Cavalcade of Whimsy
Oct. 19 - Week Seven
Jan 19, Part
1 - Oh those wacky coaches
Part 2 - The sucky 2009 season
7, The Marcell Dareus Issue
14, The Boise State Issue
21, MSU's Wild
28, Is Boise State the new Florida State or Miami?
Oct 5, Oh, that
wacky Les Miles
12, Why the
Brett Favre situation matters
Seven, Part 2 - Is Alabama really all that?
Sorry if this column sucks, it's not my fault … Mel Kiper didn't get paid enough to rank it higher.
Throw in the whole Promise Keeper thing with McCartney, and then it's a slam dunk … The Fifth Down game against Missouri … strike one. The phantom clipping call on Rocket Ismail's kickoff return … strike two. Kanavis McGhee … strike three. The 11-1-1 1990 Colorado Buffaloes, just give the national title back already.
Although, Georgia Tech beat Nebraska 45-21 and Colorado only beat the Huskers 27-12 … And no, McGhee taking $2,500 from Josh Luchs doesn't mean the extremely above-average 11-0-1 1990 Georgia Tech team that won the UPI portion of the program deserves the entire prize.
"Here's a guy who dreams about running with cheetahs and being pulled over by a police car for speeding." … Maybe the 1990 national title should simply be handed over to the team that finished No. 3 and was playing better than anyone at the end of the year, the Miami Hurricanes. You know, the prancing, preening, NCAA rule-changing group coached by Dennis Erickson and funded by Luther Campbell, who provided the players with … oh yeah. Never mind.
Here's looking at you, 1993 Florida State, 2003 USC, 1985 Oklahoma, 1987 and 1989 Miami, and just about every team before 1982 Penn State … Okay, Football Writers Association of America, let's see our pretentious butts cash that check our Grantland Rice Trophy mouths wrote when the powers-that-be put a big, fat VACATED next to the 2004 season. 1990, Colorado, Big 8, Bill McCartney. It's still on there. It's been a week.
If anything, he should be punished for the Leinart push to beat Notre Dame … Considering all the hubbub this week over Luchs and his confession, it's okay to admit it now. You overreacted to the Reggie Bush situation.
"He was a sweet and tender hooligan, hooligan/And he swore that he'll never, never do it again/And of course he won't (oh, not until the next time)"
… Speaking of which, why can't the NCAA punish Colorado for its 1990 sins? There's a four-year statute of limitations, which means there's a defining line when an infraction doesn't really matter anymore … except in certain cases. So, basically, the NCAA made a special exception just to nail USC and Reggie Bush, while shock of shocks, since the charges are from more than four years ago in 2005, it has gone dead-silent on all things regarding Santonio Holmes and the phoney-baloney Ohio State internal investigation. USC fans, you're allowed to break something tasteful.
Basically, if you commit an NCAA infraction right now, it'll be wrong, you're a sinner who's not fit to live among the good and the chaste, and you'll be branded as history's greatest monster up until 12:16 EST on October 19, 2014. However, at 12:17, you'll be just a goofy scamp who happened to get away with a few shenanigans.
"Gee whiz, Phil!
I just asked the man if the work was his, and he said yes.
What do you want me to do,
Exclusive! CFN has attained the transcript from the Ohio State investigation on the alleged (cough … wheeeeeeeeeeez) agent payments made to Santonio Holmes.
THE Ohio State: "Santonio, did you take any payments from an agent while you were a Buckeye?"
Holmes: "I'm sorry, what did you say? I couldn't hear you. Are you whispering?"
THE Ohio State: "Okay then! Good luck against the Broncos!" (click)
Yeah, a guy who got arrested for domestic abuse (with the charges later dropped) and was suspended from the NFL for four games for substance abuse (do you have ANY idea what a screw-up you have to be to get tagged with that?) would of course refuse a few dollars from an agent because it was against the NCAA's rules.
Maurice Clarett might be nuts, but it doesn't mean he was wrong.
"Reg, for God's sake! It's perfectly simple! All
you've gotta do is to go out of that door now and try to
Romans nailing him up! It's happening, Reg! Something's
actually happening, Reg! Can't you understand? Oooh!"
… Climate change is a problem. Iran's nuclear program is a problem. Justin Bieber is a problem. The 13 hours America held its breath before the stylist could fix the Kajagoogoo-coloring job she did to my wife's hair was a problem (Too soon! Too soon!). Agents giving players money is not a problem. It's a made-up issue by the NCAA that doesn't affect you and it doesn't affect the game.
The Sports Illustrated story will provide plenty of chit-chat and lots of dimwitted ideas about how to fix something that has no chance of being repaired, but it'll all blow over and things will go back to normal with boosters, agents, and various "uncles" continuing to provide the top players with anything their hearts desire.
And you won't care.
Did the sun rise in 1990 after McGhee took the money from Luchs? Has your enjoyment of college football been lessened in any way by all the behind-the-scenes stuff going on? And why not? Because it doesn't matter. None of it does.
The NFL isn't going to do anything. It's currently working day and night to figure out the most efficient way to kill the golden goose with a work stoppage. The NCAA isn't going to do anything about this, because it can't. The schools aren't going to do anything about this, because they can't. The coaches aren't going to do anything about it, because they can't. (Former Colorado offensive coordinator and current Big Ten Network analyst, Gerry DiNardo, told me that the coaches didn't have the foggiest idea that any of this was going on.) The players sure-as-shoot aren't going to do anything about this, because they shouldn't.
People, it's 2010. College athletes should be allowed to take money from people who want to give it to them. It's okay. The sports will be fine, and actually, they'll be better because we'll finally be rid of the cesspool of hypocrisy that makes big-time college athletics a big steaming pile of lies.
"Chump don wan no help, chump don git no help. Jive ass dude don got no brains anyhow." … Really? Barbara Billingsley was 42 when Leave It To Beaver first aired, and she was 45 when the show hit its stride?! I have no idea what this means in the grand scheme of the world, but considering I've asked on each of my last 11 birthdays and Christmases for one week of a 1950's housewife (dress, heels, pot roast, hidden abuse of barbiturates, and all), this sort of made me happy for some odd reason.
And when we say/
We're only sayin'/
You're doin' fine, Oklahoma! … Oklahoma is the No. 1 team in America? Uh, okay.
Raise your hand it you believe OU deserves the top spot? No, probably not. And neither do the pollsters who matter with the Sooners ranked third in the Coaches' Poll and fourth in the Harris, and yet this is your top-ranked team according to the first round of the BCS rankings.
Blowing away Florida State was nice, and obliterating Iowa State wasn't without its charm, even though Utah did the same thing to the Cyclones and it pulled it off in Ames, but the Sooners haven't exactly set the world on fire.
Was it the way they hung on against mighty Utah State in the opener? It could've been the three-point home win over an Air Force team that just lost to San Diego State and will probably get obliterated by Utah, TCU, or both. Or maybe it was the grit shown in the Cincinnati game that was almost gagged away, or the way the Landry Jones fumble rolled out of bounds just so neatly against Texas. This is a good Oklahoma team, but it would be obliterated by some of Bob Stoops' previous juggernauts. But now it's in the prime locations, it's been given the dream shot, and it gets its chance to prove it deserves the honor.
Let me end this one now to save you all the time, toil, and trouble. Oklahoma isn't the best team in college football, at least it's not right now, but if you're a fan of chaos and you despise the status quo of the BCS, then this team just might provide the answer to what you're looking for.
If the Sooners beat Missouri in Columbia, Texas A&M in College Station, Baylor in Waco, Oklahoma State in Stillwater, and Colorado and Texas Tech at home, not to mention Nebraska or Missouri in the Big 12 Championship, then they'll play for the national title. There's no way they slip out of the top two considering the final six games (maybe seven) will likely be against teams that'll go bowling. I don't think they're going to roll without a blemish, but let's say they do. All of a sudden, the entire dynamic of the season changes considering the Big 12 was far down the pecking order of national title contenders last week at this time.
I still contend that the No. 1 lock for a spot in the BCS Championship is a 13-0 SEC team. Considering what has happened over the last several years, no way, no how can college football crown a legitimate national champion if an unbeaten SEC champion isn't involved. Argue all you want about how the league is down this year, and it is, but you still can't go with any other options, and an unbeaten LSU or Auburn has to play for the fun.
There would be some complaining, but the world will keep spinning if an unbeaten Michigan State doesn't get in, and no one wants to see Boise State, TCU, or Utah within 25 miles of Glendale, anyway, so there won't be too many moist eyes if they're left out. So if the top teams keep winning, there would be few problems or complaints if BCS No. 1 Oklahoma faces off against an undefeated Auburn or LSU for the whole ball of wax. Two mega-powers with great track records and the talent to get the benefit of several doubts …
Oh crap. Oregon.
Yes, there are about a thousand things that will happen, and three BCS league teams finishing unbeaten probably isn't among them, but let your mind go for a second and imagine the possibilities.
If Oklahoma, who's already No. 1, and Oregon, who's No. 1 in both human polls, both win out, they're not going to drop. If the winner of the Auburn/LSU game finishes unbeaten it'll end the season ranked No. 2 in both human polls, and then it's Game On. However, if you really want things to get interesting …
"I wasn't there to see it, but I hear
Byron Hadley was sobbing like a
little girl when they took him away.
Norton had no intention of goin'
… Root for Utah. If Boise State goes 12-0, Chris Petersen and his players will all say the nice, polite things about handling what they can control and not worrying about what other people think and blah, blah, blah. But if Utah goes 12-0 for the second time in three years and the third time in six, and it doesn't play for the BCS Championship, then get your popcorn ready.
College football fans, it doesn't matter which way your political leanings swing; Orrin Hatch will be your best friend.
The Republican Senator from the great state of Utah went nutso after the 2008 season when the Utes didn't get a chance to play for the national title, and if they're one of unbeatens left standing and they get left out of the fun (especially if, say, a one-loss Alabama gets in instead), it'll be time to lawyer up with the antitrust suits and the slings and arrows fired at the bowls' non-profit status will be flying.
Knock, knock … who's there? …
But the computers will probably do the dirty work for them … Pollsters, really, what are you planning on doing about Boise State? The Broncos are doing everything you asked of them this offseason when they were in everyone's top five, they're not going to lose, and they're going to blow away everyone in their path by 30. There might be one "slip" in a 20-point win over a Nevada or Hawaii that'll give the pollsters a reason, along with the day ending with a Y, and an excuse to keep them out, but it won't be fair to continue trolling for excuses to vote for someone else. Use the same criteria in the polls as you do for everyone else, right or wrong, and if you're planning on pushing out the Broncos from their No. 2 spot if Oklahoma, Auburn, LSU, Missouri, or Michigan State ends up going unbeaten, then just tell everyone now and get it over with. And good morrow to you, sir, if Oregon loses and you put the Broncos No. 1 only to yank the rug out from under them when it comes down to crunch time.
"Very well then, Mrs. Scum, you have won tonight's star prize, the blow on the head!" … If they're good enough to be projected to go in the top 100 picks, players should always leave early for the NFL. The recent concussion concerns across the football world make it more important than ever for players to cash out while they can. Starting now, player personnel departments are going to research more than ever before on concussion histories and the potential for the big one to be just around the corner. For example, more and more information is coming out now about a few concussions that Jay Cutler had while at Vanderbilt, and those were just the ones reported by the medical staffs. That doesn't include the less traumatic dings and bangs that add up over time, and the times when Cutler got hurt and didn't say anything. Now, Ryan Mallett, after getting knocked out of the Auburn game, and Jake Locker, after getting banged around against USC before returning, have a bit of a red flag attached to them. These things are going to matter more than before for any team about to invest tens of millions of dollars and the franchise's future.
"I didn't mean to offend you. I'm sorry, too. … Now go home and get your shine box." … In the Nebraska inbox on Monday morning … "Dear Nebraska, thank you for playing in our conference, and good luck with all your future endeavors. Please feel free to drop us a line to let us know how you're doing. Have a nice life!"
And if, "You are looking liiiiive," doesn't get it done, I can't help you … In terms of translating the excitement and energy of an event through the broadcast, good luck finding two announcers who ever sounded like they had more fun or were more genuinely jacked to call a game than Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit doing Saturday night's Wisconsin win over Ohio State.
And I'm still pushing for GameDay to come broadcast from my breakfast nook, but I don't have Shakespeare's Pizza like they have in Columbia, Missouri … It's Year Two, Week Seven of my open lobbying of the ESPN College Football Final show guys to give me a helmet sticker and the signed T-shirt, suitable for framing. Why do I deserve one this week? I don't. Injured Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand deserves all the attention, thoughts, and best wishes the world can provide. Sometimes, football is a really, really stupid sport.
Seven, Part 2 - Is Alabama really all that?