FanPost

How Steve Bartman is the Cause of SEC Dominance

I know we have some Cubs fans here, and everyone loves college football. I came across this awesome conspiracy theory from a West Virginia fan while reading reddit.com/r/cfb:

Follow along on a story I've told a couple times before at social gatherings and tailgates...

Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS was on October 14, 2003. We all know what happened, so I'm not going to recount the happenings that horrible night, nor the eventual Game 7 loss the next equally horrible night.

Since the Florida Marlins advanced to the World Series following the Cubs' collapse, they still needed use of their baseball field. At the time, they shared Sun Life Stadium with the Miami Dolphins (an arrangement fans of both teams felt was less than ideal. Because they still needed to use their baseball field, the dirt diamond had to remain for an extra week or two.

On October 19, 2003 the Miami Dolphins hosted the New England Patriots. Olindo Mare, the Dolphins' sure-footed (at that time) kicker, missed two game-winning kicks in the 4th quarter. Both kicks were missed because Mare slipped on the infield dirt of the Marlins' infield. New England went on to win the game in overtime. The Dolphins would end the season with a 10-6 record, missing the playoffs by one game.

The coach of the Dolphins at the time was Dave Wannstedt. Following the 2003 postseason, a second straight postseason without the Dolphins after not missing since 1996, some Dolphins left the team and the team was restructured. Pair that with a poor draft by Wannstedt and company, and 2004 started rough. With Miami's record an embarrassing 1-8, Dave Wannstedt left the team. Two months later, he became coach at Pitt.

In his third season at Pitt, Wannstedt took his team 75 miles south to play #2 West Virginia in the final game of the 2007 season. I'm not going to go into the painful detail here, but we all know Wannstedt pulled a rabbit out of his hat and somehow vaulted that 4-7 team to a victory that night. I've never heard 60k people more silent in my life. I don't think I spoke a word until I had gotten far from the stadium.

The loss knocked WVU out of the national title game, and knocked LSU in. LSU had been upset a week earlier by rival Arkansas, or they would've been in to begin with. The following week, WVU's head coach Rich Rodriguez left the program to coach at Michigan.nnLSU went on to win the national championship, in what would become the second of six straight (and current) for the SEC.

I (along with many others) believe if WVU had won that game against Pitt, Rich Rodriguez. What coach would leave right before coaching his alma mater in what could've been their first national title? If Rodriguez wouldn't have taken the job, many believe Michigan would've gotten Les Miles to take over. It would've been easier to pry him away after a disappointing loss against their rival and a "routine" Sugar Bowl appearance.

So, the national championship would've either gone to the Big East (WVU) or Big Ten (Ohio State) that night, and LSU may have been forced to reload their staff that offseason. SEC schools couldn't have used their" X-straight titles" angle for 2008 and forward. LSU has been involved in many important SEC games since then. Who knows how they might have turned out, and how that would've affected the end-of-season #1 and #2 from 2008 til now.

Admittedly, the biggest stretch of this story is whether or not missing the playoffs in 2003 caused the rough offseason which saw good players leave, and a 10-6 team start 1-8 and lose their coach (who never would've left in the middle of a good season). I believe it did.

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