Friday, January 9
BlogPoll ballot final: What have we learned, class?
OK, I realize this might be kind of sacrilegious, but did anyone else think last night's BCS National Championship Game was kind of . . . er . . . boring? Keep in mind I say this as an SEC fan who's learned to appreciate the aesthetic value of a good old-fashioned defensive slugging match -- I'm the guy who found Auburn's 3-2 victory over Mississippi State in September one of the most entertaining games of the season, though I suppose more for the Benny Hill aspect of it than anything else -- but it seemed like the play-calling was incredibly conservative, and in the event that someone did call for a tricky play or a deep ball, it didn't work.
That said, the Gators are #1 (sigh), and I have no qualms about voting them as such. Not that you can't make a case for two or three other teams, but Florida's case is strongest: They hiccuped only once this season, a loss to Ole Miss that looks a whole lot more respectable after the last couple months, and blasted through every single one of their remaining opponents with the force of a Mossberg shotgun; they outlasted an undefeated Alabama team in the Georgia Dome; and they held the nation's highest-scoring offense 40 points under its per-game average. That last feat was about as shocking as anything else I've seen all year. (The only thing more shocking than that was seeing St. Timothy of Tebow get flagged for an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty in the waning moments of the game. TAUNTING MAKES THE BABY JESUS CRY, Tim.)
So let's do the rundown one more time . . .
Games watched: Most of Wake Forest-Navy, TCU-Boise State, most of West Virginia-North Carolina, Florida State-Wisconsin, California-Miami, Louisiana Tech-Northern Illinois, the end of Rutgers-N.C. State, Missouri-Northwestern, Vanderbilt-Boston College, LSU-Georgia Tech, first half of Iowa-South Carolina, Georgia-Michigan State, Southern Cal-Penn State, Virginia Tech-Cincinnati, the very beginning of Ole Miss-Texas Tech, the tail end of Kentucky-East Carolina, Utah-Alabama, first half of Connecticut-Buffalo, Texas-Ohio State, Tulsa-Ball State, Florida-Oklahoma. (No, I don't have much of a life.)
Waiting room: Michigan State, West Virginia, Northwestern, North Carolina, East Carolina.
Dropped out: Michigan State (19), Northwestern (20), Pittsburgh (21), Boston College (23).
All right, so what have we learned this season?
· That maybe all those high-flying Big 12 offenses weren't really that good -- maybe the defenses they went up against were just that bad.
· That maybe all those slow-ass Big 10 offenses weren't really that slow -- well, no, they totally were that slow.
· That Urban Meyer is the new Steve Spurrier, only with one more national title and without the charm.
· That switching to a spread offense is hard.
· That not tackling in midweek defensive drills is not a good way to stress the importance of proper tackling.
· That inexplicable early-season conference fuckups aside, Pete Carroll still owns the Pac-10 (and the Rose Bowl), and everyone else is just paying rent.
· That it might be time to kick the ACC or Big East out of the BCS and bring in the Mountain West.
· That you can lead a horse to the Sugar Bowl, but you can't make him give a shit.
· That Charlie Weis is just another football coach with a so-so offensive line and a frontbutt.
· That I am not good at picking against the spread.
· That for all its disappointments, frustrations, idiosyncrasies, and infuriations, this is still the greatest fuckin' sport in the world.
Well, it's been real. What else have we learned? Enlighten me in the comments, if you please.