BCS on Fox=EPIC FAIL
Not since the decision to yank Family Guy for That '80s Show (among others) has a broadcasting company made such a mockery of its programming. Not only does the network not cover college football on a regular basis (save the small talk around the couches on Sunday afternoons to discuss the BCS standings with the NFL crew), but the hit parade of play-by-play and color commentators was terrible. The camera work was awkward, the graphics were cheesy, and the commentary was subpar for the (alleged) elite games of the college football season. Fox should stick to ruining shows like 24 and American (Sham) Idol. Just leave college football to the other networks. Except CBS – you suck, too!
Florida’s Run Is far From Over
Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes are probably gone. Phil Trautwein and Jason Watkins on the offensive line are gone. However, the Gators return a bunch of the defensive starters and a group of younger guys began to assert their influence on the offensive side late in the season. Dan Mullen, offensive coordinator who will take over head coaching at Mississippi State, is a loss, but Meyer has proven he can put the right assistants in place to make that machine work. Charlie Strong (defensive coordinator) is coming back. In his month of prep time, he dismantled a much ballyhooed Oklahoma offense, proving once again how valuable he can be. Plus that Tim Tebow guy is solid, I think. *wink wink, nudge nudge
Pete Carroll and Southern California=Bridesmaids More than Brides
Pete Carroll and USC may go down in history as the best almost team ever. No other team gets the love from the pundits only to not finish number 1. No doubt that the SC defense is loaded with potential NFL talent. The offense, while up and down some this season, has a backfield with more stars than the latest Paramount Pictures release. However, with the notable exceptions of 2004 and 2005 (with a win in ’04 and a close loss in ’05 championship games), USC can be counted on to blow a game to the middle of the road team each year. Until the Pac-10 expands or brings in better teams (Utah would be a good start), USC may be on the outside looking in for a while. I am also beginning to think Pete Carroll may never go back to the NFL and I cannot say I blame him.
6-6 vs. 7-5 is BORING!
Sorry, but there is nothing interesting about these games played all over the map in late December. Outside of the local area of the schools, no one cares nationally either. And the money is not even that great on lesser bowls, so I still challenge the worthwhile of such games and matchups.
David Is Killing Goliath on a Regular Basis
We all remember that epic Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and Oklahoma. We all remember that big West Virginia win against the Sooners as well. (What’s up with you in the BCS, Bob Stoops?) This year we got Utah over Alabama. While this is fun (especially for fans of the David team), it is also as played out as flannel board lesson plans. I can also argue that Oregon State over Southern California is another example, except Oregon State is a little bigger deal than Utah – for now. Point is, the “big boys” of college football should make some room at the table for smaller programs who are consistently in your face and putting up impressive wins and seasons.
Youth is No Excuse for Not Winning
Florida won a BCS Championship with a load of freshmen and sophomores. Alabama won 12 games playing a bunch of freshmen. Notre Dame, Auburn, and many others blame problems on youth, inexperience, and lack of depth. Give me a break! It is simply a matter of coaches who can, well, coach! It also says if a team consistently brings in top talent, they will be successful fast. I believe the days of bringing in talent that needs to be coached up without a few stars in the mix are pretty much over. As I wrote in a previous entry, successful teams recruit some serious star players to go along with the other guys to fill out the roster. They also coach extremely well when it matters most.
Coaches Be Warned – Institutions Are Not Playing Around
In the best We’re Not Gonna Take It moment of 2008, Boston College Athletic Director Gene De Filippo fired Head Coach Jeff Jagodzinski for looking at greener pastures (if that is what you can call the NY Jets) and violating a clause in his contract. In December 2007, West Virginia sued former coach Rich Rodriguez laying the precedent for this move by Boston College. BC and AD Filippo’s move was met with a lot of support. That gives me hope for the country; maybe we have not completely lost our minds by having our higher education institutions hold employees to their word and contract. What a concept!
Though this year was not the most exciting and ended with a bit of a fizzle in the bowls, college football continues to grow its fan base and is certainly worth watching to see what the 2009 season holds.