Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

Cavalcade of Whimsy - An Inconvenient Truth
Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor
Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 23, 2008


You slept well over the last week safe in the knowledge that Ohio State won't be ruining your BCS Championship game. But what if Beanie Wells is healthy and Terrelle Pryor starts rolling? Could perceptions change? What might past SEC champions do in the national title game? This and more in the latest Cavalcade of Whimsy.

Fiu's Cavalcade of Whimsy

a.k.a. Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances

 
By Pete Fiutak   
What's your beef? ... Fire off your thoughts  
Past Whimsies
2006 Season | 2007 Season
-
Preseason Cavalcade | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

If this column sucks, it’s not my fault … the Notre Dame coaches had a laptop in the booth and they figured out all the mildly interesting lines before I wrote them.
 
“I can handle this.  This man has a bad heart, but I have plenty of medicine. My name is Dr. Gonzo. Prepare our suite at once.  We'll be in the bar.” ...
It was 5 a.m. and I was just getting to bed after another long college football Saturday. While brushing my teeth, I had an epiphany, or maybe it was a hallucination, and then a cold shiver ran down my spine as if I had just found out someone had died.

I saw the future of the 2008 college football season, and it is not good.

If you’re having a good day and are in a good mood, then stop reading this right now. Go medicate yourself with an Oreo, take a deep breath, and just keep telling yourself that everything is going to be O.K.

Tell me if any of this sounds even the slightest bit far-fetched considering the recent history of all the teams I’m about to throw into the mix.

- USC might be better than it’s been in the last few seasons, but considering the way the program occasionally plays down to the competition, and how Stanford and Oregon pulled off wins last year, let’s say the Trojans, stuck in the malaise of an easy run of Pac 10 games, gack at Arizona on October 25th. Then let’s say they politely excuse themselves from the national title discussion as Rick Neuheisel, Norm Chow and the UCLA Bruins pull a Tennessee-win performance out of their behinds in early December. That might sound crazy, but so did that 13-9 loss to a mediocre Bruin team at the end of the 2006 season when everything was on the line.

- BYU loses at TCU but screws up Utah’s dream season in Salt Lake City at the end of November, so there are no unbeatens from the Mountain West.

- Boise State goes 12-0, but no one thinks too much of it. The Broncos go to the BCS, but they’re not really in any serious discussion for the national title.

- Remembering Oklahoma’s problems at Colorado and Texas Tech last year, the yearly brain-cramp will come at Kansas State and/or at Oklahoma State. Texas loses to Oklahoma and Kansas but beats Missouri. The Tigers are shocked by Iowa State or Nebraska and loses to Kansas, but ends up getting to the Big 12 title game and gets their revenge against Oklahoma. In other words, all the top Big 12 teams will beat each other up.

- The SEC teams start picking each other off. Florida beats LSU but loses to Georgia. Georgia loses at LSU and at Auburn. The Florida/LSU winner in the SEC title game has a loss and is an almost certain lock to play for the national title.

Meanwhile, Beanie comes back and plays like the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

I told you not to read this if you were having a good day, but remembering all the craziness of last year, and remembering how Ohio State found its way into the national championship game, if USC somehow gets upset twice, everyone of note outside of the SEC champion will likely have two losses. There’s still a chance in this long, long season that Ohio State rears its brutally ugly big game head and stays alive for a third straight trip to the big show.

Yes, really. 

What happens if Chris Wells is back and healthy, Terrelle Pryor plays like the world-beater he’s supposed to be, and the Buckeye offense starts to rock? Really rock.

“All of a sudden, if Pryor starts to become a star, Ohio State changes,” said Big Ten Network lead analyst Charles Davis. “Now, Ohio State becomes a team everyone’s going to want to pay attention to instead of a team everyone had to watch because they had to. Pryor could change everything.”

Let’s say the Buckeyes pull off tough, impressive wins at Wisconsin and Michigan State, they give Penn State its one loss of the year, and they blast Illinois in Champaign. All of a sudden, everyone starts talking about how the USC game might have been different if Beanie was alive and kicking and if Pryor was running the show full-time. The voters will start noticing that this is a vastly different team from the one that looked so brutal at the start of the year. All of a sudden, it’s the first week of December and it’s between the new look Buckeyes and a slew of two-loss teams to play the SEC champion for the national title.

I’m sorry. Now try to unring that bell in your head and try to enjoy the rest of your day.

The 2002 Georgia team’s tickets were magically missing … There’s no truth to the rumor that the empty seats in Ohio Stadium for the Troy game were supposed to be filled by the 1973 SEC champion Alabama and 1969 SEC champion Tennessee teams, but were denied access because the chants of "S-E-C" would've drowned out the honoring of the '73 and ’69 national champion Buckeye teams.

And these are just the teams that didn’t get caught for cheating … Alright, with SEC love running amok after the last two national title games, let’s run with the hip premise that the SEC champion is superior to everyone else no matter what the records. Is this a new thing? What would’ve happened if the SEC champions of recent years played in the national title game?

I did some research to see just how many SEC champions might have won the national title if given the right breaks like 2006 Florida and 2007 LSU received. You’ll see how far you have to go back before there’s an SEC champion that really might have won the national title had it pulled a two-loss 2007 LSU and gotten into the championship game. Where applicable, here are the best guesses of what would’ve happened had the SEC champion played the No. 1 team for the national title.

2007 National Title – LSU over Ohio State
2006 – Florida over Ohio State
2005 – Texas over USC 
SEC Champion: Georgia … Beat Guess: No vs. USC. Georgia lost to West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl.  
2004 – USC over Oklahoma
SEC Champion: Auburn … Best Guess: No vs. USC. That Auburn team was great, especially in the backfield, but USC was special.
2003 – LSU over Oklahoma
2002 – Ohio State over Miami
SEC Champion: Georgia … Best Guess: No vs. Miami. And no over that Ohio State team, too.
2001 – Miami over Nebraska
SEC Champion: LSU … Best Guess: No vs. Miami, but had Florida not blown it at home against Tennessee in the final game of the regular season, flip a coin on what would’ve happened against Miami. That was an ultra-talented Miami team, but it didn’t beat anyone with a pulse until the Rose Bowl. The Rex Grossman-led Gators were loaded.
2000 – Oklahoma over Florida State
SEC Champion: Florida … Best Guess: No vs. Oklahoma. The Gators lost to Miami in the Sugar Bowl.
1999 – Florida State over Virginia Tech
SEC Champion: Alabama … Best Guess: No vs. Florida State. The Tide lost to Michigan in a classic Orange Bowl.
1998 – Tennessee over Florida State … BUT, I’d have taken the loaded ’98 Ohio State team over the shaky Volunteers. FSU didn’t belong in the championship over a Buckeye team that blew its title shot in the fourth quarter in a loss to Michigan State, but it blasted everyone else. That was arguably John Cooper’s best team.  
1997 – Michigan over Washington State
SEC Champion: Tennessee … Best Guess: Yes vs. Michigan, but no over Nebraska, who blasted Peyton Manning and the boys 42-17 in the Orange Bowl to win a share of the national title.
1996 – Florida over Florida State … but remember, had Joe Germaine not led Ohio State on the classic final scoring drive to beat Arizona State in the Rose Bowl, Jake Plummer and the Sun Devils would’ve won the national title.
1995 – Nebraska over Florida
1994 – Nebraska over Miami, and Penn State over Oregon
SEC Champion: Florida … No vs. Nebraska or Penn State, who were named co-national champions
1993 – Florida State over Nebraska
SEC Champion: Florida … Best Guess: Yes vs. Nebraska, who was No. 1 in the Coaches’ Poll, but no vs. Florida State, who was No. 1 in the AP.
1992 – Alabama over Miami    
1991 – Miami over Nebraska, Washington over Michigan
SEC Champion: Florida … Best Guess: No vs. Miami or Washington
.  
1990 – Colorado over Notre Dame, Georgia Tech over Nebraska
SEC Champion: Florida … Best Guess: No vs. Colorado, Yes vs. Georgia Tech


Unless Pat White gets hurt, and then the bowls will be more about Car Care than Oranges… To fully grasp just how bad the 1-2 start for West Virginia is, remember that the Mountaineers under Rich Rodriguez went 10-2 (with Bill Stewart earning the win in last year’s Fiesta Bowl), 11-2, and 11-1 over the last three seasons. This was a program that was among the elite, and it was on the verge of playing for the national title. But there’s still time to turn this around. Beat Auburn on October 23rd and go on to win the Big East title and all will be forgotten.

“You heard me...I don't like losses sport. Nothing ruins my day more than losses... You do good, you get perks, all kinds of perks. Stay home tonight. Louis, take care of'im. Enjoy the lunch.” … After the American economy apparently came within an eyelash of a complete and total collapse, and with your mattress suddenly becoming every bit as safe a place to keep your money as any investment, can we all finally blow off the complete and utter bullspit notion that there’s anything immoral or wrong about placing a wager on a sporting event?

Generations of wealth can be wiped out by “doing the right thing” and investing heavily into a supposedly rock-solid company like AIG, but you can’t make a buck on your belief that Northwestern will cover the eight points against Michigan State. You can day trade to your heart’s content, and can blow all your money with one click of a mouse, but you’re not allowed to put $100 on Cincinnati -10 over Akron.

No, you shouldn’t gamble in place of investing and it can lead to problems, but in a time when raising revenue in any way possible is a must, it’s time to finally legalize on-line gaming, tax it, and make tens of billions in new revenue.

“And when you’re gone, you stay gone, or you be gone. You’ve lost all your L.A. privileges.” … Remembering that these are college kids and not professionals, and always, always remembering that it’s more important to err on the side of caution when it comes to injuries, there has to be some sort of man-rule when it comes to how a player leaves the field.

Again, it’s never a bad thing to be too careful, but if you’re going to get immobilized and carted off the field with an apparent neck injury, like Auburn RB Brad Lester was, be out a week, at least. Fine, so he made it back for the LSU game, but he suffered a knee injury and had to be helped/carried to the sidelines. He came back in later in the game. I’m not questioning Lester’s toughness or heart, quite the opposite, but if a player appears to be hurt enough to need major help, keep him out to make sure he’s 100%. Remember, Lester has to go to class and be a student, too.


“Ooh don't poo-poo a nickel, Lisa. A nickel will buy you a steak and kidney pie, a cup of coffee, a slice of cheesecake and a newsreel. With enough change left over to ride the trolley from Battery Park to the Polo Grounds.” …
Forgive me for sounding like some old guy pining away for the days of yore, but watch some of the classic games and then take in a football weekend. The announcers just aren’t what they used to be.

The NFL Network replayed the great 1995 Green Bay vs. Dallas NFC Championship game the other day. Yes, there was a time when John Madden used to be good. Really good, and Pat Summerall was a peerless play-by-play man. We’re now about 15 years removed from when Keith Jackson was at the height of his powers, and now a new slew of fans only know the slow, rambling, Gatorade-pitching version, if they remember him at all. I’ve always been a Brent Musburger fan and Brad Nessler is certainly competent, but football is missing a signature voice.

The C.O.W. airing of the grievances followed by the feats of strength
Ten things I’m grouchy about this week.
 
10. Indiana State vs. Northern Illinois and Idaho vs. Utah State on ESPN GamePlan
Talk about your niche markets, what were the ratings on the GamePlan package for Indiana State vs. Northern Illinois and Idaho vs. Utah State? I gave a look-see to both games for a little while just to see what was going on, I sort of have to, but they might join the Geraldo Rivera opening of Al Capone’s vault as the strangest pay-per-view options of all-time.
 
9. Michigan State’s Nick Saban
Spartan fans have to be happy with the job Mark Dantonio is doing with the program as he cleans up the mess from the John L. Smith era, but at the same time, they have to be a little bit ticked that when it comes to Nick Saban, they got the Who’s The Boss Alyssa Milano and LSU and Alabama got the matured, Embrace of the Vampire version. Saban has Alabama rolling in just his second year on the job, and he obviously did wonders with LSU. At Michigan State, he went 6-5-1, 6-6, 7-5, and 6-6 before bolting after a big 9-2 season. Speaking of MSU...

8. Texas A&M RB Mike Goodson
What Javon Ringer is doing at Michigan State, Mike Goodson should be doing for Texas A&M. Goodson is a premier, superstar caliber back, as evidenced by his breathtaking early touchdown this weekend against Miami, but he’s stuck on a bad team with a bad offense and a bad defense. Goodson can’t tackle, he can’t make the passing game go, and he can’t block for himself. Is it possible Texas can trade backup QB John Chiles for him?
 
 7. The Hotels.com workers blowing bubbles with straws in a bath ad
It wouldn’t be so disturbing if it was a woman taking the bath. The ad control types should’ve tried other options to figure out how to make two guys blowing into a bathtub not seem like, well, uh ... moving on ...

6. Knowshon Moreno’s touchdown dive
It’s not like Moreno did a Reggie Bush like dive-and-roll for a score. He took a full leap over the top of Arizona State’s Rodney Cox for a spectacular first quarter touchdown in Georgia’s 27-10 win, and he landed full-bore on his shoulder. Just for giggles, take a ladder out on your lawn, climb up it, and then dive off on your shoulder. It's amazing what football players can survive.
  
5. Offsetting penalties
It always seems like offsetting penalties end up penalizing the defense. Whenever both the offense and defense gets flagged on the same play for penalties that walk off equal yardage, the play becomes a do-over. While a big offensive play is negated once in a while, the extra play usually means the defense has to be out there a little bit longer and the offense gets to try something different.

Of course, most offensive coordinators would complain that the O gets hosed because if the play didn’t work, the defense most likely did something to prevent it from happening, while the offensive penalty didn’t turn out to matter. There is no right answer; you can’t penalize the other offense when it comes on the field for the sins of the defense. Maybe you penalize the offense the yards, but give it a down. For example, if there were offsetting ten-yard penalties on 2nd and 7 on the offense’s 45, it goes to 1st and 7 but on the 35.

4. Energy efficient light bulbs
Sick and tired of flying blind with the bombardier continuously searching in vain for its target, it finally became time change the burnt out light bulb in my office bathroom. I took out one of those energy efficient bulbs, because using it will make me a good person, and without thinking, popped the package open only to see the bulb go flying out in what seemed like slow motion. It shattered all over the floor in a bazillion pieces

Only later did I realize that 1) these things have mercury in them, 2) mercury is bad for you, and 3) you’re not supposed to vacuum up the pieces (which I did) because the vacuum spreads the mercury though the air, and you’re supposed to open a window (which I didn't) .Oh yeah, and you're not supposed to touch anything. Fine, so we all have to die of something. That I can live with. What I can’t handle is the energy-efficient, soul-sucking bluish-gray glow that makes every trip to the “office” a little reminder that our planet is about ten minutes away from melting down.
 
3. “(Insert team here) should run the table.”
East Carolina should’ve won every game on its schedule after the upset win over West Virginia. Tulsa will be favored in every game the rest of the way, including the date at Arkansas. BYU, Utah, and TCU will probably all kill each other off. I know it’s fun and exciting to think about the what-if scenarios, I’m the Grand Marshal of that parade, but like always, everyone’s going to get picked off until there are just a few real choices come early December.
 
2. My yearly checklist 
All apologies for the same beefs being repeated for what seems like the ninth straight season, but they’re going to be brought up every year about this time until the world changes. It wouldn't be late September without these two whines.
1. Stop publicizing anything that happens in the AP Poll. It doesn’t matter. The Coaches’ Poll is the one that’s part of the BCS, along with the Harris Poll. All concentration and all analysis and all scrutiny must be paid to what matters.
2. A concussion is never cute and it’s always serious. After LSU quarterback Andrew Hatch’s brain bounced off the inside of his skull and was unable to continue. According to Mike Patrick, Hatch was, “seeing cobwebs, that’s all.” Bones and joints heal. You get a few of these knocks on the noggin and you have issues that won’t go away for the rest of your life.
 
1. The missing Ohio State fans 
It’s the old adage that you can say 99 good things and it’s the one negative that everyone will remember, and that applies to stadiums, too. It all has to be put into perspective. It’s not like Ohio Stadium was half empty for Ohio State’s game with Troy, close to 103,000 fans still showed up, but it wasn’t filled to capacity and it was the smallest crowd in years. Had the Buckeyes beaten USC, the place would’ve been jammed for Troy.

Die-hard Buckeye fans probably dismiss the no-shows as the bandwagon riders who no one wants around anyway, but it does go to show that the entire program is a general malaise and appears to be shell-shocked after the three high-profile beatings in the last 20 months. It also goes to show how quickly things can turn for a program that’s in desperate need of some positive PR.

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.

- It’s working. Georgia Tech new rushing attack rumbled for 438 yards on a Mississippi State defense that held Auburn to 161 yards and Louisiana Tech to 94.
- This week’s edition of What I’m Going To Change My Name To: Tulsa’s fantastic receiver Slick Shelley. Minnesota RB Shady Salamon and Southern Utah WR Tysson Poots got the honor the first two weeks.
- I dogged the WAC officials for a bad replay call against Wisconsin in its win over Fresno State. Now I have to give credit to the WAC powers-that-be for admitting the call was wrong when it could’ve easily been swept under the rug.
- Mea culpa No. 2. I joked about Jesse Palmer being added to the ESPN mix, and even though he always seems like he’s going to fire out a “duuuuude,” he’s been solid. He’s at his best when he’s dealing with Xs and Os more than when he’s in banter-mode.
- What would happen if an SEC offensive line came out and simply tried to go smashmouth? The beef and the talents are in place, especially at LSU, and it would be interesting to see more teams take advantage of the smallish, quicker SEC defenses by committing to the run no matter what.

C.O.W. shameless gimmick item … The weekly five Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world
1) Overrated: Eva Longoria ... Underrated: The law student with a French accent in the I’m A PC ad.
2) Overrated: The Ryder Cup … Underrated: The Euro
3) Overrated: Arizona State   ... Underrated: Arizona
4) Overrated: Yankee Stadium, Mickey Mantle, and Billy Crystal ... Underrated: The classic college football stadiums still serving as weekly cathedrals.
5) Overrated: The first two weeks of the ACC season ... Underrated: The ACC now and going forward

“I hearby designate   Chase Daniel, Missouri   as my First Choice to receive the Heisman Memorial Trophy awarded to the most outstanding college football player in the United States for 2008. The the best of my knowledge he conforms to the rules governing this vote.”

My Second Choice Is:
 Javon Ringer, Michigan State  
My Third Choice Is: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma

“You know I'm born to lose, and gambling's for fools/But that's the way I like it baby, I don't wanna live forever” … The three lines this week that appear to be a tad off. As always, I went 1-2 (and 4-8 overall), which is impressive that I can do this each and every week considering I’m over .500 against the spread on the Expert Picks. I press on … 1) Arkansas State +1 over Memphis, 2) Colorado +6 over Florida State, 3) UCF -5 over UTEP

Last Week: 1) West Virginia -3 over Colorado (Loss), 2) Ohio +11 over Northwestern (Win), 3) Rutgers -5 over Navy (Loss)

Sorry this column sucked, but it wasn’t my fault … as if the column wasn't bad enough, now I feel worse after getting slapped in the head by Rutgers QB Mike Teel.