Thursday, October 16, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
This past weekend in collegiate football has to be one of the best ever. And if you are like most of us in SEC land, you had to be satiated. Of course, not everyone had his or her “druthers.” We’ll take a closer look at that a little later. But first let’s go to the movies.
The game which got things started on Saturday was the big one between the Longhorns and the Sooners. The monickers alone are more than enough to start conversation, but do you get the close resemblance to the movies of the “Old Western” genre? The “Red River Valley Rivalry” could easily have been the name. The star gunslinger was one Colt McCoy (apparently the heir apparent to another Texas gunny by the name of Vince Young of Rose Bowl fame), the baddest dude west of the Pecos to ever lead a band of 10 against the number one baddies of the Big 12. And the NCAA.
After the dust settled and McCoy and the rest of the number 5 Longhorns finished the roundup and rode into the sunset, the tone had been set for the rest of the day’s fare in NCAA football land. And to some of those taking part, it could easily have conjured up another old movie title: “A Bad Day At Black Rock.”
There is something in all of us which urges the sway to the plight of the underdog. And it is a well known fact that the Commodores of Vanderbilt have had that tag hung from their shoulder pads for ages now. Their SEC play has been as dismal as their overall until this season. Off to their best start in over a half century and, well, can anyone remember when the ’Dores were ranked 13th in any season? As much as I hated to see another loss for the Croom program, I was pulling for the ’Dores to pick up that sixth consecutive overall and fourth in the SEC. Their head coach, Bobby Johnson, perhaps the best coach without a career winning record, needed this.
And you remember what one of the great bards uttered: “The best laid plans of mice and men aft gang agley.” Two weeks ago The Daily Journal ran a non-scientific poll to indicate which SEC team had the best chance of knocking off Vanderbilt. The winner? Thirty-seven percent of pollsters chose Miss. State. However, all their pickers had Vandy 7 to 1 (they also had Oklahoma 7 to 1). This is not going to be anything that the Commodores are not going to recover from. I think that they will go on to a bowl bid.
Possibly the most highly anticipated game in the SEC was the “Tilt of the Titans” – the Gators against the Tigers. Both were anxious to show their teeth. The Gators were wanting to redeem themselves after the humbling loss to Ole Miss and the LSU Tigers hoping for a win and a windfall. Some bad fate befalling numbers 1, 2 and 3 and they (the Tigers) could very easily be numero uno. But, what were we saying about those carefully laid out plans? Florida (#11) still has its Heisman quarterback who had vowed after the Ole Miss loss to rededicate himself to the team and winning (and another Heisman, perhaps?). It had been 10 years since former NCAA champs had faced each other. Well, you know how it goes, when two teams meet with a lot of teeth, the one with the better dental plan wins.
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