Home » blog » Champion By Deduction

Posted by on August 7th, 2011 in blog, Brady Baylor, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

As we prepare to embark on another journey together, a journey certain to be fraught with triumph and heartbreak, and one likely to be marred by the wordy diatribes of start-up college football website writers who are attempting to provide cover for their lack of true football acumen by the copious use of long sentences and big words, let us begin by asking the question we all hold most near and dear to our hearts.  Who will be crowned national champion when all is said and done in New Orleans on Monday, January 9th, 2012?  Well, at least those of us fortunate enough for our beloved programs to be offered the protections of the Bowl Crime Syndicate (BCS) will be anxiously awaiting the answer.


Will it be a home game for the Bayou Bengals?  Will Alabama roll again after a one-year absence from the title game?  Will the Ole Ball Coach find a way back into the limelight with the Gamecocks of SC?  Will a non-SEC team ever win a freaking championship game again!?  If recent history is any indication, the answer to the last question is a resounding “NO”.  Of the 13 title games in the BCS era, the SEC has won 7 of them, including the last 5 in a row.  They won the 1st, they won the 6th and, after a 2-year absence, they’ve apparently decided they’ll not only make an annual appearance in the title game, but they’ll actually win every single one of them from here until the Lord returns.   I’ll trust He’ll stop the madness Himself on that glorious day.


However, let us pretend for hope’s sake that another team has a chance to win this prize, and delve into that question on most of our minds through the art of deduction.  Let’s start with the fact that there are 120 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams, soon to be 121 with the arrival of the Minutemen of Massachusetts in 2012 (and not a minute too soon).  Let’s pause to consider how ridiculous it is to have to remember yet another acronym when they could have left well enough alone with “D-1”, like we all knew and loved.  What a load of crap.  Now let’s regroup and move on with some additional math; namely, that there are 66 teams in automatic-qualifier (AQ) conferences.  Add 3, because Notre Dame has a potential seat at the table, and both Boise State and TCU have proven their worth in the discussion as non-AQ’s (this will change for TCU next year with their entrance into the Big East, and I’m not sure what Boise was thinking by going to the Mountain West, the strongest non-AQ conference that got notably weaker with the departure of Utah, BYU, and soon TCU).  That gives us 69 (66+3=69).  I’m sorry, but I can’t take Notre Dame seriously until they earn it, so make it 68.


From that 68, throw out all 8 Big East teams right out of the gate, since they are the only AQ conference never to have a representative in the title game (in the BCS era).  This leaves 60.  With the ACC, allow for the possibility that Florida State or Virginia Tech could run the table, but discard the other 10.  Now we have 50.  Moving north and slightly west to the Big 10 (+2) where, against my better judgment, I’ll say that Wisconsin, Nebraska, or…wait for it, Northwestern, could emerge unbeaten from either the Leaders or Legends divisions (those division names will take some getting used to, eh?).  Allowing for that possibility, but throwing out 9 others, leaves 41 (the math is getting really hard for me right about now, so feel free to check my work). Notably absent in this group are the Ohio State Buckeyes.  They self-destructed in the offseason, and player concerns about inadequate access to fine tattooing will doom their prospects.


Banking hard left and cruising headlong into flyover state country (into a stout jet stream for those of you accustomed to flying), home of the once-mighty and now-paltry Big 12, I’m equally delusional in thinking that Oklahoma, Texas A&M, or Oklahoma State all have an outside chance of raising the ball.  Subtracting the other 7, we now have 34.


On to the left coast we go, where a revamped landscape now includes the likes of Utah and Colorado and is now called the Pac 12.  Utah, no stranger to meaningful bowl action in recent years, figures to be in the mix right away, but Colorado is at a Rocky Mountain low, so no threat there.  With Utah in the south, and Stanford and Oregon in the north, less the other 9, consider it 25 teams vying for the prize.


Saving the best and brightest for last, we jet across the country yet again to the SEC, where the strongest candidates for yet another title are to be found.  In the west, LSU is on the minds of most as the cream of a stellar crop, but I’m keeping Alabama and Arkansas (I’ve been a closest Hog fan for years now) in my queue.  Although I’m not sure how important a cam is to a car engine, I’m fairly certain that a Cam, and a Fairley for that matter, were very important to Auburn last year, too much so to overcome.  In the east, I’m afraid I can only consider South Carolina as a viable candidate in 2011, although things could potentially line up quickly for Georgia with victories over Boise State and South Carolina, which happen to be the 2 reasons I’m not comfortable throwing them into the discussion.  Subtract the other 8, and that leaves 17.


Let’s put these 17 leftovers together and see what we have, moving from West to East (sort of), and in no particular order of qualification:


Oregon, Stanford, Boise State, Utah, TCU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Arkansas, LSU, Alabama, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, and Florida State.  So, my fearless prediction is that one of these 17 teams will take home the prize.  Time will tell if scandalous behavior will allow them to keep it.


Against all that I stand for, I’m going to try to whittle it down even further.  For starters, I’m going to say that Stanford will have too many challenges with a new coaching staff to stay the course.  Boise will either lose 1 or 2 games or suffer the wrath of non-AQ status yet again.  How did the Utes get to avoid both Stanford and Oregon?  They get to stay.  TCU might go undefeated, but Louisiana-Monroe and Portland State will note bode well for them down the stretch (and I’m not suggesting they’ll lose to them), so I’m sorry Frogs.  I don’t feel right about it, but I’m going to start a new paragraph here due to length.


Oklahoma State will, at some point, demonstrate the Poke Choke for all to see.  Arkansas may have the talent to go the distance, but we all wait with bated breath each year for SEC officiating to screw them royally against a marquee conference opponent.  Who will it be this year?  Alabama?  South Carolina?  LSU?  We’ll see.  Northwestern’s schedule is, on the one hand, too favorable for me not to leave them in, especially with a healthy Dandy Dan Persa under center.  However, they’ve just not been there before, so I can’t do it.   I’m going to leave the Badgers of Wisconsin in the discussion, particularly with the arrival of new QB Russell Wilson, an NC State transfer.  Virginia Tech’s schedule doesn’t look too bad, with no Florida State, so I have to leave them.  Florida State, if they can get by Oklahoma, may be off to the races.


I’m afraid I can go no further.  I’ll have to leave it at 11.  So, my final picks for the 2011 season national champion are: Oregon, Utah, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, LSU, Alabama, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, and Florida State.  Now, mind you, I’m not suggesting that these squads should be ranked 1-11, but simply that my amateur logic suggests they stand the best chance to go the distance.  If you add my amateur logic together with a nice nickel, you’ll be fortunate to be left with 3 cents, so take it for what it’s worth.  Oh, and don’t be surprised to find me ripping into professional prognosticators for doing nothing more than what I’ve done here.  The difference? – I don’t take myself seriously.


Please join the worthless debate and fire back your picks.





6 Comments for this entry

  1. Kevin says:

    Oregon, Utah, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, LSU, Alabama, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, or Florida State?? Are you high? Or are you just trying to stir up things?

    Let’s use a little common sense and eliminate Utah, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech and South Carolina right off the bat. None of these teams have the talent or desire to truly win.

    The only real contenders are FSU, Oregon, LSU, Alabama AND ARKANSAS!!


    • BB says:

      I would say it’s a firm combination of pot-stirring and an attempt to avoid hypocrisy. Hypocrisy comes into play because I am a long-time basher of professional prognosticators, and if I paint myself into a corner by narrowing it down to 3-4 teams, I am no different. However, I’m very glad you weighed in and I, too, will believe a non-SEC team will win it all only when I see it happen. I have to assume you are assigning a lack of “desire” and not a lack of “talent” to Oklahoma, because on talent alone they have no superiors. Their desire is rightly brought into question based on their record in big games over the past decade.

  2. Kristin says:

    I LOVED it…right up until the Poke Choke comment…now I’m bitter ;) But I’m a closet hog fan, too. I had a hog nose when I was little that I sometimes wish I had on a fall Saturday! We should pig souiiiieeee at a tailgate sometime!

  3. Jack says:

    Very good

  4. dillon says:

    really great article, too funny!!!!

Comments are now closed.