What we learned about college football this year

Coach Dooley lost more games that he already won in 2010 than any other coach.

Well another season of college football has come and gone and for most of us it has left a wake of shattered hopes and broken dreams in its path.  Auburn outlasted Oregon and won the BCS championship. However, we still do not have a national champion. This year’s bowl season only solidified the fact that we need a play-off system in our highest division of college football.  TCU, the Crimson Tide, Oklahoma, Stanford and LSU all proved that they had some great football left in them, and had we a play-off, we would have gotten to see some excellent matchups. Here’s what we learned from college football this season.

The NCAA wore its corruption and incompetence on its sleeve this year. Let’s be clear, Ohio State’s best players beat Arkansas’ best players, but the problem is five of Ohio States best players shouldn’t have been on the field. The NCAA suspended them for the first five games next year for violating NCAA rules, yet for some inexplicable reason, they allowed the players to suit up for the Sugar Bowl. Why?  Not for ethical reasons or due to strict interpretation of the rule, although they would claim otherwise.  The Sugar Bowl officials and the networks wanted the players on the field.  It was a money decision.  Without those five players, the odds would have been heavily in Arkansas’ favor to win.  So much so, fans probably wouldn’t have tuned into the game.

Jim Tressel denied his players the opportunity to deal with adversity and build character. The NCAA didn’t suspend his five players for the Sugar Bowl, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have.  If he was a real leader, and he cared about his players, he would have banned the five who violated rules from stepping on the field in the Superdome.  Instead, he demonstrated to his team that doing the right thing is fine as long as it doesn’t cost you too much and it’s not too hard.

Meanwhile, the NCAA was just as mesmerized by Cam Newton’s freakish abilities as the rest of the country. So much so that they invented a new interpretation of a very clear policy on pay-for-play violations.  Newton’s father sought money for his son’s services.  In every other similar case, that has resulted in the player being banned from playing.  But somehow, the NCAA determined in its preliminary investigation that Cam Newton knew nothing about his father’s efforts to receive money for his son’s talents.  They allowed him to continue playing. Auburn fans were ecstatic, while the rest of the country is wondering how the NCAA learned nothing from the Reggie Bush fiasco.

The University Tennessee is the master of winning and losing the same game. They stopped LSU on fourth and goal to win the game in Baton Rouge, only to have a booth review assess a penalty for too many men on the field and subsequently we all watched LSU score and win the game with no time left on the clock.  Against North Carolina in the Music City Bowl, terrible clock management saw the Tarheels run out of time before spiking the ball to stop the clock.  Volunteer fans everywhere started singing Rocky Top in victory.  But, once again, a booth review revealed that the UNC quarterback did indeed spike the ball with one second left on the clock.  The kick was made. Overtime followed.  A loss for Tennessee was imminent.

Chris Petersen of Boise State is a class act. He once again guided his Broncos to at least 12 wins.  Bigger schools came calling, but he said no (namely to Stanford).  Loyalty is so hard to find these days.  It’s nice to see that it’s not dead.

Mark Cuban is the man. He stepped up to the plate this year, and decided that if the NCAA wasn’t going to instate a playoff system, he would.  That’s right, he has enough money and connections to create a separate governing body for college football and finally give college football fans the play-off system they want and deserve.  I’m hoping he’ll keep applying the pressure to the point that the NCAA will finally cave and just do it themselves.  Rock on, Mr. Cuban.  I’m pulling for you.

You want proof that the BCS is total BS. One word, Connecticut.

There is so much more that I didn’t’ like about college football this year, but I have to admit. I was there every Saturday with my remote and my beverage watching as many snaps of the ball as I could.  I’m not happy with the people in charge, but I do love the game.   Go Vols!

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Crap! You’re going to make me defend Tim Tebow, aren’t you?

Look what you made me do! You made me put a Florida Gator on my blog! Cruel, cruel people!

I am no Tim Tebow fan.  In fact, I don’t like the guy, but I don’t like him because I’m a Tennessee fan, and my Vols could never beat him in his four years at Florida.  I respect him.  The kid can play football.  The kid can play quarterback.  He’s a leader with tremendous athletic ability.  He’s smart.  He’s the type of quarterback that can put the team on his back and will them to victory.  And this isn’t just hyperbole.  His stats back it up.

  • 9,285 Career Passing Yards
  • 88 Career TDs
  • 16 Career Interceptions
  • 66% Career Completion Percentage
  • 2,947 Career Rushing Yards
  • 57 Career Rushing TDs
  • 2 SEC Championships
  • 2 National Championships
  • 1 Heisman Trophy

Keep in mind, he did this while playing in the SEC East.  The guy put up Play Station type numbers in the toughest conference in college football.  I’m tired of hearing the pundits and experts saying he’s not going to make it in the NFL.  He’s got bad mechanics.  He’s awkward under center.  He made bad decisions in the Senior Bowl.

1.) Bad mechanics?  Have you ever seen old film of Bernie Kosar play?  He threw sidearm.  His mechanics were unbelievably bad and he threw for over 23,000 yards in his NFL career.  He actually made the Cleveland Browns a decent team.  Eli Manning’s throwing mechanics are suspect, but he’s a former Super Bowl MVP.  This mechanics business is a lot of overblown nonsense.

2.) He’s awkward under center?  Are you kidding me?  Seriously?  Gee, I wonder if there’s some magical way you can… I don’t know… do it in non-game situations and … you know, practice how to take a snap from under center.  Maybe someday they’ll invent this… practice and he can learn how to lineup under center.  Give me a break.

3.) He made bad decisions in the Senior Bowl?  You mean that game where he worked with his receivers for part of one week.  That game where his performance in practice was actually the lead story in a lot of sports casts.  By all means, let’s forget about the 88 TDs against only 16 interceptions he had in four years at the University of Florida.

Tim Tebow is a “legendary” college quarterback.  I don’t believe for a second that he can’t excel at the professional level.  If he drops to the third round, some team is getting a bargain.  Not only does he have the skills to make it, now he’s got incentive to prove everyone wrong. And even though I’m not a Tim Tebow fan now, I will be rooting for him in the NFL.  I will not be doing the Gator chomp, however.

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Buffalo Bulls Win National Championship!

Bulls QB Drew Willey was 24-36 for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win over the Gators

Bull's QB Drew Willy was 24 - 36 for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win over the Gators

In what will go down as the most bizarre play in the history of college football, Buffalo Bulls linebacker, Justin Winters stripped the ball from Gator’s quarterback, Tim Tebow on the Bulls five yard line and ran the ball 95 yards for the winning score, making the University at Buffalo’s Bulls the improbable national champions in college football.  What makes the play so bizarre is that it came about as a result of what may be Tebow’s biggest mistake in his illustrious college career.   With the ball on the five and up by four points, with eight seconds on the game clock and three seconds on the play clock, all the Gator’s quarterback had to do was take a knee and the game was over.  The ball was snapped.  Tebow took the ball from center, motioned as if he was taking a knee and then started walking to the sidelines with the ball raised high in the air with one hand.  Unnoticed by the Gator’s quarterback, the referees did not blow the whistle to signal that play was dead.  Winters broke through the line, stripped the ball from Tebow and ran it in for what was ruled a touchdown on the field.  A stunned crowd waited in silence as the replay booth took 15 minutes to review the play.  The question was whether Tebow actually took a knee.  The officials could find no conclusive evidence to overturn the ruling, giving Winters the touchdown and The Bulls the national championship.  Final score: 37-35

 

 

 

 

Reality note:  This was fun and I thank everyone who participated in the Mythical (Yet More Real Than The BCS) College Football Playoff.  In particular, the University at Buffalo Bulls fans.  You guys love your Bulls.  In total, you cast 6,507 for Turner Gill’s team throughout the playoffs.  In the championship alone, you voted 4,287 times.  Congratulations!  You literally willed your team to victory.  You actually got me interested in the watching the Bulls take on the University of Connecticut today. 

BTW – a total of 9,020 votes were cast throughout the entire playoffs.  Go BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If you know the address for the University at Buffalo’s athletic department, let me know and I’ll send them an official plaque. 

The National Championship – The Florida Gators vs. The Buffalo Bulls

The Buffalo Bulls continue their miracle season with a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide. The game was a back and forth affair that had Alabama leading late in the fourth quarter. With the game seemingly over, the Bulls mounted a three minute, 80 yard drive that put them ahead with less than 39 seconds on the clock. The Crimson Tide mounted a quick drive of their own and moved into position to kick a game-winning 23 year field goal. Mike Newton, outstanding DB for the Bulls, maneuvered around the left side untouched and blocked the kick, sending a shocked crowd of Alabama fans to the exits with just 3 seconds remaining on the clock. The final score was 30-28. Next up for the Bulls, the National Championship and another SEC powerhouse.

The Florida Gators relied on a heavy pass rush and their secondary to dismantle Colt McCoy’s much heralded passing attack. The Gators gave up a lot of yards between the twenties, but managed to pick McCoy off five times in the red zone. Meanwhile, Tebow had some troubles of his own. The Gator’s version of the wildcat formation faltered for the first time this season. It seems Superman found his kryptonite in the Texas front four. The points on this night belonged to Percy Harvin and his incredible athletic ability. Harvin had 315 total yards and four touchdowns. The final score in this one was 42-31.

So our national championship features a team that was on nobody’s radar at the beginning of the playoffs and another team that many thought had the best chance of winning the national championship.

Florida

Record: 15-1

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +32.31

Most Points Scored in a Game: 70

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 31

RPI Power Ranking: 1

Conference Champion: Yes

Buffalo

Record: 11-5

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +1.7

Most Points Scored in a Game: 43

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 42

RPI Power Ranking: 53

Conference Champion: Yes

VOTING CLOSED!  LAST PLAY UNDER BOOTH REVIEW!!!!  OUTCOME DETERMINES WINNER!


Third Round of Playoffs – Alabama vs. Buffalo

Not a college football expert in the country expected the Buffalo Bulls to make it this far. Their miracle play is exactly what makes the playoffs so exciting. The entire country seems to be Buffalo fans at the moment. Today they run head on into a team that is built on folklore and history. When you think of college football, you think of the University of Alabama. From the Bear to Saban, the University of Alabama plays hardnosed, fear-inducing football. The odds are stacked against the Bulls in this one, but then again, the odds have never been in their favor in these playoffs. No one is writing off Buffalo anymore. The Tide knows they are in for a fight.

Buffalo

Record: 10-5

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +1.7

Most Points Scored in a Game: 43

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 42

RPI Power Ranking: 53

Conference Champion: Yes

Alabama

Record: 14-1

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +18.15

Most Points Scored in a Game: 49

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 31

RPI Power Ranking: 9

Conference Champion: No

BUFFALO WINS!!!!!!

Voting closes on January 1, 2009

Third Round of Playoffs – Florida vs. Texas

The SEC Champions, Florida Gators take on the Longhorns from Texas in this powerhouse matchup. No big surprises here. Both teams are capable of scoring a lot of points. Both teams are lead by future NFL quarterbacks, and both teams are capable of bone crunching defensive performances. This one is a toss-up. A slight edge goes to Florida because they are playing in the swamp.

Florida

Record: 14-1

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +32.31

Most Points Scored in a Game: 70

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 31

RPI Power Ranking: 1 (tie)

Conference Champion: Yes

Texas

Record: 13-1

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +25.32

Most Points Scored in a Game: 56

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 39

RPI Power Ranking: 1 (tie)

Conference Champion: No

FLORIDA WINS!!!!!!

Voting closes January 1, 2009

Alabama and Florida Complete the Playoff Semifinals’ Picture

Alabama took advantage of USC’s inconsistent offense and advances to play the Cinderella team of the playoffs, the Buffalo Bulls. Buffalo took advantage of a mistake prone Penn State team in their quarterfinal game, and won by an impressive 10 point margin.

Florida had no problem with Ohio State in their quarterfinal matchup. The same can also be said of Texas’ win over Utah.

So our semis are set. Alabama will meet the most improbable team to make it this far, the Buffalo Bulls. While Florida and Texas will square off in the second semifinal game.

The games kick off tomorrow, and voting will be open until Jan 1.