Thursday, December 1, 2011
Behind The Scoreboard
It appears to be the tradition during this point in the football season (collegiate and pro) that everyone wants a plug for a favorite team.
Last week, everywhere that I went someone was urging that I write something (kind) about the Dallas Cowboys and that it would be a gross injustice if the BCS championship didn’t include the Alabama Crimson Tide. The first part of the request I can only answer; “Dallas who?” Seriously, I admire the comeback win engineered by Tony Romo and the fact that his team is alone at the top of the NFC East (pending Monday night’s game between the Giants and Saints, of course). But this week is not about the NFL.
The BCS season is about wound down and the nail-biting has gotten super serious. The latest rankings were posted late Sunday evening and the SEC was listed at 1, 2 and 8 with Oklahoma St. (3), Stanford Cardinal (4), Virginia Tech (5), Houston (6), Boise St. (7), Oregon (9), and Oklahoma (10). There is still clamoring that Houston (12-0, like LSU), should be elevated to the second slot and considered first for the championship game. While I applaud Houston on its remarkable season and making history for CUSA, I can’t advance them past the Crimson Tide. And that again makes the case that a system should be instituted to eliminate such viable prospects before the final determining game. Someday the NCAA hierarchy will take note.
This past weekend is commonly referred to as “civil war” weekend in collegiate football. It is when the teams in the NCAA (for the most part) go for the season-ending bragging rights. Unfortunately, jobs and careers sometime hang on the outcome of these contests. For instance (if any are needed), if you are Ole Miss or Miss. State then you have to win the “Egg Bowl,” Alabama or Auburn, the “Iron Bowl,” Virginia then Virginia Tech, well you get the idea. For coaches, losing these games are the unpardonable sins. And oh yes, if you are a service academy (Air Force, Navy), then you have to defeat any other service academy.
Chances are if you are a coach and lose one of these games it is not unusual to be summoned to the ruling hierarchy’s presence and be told that “we have decided to go in a different direction; unfortunately, it does not include you.” The coach at Ole Miss had heard those ominous words some weeks ago. Ron Zook (Illinois) and Larry Porter (Memphis) just received them a few days ago. I am not so sure that their departure deal was as sweet as the Ole Miss coach’s.
Anyway, there is another important weekend on the horizon – conference playoff day. Those gathering the most attention are the Big Ten, Big East and Big 12 and the SEC which pits LSU against Georgia. No disrespect intended, Bulldog fans, but this one could probably be “phoned in.”
Oh, by the way, did you hear that Ohio State is set for Urban (Meyer) renewal? According to the media, it is a done deal.
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