With Due Respect to Rick Reilly

[Bumped from the FanPosts. -Y2]

(But not really.)

So, I can understand the need to defend the counter-argument in a debate. To at least mention the other possibilities. But in his ESPN article all Rick Reilly really did was make the case for a non-LSU Alabama rematch in the worst possible way. While there's the real possibility that this was the end-goal, well... Let's just look at his argument, shall we?

But that's not why there should be no Dullapalooza II on Jan. 9 in the Superdome. There shouldn't be one because it makes the BCS honchos liars. This is their Twitter handle: @EveryGameCounts. But how can every game count if it doesn't matter who won the first one?

Whom would I rather see? Any team that hasn't already blown its chance.

I can understand the rational of not wanting to see a rematch in the national title game of a regular-season game. It almost happened a few years ago with Ohio State and Michigan, and we can all agree that choosing "no" to them was a good idea. What's to say that this year wouldn't be the same, with one of several teams that Reilly puts forwards beating LSU, and someone else drubbing Alabama. Heck, LSU could probably lose to Georgia on Saturday and still be in the National Title game. Is that a problem?

No. Because, as Rick Reilly mentions in his article, every other team has blown their chance.

Can we take a moment to laugh at the candidates he puts forwards?

What about Stanford-LSU? Like the Houndstooths, the Cardinal only have one loss, theirs to an Oregon team faster than 4G.

[Alabama] won't even have won their SEC division, much less their conference. Yet they could wind up petting the crystal football.

The most shallow of the arguments: proposing a one-loss team that isn't playing in it's conference championship game that was taken to three overtimes in one game, lost by 23 in another, and beat a 7-5 Cal team by three, the last two of those "blemishes" at home... over a one-loss team that isn't playing in it's conference championship team and has beaten every team outside of the #1 team (who they took to overtime) by double digits? Oh, and Alabama has beaten 4 teams then ranked in the top-25 to Stanford's 2? Funny, Ricky, funny.

What about LSU-Virginia Tech? The Hokies' only loss was to Clemson, which they could avenge Saturday in the ACC title game.

I can't help but wonder if he's right, here: beating a team that you lost at home by 20 -- a team that's gone 1-3 in their past four games, with average margins of defeat of 20 -- certainly makes you more deserving than the #2 team in the nation. Especially when you play in the ACC and they in the SEC. No, Virginia Tech has a better chance of selling it's allotment of championship game tickets this weekend than playing in the national championship -- and for good reason, too.

Or LSU vs. one-loss Boise State? The Broncos fell to TCU by just one point. You SEC fans remember Boise State, right? It went down south in Week 1 and beat Georgia? Georgia, the team that's one win from claiming your most holy and exalted SEC title?

Let's be clear: Georgia could very well be the SEC champions and watch two SEC teams play in the national championship. But let's be honest: a win by Georgia on Saturday would go down as beyond crazy: the bulldogs are a 14 point underdog. That's 11 more points they're expected to lose by than 6-6 UCLA at Oregon. Think about that.

Look, if you're going to dismiss Alabama as having "blown their shot" for lack of a kicking game, then you can't seriously consider teams like Boise State -- who knows going in they have to run the table to even be in the BCS-bowl discussion -- or Oregon, or Oklahoma State. And Oklahoma State? Let's consider them..

Just to introduce you to OSU. An offense that scores approximately every 11.3 seconds. A strength of schedule ranked 10th, compared with Alabama's at 38th. A team whose only loss was in double overtime to Iowa State the same week an OSU school plane crashed, killing two women's basketball coaches. A school that beat five teams with winning records to Alabama's three. A team with four wins over BCS top 25 teams to Alabama's two. Hello?

Let's get it out of the way, because it's not a fun thing to say: Oklahoma State did not lose to Iowa State because of the tragic death of two women's basketball assistant coaches. It's likely most of the football players couldn't name two women's basketball coaches that attended the school, and it's one thing to lose a member of a team -- like Arkansas did -- and another to lose someone associated with the program. OSU grieved, as did we all. Then they blew a 17 point second-half lead to lose in Overtime.

Oklahoma State could make the conversation more interesting if they go out and drub Oklahoma. But the fact remains that the only reason we're having this discussion -- and expectation -- of Alabama back in the Mythical National Championship is because every other team has blown their chance to play in it ... worse. Is it SEC bias that sees LSU and Alabama both averaging a 27-point win, each of them scoring more than 36 points a game on average? (For what it's worth, Oklahoma's Offesnse averages one more TD than LSU a game, while giving up 27 points, including 30+ to such juggernauts as Louisiana-Lafyette, Tulsa, and Kansas State. Neither LSU nor Alabama has allowed an opposing team to score more than 30, once.)

So, with due respect to Rick Reilly (but not really), when you pour on the hate of how "apparently, no conference can really play football in this country except the SEC, which invented the sport in 2006" we're just tipping back our glasses of sweet tea (that's what's in the cup, we swear. For Florida fans reading: it's a southern thing) and grin. Cause ain't nobody playing real football this year except our western juggernauts, and there ain't a gosh darn thing you can do about that ESS-EEE-SEE speed racing with all those highlights up to Bristol to wave another Cystal Ball in your face.

(Geaux Tigers).

A FanPost gives the opinion of the fan who writes it and that fan only. That doesn't give the opinion more or less weight than any other opinion on this blog, but the post does not necessarily reflect the view of TSK's writers.

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