Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Cynic's Guide to College Football, Week 10

You know you’ve officially entered some kind of weird parallel universe when, on the same day of Nebraska/Oklahoma and Florida/Georgia, you actually hear the phrase, "College Gameday, live from Lubbock, Texas."

Lee Corso with firearms. Be very afraid.

Fortunately, that game actually lived up to the hype, shaking up the top of the football landscape with some last second Michael Crabtree heroics. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the football world.

1. Don’t Go Away Mad, Just Go Away

How bad do people have to think you are that they’re willing to pay $6 million to make you go away? That’s the case with Phil Fulmer, who will be cashing a nice fat severance check from the Vols boosters as payment for not coming around anymore. Is Tennessee making the right move? Too soon to tell, although you have to wonder when your former offensive coordinator says, "No thanks, I’d rather stay at Duke." All I know is that I’m in the wrong line of work—the last time I left a job, the most I got out of it were some "liberated" office supplies and a 401K that’s now worth less than when I started.

Don’t Come Around Here No More.

And on that note . . .

2. If Your AD Says He Has Good News, Run.

It used to be that the worst thing you could receive as the head coach was the dreaded "vote of confidence" from your athletic director. It was the kiss of death. But now there’s a new harbinger of doom—the contract extension. Just in the last couple of days, Phil Fulmer at Tennessee and Ron Prince at Kansas State were forced out—just months after signing new long-term deals. Sure, those multi-million dollar buyout clauses cushion the blow, but I’m sure it’s still not they way they want to go out. So if you ever get an offer to coach D-1 football, sign your initial contract and then hide from your AD for the next few years.

If you’ve gotta go, make sure to pack your golden parachute.

3. The Red Dawn of the Maize and Blue

Michigan will not be bowl eligible for a bowl game this season, ending a streak of 33 straight bowling years. But not to worry—if my radical right-winger friends are right and Obama’s election is just Phase One of the creeping Communist conspiracy to take over America, the Wolverines will rise again.

4. Who Needs a Diploma When You’ve Got BCS Bowl Losses?

Brothers Bob and Mike Stoops have the two teams with the lowest graduation rates among BCS schools.

5. Anger Management 101

After last week’s blowout loss to Oklahoma, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini admitted that he sometimes has problems controlling his emotions on the sideline.

Gee, ya think?

6. Movember’s Poster Child

In honor of Movember, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the month’s patron saint—Dave Wannstedt—and his epic quadruple overtime victory over Notre Dame last Sunday. The Pitt Panthers overcame three interceptions of their own and three TD passes by ND QB Jimmy Clausen to force overtime. From there, it became a kicking battle, with each team trading field goals until ND missed a 38 yarder in the 4th overtime, giving Pitt the chance for the game-winning field goal.

Pitt is now bowl eligible for the first time since 2004, thus demonstrating the power of the Mo.

Our hero. At least for this month.

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