This week Greg Couch, a writer for Fox Sports, accused the Big 12 coaches who vote in the coaches poll of attempting to collude to keep Northern Illinois out of the BCS and get Oklahoma in. Unfortunately, Greg doesn't seem to understand collusion, college football, or basic logic. Yet he has a job in professional journalism.
I'll give you a few of the highlights:
I am calling BS on the Big 12 coaches for their votes, and also on the coaches poll in general. The poll, which is one-third responsible for choosing which teams play in the national championship game, is made up of guys voting for their buddies, voting for their self-interest, voting for the thing that matters most in college football: A money grab.
Well, at least he starts off being half right. The coaches poll is the biggest joke in the BCS, but that's mainly because it's been proven time and again that the coaches only watch the teams they play. How else do you explain Vanderbilt's head coach James Franklin voting three SEC teams 1-2-3? But I digress.
In the end, Northern Illinois, from the farming community of DeKalb, Ill., is the feel-good story of the BCS. At least, they are to most people.
Find me anyone reputable outside of DeKalb, Illinois who thinks NIU is a "feel-good story." Come on, find just one person who knows jack about college football that thinks NIU deserves to be where they are.
The rules are about fairness. Attempting to get around them? That’s about greed and bullying and cheating.
Seriously? Earlier in this same piece, he admits that the rules that got NIU in were forced down the NCAA's throat due to legal pressure and posturing by Congress. In other words, political greed and bullying are what got the exception made for the mid-majors in the first place. And then there's the piece de resistance:
And given the $17 million Orange Bowl check to Oklahoma.
To share with ... the other Big 12 teams.
When confronted with irrational rhetoric and ignorance, the most effective antidote is quite frequently simple fact.
There are 59 coaches who vote in the coaches poll. 15 coaches voted NIU 20th or lower. Here's the specific breakdown:
Here's the thing about alleging that kind of collusion, Greg. When you make the allegation, it has to be crystal clear that there's no justification for the outcome other than foul play. So, for instance, when 15 coaches vote NIU 20th or lower, and four coaches out of the Big 12 vote them 22nd or lower, you look like an idiot. But, you might ask, how do you explain anyone ranking OU above 11th?
In the computer rankings, Oklahoma was 7th in four of the six computers and 10th in the other two. Northern Illinois was 12th in two and then 16th, 19th, 25th, and unranked between the other four. Put another way, 1/3rd of the computers thought NIU's final ranking was way too high. About 1/4 of the coaches voters thought NIU's final ranking was way too high. Additionally, 2/3rd of the computers thought OU's ranking was too low.
Come on. OBVIOUSLY THERE WAS COLLUSION! What logic would rank OU above 11th? I mean, sure, independent computers pretty much held a consensus that OU was 7th, but we're talking about 17 million dollars here!
Unless we're not...The 1st BCS bowl bid is worth about 19-21 million dollars. KSU already has that bid. The SECOND bid is worth between 5-6 million dollars. Last year, it was worth six million dollars exactly.
How do you defeat ignorant conjecture? You use hard facts.
1) OU was ranked 8th on average by the computers. Four ranked them 7th. But apparently live humans ranking them 6th is COLLUSION!
2) NIU was ranked 25th by one computer and was unranked by another. But apparently a few coaches dropping them to 20th and 24th is COLLUSION!
3) The BCS money to be gained for the Big 12 was about six million dollars (500k per team).
4) Of all the non-AQ teams to ever get in to the BCS, only Northern Illinois did so without a single victory over an AQ team. And only Northern Illinois did so with a loss to an AQ team with a losing record.
Greg, if you read this, just stick to tennis. You don't know college football, you don't understand college football, and you don't have any place talking college football. Go back to tennis.