September 14, 2012
No bowl should mean no poll for ineligible NCAA squads
By TODD SAELHOF, QMI Agency
Braxton Miller will, one day, win the Heisman Trophy.
Devin Smith’s highlight-reel catch in Week 1 is up for GEICO Play of the Year.
And Urban Meyer? Well ... the can’t-miss coach has got at least one national championship in him with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
But that title take won’t happen this year because of past off-field violations at THE Ohio State.
The question, then, is why do we spend so much time praising the Buckeyes, when they aren’t even bowl-eligible this season?
Maybe it’s because they smack of last year’s USC Trojans, which boasts a strong squad on the upswing that couldn’t be ignored despite its ineligibility.
Maybe it’s because THE Ohio State is still one of THE elite college football programs no matter what tattoo parlours its players visited and no matter how many cars its former star quarterback Terrelle Pryor accepted as gifts.
Or maybe it’s because no matter their sentence — like USC a year ago — the Buckeyes still pop up in every Top 25 Poll.
And that’s not good for the game.
Does it make sense to even allow a program on any Top 25 ballot if it’s deemed bowl-ineligible? Especially when it might upset the apple cart on its way up the poll? (The USA Today Poll has it right by ignoring bowl-ineligible teams.)
On the latest AP Poll, the Buckeyes have climbed to No. 12, overtaking both No. 15 Virginia Tech and No. 17 Texas during the first two weeks of ballots.
Sure, Va. Tech was less than impressive in Week 1 with an OT victory over Georgia Tech, but the Hokies have held their end of the bargain with two wins to kick off the season.
And the Buckeyes didn’t exactly light it up last week against the Central Florida Knights, struggling to bury them until two timely third-quarter TDs.
Meanwhile, the Longhorns have hooked two dominating victories over Wyoming, 37-17, and New Mexico, 45-0.
But yet Texas was overtaken by — and remains behind — Ohio State in the AP poll.
And Miller, Smith, Meyer & Co. have since snuggled up behind No. 11 Clemson and No. 10 Michigan State, both of which have wins over previously ranked teams.
Why the Buckeyes are even allowed on that poll is beyond me. It’s one less penalty they should be serving.
FIRST & GOAL
Speaking of poll games vs. bowl games: Too many cupcakes could cost the Florida State Seminoles a shot at the title many pundits have put them in position to win. Their early-season diet included games against Murray State and Savannah State — two weak football sisters or ‘cupcakes’ — and that has critics crawling all over them. For the record, the Seminoles blew out both foes, although last Saturday’s game — with FSU up 55-0 — was called in the third quarter due to inclement weather. The fallout suspended most — if not all — betting tickets against a spread that was an NCAA-high 701/2 vs. Savannah State. Next up for Florida State? Blue Mountain State, er, Cupcake Wake Forest, which could mean another insignificant blowout
FOURTH & INCHES
The status of Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson (head injury) is up in the air to play No. 1 Alabama. Rumour has it, so is his team’s national title hopes. Oh, wait! Hog hopes were buried in the mud after losing in OT 34-31 to the Louisana-Monroe Warhawks last Saturday ... How’d you like to retire in your early-20s? I’m sure Utah QB Jordan Wynn doesn’t share your sentiment. He’s done football after hurting his shoulder — again — in last week’s loss to rival Utah State ... Other wounded QBs include Indiana’s Tre Roberson (broken leg), Purdue’s Robert Marve (re-torn ACL) and South Carolina’s Connor Shaw (bruised shoulder) ... There’s a QB controversy at Notre Dame. Everett Golson or Tommy Rees? If Golson, a redshirt freshman, continues to start and do well, watch out for the Fighting Irish — finally — in about 2015. Maybe by then, the school will pick a conference and stick with it ... What’s with NBC using its NFL music for college football (and the UFC)? Don’t screw with tradition — it’s annoying. Ya gotta keep ’em separated. And it’s not a good theme, either — sounds like a death march.