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Just when I thought we were done with “style points,” up pops Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly. Basically, he said if they wanted style points, we gave them style points referring to their blow-out win over Georgia Tech last Saturday, the same Georgia Tech that is tied for the worst record in the ACC at 3-8. Tied with Duke.

So, we must bow to style points yet again. Style Points? Didn’t know the definition until I heard and saw the Bearcats on Saturday against SMU.

I saw the 2nd half from my hotel room in Nashville. On the drive to Nashville, I could not find a Sirius station that was broadcasting the game. Really? I had to listen to the static and noise on WLW through Tennessee. Then I found a non-sports station on Sirius that was the “Today” channel and it carried the UC game loud and clear from WLW. Oh well, but the Today channel?

I saw the second half from my hotel room. Then I went to a birthday party. After the game on my ride back to the hotel I turned on ESPN. The broadcaster was raving about the Notre Dame style points in their “blow out” over a very bad Georgia Tech team. “They made a statement she said”. She probably heard Brian Kelly’s post game comments. Maybe she has friends in South Bend. 

Ok let’s talk about style points again. The Bearcats defined style points Saturday in their win over SMU. Webster’s dictionary announced late Saturday night that they have added a definition for style points, “See Cincinnati’s win November 20, 2021, over SMU” and they added in a footnote, “not to be confused with Notre Dame’s win over Georgia Tech on same date”.

Maybe, just maybe there is some other definition written somewhere for the Committee. If so, I would love to read it, before the jury retires not after.

 How about the UC “statement” win with a complete and utter blow out of a very good SMU team? Nada on ESPN. I heard ND on ESPN and I threw a Wendy’s napkin at the radio. Almost ran off the road. I knew there was a reason that I didn’t like listening to ESPN radio.

Then I remembered Notre Dame’s complete lack of style points in beating Florida State by 3, in beating Toledo by 3 and in beating Virginia Tech by 3. Just because ND decided to beat up on a bad Georgia Tech team ND’s style points were now better than the Bearcats style points? Do you remember, ESPN, that Cincinnati beat the Irish handily in head-to-head competition in South Bend? 

If the Bearcats win out beginning with East Carolina this coming Friday night and win the conference championship against Houston at Nippert the following week and ND wins out Cincinnati should be in the final 4 as it will be announced on December 5. Hey Notre Dame, Stanford (your last game) is a better team than Georgia Tech. Root for Stanford.

If the committee moves ND or anyone else ahead of a 13-0 UC there should be a congressional investigation. There may even be a Group of 5 rebellion joined by all Cincinnati fans everywhere. 

I am very frustrated with the national media and so-called football pundits. Oregon has just lost to Utah and has 2 losses. No two-loss team has ever made the playoffs. Not so fast media-crazed people. Just maybe at least the media crazed folks can agree that no means no Oregon.

I digress for a moment. I need to let the steam off. At the birthday party in Nashville, I met some family members that I had never met. I learned from my second cousin, several times removed, Sam Cassell, that the longest running college football rivalry in the US is Lehigh and Lafayette, over 150 years. UC vs. Miami is the seventh longest rivalry. Many thanks to Sam. Sam knew this how? Other than being a walking sports encyclopedia he went to Lehigh. I checked NCAA.com for rivalries and he was right. I didn’t see Sam’s attendance records.

Back to the anger and frustration. 

Gary Barta, Athletic Director at the University of Iowa, and chair of the Selection Committee is on record as saying, that “the Committee aims to leave no stone unturned and wants to be as comfortable in their selections as possible when they are made public”. Now we must find a definition for “comfortable” and what does it mean to leave “no stone unturned”? Come on selection committee speak English. 

So, back to the unturned stone. Does leaving no stone unturned mean we compare style points of the football programs? No one knows for sure what that means. Is it strength of schedule comparisons? Is it comfort level? Maybe it’s just head-to-head competition. How about gut feeling? Or is there just a favorable prejudice towards Power 5 conferences with just the opposite for the Group of 5 conferences, which is where the Bearcats currently rest their heads.

What does all of this tell you about the selection process?

I really, honestly do not think anyone knows for sure. Certainly not the Committee if you listen to chairman Barta or the heathen media.

Power 5 conferences are directly represented on the 13-person Committee by 6 representatives: UK, Iowa, NC State, Colorado, Arizona State and K-State and indirectly by a former Nebraska offensive lineman (Power 5 conference), an individual who currently is a trustee for the Notre Dame, Hesburgh Trust, Power Five for ND, an individual who is a former head coach at Notre Dame, Power 5 for Notre Dame and a former Penn State offensive lineman, Power 5. Ten of the 13 members have Power 5 written on their foreheads. Two of those members also have the initials ND on their shoulders. 

Read the definition of Recusal, the real definition not the Committee definition. Seriously, read the committee definition.

The final three spots on the Committee are from Wyoming, Group of Five, Virginia Union (NCAA Division II) and Georgia State (Division I but not Power 5 or Group of 5).

Someone please convince me that the Power 5 conferences are not well represented. Only Wyoming is from a Group of 5 conference. Nothing more to talk about comparing the committee make-up. And this is not to suggest that any of the members lack credibility or come into the selection process with any pre-disposed judgement. This is not a jury where we get to ask the questions first. However, no Group of Five school has made the final four in the previous 7 years of the College Football Playoffs.

If UC losses one game and ends up 12-1 and Ohio State, having trashed Michigan State, wins out that eliminates Michigan and Michigan State or it should eliminate them. Oregon is out. And it really makes no difference in what happens between Georgia and Alabama. I really believe both are in, regardless, unless Georgia knocks the socks off the Tide, in which case the Tide may be out.

Head-to-head with Notre Dame you say? Check Mate UC. Comparison of schedule? Yep, that must be it. I forgot that ND beat Purdue. But wait Purdue wasn’t ranked in the top 25 when they played ND early in the season. Purdue has not been ranked in the top 25 since 2007. It entered the rankings on October 17, 2021, well after playing the Irish.

So, Bearcat fans let’s just win out. Cut the Oklahoma squads off at the pass. Cut out the crazy Notre Dame stuff. UC’s former coach who lives up north in South Bend deserves no more talk! And he need not mention style points again.

 

Send your questions, comments, and story tips to me at sports@americanisraelite.com. 

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