Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Cynic's Guide to College Football, Week 10

Welcome to mid-November, when the BCS vs. Playoff whining begins in earnest, coaches’ pink slips fill the air, the fan natives start getting restless and Rich Rodriguez and Bobby Bowden start rehearsing their duet of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Only a few weeks left for those mediocre teams (and there are a ton of them this year) to get bowl eligible or help solidify their positions in a better bowl game.

So with that—and visions of Thanksgiving turkey and football already dancing in our heads—let’s look back at the week that was in bad football.

Anchors Aweigh for Weis

Saturday was a big day for Notre Dame haters. And those who love America. I mean, how can you root against the Naval Academy? Why don’t you just piss on the flag and join Al Qaeda while you’re at it? OK, so maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but lost in all the “Charlie Weis extra wide hot seat” talk was the fact that Navy has now won in South Bend twice in a row. Maybe Navy can provide a destroyer to help Charlie sail off into the sunset.

Thanks to all our brave servicemen and women who keep us safe from terrorism. And Notre Dame BCS bowl games.

Fire the Waterboy!

When did Bob Stoops go from “can’t win the big ones” to “can’t win the medium-sized ones?” To be sure, the Sooners had a lot going against them this week, including a freakish number of injuries to key offensive players. And I don’t want to take anything away from Nebraska's defense—I freely admit my huge mancrush on Ndamukong Suh. But you’re telling me the Sooners offense, which is still loaded with blue chip recruits and which spent most of the night in Nebraska territory, could only manage three points, three missed field goals and five interceptions? Especially rough considering they were competing against a Husker offense that was 1-for-14 on 3rd down conversions and had more punts (11) than points (10) or first downs (7). Sooners fans are notoriously prone to hyperbole when it comes to proclaiming every loss “the worst coaching job ever.” And, even with OU’s bizarre injury situation, those voices are only getting louder in

When OU goes to the Sun Bowl, will U.S. Customs search the Sooner Schooner on the way back from Juarez?

And the Meek Shall Inherit the Earth

Colorado coming from behind to beat Texas A&M? Baylor (yes, that Baylor) putting a beatdown on Missouri—in Columbia? Kansas State leading their division. I officially give up trying to figure out the Big 12.

Don’t try to explain it. You’ll only hurt yourself.

Voting Boise Off the Island

Note to Boise State: if you’re trying to make your case for a BCS at-large spot, struggling against 3-6 Lousiana Tech (Boise only led by 2 with 8 minutes left) is not the way to do it. For all you “a win’s a win” and “undefeated is undefeated” folks out there, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but style points matter. The BCS isn’t about fairness—it’s about money and TV ratings. Period. It’s no different from any other TV show in that regard. Boise may be freakin’ Masterpiece Theater for all most people know. But the BCS is afraid of anything “artsy”, so they’re going to go with the safe picks—American Idol, reality shows featuring B-list celebrities . . . and a 2-loss Penn State.

Hey Simon, should Fox show a Boise bowl game instead of an American Idol re-run?

I love college football as much as anybody. Still, it’s easy to overemphasize its importance. Last week’s events at Fort Hood are what really matter. Our solders in Iraq and Afghanistan are what really matter. The freedoms we enjoy because of them are what really matter. So find a way to thank a vet today. Whether it’s buying one a cup of coffee or, like the North Texas Nebraskans alumni group, raising money to buy tickets for local soldiers to come to the game, make sure you tell the active and former military personnel you meet “thank you.” On Veterans' Day and every day.

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