuse to accept that premise, you are being naive. It is not a slam dunk case, that in every voter's mind, that you are better than Texas. You know it and we know it. I will never argue that every voter should have Texas higher than Cal, and you should never argue the opposite. It's a grey area.

And in the end, the grey area was in your favor. You are unhappy, because it wasn't overwhelmingly ENOUGH in your favor. Oh well.

3. There's a reason the computers liked Texas
Cal's cumulative opponents win/loss was 61-61, a perfect breakeven.
Texas' cumulative opponents win/loss was 67-56, 11 games over 0.500

That's right. The best way we can try to demote our schedule to your level, is to pull out the undefeated 12-0 record of our best opponent, Oklahoma. But given that you guys [censored] and [censored] and [censored] how close you came to beating your undefeated opponent, I don't think we can accomodate you there.

We beat 5 teams that had 7 or more victories. You defeated one. One. One team that won 7 or more games.

4. Be fair about each of our losses.
I am more than willing to grant you that you played USC better than we played OU. But don't go saying that you practically beat USC (because you outgained them, and your wideout tripped on his route), while we got blown out by OU. The score of the OU game at halftime was Oklahoma 3, Texas 0. It was Oklahoma 6, Texas 0 up until 8 minutes in the 4th quarter. I realize that given you are Pac 10 fans, you must shiver when you see such a defensive struggle. But this was a very close game.

Again, we did not do as well against our rival as you did against yours. You guys were close. But don't go saying that we were blown out by OU.

5. Be fair about each of our sloppy wins.
Kansas. Boy, the media sure loves that game. We played sloppy in that one no doubt, but you guys know that as time was winding down, the Oregon WR dropped a wideopen, easy pass that puts them well within field goal range. So those are both near misses against sub-0.500 teams.

Arkansas. Well, I was happy with that one, it was an electric environment. It was probably closer than it should have been. Honestly, I do think this is a wash with your Southern Miss game. On the road, close at the end (game was nearly tied 17-16 with a mere 6 minutes left). But in the end, the better team won.

If you try to assert that any of our wins beyond KU and Arkansas were low quality or squeakers in nature, you are wrong (in my opinion). I attended and re-watched each of these games. Kansas and Arkansas made me sweat, but as the games concluded, none of the others were really in question, and they were all by reasonable victory margins. Yes, a comeback was needed against Okla State, but we won that game by 21 points.

6. Quit harping on the Big 10/Pac 10 sanctity crap.
For years, the Rose Bowl has been diligent in preserving tradition by always inviting the champion of the Big 10, to play the champion of the Pac 10.

Three teams: Michigan, Cal, and Texas. Only one of them meets this tradition, and last time I checked, that team is going to the Rose Bowl. Tell me, again, how the tradition is being violated.

7. Quit saying Mack Brown's "whining" did the trick.
While you and Utah were off, and after we defeated a ranked A&M team in a rivalry game, Mack Brown made public statements asking for voters to reconsider their votes. Some have portrayed this as "whining," some may say he was politicking, but whatever you want to call it, it doesn't matter. He was certainly making an appeal to voters.

When the polls came out merely 2 days later (again bearing in mind that Texas beat a ranked team, Cal and Utah were off), here's what happened: Cal GAINED 4 points in the human polls. Texas LOST ground after defeating a ranked team by 13pts, while Cal was off. If ANYTHING, the "whining" backfired. It clearly didn't help.

Here's a thought.... maybe Cal lost ground in the human polls in the following week (a full 9 days after Mack's "whining") because of a subpar performance against a mediocre conference USA opponent. Because they were virtually tied with Southern Miss with only 6 minutes remaining in the game. Not because of Mack's "whining." And if you think it is wrong for Cal to be penalized on ballots because they didn't look good against a mediocre opponent -- welcome to college football. Teams have constantly been tweaked because of soft performances. Nebraska, in 1997, lost considerable votes (relative to Michigan) when it needed some luck to squeak by Mizzou. The precedent is ample, and reasonable. In fact, Texas according to many voters was being penalized for its performance against Kansas. What goes around, comes around.

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