A little research into the archives here and I see that I used to talk about college football quite a bit. This year, if you take away Andrew Luck speculation, you’ve got a giant doughnut in that category. The goose egg. I’m not sure what my problem is. Perhaps if Penn State can finally shake Joe Pa and rebuild a national power I can go back to my de facto fandom of the Nittany Lions. I say this as Penn State currently boasts one of the worst 7-1 teams of all-time. No false hopes of Rose Bowl glory here.
Maybe the reason I don’t talk about college football that much anymore is that the stories seem to keep repeating themselves. Some program is in trouble with the NCAA. Some SEC school is dominating the polls, and everyone still hates the BCS. That’s about it, right? The venom for the BCS standings ripened early this year. I think the poll has been out for a grand total of 2-weeks and already we’re developing worst case scenarios–Rick Reilly says 43 teams could go undefeated, then what? I understand the desire to point at the flaws of the system as soon as possible, because everyone hates it, but the BCS can’t really get it wrong until the last week of the season. That’s when we’ll know which teams got screwed. You’ve got give them a chance to buckle.
One thing I do like about college football is the volatility at the top of the rankings. I love how everyone perceives a team to be a sure thing and then they just throw in that stink bomb as college teams are prone to do and it turns the rankings on their head. I love those weekends when 3 of the top-5 teams lose and it sends everyone scuffling to recreate national title scenarios. The reason I like it is because people seem to fall irrationally in love with college teams. If a college team starts 5-0 we just fast forward them to 12-0. They’re great. They win by 40 points a week. No one can beat them. Then, they lose to Michigan State on a Hail Mary. Whoops.
I guess it’s that element of college football where you have to go undefeated. If the Packers start 12-0 and then lose the next week it doesn’t matter. If a college team does that, it could ruin their whole season. I get that part of college football’s appeal, and I appreciate the do-or-die nature of all these games. We’ve got to let the teams finish ruining their seasons, though, before we tear apart the BCS. They’ll be plenty of time to do that people, relax. I guarantee Boise gets screwed again. Save your breath.
What I’m saying is, let’s make sure Clemson is going to go undefeated before we start lamenting their fate. I’m fairly sure they might lose a game somewhere down the line here, and we won’t have to worry about it. That pains me to say, because no one is a bigger Dabo Swinney fan than this guy, but let’s relax on the Clemson Tigers for a few seconds.
That isn’t to say the BCS doesn’t have flaws. My personal favorite glitch for this week has Nebraska sitting at #14 and Wisconsin sitting at #15. Perhaps you’ll remember the result when these teams did something revolutionary. They actually played each other. Wisconsin won 48-17. But, Nebraska is just a nose better in the BCS. Makes sense.
Then there is the whole concern over SEC bias. People are already concerned that if the Alabama/LSU game in two weeks is close that the BCS will have them play a rematch for the National title. I guess losing to LSU or Alabama is actually better for your resume than beating almost any other team in the country. The dominance of the SEC puts college football in an odd position. The Bama/LSU game could very well be the match-up of the best two teams in the country, but do you really want to promote that? If you do, you’re essentially saying that the game is for the National Championship. Again, maybe that will prove to be true, but it takes away from the rest of the season, doesn’t it? How can we get excited for Oklahoma/Oklahoma St. if both those teams are just perceived as SEC fodder?
I guess if everything plays out to form right now the National Championship game would feature the LSU/Bama winner playing Oklahoma St. Oklahoma torched their best chance on Saturday against Texas Tech. The upside of this match-up would be a lot of Mike Gundy highlights. But, who out there really thinks OSU can pull it off? They’ve got no credibility. Assuming they lose to K-State or Oklahoma, or even Texas Tech, then I guess the scenario would become either Stanford vs. the SEC winner or an SEC rematch.
Personally, I want to see Luck in the national title game. It satisfies my interest in terms of projecting Luck into the league I care about–the NFL. And, I think it will produce an uncommon level of disrespect for Stanford’s supporting cast. It will be Luck vs. LSU. Or, Luck vs. Alabama. He’ll be cast as Danny Manning, the NFL-ready stud taking the rag-tag bunch of walk-ons and castoffs down to face the team made up of all 5-star recruits. Can Stanford handle the speed of LSU? No, can Luck handle it? I would assume there would probably also be some borderline inappropriate pieces about the two schools’ academic disparity.
I realize this post was a rambling mess, but the moral was, don’t whine about college football teams that are going to lose in a couple of weeks anyway, and I want to see Luck in the national title game. Tell me why I’m wrong.