Monday, August 04, 2008

Auburn Was Left Out of the Party in 2004

The BCS Guru continues his excellent series examining the 10 years of the Bowl Championship Series with a look at the 2004 season.

After the grandmother of all BCS disasters in 2003, officials decided to overhaul the formula to correct blaring errors. It didn't help.

USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, Utah and Boise State finished undefeated. The Trojans and Sooners met in the title game with USC winning, 55-19. Utah and Boise State were never seriously considered title contenders, but Auburn was and Southeastern Conference fans screamed bloody murder when the Tigers were excluded from the title game.

Two factors did in Auburn. First, the Tigers were lightly regarded and No. 17 in the Associated Poll preseason poll before fighting their way to the No. 3 slot. Second, Auburn did itself no favors with a nonconference schedule of Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Tech and I-AA Citadel. Seven of the Tigers' 11 regular season games were at home.

Auburn defeated Virginia Tech, 16-13, in the Sugar Bowl and finished No. 2 in the AP poll. The Tigers declared themselves national champions and a championship logo was designed and trademarked. To this day, the Auburn "title" lives on, with a national championship ring appearing last month on eBay.


Anonymous said...

This claim of an Auburn National Championship has the same value as Tulane, or Marshall claiming a championship for their undefeated seasons. Don't schedule 1-AA teams and you won't get hurt in the computers.

Alex said...

Yeah Auburn obviously had no business being in the NC game because of their non-conference schedule. Who cares if Oklahoma only played Bowling Green, Houston, and a 5-6 Oregon team OOC, and only beat 1 team with more than 8 wins in conference play. I mean Auburn only had 5 wins over teams with more than 8 wins (and an Iowa hail mary away from 5 wins over teams with 10 wins), all of whom finished ranked in the top 16 in the country.

Why do you constantly harp on the easy games a team plays, instead of looking at who played the most tough games? I could care less if a team plays a few real weak teams as long as they have a bunch of wins over top teams.

Anonymous said...

Also of note Auburn had Bowling Green on the schedule in 2004 but Bowling Green bought out of the game to be able to play......Oklahoma.

Auburn was then forced to pick up a game which ended up being 1-AA Citadel.

Bruce said...

This actually worked in Auburn's favor, after what SC did to Oklahoma, Auburn wouldn't have had a chance either. Maybe not the same blowout, but based on the previous two years' games and SC's talent, Auburn would've finished 12-1