Cavalcade of Whimsy - The Two Ohio St Seasons
Posted Jan 20, 2011

What happens to the national title chase if Ohio State loses two games early and then rocks once Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, Dan Herron, and the other suspended Buckeyes come back? Andrew Luck's upcoming career as an architect, the real reason why Auburn won the national championship, and much more in the final Cavalcade of Whimsy for the 2010 season.

Cavalcade of Whimsy

January 20

E-mail Pete Fiutak

- Jan. 20 - Why Playoffs Suck

Alright, fine … I'm a week late and the college football party ended several days ago. I haven't been able to recover from a bad haircut.

Sorry if this column sucks, it's not my fault … it's not "a part of the Auburn family."

Past Cavalcades
- 2008 Season
- 2009 Season 
- Jan 19, Part 1 - Oh those wacky coaches 
- Jan 19, Part 2 - The sucky 2009 season 
- Sept. 7,  The Marcell Dareus Issue
- Sept. 14, The Boise State Issue
- Sept. 21,  MSU's Wild Weekend
- Sept. 28,  Is Boise State the new Florida State or Miami?
- Oct 5, Oh, that wacky Les Miles
- Oct. 12, Why the Brett Favre situation matters
- Oct. 19, Is Oklahoma REALLY No. 1?
- Oct. 26,  What if all the underclassmen come back?
- Nov. 2, The Notre Dame Tragedy
- Nov. 9, The Hosing of Boise State
- Nov. 16, Cleaning up college football
Nov. 23 The BCS Games We Want To See
Nov. 30 The BCS Championship ground rules
- Dec. 6 - Rich, Cam, and the NCAA's rulings
Dec. 13 - SMU, the FWAA & Cam, and more Big Ten names
- Dec. 21 - Naming the Big Ten divisions after Bo & Woody, and the solution
- Dec. 21 - Ten reasons why Auburn will win the BCS Championship 
- Dec. 25 - CFN Holiday Wish List - Part 1. ACC to the Ind.
- Dec. 25 - CFN Holiday Wish List - Part 2. MAC to the WAC
Jan. 6 - The Michigan Situation
"Dad, what does the T on the wall stand for?" … Oregon never had a chance against Auburn.

It wasn't that Cam Newton led an offense that turned out to be more powerful and more resourceful. It wasn't that the Tiger defensive front was too quick on the outside and too tough up the middle for the Duck running game. It wasn't that the Auburn offensive line was able to take control in crunch time, Wes Byrum's ability in the clutch, or Gus Malzahn and the Tiger assistants' adjustments on the fly.

No, Oregon never had a chance in your 2011 BCS Championship because God wanted Auburn to win.

At least that's what Gene Chizik wants you to believe.

"Thank God for being a part of the Auburn family," was just one of the religious references Chizik, Cam "God is using me as an instrument" Newton, and others threw out there as a big part of the reason for the team's success. Let's say they're right and God actually wanted the Auburn Tigers to win the national title.

If Chizik is on the mark, then Iowa State fans have a serious beef. Apparently, God had no interest whatsoever in making the Cyclones competitive under Chizik's watch, but He managed to steer Newton to Auburn, hired Malzahn, made the NCAA rule decoders all goofy, and turned Nick Fairley into Reggie White. He also made sure the SEC East was miserable, Alabama was in a rebuilding year, and LSU, Arkansas, and Mississippi State had just enough flaws so the veteran Auburn team could ride Newton into glory.

Of course, that also means that God disapproves of the Oregon Ducks. Phil Knight, you want to create your false idols in Jordan, LeBron, and Tiger? Welcome to His vengeance embodied in the power running game of Michael Dyer – how else do you explain the wrist apparently not equaling a knee?

Of course, this also means that God wasn't a part of the Auburn family under Pat Dye, Terry Bowden, Tommy Tuberville, "Shug" Jordan, or even John Heisman - yes, that Heisman – as He deemed Chizik the one worthy of leading the football program to the greatest season in school history.

Of course, this also means that God wasn't with TCU, a school that has the word Christian in its name, when it came to getting a shot at the BCS Championship. A team name might be a problem, though, as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Duke Blue Devils were awful.

God wasn't with Notre Dame, especially not off the field, until the second half of the year. He certainly wasn't with the Jesuits of Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against Nevada, and He doesn't appear to be with the poor, starving people who forced the good people of Kraft to provide the bowl season its goofiest name.

It does a disservice to the hours and hours of long, hard work that each and every Auburn player and coach put in to get to this point to assume that God was why the Tigers had the season they did. To credit God puts down Oregon, Alabama, and 117 other college football programs, glosses over the all-timer of all-timer breaks from the NCAA, and worst of all, it insults God by assuming sides were taken.

If Auburn finishes fifth in the SEC West in 2011, does that mean God left the Auburn family? Yeah, and there's a good chance he'll be the first quarterback taken in April's NFL Draft.

"Uh, Gene, I-I'm wonderin' what the, what the Grumman guys think about this." … And while we're at it, Gene, Iowa State is allowed to file a grievance when it comes to your "Auburn fans are the best in the world" stuff. Apparently, Gene, you have no clue how well Cyclone fans travel, mainly because you did such a miserable job at ISU that you couldn't get them to a bowl. It's easy, Gene, for fans to want to storm the building for a BCS Championship, but Iowa State fans would rock the house of the BBVA Compass, the Little Caesars Pizza, or the Military Bowl Presented by Northrup Grumman.

You know who has the best fans in the world, Gene? Anyone who gets season tickets for Vanderbilt, Kent State, San Jose State, North Texas, or any number of other programs that stink every year, have no prayer of ever being in the national title hunt, and apparently, don't have God in the family photo album

"Ballpark nachos ... you don't buy 'em, you only rent 'em ... huh huh huh" … Auburn Official Countdown Clock To The * is now at two years, 38 days, 19 minutes and 14 seconds … two years, 38 days, 19 minutes and 13 seconds … two years, 38 days, 19 minutes and 12 seconds …

"That means, either he was in on it or he was too dumb to see what was goin' on. Either way, I cannot have a man like that working here." … Alright, Football Writers Association of America, or FWAA, now that Auburn has beaten Oregon, can you please put out an official release declaring your All-America team, with Kellen Moore as your quarterback (not to mention the ridiculousness of making Denard Robinson a running back), full of self-righteous bull muffins?

I suggested a few weeks ago that either 1) the FWAA selection committee was completely and totally incompetent by making Moore the All-America quarterback over Cam Newton or 2) was making a statement that it thought Newton was guilty, which was only fine if it also went a step further and declined to award the Tigers the Grantland Rice Trophy if they won the BCS Championship.

If transgressions were an issue in any way, then the FWAA has to explain why LaMichael James and Justin Blackmon were on the FWAA All-America team after they were each suspended for a game this year, and Newton's situation is different. Newton might have been on Double Secret Suspension for a day, but he never missed a game.

The FWAA went nuclear on its own history after the Reggie Bush stuff, but all things Auburn are still intact, meaning the Football Writers Association of America wasn't incapable of recognizing the greatest season by any quarterback in the history of college football.

"I think I decided this morning. I mean, I decided this morning I went day to day. I wake up one morning, it's this team. I wake up another morning, it's this team. And it's a process that I felt it was I may feel like this is the best opportunity for me or not the best opportunity for me." … I'm going to keep pushing. Cam, if you really didn't know what your dad was doing and you really didn't do anything wrong, then that's great. That's what we're all hoping for because the sports world really does want to believe you. But in today's current climate, no one does.

So call up Jim Gray, get ESPN to carve out an hour long special called The Truth, stick some kids on the set so you can hide behind them in the name of charity if it all goes horribly wrong, and take your talents to a lie detector test.

"Bluffing. The word is bluffing." … So, Tiger fans, now that it's all over and now that you had your moment, would it really matter if Newton was lying?

Let's suppose for a second that everyone involved is crooked as a stick and there's a nice sweetner waiting for ol' Cecil in some off-shore bank account. Let's say this all blows up a few years from now, everyone has their moment of screaming about the system, the FWAA puts up its little *,'s list of winners magically skips from 2009 Mark Ingram to 2011 Landry Jones, and Chizik and some Auburn higher-ups get booted in a cloud of shame. Will you care? No one else will.

After all the smoke cleared, no one really gave two hoots about the Reggie Bush shenanigans at USC. Oh sure, the program is going to be down for a few years, but Lane Kiffin has a strong recruiting class coming in and it'll be business as usual soon enough. What's done is done. USC won the 2004 national title, Bush won the 2005 Heisman, Auburn won the 2010 national title and Newton won the 2010 Heisman. Nothing can change that now.

Because the problem, fortunately, has been fixed … By the way, that deafening silence comes from the continued lack of impact from the dud of a Josh Luchs bombshell dropped a few months ago. 

Two words: Joe Namath … "One game doesn't define you as a person or as a program." – Chip Kelly, Oregon head football coach.

Uh, Chip, unless you win multiple national titles, it really, really does.

"F*** you. You owe it to me. Tomorrow I'm gonna wake up and I'll be fifty and I'll still be doin' this. And that's all right 'cause I'm gonna make a run at it. But you, you're sittin' on a winning lottery ticket and you're too much of a pussy to cash it in. And that's bulls*** 'cause I'd do anything to have what you got. And so would any of these guys. It'd be a f***in' insult to us if you're still here in twenty years." … Here's the deal, Andrew Luck. I'll accept the premise that you really want to be an architect if you stay in school for the minimum of two more years required to finish your degree in your chosen field. You want to be Mike Brady? Great. Super. A smart, bright guy with an architecture degree from Stanford should absolutely choose another path other than the brain-killing, life-shortening, body-crippling existence of an NFL player. But if you want to be an NFL quarterback, then you become one as soon as humanly possible.

If Luck wants to be a student, and I mean really wants to be a student and not the part-time type that major college athletes are forced to be, he doesn't set foot on a field this year and he lives the life, focuses completely on his degree, and enjoys the entire Stanford experience. He'd still be the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft if he chose to play football, and he wouldn't be risking his multi-million dollar potential by unnecessarily playing another snap of college football.

"Thank you, Mr. Cowboy, I'll take it under advisement. Hit it again." … Peyton Manning and Sam Bradford both advised Luck to stay in school. With tens of millions of dollars already in the bank, it's easy for those two to make that kind of a pitch. Football-wise, Manning came back to school, lost to Florida (again), didn't win a national title (again), didn't win the Heisman, and was a year behind. Bradford came back, crunched his shoulder, lucked out that everything healed right, and missed almost the entire year while getting a sweet break that Jake Locker chose to stay in school.

Andrew, ask Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn about how that whole sticking around thing works.

I was only allowed to write this blurb if I promised Jim Tressel I'd come back for another year … What if Ohio State loses two games when Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, Boom Herron, Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas, and Jordan Whiting are suspended? What it when they come back, the team destroys everyone in its path over the second half of the season?

Ohio State can roll out its third team and beat Akron in the opener, and while Toledo might be the MAC's best team in 2011, it's still Toledo. The Buckeyes will be 2-0 to start the season, but for the sake of argument, say they lose at Miami and split with Colorado and Michigan State. And then the cavalry arrives.

Again, spitballing here, let's say OSU is clearly the nation's hottest team at the end of the year and is clearly a night-and-day different team with all the suspended stars in the mix. With the world watching the monster matchup of Ohio State at Nebraska (gee, conveeeeenient timing, NCAA, on the suspension length), Pryor and Herron go off and the Buckeyes win in a blowout. They then go on to destroy Illinois, get payback against Wisconsin, and roll through Indiana, Purdue, Penn State and Michigan to win the Leaders before going on to obliterate the Huskers in the Big Ten Championship. Do they get a free pass for the early season losses?

Here's the problem. If OSU really is a different team with Pryor and it really does look like it belongs in the BCS Championship at the end of the season, then will it deserve to not play for the national title just because we're all supposed to take the entire season into account? If the BCS is about putting the two best teams in the title game, then don't we all need to sort of ignore anything that happens before the Nebraska game? It could be the interesting debate of the 2011 season.

And you're wondering why the mag couldn't foresee the nation's slide into economic disaster … Far be it from me, the Captain on the S.S. Typo, to get too high and mighty about spelling errors and mistakes, but I'd feel a lot better about my bank account and my place in this world if the Forbes opinion piece on the NCAA's handling of the Ohio State suspensions didn't refer to "Tyrell" Pryor in the opening paragraph.

- Jan. 20 - Why Playoffs Suck