Friday, November 6, 2009

The Cynic's Guide to College Football: Week 9

First off, I apologize for not getting a review post done last week—we had some family friends with a medical situation, so I just wasn’t around enough to write one. Hope you can forgive me and, fortunately, everything is all better now so I can get back to thinking about football.

Last weekend, I went to visit my parents in Dallas. Didn’t have anything else going on, so I decided to make the trip down to Waco for the Nebraska/Baylor game. The game itself, a 20-10 Cornhusker win, wasn’t much to write home about but it made me think just how much things can change during the course of a football season. Just a few weeks ago, Nebraska’s offense actually looked competent, Baylor phenom QB Robert Griffin was healthy and this looked like it could have been a good game. Since then, Griffin’s knee went kaput and Nebraska’s offense never met a turnover it didn’t like.

The Nebraska offense’s team bus arrives at the stadium.

The same is true on the national scene—at the start of the season, it looked like we could have an epic championship race with Florida, Texas and Oklahoma all returning their star QBs. But injuries and sloppy play have taken their toll. Honestly, is there anyone this year that you would consider a truly great team? Sure, those three plus Alabama, TCU, Boise State, Oregon are all playing some good football. But will whoever wins ever be mentioned in the same breath as great teams of the past? Not likely. Anyway, on to my review of other bad football from the past couple of weeks.

Fading Reds

Speaking of the Cornhuskers, this Saturday’s Oklahoma/Nebraska game marks just the second time since 1969 when neither team was ranked in the top 15. While I understand that money rules college football and that’s why the Big 12 exists, I’m still saddened by the fading of this once-great rivalry. Growing up, Oklahoma/Nebraska was a Thanksgiving tradition between two great powerhouses. Now, it’s just another game. Sigh.

The Game of the Century. Gone but not forgotten.

Throw the Flag. Or Not.

You know things are bad when fans and the media spend more time complaining about SEC officiating than preaching the gospel according to Tebow. Is it just me or has officiating across the country been terrible this year? Not just on judgment calls like pass interference or personal fouls, but on truly bad calls that were either made incorrectly (balls not crossing the goal line) or not called (outrageous personal fouls that go unflagged). And then they review every other play. And they STILL don’t get calls right. There’s been a lot of focus on SEC refs and officials taking 14 points away from Indiana based on dubious (to put it mildly) calls vs. Iowa, but the bad officiating has been equal opportunity this year.

Think you could do better?

Justice is Served

Let’s see: Dez Bryant tells a lie and is banned from football for a year. Brandon Spikes tries to gouge someone’s eyes out and he has to sit out one half one game. Against Vanderbilt. Am I missing something here?

Could be worse. He could have been punished by having to play FOR Vanderbilt.

Pick Your Poison

Worst Division in Football: ACC Atlantic vs. Big 12 North. Discuss.

Hail to the . . . um, Whatever

Rich Rodriguez’s trip off the hot seat was short-lived. It’s amazing what losses to your in-state rival and a previously 1-6 team will do to erase memories over your 4-0 start.

Give Coach Rod credit: it’s not easy making Ron Zook look good.

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