So the Gators are headed to Glendale to face the Ohio State Buckeyes in a game to decide the BCS National Champion. This, of course, has the University of Michigan Wolverines and their fans fuming over the fact that Florida jumped them in the polls despite them not playing over the last two weekends of the season.
I have not posted anything about the national championship bid yet, mainly because (A) I've been busy as crap with school stuff going into finals, and (B) I did not want to write something that basically said "WE'RE GOING TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!!!" in a way that was blindly not looking at all sides of this story. Also the fact that I did not want to touch this subject with a 10-foot pole was another reason for my delay.
The bottom-line in all of this is that the voters in the polls botched this entire thing, not because the Gators are playing for the National Title, but because they straddled the fence on the rematch issue just a little too long. Directly after the University of Michigan lost to Ohio State on November 18th, the voters kept Michigan at #2 in the polls, something that seems a little fishy considering their actions in the following two weeks. The week directly after that, USC jumped Michigan to take the #2 spot after the pollsters decided they didn't want a re-match...and obviously weren't expecting USC to lose to UCLA. Then on that fateful Saturday evening USC DID lose to UCLA and the Gators beat Arkansas, helping them jump Michigan in the polls. This was just a huge screw up by college football.
In my opinion if they did not want Michigan-Ohio State pt. 2 we should have seen the Wolverines fall to #3 or #4 after their loss in Columbus. While that still would have been looked at as unfair to Wolverine fans, it still would have cleared up a lot of controversy by not forcing Michigan to be jumped TWO WEEKS IN A ROW without them EVEN PLAYING A GAME. This does not clear up anything about the current controversy, but it was worth throwing out there.
Which makes me suspect that habitual slot voters massaged their ballots simply to block a rematch -- something they should have considered the previous two weeks, it seems.
The whole system messed this up, and not because Florida is in the title game and Michigan isn't...but the way in which that result came about. Florida is the SEC champion and only has one loss in what is considered the toughest schedule in the nation (although SEC critics would say they're "overrated" because "they haven't played anybody"), so it's not like they are without any kind of deserving of the spot they are in. Michigan, similarly, has only 1 loss (against the #1 team) and looked extremely impressive throughout their schedule. Both teams have a legitimate gripe at the title game, and both would be crying foul if they were to be left out. It just happens that Michigan fans are crying due to a crazy system that allowed the pollsters to create a national title matchup because they didn't want to see a rematch. Again, if they knew they didn't want to see Michigan-Ohio State again, they could have done things much differently direclty following part 1 of the extremely competitive matchup.
But, here we are. We have Michigan feeling like they got the shaft (and they did, and Florida would have gotten the shaft if they did not go), and we have a BCS system that seems un-fixable. Every now and then you'll get a clear cut #2 as they did last year with USC and Texas. In the other seasons, though, watch out.
I'm not saying I'm not happy that Florida is in the title game. I'm about as excited as a fan can be. I just wish it was under different circumstances though, that's the only problem. It has been a very exciting season watching the Gators win 12 out of their 13 games in a schedule that I was expecting to be too tough to not lose at least 3. It was exciting watching them win the SEC Championship, their first since 2000. None of that is taken away by the controversy. I do, however, think that the excitement that is felt now by Gator fans could be increased by a large percent IF this controversy was not hanging over our heads.
That's about all I got on the national title game. There are many other side-stories as well, including Urban Meyer "campaigning" to the BCS to get in and the fact that UF won it's national title in a rematch with FSU in '96. Those are dead end issues that only result bitter arguing, moreso than what was mentioned above.
Overall this scenario stinks, unless the Gators beat the Buckeyes and win the national title, of course. Which could happen. You never know.