By KENNY FRANEK
Remember the days of college football when one loss meant your national title hopes were over? Well, those days my friends are long gone. Take last year for example; a two-loss team (LSU) played a one-loss team (OSU) in the national championship game. The year before that, two one-loss teams played for the title. This has been a new trend in college football and it has given new life to teams that have that “one bad game” on their season resume.
Last year was the year that really set this trend off. There were six different teams in either the number one or two spots in the AP rankings in the final four weeks of the season. That has never happened in college football. LSU dropped to as low as fifth in the final weeks of the season and Ohio State seventh in the rankings. They both were able to win out and watch every team in front of them collapse when national title hopes were on the line. This allowed them to jump right back into the front of the line in the final week of the season.
This year the same thing is occurring. A dominant USC team got ambushed in a “trap” game at Oregon State. Ole Miss then beat the Gators in the Swamp, and Alabama trounced Georgia between the hedges on primetime television. It shows that conference games are becoming more rivalry-like year by year, and that many underdogs are pulling off upsets which shake up the BCS. This can only make for good football and is good for the sport. When top contending teams lose, then it attracts more viewers. The fan starts to think that any team can lose on any given day and once non-intriguing match-ups are now intriguing because the stakes of each game have been raised.
When it gets down to the end of the season and there are a few, or one, unbeaten teams left, all eyes and focus will be on them. Due to last season, many people may expect choke jobs to happen all over again. Even so, if there is only one unbeaten team left standing at the end of the year that means they will play a one-loss contender. So the one and done theory is no longer valid in college football. That being said, if your team was a contender at the beginning of the year and they suffered that one tough loss, do not count them out. You may just end up seeing them were you thought you might see them at year’s end—playing for the national championship.
Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media
Thursday, October 23, 2008
By KENNY FRANEK