(ed. note: This is a total venting post.)
Holy crap. If I hear one more fan, blogger or random college football guru say one more time "MSU got shafted, and UM is going to a better bowl game even though MSU beat UM in the head to head by two touchdowns" I am going to scream. As anyone who follows football knows (and the people mentioned are presumably this type) the distributive property (DP) NEVER works out in college football, or athletics really in general. Just because team A beats team B, doesn't mean that it will beat team C, whom team B beat. Never works. Just look at this scenario. UM beats Notre Dame, who beat MSU. So that means UM beats MSU, right? Nope. And MSU loses to Nebraska, who then should beat UM right? No again. So why do these self proclaimed pundits keep saying that MSU was such a better team. Lets break it down shall we.
ND beats MSU, well pounded really. MSU was on the road. Against UM, ND lost on the craziest 72 seconds in college football history. They too were on the road at UM. So, how does this even out? Well you could say that UM offense is much more explosive than MSU, which is a true statement, and was therefore able to keep pace with a ND offense that was pretty good, but definitely not great. So we will say for arguments sake that the UM offense was able to feed off the momentum of being at home and keep pace with ND, whereas MSU was flustered and never recovered. Still, you have to give the UM squad the benefit of the doubt here as they showed the rest of the season that the offense is explosive. UM wins this battle.
UM loses to MSU. By two touchdowns. While on the road. Bad Denard showed up in the fourth quarter and threw it to the wrong team, who then ran it in for a TD. Basically, UM was one bad throw from tying the game. That is what good defenses do though, they make the other team make mistakes. So we have to give them credit here. UM lost by two touchdowns, got it. Moving on,
MSU loses to Nebraska (UNL). By three touchdowns. On the road. Bad Sparty showed up and got worked by a UNL team that was hot and cold all season. There was no one play here. It was all bad for Sparty who was never in it. Then UNL goes to the Big House and gets curb stomped to death in a game that also was never really close in the half that mattered. A loss here is a loss though, and since both UM's win and MSU's loss were in convincing fashion the winner has to go to the team that won.
UM loses to Iowa (shudder). Also on the road. By eight points. Also should have had at least a chance to tie it if not for sub-par officiating. Difference here of course is that UNL is ranked while Iowa is just rank. Hmm.... Oh yea, and Sparty played them on the road the following week and manhandled them. So, Iowa is a loss for UM.
Meanwhile, in the win category UM handled the teams it was supposed to handle. Example: Minnesota. Worked them over to the tune of 50 plus points. MSU, barely beat them. Now teams change throughout the course of a season, one of the principal reasons that the DP does not work, so since I am arguing against the DP, I can't use that here. So even though I feel I can argue this for UM, we will call this example a push.
And on and on.
If you are scoring at home, we have a push, and two wins for each team in this simulated Distributive Property Mash Up. Equaling out in a split decision. These teams are on equal footing by this logic.
So you see, there is no way to compare teams via the distributive property like that. The way the ranking system works is this: lose, you drop in the polls. Win, you move up ONLY if teams ahead of you stumble, or you win so big against a good team that the pollsters have to move you up. MSU lost early to ND, which didn't allow them to enter the polls till later in the season. UM ripped off 6 straight wins. MSU loses again to UNL, drops back in the polls. After the MSU game, UM won, and then lost to Iowa. Then they didn't lose again until..wait, they haven't lost since. Like it or not, when MSU went to the CCG, they lost. When they lost they were forced down in the polls. Is it unfair? Maybe. But think about this, it happened to ALL the teams that lost. No one singled Sparty out and said they specifically could not go to a bowl game. They just fell victim to the same process that every other team in the country is also a part of. In the final BCS standings, there are only three teams separating them. With 120 teams and 11 conferences in play here, three spots is not that bad. So fergodssake, let it go already!!!
Well I will do what I always do, endure all the nonsense and smile knowingly when karma, or good will, or fortune, or whatever you call it deals the equaling hand.