Gators to face Buckeyes for title
From the San Jose Mercury News
Florida beat Michigan on Sunday in the only game that mattered. The Gators, who lobbied hard for this victory, were picked to play No. 1 Ohio State for college football’s national championship, ending any chance for the Wolverines to get the rematch they so desired and thought they deserved.
But Florida got in by a whisker – just a hundredth of a point in the Bowl Championship Series standings.
The Gators had a BCS average of .944, and the Wolverines were just behind at .934. The teams were tied in the computer ratings, but Florida had a 38-point lead in the Harris poll and a 26-point advantage in the coaches’ poll.
All these factors were sure to set off renewed calls to scrap the BCS and go to a playoff. Count Florida coach Urban Meyer as supporter of that plan.
“We’re beyond the fact of do we need a playoff,” he said. “It’s now, can we get one.”
Of course, Southern California could have made things simpler by beating UCLA on Saturday. Instead, the second-ranked Trojans were upset 13-9, dropping in the standings and clearing the way for Florida (12-1) or Michigan (11-1).
The Gators leapfrogged idle Michigan by winning the Southeastern Conference championship game, 38-28, over Arkansas.
“It’s well deserved, and I’m proud of it,” Meyer said of the Gators’ selection.
The championship game is Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz.
Michigan’s consolation prize is a Rose Bowl bid to play USC (10-2), a classic Big Ten vs. Pac-10 matchup of teams left to wonder what could have been.
“I don’t think they (Florida) would have moved ahead of us if USC would have won the game,” said Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.
In other bowls:
_ Big 12 champion Oklahoma will meet unbeaten Boise State in the Fiesta on Jan. 1.
_ Big East champion Louisville will play ACC champion Wake Forest in the Orange on Jan. 2.
_ LSU will take Florida’s spot in the Sugar and play Notre Dame on Jan. 3.
When the Wolverines ended their regular season with a 42-39 loss to the Buckeyes two weeks ago, they talked about getting another swing at their Big Ten rivals.
While Michigan was left to wait and hope, the other contenders still had games to play.
As Florida padded its resume, second-year coach Meyer became very vocal about getting a chance to play Ohio State, especially when it appeared the Gators would be left out.
He called for a playoff and suggested the BCS should be imploded if the SEC champ again was left out of the championship game – the way undefeated Auburn was in 2004.
While I am sure there are many out there who would have loved to see a Re-match of the November 18th Ohio State Vs Michigan game. That was a great game, and Michigan demonstrated that they could certainly hold their own on the home turf of probably the best team in the country. They endured sloppy field conditions and a deafining crowd in Columbus and came within 3 points of pulling off an upset over the top ranked Buckeyes. On a neutral field the result could easily have been different. The bottom line though is that they did come up short, and lost the oppertunity to ensure they would be playing in the National Championship Game.
I would like to see a Play-off for the National Championship, one that would include the Champions of each Conference. Michigan though would still be out of the title game.