Monday, January 18, 2010

Crimson Tide Wins OC Domer 2009-2010 Tournament of Champions!

Here are the results of the 2009-2010 OC Domer Tournament of Champions. The Tournament of Champions is an eight team playoff featuring the top 8 teams chosen from a pool of eligibles consisting of the champions of each NCAA FBS conference plus the highest ranked Independent. While it is not a requirement, in most years the field will be comprised of the champions from each of the six BCS conferences, plus the two highest ranked teams from among the champions of the non-BCS conferences and the FBS Independents.

The concept for the TOC is premised upon a simple but very important concept: If you are not the best team in your conference, you aren't the best team in the nation. A corollary to that central premise is that if you are the champion of your conference, you are the best team in your conference. Scoreboard. The TOC is not a beauty pageant. The TOC is not concerned with which team is, in some esoteric intangible sense, the "best" or the "most talented." The TOC is looking for the team that has played the best on the field and has earned the right to play for the National Championship. Didn't qualify for your conference title game? Sorry. Lost your conference title game? Sorry. We're looking for winners in crunch time.

So how did this year's TOC field shape up? Here are the qualifiers (the BCS standings referenced are as of December 6th, which followed the conference title games and which will be used for seeding):

#1 Seed: Alabama (SEC Champion, BCS #1)
#2 Seed: Texas (Big 12 Champion, BCS #2)
#3 Seed: Cincinnati (Big East Champion, BCS #3)
#4 Seed: TCU (Mountain West Conference Champ, BCS #4)
#5 Seed: Boise State (Western Athletic Conference Champ, BCS #6)
#6 Seed: Oregon (Pac 10 Champion, BCS #7)
#7 Seed: Ohio State (Big 11 Champion, BCS #8)
#8 Seed: Georgia Tech (ACC Champion, BS #9)

Very interesting to note that this year's TOC features 8 of the top 9 teams in the December 6th BCS rankings. The odd man out was Florida, which cruised along in the #1 spot for most of the 2009 season until 'Bama manhandled them in the SEC Championship game. Better luck next year Gator fans.

Here are the first round games:

#1 'Bama vs. #8 Georgia Tech
#4 TCU vs. #5 Boise St.
#3 Cincinnati vs. #6 Oregon
#2 Texas vs. #7 Ohio State

You have to figure Alabama handles Georgia Tech (especially since Iowa beat the Yellow Jackets in the Orange Bowl). You have to take Boise State in the mild upset over TCU (since it really happened in the Fiesta Bowl). I took Oregon over Cincy based mostly on power rankings (Sagarin predictor), since neither team played very well in their bowl game. And Texas beats Ohio State (let's assume Colt McCoy doesn't suffer a freak injury in that game).

Therefore, the semi-final match-ups are:

Alabama vs. Boise St.
Oregon vs. Texas

The fun ends here for Boise as the Tide rolls, and Texas with a still-healthy Colt McCoy holds off Oregon in an exciting game.

So the OC Domer Championship Game is: Alabama vs. Texas

I suppose some of the suspense is lost since these two teams played each other in the BCS Championship game. Of course 'Bama held on to win over a McCoy-less Texas squad, even though the Longhorns pulled within 3 points late in the game behind back-up freshman QB Garrett Gilbert. But we're all about the scoreboard in the OC Domer Tournament of Champions, Congratulations to the Crimson Tide!

Some years the BCS "works" and actually pits the best two teams against each other in the Championship game. From this TOC analysis, it seems that the system "worked" this year. But even when it works it doesn't really work. What do you say to the other top teams who won their bowl games (Ohio State? Boise State?) but who never got a shot at the Championship? The beauty of the Tournament of Champions is that it all gets decided on the field.

A guy can dream, can't he?

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