While so many fans love to believe it is a level playing field an everyone starts at 0-0 in August, the fact is the BCS National Championship Game race is very tilted with only a select few with the proper talent levels ever making a BCS title game in the last 12 years.
While I don’t believe or ever want to see long-term perfection in my models and predictions the fact is models and systems are made to be broken. Virginia Tech took advantage of great coaching and a down ACC to make a BCS NCG run nearly a decade ago so it can happen….. I just wouldn’t bet on it.
The First Cut – Non-AQ Schools and the bottom 82 teams
Look this isn’t the NCAA basketball tournament and no team in the last 12 years with a 4 year composite recruiting rank worse than #32 has even made a National Title Game. It’s not U8 soccer where everyone gets a medal for participating and with all non-AQs having to be perfect just to get in the top 5 it’s crazy to think they can even make a national title game.
And no, even at 12-0, I do not feel a non-AQ deserves a shot at a NCG. They do not play the grinding schedule that most AQs play. Depth and talent matters and it is a apples to oranges comparison. Nevertheless fans can usually only relate to wins and loses and a 12-0 Boise may be of significant lesser talent and ability than a 7-5 Mississippi State, Arkansas, et al but 12 wins gets you in the top 10.
So while the NUIs and Boises of the the CFB world can enjoy their BCS bowl games, betting them even into the NCG is crazy talk. But that all being said, Dr. Bill Synder proves many time over that miracles can happen but I can also die from a common cold too.
There are really very few surprises in the AQ group with a talent rank less than #32. Louisville, Wisconsin, West Virginia and TCU are a couple of big names that are not even making it past the first cut of the Matrix BCS berth.
Last 7 Out
- West Virginia – If they were in the Big East they would be the #1 talented team by far and favored for another BCS bowl bid. Now, they are the #5 recruiter in the Big 12 with a head coach that has a negative coach effect year every year he has been in Morgantown.
- Texas Tech – Yup. The talent has always been in the 30s in Lubbock. Folks like to think Leach was great. Outside one lightning in a bottle year, he has been slightly above average at best. Don’t know what I couldn’t believe more: Cincinnati hired away Tuberville or the AD was planning on keeping him.
- Missouri: In the SEC East with the 10th best talent in the conference. See ya.
- Rutgers: See below
- TCU: Horned Frogs had a much better chance of getting to a NCG in the Mountain West. Once the #1 recruiter in the MWC, they are now #8 in the Big12 (pre-attrition rankings) heading into 2013.
- Louisville – Going to start in top 10 for 2013 but they meet no of the Matrix metrics for a NCG player. Only Teddy, their weak schedule and wins first in the rankings keeps them in it.
My bets for teams most likely to be a CFBMatrix Buster from Cut 1
Louisville and Rutgers: The best bet here, but I still see it as burning money, is the Cardinals. A sub-par coach effect with a talented QB is U of L. They can bust the model because their schedule is so very, very weak. Last chance though as their recruiting has flatlined the last 3 years, Bridgewater is gone after this year, Strong is still there and the schedule gets much harder. When Louisville blows it, it will be at home. Book it.
Rutgers has the same opportunity with a less weak schedule but better coach. They just lack the elite QB and pre-season hoopla and ranking afforded to the Cardinals.