ASK CFN, Part 2 - Jerseys, Urban hype, & more
Posted Jan 20, 2012

Proper jersey etiquette, expectations for Urban Meyer, & more in ASK CFN, Jan. 20, Part 2

2012 ASK CFN

Jan. 20 - Part Two 

E-mail Pete Fiutak

Welcome back to the return of ASK CFN. Please e-mail your questions or thoughts on the world we live in to, or you can tweet them to me.

- Jan 20 ASK CFN, Part 1 Was Alabama really THAT good? What are all the conferences looking like for 2012?
Q: What's a reasonable expectation of wins/loses in Urban Meyer's first year at Ohio State? Or in other words, how many wins will it take to satisfy Buckeye fans the program is back on track? - M.P.

A: 9-3 is realistic, 10-2 isn't unreasonable, and 12-0 is more in play than you might think.

Even without a carrot at the end of the stick, there's no excuse whatsoever to not have a huge season. Ohio State had the No. 1 recruiting class in the country in 2009, was No. 4 in 2008, No. 20 in 2010, and No. 6 last year. This is when all the talent is supposed to mature under one of the best head coaches in all of college football.

And then there's the schedule. The Buckeyes will likely be underdogs at Michigan State, and they have to close out at Wisconsin and Michigan, but it's not like they're playing in the SEC West. UCF and Cal will be strong, but those are home games, as is the date with Nebraska. Going to Penn State won't be any big deal this season, and eight of the games are at home.

You don't get Urban Meyer to win the Big Ten; you get Urban Meyer to win national titles, plural. Ohio State might not be eligible to go bowling or play in the Big Ten title game, but if it goes undefeated, and does so impressively, the AP national title will be in play.

By the way, the schedule is Miami University, UCF, Cal, UAB, at Michigan State, Nebraska, at Indiana, Purdue, at Penn State, Illinois, a bye week, at Wisconsin, Michigan.

Q: I loved your line on men wearing jerseys ("A grown man wearing a jersey to Disney World is like a woman wearing a princess costume to a football game.") ALL my friends wear jerseys and they look like idiots. Is it ever okay for a man to wear a jersey? I say no, but I'm outnumbered. I need more ammunition to be able to rip on my friends. - H.M.

A: You're in luck. Just back from the NCAA headquarters are the officially updated rules and guidelines on wearing jerseys.

Rule No. 1: No man between the ages of 25-to-54 is allowed to wear a jersey unless it's a really, really big game. BCS championships, Rose Bowls, Super Bowls, rivalry games – it's acceptable on a one-time emergency basis. Wearing a jersey on a Tuesday isn't allowed.

Rule No. 2: If you must wear a favorite team jersey, the more non-descript, the better. One with no name on the back and a generic number that doesn't represent a specific player – preferably not No. 1 - is best.

Rule No. 3: Unless you're the President of the United States, under no circumstances is anyone ever – EVER – allowed to put his/her name on a jersey, especially if it's one with a specific player's iconic number. You can't wear a USC No. 5 jersey with Rosenberg on the back.

Rule No. 4: Football-loving boys under the age of 13 must own at least three jerseys.

Rule No. 5: Football-loving women must own at least one jersey.

Rule No. 6: The husband/boyfriend/girlfriend of that woman has to accept that she wants to sleep with the athlete whose jersey she's wearing.

Rule No. 7: Denver Bronco Tim Tebow jerseys - unacceptable. Florida Gator Tim Tebow jerseys – acceptable.

Rule No. 8: In order of acceptability from most to least – baseball jersey, hockey sweater, college jersey, NFL jersey, NBA jersey.

Rule No. 9 – Never, under ANY circumstances, is it okay to wear more than one item of team-related clothing. In general, the fewer words on your clothes, the better. (I was scolded on this by a hot chick/fashion designer.)

Rule No. 10 – Never, EVER, EVER, under ANY circumstances, are you allowed to wear team-related items from two different teams, even if they're from different sports. You can't wear your New York Yankees hat if you're rocking a Texas Longhorn jersey.

Rule No. 11 – The more overweight you are, the lower the number. If you already look like an offensive guard, don't call attention to it by wearing number 67.
Rule No. 12 – Unless it's your kid, never wear a jersey of a player who's younger than you.

Rule No. 13 – You may not wear a jersey of a player on one team when he's playing on another team until the player retires. Brett Favre Green Bay jerseys are now okay, but LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego jerseys currently are not.

Rule No. 14 – If you're a college football fan and you must wear a jersey, go with the star NFL player from your school. This is especially true if it's a different number from the one currently used in the pros like a Purdue No. 15 or Michigan No. 10. The more old-school the player, the better, like Florida State No. 2, USC No. 43, Florida No. 22, or Texas No. 20.

Rule No. 15 – Go with the white road jersey unless you're an LSU or Dallas Cowboy fan.

Rule No. 16 – Don't let anyone give you any crap about wearing a jersey. Have fun with it and enjoy the experience of being a fan. Just don't expect to get any.

Q: Will anyone ever catch up to the SEC? I don't care about the SEC and I didn't really care about the national championship but watched. I want to see someone else win. The SEC thing is getting boring. - B.D.

A: Yes, but it might only happen in theory.

If you're comfortable with the idea that a one-loss team that didn't win its own division could win the national title, then it might be hard to sell the idea that the SEC champion isn't the best team in college football no matter what else is happening. However, there's going to be a one-loss SEC champion again in the near future, and it's not likely that it would get into the title game if there are unbeaten teams from the Big 12, Big Ten, and/or Pac-12. A one-loss SEC champion would probably play for it all over an unbeaten Big East team.

Remember, if Quinn Sharp's field goal had gone three inches to the left against Iowa State, Oklahoma State would've been playing for the national title instead of Alabama. If USC hadn't gagged against Oregon State in 2008, it would've played Oklahoma for the national title, not Florida. Had West Virginia not choked against Pitt in 2007, LSU wouldn't have beaten Ohio State for the championship. If USC hadn't gacked against UCLA in 2006, it would've played Ohio State for the whole ball of wax instead of Florida. Had Alabama not choked against Auburn in 2010, would TCU have played Oregon in the BCS title game? It's possible.

Yes, as great as the SEC has been on its epic run, four of the national champions backed into the title game – and dominated after getting in. At some point, the SEC isn't going to get the lucky break of others losing.

And then we'll all be writing about how the best team in college football won the Sugar Bowl.

Q: Am I crazy, or was the Big Ten better than it gets credit for? Most of the teams were the underdogs in most of the bowl games, and it's not like they were getting blown away. I think the league gets a bad rap. - D.D.

A: But that's the problem. Why were the Big Ten teams the underdogs? Why wasn't the Big Ten's best team supposed to be better than the Pac-12's best team? Why weren't the Big Ten teams going to Florida considered better than the SEC counterparts? Yeah, the 2011-2012 bowl season for the Big Ten wasn't as ugly as the 2010-2011 disaster, but it still wasn't a positive when a bad Florida is beating Ohio State and a good South Carolina is rolling past Nebraska. Penn State getting blown away by Houston was an utter embarrassment, and Northwestern might never, ever, ever win a bowl game ever again.

Q: Optimistic Aggie fan here. Am I dreaming, or will Texas A&M be better in the SEC than the Big 12? I don't know why, but I feel like the program might blossom now. - A.F.

A: I don't think you're too crazy. If Kevin Sumlin and the Aggie coaching staff can use the SEC factor and start getting a few more top talents who'd normally go to Texas or Oklahoma, it might not take that much to get over the hump. It should be an easy sell to local talents; play in Texas and play in the SEC. It's not going to happen right away, and being in the SEC West is an awful break, but I'm not a believer in the theory that A&M won't have any success because it didn't win the Big 12 South in years.

Q: What was the biggest underachiever of 2011? I want to see if you have my team in there. - R.R.

A: Call it a tie between Florida and Texas. The talent level on those two was through the roof with top recruiting class after top recruiting class keeping both loaded with NFL and five-star college players. There's no excuse for those two to not have been far, far better while teams with half as much talent like Stanford, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, and Kansas State did a lot more with a lot less. Ohio State, even with all the controversies, was too talented to not be better, while South Florida and Florida State have to be in the discussion. Did I get your team?

Q: Work with me here. I hate Penn State. I hate what happened there and I hate Joe Paterno for allowing it to happen and I hate Jerry Sandusky and hope he rots in a cell for the rest of his life. However, is there anything really here for the football program to get hammered by the NCAA? I get that there's a legal problem, but why should the NCAA apply any sanctions? Why should the football team get in any trouble? - D.C. C.

A: The NCAA and the Big Ten certainly look like they're going to try to find something, but there was a big step forward taken by the recent New York Times story detailing the backbone the board of trustees reportedly showed behind the scenes. As long it looks like there's real change happening and as long as it seems like there's a house cleaning with Bill O'Brien at the helm, but I'm not exactly sure what the NCAA is going to do as long as the Franco Harris element isn't getting its way. The bigger problem for the school will likely come when the legal process starts to kick in and the civil suits start.

- Jan 20 ASK CFN, Part 1 Was Alabama really THAT good? What are all the conferences looking like for 2012?