Cavalcade of Whimsy
College Football For the Handsome
Follow us ...
So Far ...
- Oct. 9, The two stars
of the first half of the season
- Oct. 16, The
Big Play For Notre Dame
- Oct. 23, Is
Collin Klein worth the hype?
- Oct. 30, It's
USC's time to shine
- Nov. 6, What more do you want from Oregon?
- Nov. 13, Really, why is Notre Dame No. 3?
- Part 2 - All The Award Finalists & Picks
Sorry if this column sucks, it's not my fault … I'm retiring as the head coach of the University of Texas-El Paso. Mike Price finished his coaching career with a record of 176-182 with two Pac-10 titles in 1997 and 2002. However, his greatest accomplishment by far was to inspire the opening of this column back in 2003 during all the wackiness surrounding his tenure at Alabama.
Yes, there was a time not all that long ago when Alabama football sucked ... A firm but appropriate pat on the backside to anyone outside of the greater Tuscaloosa metropolitan area who can name the other four Alabama head coaches who bridged the gap between Gene Stallings and Nick Saban.
"It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead." ... This has all been fun. We've had a few laughs, we've killed some time, and we've all been able to enjoy the delightful banter and the fine fellowship. But now it's over.
College football, you've let the SEC back in.
You had it down and you had it out, and now get ready to get run over by the mini-van with the My Conference Can Beat Up Your Conference bumper sticker.
You could argue about how much Georgia's schedule stinks, and you'd be right. You could say that Alabama hasn't exactly been a world-beater against the top teams since the Michigan blasting, and no one would argue. You could make the claim that Florida was putrid against a Sun Belt team and had to hold on for dear life late against Missouri, and there wouldn't be a fight. But what about the last six post-seasons has provided even the tiniest glimmer of hope that anyone but Nick Saban, Mark Richt or Will Muschamp will be holding up the crystal egg ball thing with confetti flying around Miami on the night of January 7th?
Yes, there was a time when Alabama fans were going ballistic over losing Coach Fran to Texas A&M ... Mike Debose (24-23, SEC Coach of the Year in 1999), Dennis Franchione (17-8), Mike Price (0-0), Mike Shula (10-23), Joe Kines (0-1)
At least 1,000 calories and 40 grams of fat later ... I just pounded a Chipotle barbacoa in about four bites, so I'm about to fall into a deep trip, but I've got this funny, Stanford-over-Oregon call type of feeling that Max Wittek is about to become the No. 1 topic of conversation next week at this time. Be prepared for the, "he's so young he doesn't know any better" line, and get ready to add his name to all the great quarterbacks coming back next year. Wait a minute … that's sort of odd. Why are the walls melting? Why is that squirrel speaking to me in French? Did the mom on a national TV ad just give the dad porn on his phone? I need to lie down.
No chance … NO CHANCE … the bearded dude isn't diving into that 14 seconds after the cab takes off ... Instead of wasting all that time getting all smutty, why didn't the mom drive the dad to the airport?
"Please, let me lose on a physics question, not Marty, Dan. Don't do this to me. It's too humiliating." ... Really, Kansas State? Baylor? Yeah, the Bears have a serious offense, but to blow the No. 1 ranking and the national title dream season against a team like that? Texas? Fine, no problem, but this is a Baylor team whose best win came against ULM, with the other four wins coming against SMU, Sam Houston State and Kansas. I'm sure there has to be a worse loss by a No. 1 team this late in the season, but I couldn't find one against anyone this bad by this much.
"Well, just a second there, professor. We, uh, we fixed the glitch. So he won't be receiving a paycheck anymore, so it'll just work itself out naturally." ... Oregon, your offense has a design flaw, and you're never going to be able to get past the hump until you figure out how to take care of it. Everyone loses and everyone drops games here and there, but there's a pattern to the Duck defeats and there's a reason for the losses.
Stanford this year. LSU to kick off last year. USC last year (the D was far stronger in 2011). Auburn in the 2011 BCS championship. Ohio State in the 2010 Rose Bowl. Boise State in the 2009 opener. Six of the seven defeats in the Chip Kelly era - the other one came in a wild 2009 shootout against Stanford with Toby Gerhart going ballistic for 223 yards and three scores - came because the running game slowed to a crawl against great defensive fronts that can swarm and tackle.
Wisconsin in the 2012 Rose Bowl could tackle, but couldn't get to the ball. USC this year could get to the ball, but couldn't tackle. Stanford did both, and outside of the 77-yard dash from Marcus Mariota, the D didn't miss a thing. Oregon can get to Point B, but there will always be a hard ceiling until Chip Kelly can figure out how to make the Ducks fly against big-time defenses.
"What does Joe like? Um... "Body Bags 2""... Philadelphia is rumored to be looking at Chip Kelly if Andy Reid is canned?! The Eagle offense just lost Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy to concussions, and it's going to run this quack attack at the next level? The running backs would have a shelf life of about 14 minutes.
Soon, half the FBSers will belong in the category, too ... I don't know who's playing or what the schedule is, but I'm going to take a wild guess that Saturday, September 14th, 2013 is going to be filled with a boatload of yuck, which is why I'm starting my campaign now for National Ignore The FCS Day.
There will be an all-star team put together of insignificant FCS players who'll put up massive numbers on the lower level, but will be buried alive after going against a solid FBS team. There will be t-shirts, commemorative pins, and even a Miss FCS, a decent-enough lass who's okay around her group of mediocre-looking friends, but without enough conversation or boob in the bag to hang around with the normal coeds.
I've be screaming for years that teams are nuts not to schedule an FCSer to start the season as a chance to tune-up before the real fun begins, but for the SEC to load up on a bunch of cupcakes as a breather following a nasty conference regular season, and with non-conference rivalry dates to finish, is ridiculous. Never, ever, EVER take anything against an FCS team seriously unless the FBS team actually loses.
Oooooh, it was 7-7 in the South Carolina-Wofford game into the fourth quarter. Ahhhhh, it's just 17-7 Georgia over Georgia Southern at the half. Oh no, Florida is only up 10-0 on Jacksonville State at halftime. Wowwwww, Johnny Manziel is putting up a bazillion yards in the first half and padding his Heisman candidacy against Sam Houston State.
Next year, let's just not look. There's no need.
We … Are … The … Adequate, forgettable, occasionally regrettable Caretaker Presidents of the U. … S. … A.! ... Do we have to award the Heisman Trophy this year?
Nobody deserves it. No one has earned it. No one has stepped up and taken the honor of being the signature player and star of this college football season, but I have a solution. I have the answer.
Your winner of the 2012 Heisman Trophy is …
It's time to cut the crap and push Bush back into the fold – you know it's going to happen someday, anyway. Why not now when the Heisman race is so miserable? It would be the perfect symbol of all the bullspit, all the hypocrisy, and all the pretend outrage from a bunch of pretentious hand-wringers and their half-hearted attempt to police the sport.
It would be an acknowledgement that the so-called penalties handed down really don't work, and in some cases, are rightfully ignored.
It would also be a preemptive strike, because if there's really going to remain a gap between 2004 Matt Leinart and 2006 Troy Smith, then I'm 100% certain there will someday be more down the line.
Collin Klein's candidacy is over. You don't clunk as the leader of the No. 1 team in America against, literally, the worst defense in college football. Baylor came into the game dead last in total defense, and it left the second worst.
Johnny Manziel is out. There's still a major block of idiots who have an issue with freshmen winning the Heisman – it's the second dumbest argument in all of human history behind the notion that Alabama could beat an NFL team – but the bigger issue is the résumé. He might have been magical against the Tide, and he might be putting up record-setting numbers, but he failed in the loss against Florida and clunked against LSU throwing three picks and no touchdown passes in the loss.
Kenjon Barner's run is done after facing a defense that can actually tackle, and Marcus Mariota couldn't get the big win at home he and his Ducks absolutely needed.
Manti Te'o might not even the best defensive player on his own team – a case could be made that Stephon Tuitt is more valuable.
Roughly five people in America who aren't reading this right now have any clue who Tajh Boyd is. Braxton Miller probably deserves it – and he's the clubhouse leader for my vote in an MVP sort of way – but there's going to be a backlash against voting for a guy whose team is on probation.
Marquise Lee has been phenomenal, but how do you make a case for him over West Virginia's Stedman Bailey and his 20 touchdown catches, or Tavon Austin, who has 100 grabs on the year with 11 scores and ran for 344 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries against Oklahoma?
Baylor's Terrance Williams leads the nation in receiving yards per game, Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey leads the nation in rushing, and Marshall's Rakeem Cato leads in passing yards per game, but none of them are going to get a vote.
So let's right the wrong, fellow voters. Let's show those muckity-mucks that they can take away a trophy, but they can't take the Heisman. Let's take our college football back and write-in Bush.
And if you want to put in Vince Young, that's okay, too.
With a clause added the Urban Meyer has to grow a mullet. ... So Ohio State can't win the Big Ten championship and can't play in the glorified exhibition game called the Rose Bowl – whoopdee doo. But now, NCAA, you've royally screwed things up so badly with your pretend penalties that the legitimacy of the 2012 college football season is at stake.
It doesn't really matter that the Buckeyes can't win the Big Ten title; if they beat Michigan, then everyone knows who the champion is. However, in an old school way, if Michigan wins and Nebraska beats Iowa, there should be a three-way tie for the title. But for a 12-0 Ohio State to not play for the BCS championship cheats the fans of college football, Notre Dame, the SEC champion if Notre Dame loses, and the history of the game.
Of course Ohio State should be punished for its sins, and while I don't believe this is one of the top two teams in the country, and it's not a lock that it would be No. 2 in the BCS rankings ahead of a one-loss SEC team, don't we need to see it after all the craziness this season?
After what Johnny Manziel did to Alabama, are you 100% sold that Braxton Miller couldn't do something special against the Tide? I'm not.
Georgia's second-best win this year is over Vanderbilt. No. 3 is Ole Miss. Until the Dawgs beat the newly-anointed Coastal champ, Georgia Tech, and gets by Alabama, there's a prove-it issue with them.
Could this defensive front seven hang with Oregon? After what Stanford did, and despite what Montee Ball just came up with, yeah. Could the Buckeyes beat Kansas State? Who can't?
And what happens if Notre Dame loses to USC and OSU beats Michigan? REALLY?! The ONLY unbeaten team in college football – and from a BCS conference – doesn't get to play for the BCS championship? I'm with you, don't do the crime … but no OSU would still put a major damper on the bowl season.
So, NCAA, here's my proposal to pitch to Ohio State. If the Buckeyes go unbeaten, they can be ranked in the BCS process. If they finish in the top two, then let them play in the BCS championship, but they have to forfeit the next five bowl paychecks.
And I'm pushing for the 2015 national championship – or at least one of the playoff games - to be played in my basement. However, one holiday week off for the kids means it'll take two years and billions in federal funds to repair the damage. It'll be ready in time. Promise. … It's Week Thirteen of my shameless and impossible quest to be on the committee that helps pick the playoff teams two years from now. Why do I deserve a spot? I'm going to cook. Does football boy get a day off from the grind to relax? Nooooo. Happy Thanksgiving. Eat too much, take a big nap, and for the love of P90X, for one day out of the year, use real butter.
- Part 2 - All The Award Finalists & Picks