Cavalcade of Whimsy - The Tebow Motivation
Florida QB Tim Tebow
Florida QB Tim Tebow
Posted Dec 9, 2008

LET'S GO! READ THIS COLUMN!!! C'MON! LET'S GO! YEAH!!! Motivated yet? The Tim Tebow fire-up factor, ten things to watch for this bowl season, and more LET'S GO perfect cheers to get you amped up so you'll try harder the rest of the day in this week's Cavalcade of Whimsy.

Fiu's Cavalcade of Whimsy ... Dec. 9

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 | Week 4
- Week 5
| Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10
- Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14

If this column sucks, it’s not my fault … I wasn't properly motivated. If only I had someone to scream "let's go" over and over and over ....

And by the way, THAT … WAS … PAINT
In case you haven’t heard, Tim Tebow is William Wallace, Albert Schweitzer, and Frank T.J. Mackey all wrapped in one big, messy package.

Media, coaches, and everyone surrounding college football, I’m begging you to quit with the insufferable fawning and deification of Tebow like Dick Vitale and the college hoops-types like to do with Tyler Hansbrough, a marginally talented, grindy player who’ll make a nice living sitting on someone’s NBA bench. Tebow is a better football player than Hansbrough is a college basketball player, but running around and screaming “let’s go” all the time and getting in players’ faces doesn’t make him special. It makes him annoying.

Florida is loaded with high character leaders who don’t spew out clichés and high school we-got-spirit-how-bout-you caliber schlock. Tebow is a great player. A once-in-a-generation player who epitomizes everything that college football should be about? No, that’s probably Florida State’s Myron Rolle. The greatest leader in college football history? Vince Young, Tommie Frazier, Nile Kinnick, Sammy Baugh, Red Grange, Jim Brown, Jim Thorpe, and a slew of others might have something to say in that debate. Let Tebow be a special player. Let him be in the discussion of the greatest college quarterbacks ever. Don’t force anything more than that.

Tebow Hansbrough motivational leadership, take one … “Let’s go! Quit reading this column and get back to work. Those TPS reports aren’t going to write themselves! Let’s go! C’mon! God bless.”

“Honey, Frank the Tank is not coming back, okay? That part of me is over. It's water under the bridge.” … How many times was it said last week that Alabama had an “old school” offensive line? The idea was to point out how it’s a tough, hard-nosed offensive front that likes to pound away for the running game. Of course, if it really was a true old-school Alabama line, there’d be no Antoine Caldwell or Andre Smith because they’re, um, uh, big. Yeah, that’s it. A true old-school line would be about 250 pounds per man.

But he knows how to get to Miami … Does Frank Beamer get credit for figuring out that Tyrod Taylor was the best quarterback, and the best offensive player, on the Virginia Tech roster, or does he get dogged for wanting to redshirt him to start the season?

Tebow Hansbrough motivational leadership, take two … “You got the missus a toaster for her birthday? To your wife and everyone in Gator Nation, um, you know what, I’m sorry. I’m extremely sorry. We were hoping to get her a better present, and an undefeated season. That was our goal, something Florida’s never done here.”

Like the guy has time to watch a whole playoff … How does an African-American Democrat from Hawaii by way of Chicago become the guy the red staters would want to have a beer with? Easy. Go to the most politically safe, folksy, Joe the Plumber debate there could possibly be. Who likes chocolate chip cookies? Who’s for more flags and more honoring of the troops? Who wants a playoff in college football?

The guy's the smartest one in the room, any room, for a reason. You don't talk your way into being the President of the United States without knowing exactly what you're saying at all times, and why. This is a designed side rant that he knows will unite the country. Obama couldn’t go NASCAR; too obvious and too obscure for anyone who lives in a city. He couldn’t take on the steroids issue in baseball and the NFL; too polarizing and too vague. How about the idea of early entry when it comes to the NBA? Whatever. By championing a college football playoff on 60 Minutes, he was crafting out his image every bit as much as he did with the whole First Dog storyline. It’s brilliant, and it still has fans buzzing weeks after the interview, but don’t think that anything is going to come of it.

My bailout plan to save us all from incessant whining about how much the system sucks … Continuing to stay on point, I’m going to continue to stump for my playoff dream until it happens. The six BCS conference winners, the top ranked non-BCS school, and the top remaining team that doesn’t fall under the first two categories as a catch-all in cases like this season. Starting December 29th, No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 8 seeded Virginia Tech; No. 2 Florida vs. No. 7 seeded Cincinnati; No. 3 seed Texas vs. No. 6 seed Penn State; No. 4 seed USC vs. No. 5 seed Utah. December

Tebow Hansbrough motivational leadership, take three … “C’mon, let’s go! Those shoes don’t go with your belt. And you’re wearing your hat backwards?! Let’s step it up! C’mon. Let’s go! God bless.”

Caffey: Then why the two orders?
Jessup: Men can do things on their own.
Caffey: But your men never did. Your men obey orders. So Santiago wasn't in danger, right? …
Urban Meyer went on the Mike Tirico show and gushed over the way Tebow led the way to a late scoring drive in the first half against Florida State. Meyer said that coming up with a five-play, 76-yard touchdown march in just 1:03 in monsoon conditions was one of the most impressive things he has ever seen (much, much more on this drive in an article later this week). Okay, then if you have unflinching confidence in your Heisman-caliber quarterback and your high-powered offense, then why wuss out at the end of the first half against Alabama?

Up 17-10 with over a minute to play in the half and with all the timeouts left, Meyer chose to let the clock run to go into the locker room with the lead rather than call a timeout before the Bama punt. Florida ended up getting the ball on its own 31 with 14 seconds left when it could’ve been able to go for late points had there been time left on the clock. And remember, this was in dome and not the quagmire of Tallahassee. So either a) Meyer never really thought his team could lose to Florida State and he was showing respect for Bama, b) was full of beans when he praised Tebow’s drive against FSU and was worried that his infallible quarterback was going to throw a pick, or c) he screwed up.

And about the Auburn job … just walk away … just walk away …
It’s generally acknowledged that Bill Snyder did the greatest job in the history of college coaching by turning around Kansas State. I’d argue that Barry Alvarez did a better job, and accomplished far, far more by creating a woeful Wisconsin program from scratch, but I digress. Turner Gill’s job with Buffalo has to be in the team photo. UB won 12 games in eight years since moving up to the FBS/D-I ranks, but under Gill’s reign the Bulls have won 13 games and a MAC title in the last two years. Not enough love is being given to the win over an unbeaten Ball State.

Tebow Hansbrough motivational leadership, take four …  “C’mon. Let’s go! No mayo on that chicken sandwich. We can do better than that. The effort has to be better. Let’s go! Get a salad and Diet Coke. And I said the non-fat latte … THE NON-FAT LATTE … C’mon! God bless.”

Anyway, the good Lord would never disrupt ...the best game of my life. I'm infallible, young fella! Come on! One more hole!” Reason I’m a horrible, horrible person part one. I have a big problem with the entire concept of combining prayer with a sporting event unless it’s asking for everyone to stay healthy. 1) It assumes the Supreme Being is picking sides. 2) It assumes that if you do well, God is for you, but if you screw up, then all bets are off. And 3), if you succeed, God is making you better, as opposed to everyone else who spent hours upon hours of hitting the weights, practicing, and studying in order to prepare for the game.

With that in mind, I always root for players to make plays and to not screw up. I hate to see kickers miss and for quarterbacks to meltdown like Tulsa’s David Johnson did in the Conference USA title game loss to Tulsa with five interceptions and with the offense turning it over seven times. Even so, with the Golden Hurricane down 27-24 and still able to overcome the disastrous day, there was a sideline shot of Johnson in deep prayer/meditation that was played up/exploited by ESPN before the final ill-fated drive. Johnson’s receiver fell, hurt himself, and East Carolina came up with its fifth pick to seal the game.

“This is pretty sweet. Free clothing. Look at this stuff. Chicks in New York paying top dollar for this garbage.” … Reason I’m a horrible, horrible person part two. No wonder Army got shut out by Navy; it was wearing awful, awful camouflage uniforms. If the entire idea of camouflage is to conceal and be hidden, then how were the quarterbacks supposed to complete a pass or make a pitch?

Tebow Hansbrough motivational leadership, take five …  “That camouflage blurb was awful! Let's go! The lines have to be better than that ... it was a good concept that went nowhere. Let's go! C’mon! God bless.”

The C.O.W. airing of the grievances followed by the feats of strength
Prove it time. Fair not, the bowl season often answers several questions raised during the season. Which conferences are for real? Which teams can validate their seasons with a big win, and which seasons all of a sudden go from impressive to disappointing because of a glorified exhibition game. Here are the 11 biggest questions, storylines, and/or thoughts heading into the bowl season.

11. Can the “little guy” play?
All eyes will be on Utah in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama. After what happened in last year’s Sugar Bowl debacle, with Hawaii getting blasted by Georgia, Utah has to at least make this competitive. It’s not quite fair, but a blowout loss would hurt the non-BCS league’s cause going forward; they non-BCSers have to keep winning. There are six other matchups between BCS and non-BCS teams. Out of the six, Buffalo will need a miracle to beat Connecticut in the International Bowl, Nevada needs to beat Maryland in the Humanitarian, BYU has to beat Arizona in the Las Vegas, East Carolina has to beat Kentucky in the Liberty, Memphis will have a tough time with South Florida in the St. Petersburg, and Navy has to find a way to win the rematch against a struggling Wake Forest.

10. Does the Georgia Tech offense really work?
The nation’s third leading rushing attack, the option, tore up North Carolina for 326 yards, ran through Miami for 472 yards and four touchdowns, and shocked Georgia for 409 yards and five scores. Those teams had to deal with the Yellow Jackets at the end of a long season and only had a little while to prepare. LSU will have a month before the Chick-fil-A Bowl. If Tech runs wild again, then Paul Johnson’s attack might start to become more fashionable.

9. Is the Pac 10 really that bad?
It was an awful year for just about everyone in the Pac 10 other than USC. Hurt mostly by the nightmare up in Washington and Washington State, the league got even less respect than usual on a national scale. Just as USC how the BCS standings shook out. Penn State will give the Trojans a defensive battle in the Rose Bowl, while Arizona vs. BYU in the Las Vegas, Oregon vs. Oklahoma State in the Holiday, and Oregon State vs. Pitt in the Sun will all be challenges.  California has to win the home game over Miami in the Emerald.

8. Notre Dame going forward
Merry Christmas to the Hawaii Bowl. Had Hawaii not been bowl eligible, this might have been the least attended bowl of the bunch. Not only does the game get its hometown Warriors, instead of a team like Western Michigan, it gets Notre Dame and all the national attention that comes with it. Hawaii always looks to make a statement in games like this, while the Irish have to set the tone for the BCS or Bust 2009 campaign. This is the first game since Charlie Weis got his stay of execution, and his team needs to show up to prove it was a good move.

7. The economy and the empty seat
Few things are more demoralizing than watching a game that no one’s at. If the fans of the teams aren’t going to show up, then why should I care about the bowl when I could be spending my time doing something remotely more productive? That’s your “too many bowls” argument. It’s not that having a bazillion bowls is really that big a deal, outside of giving non-college football fans something to smugly rip on in order to appear to have an opinion, it’s that the ones that do exist don’t really mean much except to the gambler, the superfan, or the incredibly bored. Watching a game with a sold out crowd makes the event seem more worthwhile. However, with the economy in the tank and leisure travel diminishing, fewer and fewer fans are going to drop the few thousand dollars for all that’s entailed in going to a bowl game. That’s why there were more home game bowls this year (Rice in the Texas Bowl, Louisiana Tech in the Independence, and Georgia Tech in the Chick-fil-A are just a few), and that includes the national championship with the Miami location a dream for Florida. If ticket sales are a disaster across the board, there could quickly be a shift in the bowl structure as even more pressure will be on the TV dollars rolling in. ESPN is going to want the top matchups and they’re going to want to make sure there are butts in the seats.
6. Is the SEC really that bad?
Call it a cycle, call it a rebuilding year, call it an aberration. Call it flat-out bad football. Florida is great and so is Alabama. That’s about it. The rest of the league took it on the chin all season long, and now it’s time to make amends. SEC fans love to boast about the big wins in bowl games, and there will be plenty of chances to show that things weren’t that bad after all. Just because Florida might win the national title, that doesn’t mean the league was strong. Alabama has to beat Utah handily in the Sugar, but Vanderbilt will have its hands full with a Boston College team that deserved better than the Music City. LSU gets to deal with Georgia Tech’s offense in the Chick-fil-A, while South Carolina has to get past the Clemson loss by beating Iowa in the Outback. Georgia needs to get healthy and beat Michigan State in the Capital One or Big Ten fans will live off this win for the next nine months. Kentucky can’t lose to East Carolina in the Liberty, while Ole Miss might be overmatched against Texas Tech in the Cotton. Set the bar at 5-2 for the SEC.

Tebow Hansbrough motivational leadership, take six …  “Let’s go! Call your mom. C’mon! She ate relatively healthy and stopped smoking for seven of the nine months while you were growing inside! Let’s go! Get her some flowers. C’mon! God bless.”

5. If you’re going to have a minor bowl game …
… it had better be high-scoring. Leave the defense to the Rose Bowl. The GMAC Bowl needs to be fun, fun, fun for you to care, and you should with Tulsa battling with Ball State’s attack. The Armed Forces Bowl will be worth the watch on New Year’s Eve Day as Air Force gets a rematch with Houston after a 31-28 Falcon win earlier in the season. Air Force ran for 380 yards and four touchdowns, while Houston threw for 362 yards and four scores. You don’t know it yet, but you’re going to be talking about the Florida Atlantic – Central Michigan Motor City Bowl shootout, while Rice and Western Michigan are going to combine for 700 passing yards in the Texas Bowl.

4. Texas Tech’s offense vs. Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl
The forgotten element in the 45-35 debate, remember, Texas Tech tied for the Big 12 title, too. This has been a phenomenal breakthrough season for the program, but a loss to Ole Miss could be devastating. The team has to show that it wasn’t all a mirage, but it’ll have deal with the best defensive line it’s faced all year.

3. Is this when the ACC makes a statement?
This was the best league in the country when it came to non-conference wins, and it wasn’t even close. There wasn’t the killer statement win, but there were a whole bunch of Wake Forest over Ole Miss-type of mid-level victories that added up. Still, there’s still a segment of the college football world that would like to see the ACC lose its automatic BCS bid. After all, Virginia Tech? The Hokies have to break the recent ACC BCS game slump, while there must be some big wins to generate a buzz, and a reputation, going into next year.

Wake Forest can’t lose to Navy in the EagleBank, Florida State needs to use its great run defense to stop Wisconsin in the Champs Sports, Miami will have a tough time against Cal in its home bowl, the Emerald, North Carolina has to win its home game over West Virginia in the Meineke Car Care, NC State has to slow down Rutgers in the PapaJohn’s, Maryland can’t lose to Nevada and its running game in the Humanitarian, Boston College’s defense has to stuff Vandy in the Music City, Clemson has to prove it’s for real against Nebraska in the Gator, and Georgia Tech faces a nasty test against Georgia in the Chick-fil-A. That’s 10 bowl games, and the ACC has to win at least six of them.

2. Ohio State, and in general, the Big Ten
The Big Ten has been better in the bowls than it’s been given credit for, but it could really, really use a big bowl season to overcome the horrendous national reputation. Culprit No. 1 is Ohio State, who doesn’t get any sort of a break despite losing its last two bowl games against the best teams in America. It doesn’t have to beat Texas in the Fiesta, but it has to be close.

The Big Ten desperately needs to do something right in the Rose Bowl, and Penn State has a better shot than you think against USC. Wisconsin can make up for an awful regular season with a win over Florida State in the Champs Sports, but don’t expect anything out of Northwestern against Missouri. Minnesota has to overcome a disastrous final few games against Kansas in the Insight, Iowa has to prove it deserved the New Year’s Day bowl over Northwestern by beating South Carolina in the Outback, and Michigan State needs to pound away on Georgia in the Capital One. Ask for 5-2, expect 3-4.

1. Did Texas deserve to play for the national title?
It’s a fight I lose every March. It’s my belief that the only team with a legitimate beef for being left out of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is the winner of the NIT, while I also believe that if a team wins its first round game in the big tourney, it justified the selection. For Texas to have any legitimate beef for the rest of eternity about getting screwed out of the Big 12 title shot, it needs to wipe the Glendale turf with Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Lose, and there’s no complaint. If you can’t beat Ohio State, then why should anyone think you could beat Florida?

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.

- Fun stat for the week: Oklahoma and Missouri combined to convert 23-of-34 third down chances. That’s really, really good.

- Sarkisian vs. Kiffin, Kiffin vs. Sarkisian. If these two fail at their new gigs, USC might not ever get another assistant coach hired for a big gig. Nick Holt gave up on Idaho, Ed Orgeron was canned at Ole Miss (after recruiting his tail off), and Norm Chow didn’t work out for the Tennessee Titans.

- Texas players always stick around. The place has a hold on its players. Roy Williams, Ricky Williams, Cedric Benson, Quentin Jammer, and the list goes on and on of players who could’ve left early for the big payday, but didn’t. Even so, it wouldn’t be stunning if Colt McCoy reversed field and chose to turn pro after all, especially if by some miracle Matthew Stafford and Sam Bradford stick around.

Tulsa didn’t fill its home stadium for the Conference USA title game. Ford Field was mostly empty for the MAC Championship. Whole sections were there for the taking at the ACC title game. And you wonder why the Fiesta Bowl was interested in Ohio State?

Awards voters, quit being so wishy-washy. You wanted Oklahoma vs. Florida in the national title, and you got what you wanted. Now vote accordingly when it comes to the post-season awards. Tebow isn’t even among the finalists for the Davey O’Brien award for the nation’s best quarterback. Meanwhile, Colt McCoy was the AP Big 12 Player of the Year, but Sam Bradford was the First Team All-Big 12 quarterback.

- If Detroit gets the first pick in the draft, as expected, it then becomes a question of how much Stafford can get up front. If you’ve invested in a wide receiver with the upside of Calvin Johnson, you have to give him someone who can deliver the ball.

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

My Second Choice Is:  Sam Bradford, Oklahoma 
My Third Choice Is: Colt McCoy, Texas

I agonized over this between all three players. I voted for Tebow because I believe he, at the moment, is the signature player of the 2008 season as a combination of the most outstanding and the most valuable player. Take McCoy off Texas and the Horns are probably 9-3 and they still wouldn’t have made it to the national title. I know I’ll get blasted for this, but take Bradford off Oklahoma and the Sooners are 12-1, Big 12 champions, and on the way to the national championship. With that said, I want the right to change my vote after the BCS Championship. If Bradford is great and OU wins, he’d be my pick.

“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.

2-1 for a fifth week in a row?! Get those traders back in here! Turn those machines back on! TURN THOSE MACHINES BACK ON! … I rally to close out the regular season 20-24-1 overall, which isn’t bad considering where I was six weeks ago.

I press on by taking the three bowl games I’m sure of  … 1) BYU +3 over Arizona, 2) Notre Dame +1.5 over Hawaii, 3) Louisiana Tech -2 over Northern Illinois

Last Week: 1) East Carolina +13.5 over Tulsa (WIN), 2) Oklahoma -17 over Missouri (WIN), 3) Cincinnati -7.5 over Hawaii (LOSS)

Sorry this column sucked, but it wasn’t my fault … Tommy Tuberville’s mom said Auburn said it was awful and that I didn’t resign to the fact that it sucked.