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FLORIDA, WVU COMMISERATE IN LOSERS BRACKET

Oct. 13, 2006

It’s T-72 hours, give or take, until the first official BCS standings are published. And that awful shriek you’re hearing from a distance is the echo out of all that whining from Gainesville to Morgantown.

Yes, there will be a lot of unhappy folks from Gator Nation, but their moaning will be nothing compared to the plight of the Mountaineers.

Tommy Tuberville started all this, of course. Two weeks ago, he complained that the SEC won’t be getting a fair share from the BCS because the conference is just, oh, so tough. He was politicking to save Auburn from the awful fate of finishing undefeated but third in the BCS standings – for the second time in three years.

Well, after last Saturday, he didn’t have to worry about that anymore, Arkansas took care of that. But now, it’ll be Urban Meyer’s turn to whine.

Florida might, like Auburn in 2004, go undefeated and only get a ticket to the non-championship game in New Orleans. The Gators, with impressive victories over Tennessee and LSU, catapulted into the No. 2 spot in the AP poll. Of course, in the world the BCS, that’s the poll that doesn’t count.

In the rankings that do count, Florida is a distant third to USC. And unless the Trojans stumble against formidable Pac-10 foes (Oregon and Cal) or Notre Dame, it won’t matter if the Gators stay undefeated the rest of the year.

Just why is that?

The schedule, for one. While SC’s three non-conference games are against Arkansas, Nebraska and Notre Dame, three top 25 teams with a combined record of 14-3, Florida fattens its record on the likes of Southern Miss, Central Florida and I-AA Western Carolina. What, Northern Colorado wasn’t available?

If the computers like the Trojans now, they will like them even more if they stay undefeated through the daunting trifecta of Oregon-Cal-Notre Dame on consecutive weekends. Florida, with Vanderbilt, Western Carolina and a clearly downtrodden Florida State still on the schedule, can only hope some of those computers have a meltdown.

And really, do we still have to take West Virginia seriously? Whatever its beef might be?   

When you schedule I-AA Eastern Washington (1-5),  East Carolina (2-3) and the perennial SEC patsy Mississippi State (1-5) among your five non-conference games, you have no argument. Especially not, when your conference isn’t exactly a BCS stalwart.

The Mountaineers will not play in the national championship game, not unless about 100 other schools decide to drop football between now and New Year’s Day. No matter what the humans think, the computers dislike … no, make that despise, West Virginia. Even if the Mountaineers stay undefeated, they won’t get enough love from the silicon chips to jump one-loss Notre Dame or Texas.

Sorry, West Virginia. You get what you play for.

 

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