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West Virginia at Louisville: Bogus national semifinal

by Berry Tramel Published: November 2, 2006
One of college football's national semifinals will be played tonight. Few seem excited.

West Virginia at Louisville is a matchup of unbeaten Big East teams, ranked third and fifth in the BCS.

The winner appears headed for a national-title showdown against the Ohio State-Michigan winner.

And it's totally bogus.

The Big East is a hybrid conference of old-Big East leftovers and Conference USA refugees.

When Miami was stuck in a bad Big East, it loaded up its non-conference schedule. Florida State every year.

Iowa, Arizona, Penn State, Colorado, Arizona State, Washington, UCLA. That's just in a five-year span from 1991-95.

West Virginia, in particular, and Louisville haven't done that. Louisville at least played Miami; Louisville's other non-Big East foes were Kentucky, Temple, Kansas State and Middle Tennessee. West Virginia's five non-conference foes were much worse: Marshall, Eastern Washington, Maryland, East Carolina and Mississippi State. Only Maryland was a decent opponent.

Does the Louisville-West Virginia winner deserve a national-title slot more than does a one-loss team that played a loaded schedule?

If USC finishes 11-1, the Trojans will have defeated Arkansas, Nebraska, Notre Dame, California, Oregon, Washington State and UCLA.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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Cheers & jeers: Rookie Vince Young; NCAA's football schedule

• To Vince Young. Four starts as a pro, and the Titans are 2-2, including a 14-13 loss at Indianapolis. Young looks like he'll make it as an NFL quarterback, and there's no ceiling on how good he can be.

• To the Big 12 South, which once again is dominating the North. The South's six teams are 13-3 in interdivision games, thanks to an Okie sweep of the North's two best teams Saturday. Victories in the final two interdivision matchups — Texas at Kansas State, Nebraska at Texas A&M — would equal the historic imbalance of 2004, when the South went 15-3.

• To college football's goofy schedule. The Ohio State-Michigan winner will have 50 days off before the Jan. 7 BCS title game.

• To the new NBA basketballs. All that complaining has some validity. Picked up a ball at a Hornets practice the other day, and they do feel funny.

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