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Yes, you could be
demanding to see Kansas
BCS isn’t going to be blown up any time soon since the
powers-that-be actually like the debates. Oregon or
Missouri? Kansas or West Virginia? LSU or Oklahoma? The
banter that’s going to ensure over the next few weeks
will be what keeps college football on the front-burner
of sports discussion. Fine, that’s what we’re stuck
However, it’s time the system be tweaked so that it
actually rewards the best teams in the country for their
big seasons. There are ten BCS bowl slots, and so it
should be only fair that the top ten teams according to
the BCS rankings are in. If you’re going to have a
ranking like this, then use it.
Wisconsin deserved to be in a BCS game last season, but
couldn’t go, thanks to Ohio State and Michigan, because
of a silly rule that doesn’t allow more than two teams
from any one conference to get BCS bids. While that’s in
place so the six leagues can make sure they all get a
piece of the pie, it’s not fair to the teams, the fans,
or to college football.
Here’s a quirky, but very possible scenario. Kansas
could lose to Missouri in a classic and finish 11-1.
Missouri could win the Big 12 title in a nail-biter over
Oklahoma and go to the Fiesta Bowl. Oklahoma, at 11-2,
would get an at-large BCS bid meaning Kansas could be in
the top five in the rankings and not get a BCS game. And
then there’s Texas, who’ll likely finish 10-2 and be
passed over for a BCS game by at least one three-loss
team because it’ll be fourth in the Big 12 bowl pecking
Equality is for the other bowl games. Give us the best
matchups with the best teams who had the best years.
wacky, wacky Richt
What has gotten
into Georgia’s Mark Richt over the last few weeks? The usually
buttoned-down, conservative head coach has let his hair down this fall,
choreographing a bench-clearing celebration at the start of the Cocktail
Party and breaking out black jerseys from storage for Saturday’s visit
from Auburn. What’s next, trimming the hedges inside Sanford Stadium
into the shape of a Bulldog? It’s completely out of character, and it’s
working. Richt’s motivational techniques are resonating with his young
team and his fan base, creating a swagger throughout the Dawg Nation
that was missing in the first half of the year. Given up for dead in
terms of a major bowl game after getting routed by Tennessee on Oct. 6,
Georgia has responded with four straight wins to climb all the way up to
No. 9 in the latest BCS rankings. The running of Knowshon Moreno and
the passing of Matt Stafford have been instrumental to the resurgence,
which could lead to a once improbable BCS bowl game if the Bulldogs can
complete the rally with wins over Kentucky and Georgia Tech. Just how
much credit does Richt get for the improved forecast around Athens?
While it’s impossible to quantity, it’s a safe bet that the coach has
had an even bigger role than normal in the success of his program.
Watch your back, UGA. Yeah, you joined in on the fun by donning a black
sweater on Saturday, but coach may have more hijinx in store for you
before the season is over.
But KeepRonZook.com doesn't have the same cache
3. He used to be the butt of jokes throughout the nation. The
Florida coach did what – went to a frat house and stirred it up? The
Gators lost to hapless Mississippi State? No matter where you were, you
heard it loud and clear from those within Gator Nation – the Zooker was
a joke and should never have been the coach at Florida in the first
place. Former Gator head coach Ron Zook was in a no-win situation from
jump at Florida. He was the consolation prize for a job that no one
wanted, I mean, who wanted to follow Steve Superior at Florida? Zook
got it and then got blasted for, well, just about everything. But, one
thing that many Gator zealots missed was he could recruit, something
that they had a chance to witness, and he could coach, something they
never had a chance to experience. Heck, this was his first head
coaching job and Gator nation thought he should be Spurrier on his best
day and Ray Graves on his worst. He was neither and unfortunately, he
took the fall for the lack of recruiting at the end of Spurrier’s run at
Florida. Ironically, it was the players he recruited that won a
national championship last year. He was the ultimate fall guy, but
outside of the frat house trip, he was class to the end.
Then, he was given a
blank canvas at Illinois. Since the Sugar Bowl trip in 2002, the Illini
had done little to nothing to gather the nation’s attention. Consider
that time over. With the win at Ohio State yesterday over the #1 ranked
Buckeyes, Zook proved what very few wanted to accept – the Man can
coach. He can recruit, he can sell and, most importantly, he can
coach. Yes, he can coach. The Illini had a well-conceived plan to beat
Ohio State yesterday and it’s a plan that has worked well all season
long. The Illini have eight wins on the season, but perhaps it was
yesterday’s win that should provide Ron Zook with some vindication.
He’ll never say it, so I will, Hey Pike House, how you like ‘dem apples?
"My brain hurts."
not getting your bell rung. It’s not getting dinged up.
It’s not funny or cute in any way, shape or form. It’s a
concussion, and it’s the brain smashing on the inside of
Of course, concussions are always going to be a part of
a violent game like football when heads are butting
against each other, off the ground, and basically off
everything a head can bounce off of. That’s part of the
game, and that’s unavoidable. However, it’s time the
college game wakes up and takes a cue from the advances
made in the pro game and punish the helmet to helmet
Hawaii QB Colt Brennan was torching Fresno State,
completing 28 of 39 passes for 396 yards and two
touchdowns in early in the fourth quarter. He left
himself wide open on a scramble, and Fresno State’s
Marcus Riley made him pay with a brutal collision that
caused a concussion and a gasp of concern. If Brennan
had been knocked cold on a shoulder pad to helmet hit,
then fine, but Riley led with his head like a guided
missile and cranked Brennan on a helmet-to-helmet shot
that not only didn’t get penalized, but was later
praised as a “big play” by the lobotomized Fresno State
homer announcer. (To be fair to Riley, he showed great
concern about the hit and even went to check on Brennan,
who by all indications should be fine, after the game.)
I’m not talking about the type of hits where the helmets
touch because the angle changes at the last split
second. I’m talking about the spearing shots with a helmet
cranking another player
in the head. I'm not calling Riley dirty; I'm saying the
helmet-to-helmet hits have to stop.
We have replay for a reason, and it’s time to give it
more authority to punish hits like these. I was able to
replay the perfect camera angle on it in freeze-frame
motion, back and forth like the Zapruder film in JFK,
and there was no question about the shot. Riley wasn’t
penalized, and he won’t and can't be lightened in the walled by
tens of thousands of dollars like he would be if he were
in the NFL. The way these shots are handled has to
change immediately before something bad happens.
A replay official should be allowed to have the teeth to
see a true helmet-to-helmet kill shot, confer with the
on-field officials, and throw the player out of the game
just like the NFL has instructed its officials to do.
The conference should then suspend the player and fine
the head coach. There’s no reason for these types of
hits to ever have to occur.
He fell, but he could get up
5. There were lots of iffy
calls made in Saturday's Auburn-Georgia game, but with that said,
SEC referee Penn Wagers still earned a huge amount of fresh respect.
When Georgia punter Brian Mimbs flung his body to the turf after a
second-quarter kick, Wagers--like a basketball official to a player
who flopped on a block-charge call--lifted his hand to make the
"play on, son" gesture. As the two jogged upfield when the play was
over, Wagers could be seen giving a warning to Mimbs: the young man
almost drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Finally, a referee wasn't seduced by a punter who did an acting job.
Finally, a referee told a punter to get his butt off the ground.
Finally, a referee threatened to throw an unsportsmanlike conduct
flag against a player who took a dive.
Finally, a columnist has a new Penn pal among the ranks of college
football arbiters. At long last, a Hollywood punter received a
deserved rebuke. I would not have Wagered that this kind of moment
would happen so soon.