Cavalcade of Whimsy
Jan. 19 - Part 2
Jan 19, Part
1 - Oh those wacky coaches
The C.O.W. airing of the grievances followed by the feats of strength
The ten things I’m grouchy about at the end of the 2009 college football season …
10. Urban Meyer’s post-Sugar Bowl press conference.
Who in that room was applauding? I’m not one of these old fart never-cheer-in-the-pressbox kind of writers, but what happened in the press conference after Florida’s Sugar Bowl win over Cincinnati was downright embarrassing. Meyer sat there reading off Tim Tebow’s stats and accomplishments, and the press in the room started clapping as if this was The Price Is Right and he was reading off what someone won in the showcase showdown. We all know that Tebow had one of the great careers in college football history, but that’s our job to point that out. It’s not the media’s job to act like some booster club.
9. The NFL.
I don’t want to hear any more gabbing about how bad the bowls were (unless it’s done by me). The NFL playoffs are abysmal, and even the interesting moments are only decent because of bad, dumb, weird football in an abyss of crap. But we have to watch because it’s the NFL playoffs and there’s nothing else to do. As if the games weren’t bad enough, soon there might not be anything NFL on at all because of a small group of greedy owners ready to lock out the players in the near future in an attempt to become more like baseball, with the idea of revenue sharing likely to go bye-bye. The implosion will come after an uncapped year with no ceiling on what a team can spend, and with no floor, too. What it’ll all mean is more bad football for a league that’s all about fantasy football as much as the on-field product.
8. The broken down system
The system almost melted down, and that would’ve been a good thing.
Sort of like the fan of a mediocre team who wants to see his team lose so it can fire the coach and bring in someone better in a one-step-back, giant-leap-forward type of thing, college football fans needed Hunter Lawrence to miss the kick that allowed Texas go win the Big 12 title game and get into the national championship. If Texas would’ve lost, then we it would’ve been an Alabama-Cincinnati national title and a lot of grouchy people would be whiny after the blowout.
Better yet, fans needed a Nebraska win over Texas and Pitt hanging on to beat the Bearcats. That would’ve either meant 1) an Alabama-TCU national title, which would’ve advanced the cause of the non-BCSers, or 2) TCU would’ve gotten snubbed by some gerrymandering in the human polls to make sure the Tide played a one-loss Texas or had a rematch with Florida, which would then have exposed the BCS as only being about its six money leagues and would’ve further enraged Congress to the point where real change might have occurred.
Better yet, Texas needed to lose and Alabama needed to lose to Auburn before whumping Florida to create the possibility of a TCU-Cincinnati national title, which would’ve sent the SEC types through the roof, or an Alabama-Cincinnati national title which would’ve given the non-BCS types a conniption. Instead, there was no chaos, there will be no change, and we got Texas vs. Alabama with everyone having to begrudgingly say the BCS got it right when the system really dodged a dangerous bullet.
7. Greg McElroy’s ribs compared to Colt McCoy’s arm.
Bama fans, stop trying to explain away the McCoy injury as being anything less than the biggest of big breaks your team could’ve dreamed of. Yeah, starting QB Greg McElroy was playing with injured ribs, but they weren’t a factor. McElroy was a non-issue completing 6-of-11 passes for 58 yards when all he had to do was turn around and hand the ball off. Alabama could’ve won without McElroy, especially considering McCoy’s injury.
6. Whining about the Mountain West not being in the BCS
This has nothing to do with TCU losing to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. The Mountain West had a nice bowl season with BYU, Utah, Wyoming and Air Force looking great, and even with the dud of a showing against the Broncos, the Horned Frogs absolutely deserved to be in the BCS. But still, Mountain West backers are still chirping about the idea of wanting an automatic inclusion into the BCS without realizing that the league already is, basically, the seventh BCS conference.
With ten spots available, and with the rules in place to all but make sure that a non-BCS team gets in each and every season, the Mountain West’s biggest competition is Boise State year in and year out for a spot in the BCS. Man up, Mountain West top teams, and put the Broncos on the schedule and take care of business yourself. They’ll come to your house. Make them an offer. Wyoming, beat Boise on September 18 in Laramie and the Mountain West champion will almost certainly be in the BCS.
5. “The people at the (insert bowl here) do such a wonderful job.”
It doesn’t matter if it’s the Rose or the GMAC or the EagleBank or the Fiesta, every announcing team during every bowl game feels the need to gush about what a great job the organizers did with that particular game. Forget that a Quiet Riot reunion (minus Kevin DuBrow, of course) would’ve put more butts in the seats than Central Michigan vs. Troy, and forget that most of the bowls had plenty of tickets still for the taking, everyone did a wonderful job! There are a few big meals, the players are forced to visit a bunch of sick kids, there are a few parting gifts, and a game. Whoopee.
4. Oh yeah, those parting gifts.
Give a player $420 for a no-show job and the vacated wins are sure to follow. Give a player a $420 gift card to Best Buy and you’re the Champs Sports and Capital One Bowls.
Bowl games should give away a t-shirt, a mug, and a pen with the bowl logos on them. They shouldn’t give away a Flo TV personal TV, like the Holiday Bowl, a recliner, like the Sugar, or any one of the variety of prize packages the NCAA allows to be given away because of corporate sponsorship ties. Boosters, fans, agents, and anyone who wants to should be able to give players anything for whatever reason they want to. If you disagree, then bring it up to the NCAA for allowing all the swag to go to the players in lieu of real, live paychecks for being the reason anyone watches these things.
3. That blind kid who loves USC.
It was impossible to not get a lump in the throat while hearing about or watching the heart-ripping piece about 12-year-old Jake Olson, the uber-fan of the Trojans who lost his sight to cancer. While he still had one good eye left, Pete Carroll had allowed Olson to be a part of the USC program from the inside and he got to experience something really, really cool before losing his sight. From here on, though, enough with the sideline interviews with him. At this point, anyone doing a piece or an interview with him is doing nothing more than exploiting a blind kid for forced emotional sentiment. And no, it’s not really cute to hear him stumble through his take on the team.
2. “Who wouldn’t want their kid to be Tim Tebow?” – Urban Meyer
Uhhhhh, me. My two-year-old daughter has a better pro throwing motion, and I’m actually not joking. She has a tight, compact throwing style and gets the ball out of her hand a split-second before her older sister earholes her with a Mulan doll.
Forgetting that no, I really don’t want my kids to grow up to be like Tim Tebow for a variety of reasons, the bigger issue, and the biggest indictment of Meyer as a talent developer, is that Tebow never changed the long, looping throwing motion that doesn’t work at the next level and is knocking him down several pegs. Really, it’s not that hard to spend a few months in the off-season doing the basic technique work to become a more fluid NFL passer, and now Tebow will have to undergo a crash course in Pro Passing 101 to undo a lifetime of muscle memory.
There’s a reason the pros want things to be done a certain way; they work better. Oh sure, Tebow could get away with hanging on to the ball for 14 minutes a throw in college, but over four years he needed to show some more improvement in his pro style. This doesn’t just go for Tebow, this goes for all players who need to do something drastic to change the way they play. That’s why there needs to be more evaluation and more communication from the NFL advisory board and from the pro GMs and scouts.
The NFL would love to get more pro-ready players from the college ranks, and it should be allowed and encouraged to provide the feedback needed so players can realistically know where they stand. Some players will be told to work more on their history exam, because they don’t have pro talent. Some will be told to do something small technique-wise that could turn out to make a big difference. Some will be given hard, tough advice about needing to get stronger or quicker or more consistent, and the college coaches should love this because it might motivate the stars into becoming even better.
1. The 2009 college football season
They can’t all be winners.
It was a sucky college football season that found new levels of suckdom just when it seemed like it couldn’t suck any more … unless you’re an Alabama fan.
The Heisman race that was supposed to be an all-timer fizzled from the start with Sam Bradford injuring his shoulder, Tim Tebow injuring his brain and missing his two NFL wide receivers, Louis Murphy and Percy Harvin, and Colt McCoy coming up with mediocre performances in the biggest games. That left us with a bunch of Yeah, Fine, Whatever candidates and a decent winner in Mark Ingram, but one who won mostly because he fell under the Best Player, Best Team category.
The national title race that was supposed to have weekly jockeying of superpowers quickly came down to a fight between Florida, Alabama, and Texas to see who could simply survive against a slew of stunningly average teams.
The SEC was awful outside of the top teams, the Big 12 was an utter disaster, and the Pac 10 was a fraud exposed badly by the bowl season. How much did all the conferences suck? The Big Ten might have been the nation’s best league when all was said and done, and not because it was so be-all-end-all great.
The biggest games (USC-Ohio State, Texas-Oklahoma, Florida-Georgia/Tennessee/LSU) were bad, the bowl games were worse, with the best games played mostly by the worst teams, and the BCS was awful with TCU and Boise State putting on an offensive suckfest that set the non-BCS cause back a few years. Iowa and Georgia Tech only got good once the Hawkeyes took the foot off the gas,
the Rose Bowl was fine, but not necessarily full of high-level play, and
the Sugar Bowl was an embarrassment to the system and an indictment of how moronic the BCS really is. And, of course, there was the suckiest end to the suckiest season with the most unsatisfying of endings.
It’s not that Alabama didn’t deserve the national title and, of course, the team doesn’t have to apologize for Texas relying so much on one player, but it’s hard to jump up and down over our national champion when the biggest key to the game, McCoy, was out before the show got started.
It sucks that a great Tide team will always have a “Yyyyeahhhh, but …” attached to its national title by everyone outside of the greater Tuscaloosa metropolitan area. It sucks that McCoy’s right arm was the story over Bama’s triumphant return to glory. And it sucks even more that the Tide’s glorious moment was almost immediately forgotten by the sports world thanks to all the nutty coaching issues.
Adding to the suckfest that was the 2009 season was the continued sucking sound heard by the BCS powers-that-be, now led by corporate shill, Bill Hancock, who took belittling to a new level by daring to insult the intelligence of the fans who see through his line of horse cookies when explaining why there can’t be a college football playoff. Making it worse is that ESPN won’t and can’t call him out on his lies because it is the BCS over the next several years.
It was a sucky, sucky, sucky season that will quickly be forgotten once 2010 is much better (and it has already gotten off to a rousing start), and then there will be constant reminders of the suck as photos of Bama fans posing with the BCS egg/football thing at a Tuscaloosa Wal-Mart start to infiltrate the Internet.
Just over seven months before the 2010 season can redeem the world, but the offseason will be pretty fun, too.
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.
- NHL, if your Winter Classic thing is so interesting, then do it more than once a year. Allow every team with the right climate to be able to play an outdoor game. It’s the only interesting thing the league does at the moment.
- No, people, Boise State won’t be the second best team in America going into the 2010 season. The Broncos will have another strong record no matter what happens early on against Virginia Tech, and they’ll be good enough to get back to the BCS, but pre-2010 No. 2, as many are ranking them, off an ugly win over TCU, helped by yet another gimmicky trick play, is trying to make a statement without really looking at who the most talented teams really are. The WAC is still the WAC.
- It was unquestionably the best moment of the bowl season. As the Florida band came out during halftime of the Sugar Bowl, the announcer yelled out, “And here’s the Pride of the Sunshine” just as Fox had a perfect shot of a double-wide butt parked in front of the camera.
Sorry this column sucked, it wasn’t my fault … I just got out of the closet and my concussion is still giving me problems.
Thank you so much, as always, for all of your input and all of your comments throughout the season. I’ll be back time and again through the offseason, and I’m sorry that those columns will suck, too.
Jan 19, Part
1 - Oh those wacky coaches