Cavalcade of Whimsy
Sept. 6, 2011, Part 2
- Part 1. Why isn't the SEC
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The C.O.W. airing of the grievances followed by the feats of strength
The ten reasons I’m already grouchy just one week into the college football season …
10. David Pollack is way too attractive.
I’m sure new ESPN personality David Pollack is saying interesting and relevant things about college football, but all I’m able to process is, “Man, if I looked like that dude, and if I wasn’t married with kids, and if I had any game whatsoever, and if I had any desire to make polite conversation, and if I could pretend to care what a hot chick has to say, and if didn’t sit in front of a computer screen for 18 hours a day, I bet I could really, really score.”
When Erin Andrews is fifth, at best, in the rotation of pretty college football personalities, the Beano Signal has to go up. Until then, I’ll keep watching Palmer & Pollack for the manscaping tips and fierce dance sequences.
Speaking of which …
9. GQ’s football coverage
First of all, if you want to put that Aqua Velva, Mark Sanchez, on your cover, okay, but don’t go on to suggest that he has anything to do with the Jets’ success. Rex Ryan, who’s the real cover boy for that team, and the defense are why New York is due to win a Super Bowl. That’s all fine, I’m not expecting hard-hitting football coverage out of you, but don’t you dare insult myself or the corps by suggesting that some other college football column is the “sharpest, funniest, ballsiest daily read.” You are dead to me, GQ. Dead, dead, dead, dead … oooh, that body balm comes in citrus?
8. Billion dollar TV deals
ESPN, whether you like it or not, you have a major perception problem both among the media and the fans, and it’s starting to create a World vs. You divide.
The fiasco with Bruce Feldman is a crusher for your credibility as a news source, since everyone associated with you has to play it safe and scared. Your mega-deal with the SEC, and others, creates a perceived bias that’s devastating for a sport that puts together a championship matchup based on opinions. You’re a judge in case with a vested interest in one side.
There’s a simple fix that can let you have your cake, and eat it, too.
Let it rip.
You have some excellent, strong, opinionated voices, and you can’t slap the muzzle on them like you did to your baseball personalities throughout the baseball steroid fiasco. College fans, especially non-SEC fans, are going to jump all over any BS.
7. The weather
I have a hard time believing that the Western Michigan – Michigan game would’ve been called if the score wasn’t 34-10. This is football and the players are supposed to be tough, tuned, fighting machines, yet the game was cancelled out of a supposed concern for player safety. There were no such issues at Notre Dame, and considering the track record of student safety hasn’t been great lately, it’s a little stunning that the game kept going on in the unremarkable storm. However, if Michigan was down, that game would’ve played on, too.
Everyone, get used to this. This is the world we live in, and not just in rainstorms for the Midwest. The Armageddon weather patterns are going to affect college football more and more since hurricane season and football season start around the same time.
Michigan, you send the fans home to ensure their safety, you ride out the storm, and then you finish the game. Western Michigan, with the way you were moving the ball, even down 24, you should’ve demanded to get in the full sixty.
6. Russell Wilson
Call this the Jose Bautista syndrome. There hasn’t been a whiff of any cheating rumors around Wisconsin, and from all indications, both on the field and in the classroom, the athletic department is about as good as it gets when it comes to doing things the right way, however you want to define that. But what’s the first reaction that came in from the readers when the Badgers won the Russell Wilson sweepstakes? If it was between Wisconsin and Auburn, and Auburn didn’t get a guy, then … ?
Whenever there’s something not right, there are usually some rumblings and rumors that start to float around, or we’ll get some beat writer who’ll tip us off, but there’s nothing here. Even so, because of all the sins of college football’s past, it stinks that the automatic reaction now is to think the worst about every
5. Andrew Luck
I vow, right here, right now, that I will never, ever, ever, use Andrew Luck’s last name to come up with some catchy headline. Luck of the Draw, Stanford Lucks Out, Stroke Of Luck, whatever. I’m not going to fall prey to the easy and lazy way out. However, I do reserve the right to use Luck Be A Brady Tonight if he somehow gets drafted by the Patriots.
4. Because architecture school doesn’t work out for everyone
Hopefully Andrew Luck stays healthy, gets his degree, and has all the fun in college that he’s supposed to have, but once again, this NFL preseason proved that if you’re a top 100 draft pick talent, you don’t play one more down of college football than you have to.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, football is a game and players always want to get better and improve, but for the NFL prospects, it’s a business. This isn’t basketball or baseball; this is a game that can be over for a top player in a snap, and if a player is going to get hurt, he might as well be getting paid to do his rehab.
Former Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams was devastated after injuring his knee and being lost for the season, but the Arizona Cardinal gets to spend the next year getting his body right with $2.14 million sitting in the bank and a $5 million contract already signed. Had his knee been hurt as a Hokie, like former Tech star Darren Evans, his life would’ve been far different.
The same goes for former Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure, who’s out for the year with a torn Achilles tendon. As a second round pick of the Detroit Lions, he’s getting paid. Had he been at Illinois, his lottery ticket might have been torn up.
3. Your Cheating Hearts
When the next major college football scandal comes, and it will come soon, all I ask is that fans of the offending school be honest with themselves and take on the attitude that if the same thing happened to their rival, they’d assume the worst. If you’re favorite team cheated, it cheated. Don’t make excuses.
99% of all responses from fans during all the scandals this offseason went the same way.
“I’m sure (insert school here) was doing something wrong, but … “
“I’m not naïve enough to think (insert school here) was squeaky clean, but …”
And then most of them would go on to insult me and CFN in some way for daring to point out all the problems.
NCAA sanctions are never a big deal unless they happen to you, and if a program gets caught for something, anything, realize that it’s just a tip of an iceberg with a huge layer underneath that no one knows about. And don’t get mad at us when your program is naughty.
2. “College Bowl Games … Where Everybody Wins.”
There’s something out there called the Football Bowl Association, and it’s lone goal is to make sure that bowls are good, playoffs are bad, and that if we lose the bowl system, we lose America. And I’m not exaggerating.
The FBA came up with a very smart, very sharp flier promoting the 2010-2011 bowl season with various Up With Bowls blurbs and several quotes. There’s a picture of Georgia head coach Mark Richt visiting a sick child. There’s a picture of an American flag, and there’s a shot of the Army fans at one of the bowl games.
“The AllState Sugar Bowl’s support has been essential in our recovery from Katrina.”
Like the bowls or else New Orleans gets it.
“Each year the Outback Bowl Organization continues to support our injured active duty military rehabbing in Tampa.”
You’re either for the bowls, or you’re against the troops.
“Life is bigger than football. I got a chance to hear Congressman Lewis at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center.”
Like the bowl system, or you’re a racist.
From Archie Manning, “I had the tremendous opportunity to play in three bowl games. The chance of experiencing a new city with all of my teammates is something that will always stand out in my mind.”
If you get rid of the bowls then someday, players on bad NFL teams won’t have enough happy moments to look back on.
And my personal favorite, “Being at DFW during bowl week was extremely important because it allowed me to see soldiers coming back from overseas that I may one day lead.”
Get rid of the bowls, and cadets at Army won’t ever get to see real soldiers.
So, according to the FBA, a playoff system means pulling the plug on sick children, demoralizing the troops, confusing the players, and possibly setting race relations back decades.
Real Sports. Tuesday, September 20th. It’s about the fraud that is the bowl system. Enjoy.
1. The Texas Network
All the non-Texas teams from Oklahoma to Texas Tech to Kansas State to Iowa State to everyone else in between have been complaining up a storm about the Longhorn Network. Even Nebraska, who isn’t even in the Big Ten anymore, has people firing off a few parting shots about Texas having a big advantage with its own TV station. It’s been the rallying cry for many in the Big 12, and it has become the proverbial straw that’s breaking the Big 12’s back. It was one thing for Texas to be perceived as the only school that really mattered to the Big 12, but the Longhorn Network is a screw you that was just too much to deal with.
While the Longhorn Network is an easy thing to whine about, it actually doesn’t matter all that much.
EVERYONE is on TV. With the advancement in streaming, and along with all the cable networks devoted to college sports, you can watch almost any team you want every Saturday. If you can’t find your team’s game, especially if it’s a BCS school, you’re just not trying.
Yes, the Longhorn Network will bring Texas more money and it’ll make the athletic department even bigger, but all the big schools are taking treasure baths in the new network deals. So Texas gets a place to televise its baseball games and volleyball matches. Big deal.
If you’re a school that’s mad about Texas having a network, go Kansas State and come up with your own for the web. Everything is going viral anyway, so if you just stream everything, your fans from all over the world will watch.
So go ahead and hate Texas because you hate Texas. Then watch your own school play on whatever network it’s on.
Random Acts of Nutty … Provocative musings and tidbits to make every woman want you and every man want to be you (or vice versa) a.k.a. things I didn’t feel like writing bigger blurbs for.
- Real college football programs don’t have to change the look of their uniforms to get attention.
- A few big name transfers had interesting days on Saturday. Former SMU quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, who was supposed to be the next Colt Brennan under the eye of June Jones, left for Eastern Washington. After one week, he leads the FCS in total offense after bombing away for 473 yards and three scores in the 30-27 near-miss against Washington. Former USC star recruit Aaron Corp took off after Matt Barkley signed on, and he landed in Richmond. He only completed 14-of-31 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown with a pick in the opening week, but he came away with a win over Duke.
- Yes, Washington’s defense couldn’t handle Mitchell and the EWU passing game. Next up: Hawaii and QB Bryant Moniz. Uh oh.
- Army linebacker Steve Erzminger was tremendous in the season opening loss against Northern Illinois, making 21 tackles. Even so, the Butkus Award race is over. Boston College’s Luke Kuechly, the best linebacker in Amerca last year, made 18 tackles and returned an interception 23 yards in the loss to Northwestern.
- Oklahoma State is No. 1 in the nation in total offense and Oklahoma is No. 2. The two schools from the same state combined to roll up 1,329 yards in Week One, and poor Tulsa, after getting bombed on by OU, has to deal with the Cowboys in two weeks.
- Just when I finally got former LSU running back Stevan Ridley’s name spelled right, in comes Spencer Ware. I’m 0-for-4 in radio appearances in getting his name right, calling him Stevan Ware each time.
C.O.W. shameless gimmick item … The weekly five Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world
1) Overrated: Watching the Little League World Series if you don’t have a kid … Underrated: Spending “quality time” with the kids when they watch Victorious
2) Overrated: Houston in the second half against Utah … Underrated: A late blocked extra point and a 3.5-point spread
3) Overrated: Al Golden at Miami ... Underrated: Steve Addazio at Temple
4) Overrated: The Big 12 going 10-0 in Week One ... Underrated: The Big East going 8-0 in Week One
5) Overrated: Thursday Night Football to start the season ... Underrated: Sunday college football a week before the NFL kicks off
“Oh, bull. I'll bet you our next meal that I can get you gambling before the day's out.” … And away we go with Captain Fiu’s Magic Ride. Enjoy.
1) Iowa -7 over Iowa State
2) TCU -2 over Air Force
3) Purdue PICK over Rice
- Record So Far: 0-0
If the college football season ended right now, this would be my Heisman ballot cast for the Most Outstanding College Football Player in the United States for 2011. … 1) Robert Griffin, QB Baylor, 2) Kellen Moore, QB Boise State, 3) Robert Woods, WR USC
Sorry this column sucked, it wasn’t my fault … It started out well, then it started to stink once the rain came. Michigan was right to call it considering it got out of hand.
- Part 1. Why isn't the SEC