Nick Saban had just hoisted the crystal football with a look that said, Here it is, humans, now let me start working on acquiring another one. He told a reporter that he would enjoy the victory for an entire 48 hours, twice as long as his usual celebration time limit. Senior linebacker Nico Johnson said the returning players would be angry about the two touchdowns they allowed. My friend Munoz asked me if Alabama was going to start practicing right then and there on the Orange Bowl field. Continue reading Nick Saban Can’t Stop→
Purdue played well enough this season to get an invitation to a bowl game. Not just any bowl, but a New Year’s Day bowl. Purdue played poorly enough this season to fire its coach. That, my friends, is the modern-day college football bowl system.
Purdue is somewhat of an unfair example. The Boilermakers are 6-6, but moved up in the Big Ten’s bowl pecking order because two of the better teams, Ohio State and Penn State, were ineligible. But Purdue is one of 12 6-6 teams going bowling (and not the only bowl team to fire its coach; 7-5 North Carolina State canned Tom O’Brien). Continue reading Bowl Preview 2012→
Overheard in Pittsburgh: “Notre Dame is a bad football team. Trust us, we know what a bad football team looks like. We were up 14 on them in the fourth quarter! Then our guys started forgetting which end zone to go towards. Even then, we win if our kicker makes that chip shot. And they had two guys on the field with the same number during the kick! Typical ND favoritism from the refs right there.”
Overheard in Ann Arbor: “Notre Dame, No. 1? Seriously? If Denard didn’t throw 10 interceptions we would have won easily. We still should have won. And that was at their place. Their defense wasn’t any good. We just gave it to them. And their offense was terrible.”
The unbeatable team has been beat. Cue the jokes about whether Texas A&M could beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. Maybe now we’ll stop crowning champions at midseason? Probably not, but don’t blame Alabama for being the recipient of all that love. In fact, Nick Saban was telling anyone who would listen that he was terribly afraid of the Aggies. The problem was, few were listening. Saban’s pre-game comments on A&M’s up-tempo offensive attack bordered on paranoia and for much of the first half it looked like the Tide had no confidence against quarterback Johnny Manziel. Alabama settled in but it wasn’t enough; A&M won 29-24.
Three years ago I called for the removal of college football preseason polls, at least for those polls that factored into the BCS standings. My reasoning was that voters are loath to reconsider their preseason votes, making it very difficult for teams to move up in the polls without the teams in front of them losing. Again, that was three years ago, when I had little influence as a sportswriter. Now, rich and famous, I can facilitate real change. And I’ve decided I want to take it a step further and eliminate polls until the regular season is complete. When the playoff arrives in two years, the powers-that-be shouldn’t force—or even allow—the selection committee to release polls throughout the season. Continue reading Should College Football Get Rid of In-Season Polls?→
When the NFL playoffs roll around or March Madness arrives or MLB’s Opening Day gets here we may say the same thing about those sports, but last weekend all I could think of is this: Is there anything better than a college football Saturday? Earlier this season I wrote that it was too bad that the sport is trending towards more night games, because it means fans have to choose among several good primetime matchups instead of watching them all throughout the day. But while I sat in a bar last Saturday night watching the Nos. 1, 2, and 3 teams in the country play competitive games on three television screens at the same time, well, I didn’t think there was anything better than a college football Saturday. Continue reading Alabama Beats LSU, Oregon Beats USC, and ND Survives→
With five undefeated teams losing last Saturday, there are just five unbeatens remaining (I say five instead of six because this website does not concern itself with teams ineligible for the postseason). Alabama, Kansas State, Louisville, Notre Dame, and Oregon notched impressive victories last week, but it’s worth looking at the teams who fell for the first time and how they lost. Which fan base do you think was most frustrated at the end of the day? Here are my best guesses, from extremely distraught to highly upset.