College football questions!

<p>Ok so basically I am a huge football fan, however I have only been a follower of NFL football. I just never got into college football (or any sport for that matter) because I had a hard time picking a team to follow or associate myself with. Now that I'm going to a school with a decent team though (UCLA), I'd obviously like to get into it more, but I'm confused on a several things.</p>

<p>First off, what's up with the rankings? Who decides them? Why is it that Texas won the championship game last year but they are now ranked #3? I mean obviously they are a completely different team now with players moving on to the NFL and whatnot, but why did they get bumped down when they haven't even played a game yet?</p>

<p>Also how do the different divisions work (like I have no idea what it means for UCLA to be in the Pac-10 conference)? What is their significance? And what is this BCS thing that I hear people talk about so much?</p>

<p>Haha so basically try not to laugh at my ignorance here on these issues...any answers or explanations to the above would be great!</p>

<p>OK, right now the rankings mean very little. They're voted on by sports writers and by all college coaches. There are also a couple rankings that are purely mathematical formulas figured out by computers, but those come out later in the season. For at least the first few weeks, rankings mean little because they are influenced by hype and speculation. </p>

<p>Texas dropped because they lost they're star QB from last year, Vince Young, to the NFL. At the same time, #1 Ohio State has a lot of returning starters at skill positions and #2 Notre Dame benefited from the media's love crush on them. I'm really not biased, because I despise Ohio State and would love to go to Notre Dame, but sadly that's the truth. </p>

<p>And that's exactly why pre-season rankings mean nothing. They haven't played a game yet and Texas gets bumped 3 spots. It's based entirely on speculation. </p>

<p>As for conferences, they are basicaly divisions broken up by regions and relative prestige of the school. There are six big-name conferences (called BCS conferencs, since they winner of these conferences get automatic bids to BCS Bowls): Big Ten (midwest), ACC (Atlantic Coast), Big East (northeast and mid-Atlantic), Big 12 (south-central US, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, etc), Pac-10 (west coast), and SEC (south eastern conference). </p>

<p>There are also numerous lesser conferences in Division 1 football, which are also broken up geographicaly but contain less prestigious and for the most part less talented teams. </p>

<p>For the first few weeks, most games are inter-conference. For the most part, this means the big-time teams beating up on teams from lesser conferences (Michigan vs. Vanderbilt, Texas vs. North Texas, Ohio State vs. Northern Illinois, etc.). These are essentially warm-up games for conference play. There are of course a few exceptions like Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech that was just on tonight, and Ohio State vs. Texas in a few weeks. </p>

<p>The BCS is the Bowl Championship Series. Basicaly it includes five bowl games at the end of the year, by far the biggest bowl games: Rose, Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, and National Championship game. The #1 and #2 teams in the final BCS rankings play in the national championship game. The other 4 have various conference tie-ins for teams who win their respected conference. For example, traditionaly the Rose Bowl is between the Pac-10 champ and Big Ten champ. These are mearly guidelines, and really the bowls pick which team will bring in the most fans and money. </p>

<p>Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.</p>

<p>Well, actually the info above is correct, but the info on the BCS should be expanded to include that there were only 4 BCS games, and the championship game was rotated among the four sites each year. This year it goes to 5 games for the first time.</p>

<p>Here's a link that gives the information on this:
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<p>This year, the championship game is scheduled to be played at the brand-new Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. That game, which is the last college game of this season, will be on January 8, 2007.</p>

<p>Since you are going to UCLA (and I'm a UCLA alumnus), you need to know that the 10 teams in the Pac-10 are UCLA, USC, Arizona (Univ of Arizona), Arizona State, Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Cal (UC Berkeley), and Stanford. Generally USC has the best football team (although Oregon, Cal, and maybe UCLA are expected to give them a battle for the conference championship). You can always brag that UCLA has won more national championships in all the sports than any other school in the country (at last count we were at 98 or so--and trying to be the first to 100 championships). Unfortunately, only one of these was in football.</p>

<p>Strangely enough, some conference names are misleading. For example, there are 11 teams in the Big-10 conference (Penn State came in late, and they never changed the conference name), -and Hawaii is in the Western Athletic conference now, but used to be in the Mountain West Conference. Obviously, there aren't that many mountains in Hawaii (well, I suppose there are some dormant and non-dormant volcanos on Kauai, Maui, and the big Island, so maybe I shouldn't be too critical of this one).</p>

<p>I thought the new change was for 4 bowl games and a national championship game on Jan 8 after the 4 traditional bowl games. Which means the new total is 5.</p>

<p>How good or bad is the WAC?</p>

<p>Can you explain to me what the big deal is about football? I really don't understand why so many people care about it or why it is even a well-respected sport. Any sport that what, goes for like 15 seconds of play time and then stops (and this process repeats itself over and over) should not be considered a real sport. I mean, I would definitely go watch if instead of stopping so often, they just had continuous gameplay and if a guy dropped the ball, or got tackled play would continue. It would be really interesting to see if the guy with the ball could wrestle out from under a huge pile of footballers. Haha... well, I love soccer, and I can somewhat understand why guys would enjoy the physical aspects of football, so I think that rugby is an awesome sport. It combines the actual skill and talent that soccer players are required to have with the hands on, tackling and fighting that makes football such an appealing game. Plus, it doesn't stop every other second.</p>

<p>I must be missing something... I've had this argument with my brothers and dad, and they have failed to change my opinion about the sport. So please, tell me why I should give a **** about football.</p>

<p>I don't know why Texas isn't #1. Vince Young makes a big difference, but then again the current #1 team is playing with 2 returning defensive starters.</p>

<p>Grim I don't see how you cannot like football. Many sports play, then stop, then play again (for instance, baseball). Maybe you'd appreciate the sport more if you played it, playing sports is always more fun than watching them. Big hits, huge plays, close games, huge crowds, awesome comebacks are what define the game of football. I've played and watched rugby, and it really doesn't come close in comparison to football.</p>

<p>I grew up in a rural East Texas town. Trust me, I fought against liking football for years, but I was finally won over my freshman year of HS. </p>

<p>Basically, my town's biggest concern is winning the 3A State Championship (which we did two years ago and very well might again this year). Missing Friday night football to these people is on the same level as missing Sunday morning church (our stands are always packed with thousands of people), and questioning its importance is also sinful.</p>

<p>I'm only exaggerating very slightly, mind you. </p>

<p>I can only watch high school and college football, though...I still hate the NFL.</p>

<p>grim67, I know what you mean.</p>

<p>Hey thanks everybody for the responses, I feel much less confused</p>

<p>So what are the rankings that actually matter though? Is it the ones put out by coaches and others, or is the computer-generated ones that come out later? Which ones decide who plays in the national championship game?</p>

<p>The BCS rankings is the one that really matters. It comes out around week 6 i think. It is, or atleast this is how it was last year, a mix of the two human polls, 5 or so computer polls, and a strength of schedule component. This is the rankings that determine who plays in the national championship game.</p>



<p>Truth. Texas looks gooood this year and returned something like 17 starters. (I still have Auburn as my national champion, but Texas as a close runner-up UNLESS West Virginia can somehow convince the committee to get a bid to the national title game). Next week's tOSU/Texas game should be telling.</p>



<p>Well, being in North Carolina, I can understand. UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, NC State, Wake Forest. . .nope, can't find a football powerhouse in there. But, hey, maybe between the four of those teams they'll win 9 or 10 games this year <g><g></g></g></p>

<p>Also there's been a lot of controversy in previous years about the decision as to who goes to the national championship game, though last year was a break from it, because it is decided by rankings and polls instead of through playoffs.</p>

<p>Might just come back this year, it doesn't look liike there are two runaway teams this time like Texas and USC last year. Heck, West Virginia might go undefeated and miss out on the national championship game while two one-loss teams play for it.</p>

<p>Ecliptica, was that supposed to offend me? Did you forget that I don't give a **** about football?</p>

<p>Again, how good or bad is the WAC?</p>

<p>They're competitive within the conference, but none of those teams will be in the top 25 at any point this season.
As usual, Fresno State and Boise State are expected to compete for the top spots and New Mexico State, Nevada, and Hawaii could be pretty decent this year. Hawaii is always entertaining to watch because I don't think they've run the ball since 1952. A couple of years ago their quarterback Timmy Chang broke every NCAA passing record there was (threw for like 17,000 yards) and then didn't even get drafted. This year they have another quarterback, Colt Brennan, who is already ahead of Chang's passing record pace as a sophomore.</p>

<p>Thank you.</p>