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. If Notre Dame finishes 11-1, the Irish will have defeated Georgia Tech, Penn State, UCLA and USC. If Florida finishes 12-1, the Gators will have defeated Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, Florida State and either Auburn, Arkansas or LSU again. If Auburn finishes 12-1, the Tigers will have defeated Washington State, LSU, Florida, Georgia and either Tennessee or Florida again. And we're about to put Louisville or West Virginia in the BCS' Big Bowl? It's time to call for the voters to revolt. The computers already have spoken. West Virginia's computer average is No. 13; Louisville's is No. 9. But the polls have West Virginia third and Louisville fifth, and the BCS follows suit. The voters must elevate the best one-loss team. Coaches and writers alike must realize that navigating a schedule like USC's or Florida's is much more impressive, even with one loss, than an unbeaten Big East season void of quality non-conference foes.
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Cheers & jeers: Rookie Vince Young; NCAA's football schedule
Cheersâ€¢ 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. â€¢ 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 â€” Texas at Kansas State, Nebraska at Texas A&M â€” would equal the historic imbalance of 2004, when the South went 15-3.
Jeersâ€¢ To college football's goofy schedule. The Ohio State-Michigan winner will have 50 days off before the Jan. 7 BCS title game. â€¢ 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.