Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Three Teams That Fit The Profile As A National Championship Contender In 2010

Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, most of the teams that have won national championships have shared certain common denominators.

All have come from "Big Six" conferences, the past six champions posted at least nine victories the previous season and all but one had a winning record in post-October regular-season games.

In addition, 11 of the 12 teams to win the BCS title entered their championship season with a quarterback who was a junior or senior and had at least some starting experience.

Finally, 11 of 12 champions returned at least six full-time starters from a defensive unit that ranked in nation's top 20 in scoring defense the previous season.

Of course, there are other factors involved in fielding a championship team. The majority of champions had junior- and senior-dominated offensive lines, but it's difficult to project line starters seven months before the season begins.

Avoiding injuries also is vital, but how well a team manages that won't be known until after the 2010 regular season is completed.

Fitting the profile obviously won't guarantee a championship: None of the six teams that fit the '09 profile won the national championship. But Texas did play in the BCS national championship game, while Florida and Iowa played in BCS bowls. And Ole Miss, West Virginia and Virginia Tech posted at least nine wins.

This past season, Alabama, which went on to win the national championship, fit five of the six characteristics. They did not have a quarterback who previously had started.

When Alabama defeated Texas in the BCS national championship game, Greg McElroy joined Tennessee's Tee Martin (1998) as the only title-winning quarterbacks in the BCS era without previous starting experience.

So, while profiling shouldn't inspire fans to make reservations for Glendale, Ariz., the site of the 2010 championship game, it at least provides encouragement and a reason to start saving up.

But which fans should start saving? That question is answered in the following profile.

1. Be in a "Big Six" conference

Unbeaten Utah in 2004 and '08, Hawaii in '07, Boise State in '06 and '09 and TCU in '09 were not given a shot at playing for the national championship. Once might be a fluke, twice could be a coincidence and three times is a trend. But six times in six years? That's exclusion. The BCS system consistently has shown that teams outside the six power conferences won't have a legitimate shot at the national title.

Fitting the profile so far: The 65 teams in "Big Six" conferences and Notre Dame.

2. Post at least nine victories the previous season

Nine of the 12 BCS champions (75 percent) posted at least nine victories in the season preceding their national championship run. Four of the past six champions posted double-digit victory totals the previous year; only Florida (9-3 in '06 and 9-4 in '08) did not.

Still fitting the profile: 22 teams -- Alabama, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Iowa, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Texas, Texas Tech, USC, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

3. Posted a winning record in post-October regular-season games

Playing well in November often is the key to winning championships. That also provides a clue as to what programs are improving and could be a factor the next season. Every BCS national champion with the exception of LSU in 2002 posted a winning record in post-October regular-season games the previous year. Seven teams were unbeaten in that span the season preceding their championship.

Still fitting the profile: 17 teams -- Alabama, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Because the majority of BCS champions were unbeaten in post-October regular-season games the previous season, take extra note of Alabama, Cincinnati, Florida, Nebraska, Ohio State, Texas and Virginia Tech.

4. Return a junior or senior quarterback with starting experience

Again, McElroy and Martin are the only quarterbacks without any previous starting experience to lead BCS championship teams.

Still fitting the profile: 11 teams -- Alabama (McElroy), Cincinnati (Zach Collaros), Clemson (Kyle Parker), Georgia Tech (Josh Nesbitt), Miami (Jacory Harris), Nebraska (Zac Lee), Ohio State (Terrelle Pryor), Oregon (Jeremiah Masoli), Texas Tech (Taylor Potts), Virginia Tech (Tyrod Taylor) and Wisconsin (Scott Tolzien).

5. Return at least six starters from a defensive unit that ranked in the top 20 in scoring defense

We'll define returning starters as players who had no fewer than five starts, which represents at least a third of the games. Nine of the past 10 BCS champs ranked at least 20th in scoring defense the previous season. Tennessee is the only champion in the BCS era that returned fewer than six defensive starters.

Still fitting the profile: Three teams -- Nebraska, Ohio State, Virginia Tech.

Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and Nebraska are high-profile programs, and as demonstrated above, they all fit the national championship profile for 2010.

No doubt, fans of the Buckeyes, Hokies and Huskers already are counting the days to what could be an epic season.

But Alabama fans surely are, too. They're well-aware a team doesn't have to completely meet the profile to raise the crystal trophy.

Oregon, Texas, Miami, Wisconsin, Iowa and several others can glean encouragement from that, too.

Click For Block Nation Front Page

Photo copyright of US Presswire
Article written by Olin Buchanan, senior college football writer for Rivals.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Do you really like or really hate one of our articles?

Do you agree or absolutely disagree with something you've read here?


You can post anonymously or add your name if you like.

Either way, registration is NOT required!

BlockONation's Expanding Web Presence


Numerous BlockONation articles have been posted on or linked to from some very well known, high-volume sports websites.

We'd like to take a moment to both acknowledge and thank those sites for their support in helping make BlockONation one of the most popular new Ohio State Football blogs on the web!

In no particular order:







Again, thanks so very much to those sites for all their support and also, a huge thank you to the fans who have visited the site to date!

I'd also like to personally thank all those individuals who have contributed to the success of the site! I wouldn't be here without your help over the last 8+ years. You all know who you are!

It is our mission here at BlockONation.com to continue to provide top-notch, fresh content for our readers and we will always do everything possible to meet your expectations!

Honestly, I really can't thank you all enough....

HD Handshoe

Thanks for visiting BlockONation
Copyright © 2004-2012 BlockONation.com. All rights reserved. Site powered by Blogger. Site design and layout by HD Handshoe. This web site is not affiliated with or endorsed by The Ohio State University. Logos, helmet and uniform designs are registered trademarks of the teams indicated. Some photos on this site courtesy of the Associated Press, The-Ozone.net and Getty Images under the Fair Use Doctrine (Sections 107-118) of the 1976 Copyright Act.