John Adams: Barring rout, Auburn deserves BCS shot

John Adams

If Auburn loses a reasonably close game to South Carolina on Saturday, it still should play for the national championship.

Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not going Gordon Gee on you.

Unlike the Ohio State University president who sideswiped non-BCS football last week, I have no ulterior motive, other than to see the two most deserving teams in the national championship game. And unless there’s a South Carolina runaway in the Georgia Dome, one of those teams should be Auburn.

For argument’s sake, let’s say No. 1 Auburn loses a close game to South Carolina in the SEC championship game, and No. 2 Oregon defeats Oregon State in its final regular-season game Saturday.

That would leave Oregon and TCU at 12-0, and Auburn at 12-1. But does anyone seriously think Oregon and TCU would have achieved more by going unbeaten than Auburn would have by going 12-1?

There’s no comparison between the schedules.

Oregon has beaten one team, No. 4 Stanford, currently ranked in The Associated Press top 25. TCU also has beaten one top-25 team, No. 21 Utah.

Contrast that with Auburn, which has won five games against teams ranked 22nd or higher.

Auburn has played as many nationally ranked teams as TCU has FBS teams with winning records. Aside from its rout of Utah, what’s TCU’s marquee win? A five-point victory over 8-4 San Diego State? A 35-point thrashing of 7-5 Baylor?

That’s not meant as a slam against the Mountain West. It recently has been more deserving of an automatic BCS bid than the Big East. Nor am I suggesting Auburn is out of TCU’s league.

But Auburn should be rewarded for winning the best conference in the country. And it shouldn’t be penalized for playing an extra game, especially when that game is against nationally ranked South Carolina in the SEC championship game.

TCU has finished a 12-game regular-season schedule undefeated. Oregon will likely do the same Saturday with a victory over Oregon State.

But Auburn is already 12-0, thanks to the mother of all comebacks against Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Now, a week later, it’s playing at a neutral site against another top-25 team.

For the Tigers, the back-to-back challenges are familiar. During the regular season, they won on consecutive Saturdays against Arkansas and LSU, ranked eighth and 10th, respectively, in the current BCS standings.

Neither Oregon nor TCU accomplished anything comparable to that.

Oregon’s victory over Stanford was preceded by a victory against 5-6 Arizona State. TCU warmed up for its dominant performance against Utah by playing 2-10 UNLV.

The coaches’ poll is mystifying. Only 10 coaches voted Auburn No. 1 this week, compared to 46 who voted Oregon first and another three who put TCU No. 1.

Based on what? Beating bad teams badly?

The coaches’ first-place votes are so out of whack, I wonder if they’re penalizing Auburn for the speculation surrounding the eligibility of its quarterback, Cam Newton. Or maybe it’s a backlash to the SEC’s supremacy.

The SEC has won four consecutive national championship games, all by double-digit margins. Two of those national champions lost a conference game along the way; another, LSU, lost two. What does that tell you?

It tells me that unless Auburn gets blown out Saturday, it should be playing for the SEC’s fifth consecutive national championship.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2010 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 32

stompintheswamp2 writes:

Bottom line, we need a plus one. 1 bowl gets #1 and #3, 1 bowl gets #2 and #4. (They can rotate like they do the NC now) Then they play the plus one.

stompintheswamp2 writes:

in response to stompintheswamp2:

Bottom line, we need a plus one. 1 bowl gets #1 and #3, 1 bowl gets #2 and #4. (They can rotate like they do the NC now) Then they play the plus one.

like they used to..not now

dvhill100 writes:

Won't happen. If AU loses, just like TN did in 2001, they won't play for the NC. Have to win the conference. Not right, not wrong, just is.

uttcut writes:

in response to stompintheswamp2:

Bottom line, we need a plus one. 1 bowl gets #1 and #3, 1 bowl gets #2 and #4. (They can rotate like they do the NC now) Then they play the plus one.

Why wouldn't you play 1v4 and 2v3? Reward the #1 team for being the #1 team?

budd#207344 writes:

Keep the mediocracy of playoffs in the pros where it belongs. If AU loses they don't play for the NC. That's what a playoff is. Win and move on or lose and go home. That is why college football is so much better than pro. The regular season means something.

doh writes:

When they threw out strength of schedule from the computer rankings, they were trying to get teams from lower conferences in these big games. The SEC is the toughest and will be for some time. TCU joining the big east will help them but they dont deserve a shot this year.

Orangelife writes:

For once, I agree with Adams... But the reality is, one loss, you're out and Aubbie would be out. And if they lose, I hope Oregon is there to beat the p!ss outta TCU to show the country these teams dont belong

BigVolFaninSC writes:

No one can predict what the outcome will be if TCU is in the championship! What else do they have to do to get a chance under the current system? Now, I'm for a playoff, but right now that is not allowed! Boise State beat Oklahoma a few years back in the greatest college game I've ever watched! Before that game, no one gave them a chance to win! I'm sorry that Auburn didn't get a chance a few years ago when they were undefeated, but if SC beats them tomorrow, it should be the only TWO undefeated teams for the title!

ScoobyDoo writes:

Sorry, but if you don't win your conference, you don't get to win the national championship (or at least you shouldn't). If your conference is harder or puts extra impediments in place, then take that up with the conference.

easleychuck writes:

Disagree with Adams thought process.

I do believe that if Oregon and Auburn both make the game that Oregon will beat Auburn by at least 2 scores.

Biggie writes:

in response to BigVolFaninSC:

No one can predict what the outcome will be if TCU is in the championship! What else do they have to do to get a chance under the current system? Now, I'm for a playoff, but right now that is not allowed! Boise State beat Oklahoma a few years back in the greatest college game I've ever watched! Before that game, no one gave them a chance to win! I'm sorry that Auburn didn't get a chance a few years ago when they were undefeated, but if SC beats them tomorrow, it should be the only TWO undefeated teams for the title!

Boise State and Oklahoma? The greatest game you ever watched? You don't get to watch alot of football do you?
The SEC plays better games than that EVERY WEEK>

springtx_vol writes:

in response to doh:

When they threw out strength of schedule from the computer rankings, they were trying to get teams from lower conferences in these big games. The SEC is the toughest and will be for some time. TCU joining the big east will help them but they dont deserve a shot this year.

Another response from the peanut gallery that knows nothing about how things are done.

When did they throw strength of schedule out? NEVER. They did remove MARGIN OF VICTORY from the computer polls a few years ago. And that move was only made when it was pointed out that the top 2 could be decided by how much one of the opponents opponent won by in their last game of the year. It also supposedly would stop team from trying to run up the scores on lesser teams.

What did it accomplish? Nothing. Actually it was less than nothing, it was a negative impact on the computers (which is why people like Sagarin started giving two ratings). Now, Auburn beating Alabama by 1 point is given the same weight as Boise beating Wyoming by 40. Worse, Boise beating BYU by 1 is given the same weight as Auburn beating LSU by 14 (given as examples). Further, Boise and TCU knew that they had to beat up on teams and get "style" points for the human voters.

We need a playoff. It will not negate the regular season. It will enhance the regular season just like it does for basketball.

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

You know I'm an SEC fan and supporter. But you're an idiot to suggest such stuff.

TCU would probably beat just about anyone in the SEC this year.

To even suggest such garbage shows your lack of intelligence and journalistic integrity.

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to Orangelife:

For once, I agree with Adams... But the reality is, one loss, you're out and Aubbie would be out. And if they lose, I hope Oregon is there to beat the p!ss outta TCU to show the country these teams dont belong

Why would you agree? If Auburn looses to a team that lost to Kentucky, they do not deserve to play for a National title, that would be a joke.

South Carolina backed into this game, period. If they beat Auburn, then Auburn deserves nothing but a bowl game, period.

BJ writes:

If the Gamecocks win the SEC then maybe they should go to the NC since they would have beaten TWO number one teams in the same conference in the same year? Makes about as much since as Auburn going if they lose to the Gamecocks

TommyJack writes:

S. Kalina will not beat Auburn.

murrayvol writes:

Re Coaches' Poll: "maybe it's a backlash to the SEC's supremacy"

Ya think??

murrayvol writes:

in response to uttcut:

Why wouldn't you play 1v4 and 2v3? Reward the #1 team for being the #1 team?

Given how the coaches' poll ranks teams #3 could very easily be better than #4.

murrayvol writes:

in response to doh:

When they threw out strength of schedule from the computer rankings, they were trying to get teams from lower conferences in these big games. The SEC is the toughest and will be for some time. TCU joining the big east will help them but they dont deserve a shot this year.

Nothing says "Big East" quite like TCU.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Orangelife:

For once, I agree with Adams... But the reality is, one loss, you're out and Aubbie would be out. And if they lose, I hope Oregon is there to beat the p!ss outta TCU to show the country these teams dont belong

Oregon couldn't beat the p!ss outta California.

murrayvol writes:

in response to easleychuck:

Disagree with Adams thought process.

I do believe that if Oregon and Auburn both make the game that Oregon will beat Auburn by at least 2 scores.

You believe it but would you make that bet??

Editors note: Oregon 15 - Cal 13

murrayvol writes:

in response to TennVolAlum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And add to that many (perhaps most) coaches leave the ranking to a subordinate.

And sometimes they get caught i.e. Spurrier.

murrayvol writes:

For all amongst us who yearn for a playoff, pray for a plus 1. Nothing short of Federal intervention will put a playoff on the table anytime soon.

And how many would applaud Congressional oversight of FBS football?

budd#207344 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

For all amongst us who yearn for a playoff, pray for a plus 1. Nothing short of Federal intervention will put a playoff on the table anytime soon.

And how many would applaud Congressional oversight of FBS football?

They might as well have oversight of football cause they sure as h|## don't do anything else

Volunatic writes:

in response to TennVolAlum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wrong. Oklahoma beat CU 42-3 in the Big12 championship in '04. The Sooners were undefeated prior to being shellacked by the Trogans.

http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/...

utjunkie writes:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but ain't John Adams an auburn alum?

VolunteerLifer writes:

Adams, this is the same argument I used when UT lost to LSU in the SECCG and got knocked out of a title game slot. It's a good argument, but it will lose because of public opinion being on the side of TCU because they are the little guy. Populism has no boundaries, unfortunately.

HarryHood writes:

dvhill100 writes:

"Not right, not wrong,just is."
_________________________________________________

It's unfortunate, but this is the case as long as the BCS rules the roost. I hope we can still see an SEC NC as long as Auburn beats SC (like CN or hate him).

ACWLY writes:

in response to tnoutlaw2001#228008:

You know I'm an SEC fan and supporter. But you're an idiot to suggest such stuff.

TCU would probably beat just about anyone in the SEC this year.

To even suggest such garbage shows your lack of intelligence and journalistic integrity.

You're right on, good to see someone with good sense telling it like it is. [I only read adams dribblings for the laughter]

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to TheMemphisSlim:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If Oregon plays Auburn in the NC game, it will STILL be an Oregon blowout win

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

You believe it but would you make that bet??

Editors note: Oregon 15 - Cal 13

That was Oregon's 1 down game. Look at all their other scores dude

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Oregon couldn't beat the p!ss outta California.

They sure beat the pi$$ out of us

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features