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Topic: OT Tourney (Elite 8) - 1997 vs. 2003

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OT Tourney (Elite 8) - 1997 vs. 2003
« on: July 27, 2020, 09:31:42 AM »

ROSE: #1 Michigan 21, #8 Washington State 16
ORANGE: #2 Nebraska 42, #3 Tennessee 17
"NATIONAL TITLE GAME"ROSE: #1 USC 28, #4 Michigan 14
SUGAR: #2 LSU 21, #3 Oklahoma 14
MichiganBIG TEN CHAMPIONMichigan
#1 Michigan 21, #8 Washington State 16ROSE BOWL#1 USC 28, #4 Michigan 14
Charles WoodsonHEISMAN WINNERJason White

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Re: OT Tourney (Elite 8) - 1997 vs. 2003
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2020, 11:39:03 AM »
Interesting that these are the last two split-title years.  It only happened once each in the BCS (2003) and BCA (1997) eras but prior to that it was not uncommon.  

In 1997 the BCACG was the Orange Bowl where #2 Nebraska shredded #3 Tennessee while #1 Michigan was not available for that game due to the Big11Ten/Pac10 Rose Bowl agreement.  The Wolverines won less impressively than the Cornhuskers and against a less impressive opponent.  

In 2003 the BCSCG was the Sugar Bowl where #2 LSU beat #3 OU while #1 USC was not in that game due to not being top-2 in the BCS Standings.  The Trojans beat #4 Michigan 28-14.  

There has been disagreement ever since over M/UNL for 1997 and USC/LSU for 2003.  

For 1997 here is what the two co-champions did against teams receiving votes in the final AP Poll:

  • Beat #7 Tennessee 42-17 at a neutral site (Orange Bowl).  
  • Beat #8 KSU 56-26 at home.  
  • Beat #18 Washington 27-14 in Seattle.  
  • Beat #20 aTm 54-15 at a neutral site (B12CG).  
  • Beat #23 Mizzou 45-38 in Columbia (The main knock on Nebraska, 1997 is that they won this game in OT only after a kicked ball on the final play in regulation to get Nebraska into OT).  
  • Beat #9 Washington State 21-16 at a neutral site (Rose Bowl)
  • Beat #12 Ohio State 20-14 at home.  
  • Beat #16 Penn State 34-8 in Happy Valley (when PSU was #1).  
  • Beat RV MSU 23-7 in East Lansing.  
  • Beat RV Notre Dame 21-14 at home.  
  • Beat RV Iowa 28-24 at home.  

Nebraska's resume is definitively stronger than Michigan's . . . unless you treat the UNL/Mizzou game as a Nebraska loss.  

For 2003 here is what the two co-champions did against teams receiving votes in the final AP Poll:
  • Beat #3 Oklahoma 21-14 at a "neutral" site (Sugar Bowl)
  • Beat #7 UGA 34-13 at a neutral site (SECCG, Atlanta)
  • Beat #7 UGA 17-10 at home.  
  • Beat #13 Ole Miss 17-14 in Oxford.  
  • Lost to #24 Florida 19-7 at home.  
  • Beat RV Arkansas 55-24 at home.  
  • Beat RV Auburn 31-7 at home.  
  • Beat #6 Michigan 28-14 at a "neutral" site (Rose Bowl)
  • Beat #9 Washington State 43-16 at home.  
  • Beat RV Auburn 23-0 in Auburn.  
  • Beat RV Oregon State 52-28 at home.  

LSU's resume is definitely stronger especially when you consider that USC's loss was to a team that finished not only unranked but without even a single vote.  


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Re: OT Tourney (Elite 8) - 1997 vs. 2003
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2020, 11:54:55 AM »
I was going to vote 2003 on the basis that it felt to me like Ohio State was more "in the running" that year than they were in 1997 but upon further review I'm not sure that is correct.  

Ohio State was knocked out of the running by losing to Michigan both years.  Also, Ohio State was #4 when they lost to Michigan both years.  

Initially I thought that Ohio State was more realistically "in the running" in 2003 but that is mostly because they were ranked higher pre-season in 2003 (due largely to being the defending Champion).  

In 1997 Ohio State started out #9 and climbed to #7 before losing to PSU on October 11 and dropping to #11.  Then they climbed back up to #4 before THE GAME.  

In 2003 Ohio State started out #2 and drifted between #2 and #5 until losing to Wisconsin on October 11 and dropping to #8.  Then they climbed back up to #4 before THE GAME.  

In retrospect, realistically Ohio State was closer to the NC in 1997 than they were in 2003:  

When Ohio State played Michigan on November 22, 1997 the Buckeyes were #4 and the Wolverines were #1.  #2 FSU subsequently lost to Florida.  That and winning the Rose Bowl* theoretically would have gotten the Buckeyes up to #2 and they just would have needed one upset of Nebraska to win an NC.  

*Rose Bowl.  At the time I thought that Ohio State had no chance whatsoever at the Rose Bowl.  Had the Buckeyes beaten Michigan then the Buckeyes and Wolverines would both have finished 7-1 in conference.  At the time I (and everyone else) assumed that PSU would easily beat MSU which would have created a three-way tie where tOSU>M>PSU>tOSU.  At the time the Big11Ten broke such ties with the "longest loser rule" under which the team that hadn't been to the Rose Bowl in the longest got the bid.  In 1997 that was Michigan because tOSU went after the 1996 season and PSU went after the 1994 season.  However, the Nittany Lions lost to MSU so if the Buckeyes had defeated the Wolverines the Buckeyes would have gone to the Rose Bowl on the basis of their tie-breaking H2H win over Michigan.  

When Ohio State played Michigan on November 22, 2003 the Buckeyes were #4 and the Wolverines were #5.  Thus, even with a win the Buckeyes would still have needed at least two upsets just to get to the BCSNCG and they would have had to win that as well.  

Thus, I voted 1997.  


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