Tag Archives: College Football

The Big XII commish went all-in…and lost

Yup, talking playoffs today. Let’s go ahead and establish some things:

1. I am an alumnus of a Big XII school and staunch defender of the Big XII as the second best conference in the land

2. I can’t stand the Big 10, especially Ohio State

3. The SEC fan base drives me crazy as well

4. It is the playoff committee’s job to produce rankings each week based on current body of work. This explains why teams can rise and fall each week, even without losses.

5. Let’s not complain about the playoff too much, after all, it kicked the BCS out.

Now with all those ground rules established, I’m going to start off by stating that I personally feel that the rankings are correct. I have zero issues with Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State going to the playoff. Obviously, the first 3 are no-brainers. It’s this fourth spot that has been the biggest issue. Well let’s look at some numbers.

The first of which are records against ranked opponents. While some teams drop drastically during the season, I still value the wins because the stage the teams have to play on is a much bigger one than when the teams are not ranked. College football is home to the most passionate fans in the country, so for argument’s sake, teams will be kept anonymous for now in order to hopefully bring attention to the facts.

Team A: 3-0

Team B: 3-0

Team C: 4-1

The next thing we will look at is strength of schedule (here is my source on that, http://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/sagarin/):

Team A: 56th

Team B: 52th

Team C: 42nd

Now, lets look at the final ranking of each teams’ worst lost (same site used above):

Team A:#26

Team B: #50

Team C: #7

I would argue those are the three biggest factors, after overall record, that should be considered for a spot in the playoff. I’m sure that these are weighed by the committee. So looking at those numbers, a few things stand out. SOS (strength of schedule) shows that the gap is not a tremendous one. For the determining factor, it can be considered a wash. Record against ranked teams is close to equal as well, so I would personally throw that out. Which would leave me with worst lost. Clearly the worse loss is by Team B. So through this small lens, it looks like Team A and Team C would get in over Team B. But lets sprinkling in some new details.

The next details will give the teams away so I’m done with the cloak and dagger game. Team B also lost their game at home, which reveals they are THE Ohio State University (…gag). Team C has the best loss, but was beat by Team A. TCU, it simple. TCU looks like a top 4 team right now for sure, but already lost to Team A (Baylor). Head-to-head has to trump everything when all is equal, otherwise why do we keep score on these fall Saturdays? That reason alone whittles it down to Ohio State and Baylor. I’m not going to compare the losses because each has arguments that, to me, end up sounding like excuses. Baylor was on the road, West Virginia was playing well, hostile environment, etc. Sounds like any other thing a team has to deal with. Ohio State lost at home, to a worse team, buuuuuuuuuutttttttt (as I know Buckeye fans, as well as the media, are quick to point out) they were playing with a new QB, it was the perfect storm of things to go wrong, Virginia tech played the best it did all year in that game, they are playing so much better now, blah blah blah. Ohio state was not the first, nor will it be the last, to deal with major injuries so give me a break. Both schools end up sounding whinny when it comes to defending the one blemish on their respective schedules. So how did Ohio State get the nod over Baylor?

Bob Bowlsby’s can really only blame himself, but we will get to that shortly. Strictly speaking to on the field reasons, in my mind, there is no doubt Ohio State got it because of a conference championship game. It’s 1 more time Ohio State had to go out and show their worth that Baylor didn’t get. It’s 1 more time Ohio State could have choked/defended the loss on a 3 string QB/shouted from the roof tops how they got a raw deal (did I mention I’m not a fan of Ohio State). It’s 1 more time 18-22 year olds’ motivation could be in different spots, or not able to control the emotions of the moment, which impacts the quality of performance. But it was also 1 more time that they got to go out and make a statement. It was a statement they emphatically made. Ohio State has looked good the past 6 weeks, but it was hard to really buy them being a top 4 team with a 3rd QB. Welp, as the old ball coach would say, they stomped doubts out quickly. Every aspect of the game was dominated, and you shut down the best RB in college football, that team can no longer be ignored. I would think that anyone who really follows college football would agree (unless you’re a Big 10 homer) that the Big XII is an overall stronger conference than the Big 10. But playing 1 more game, with all the things that could go wrong before and during a game, Ohio state rose to that opportunity and delivered exactly how they need to in order to jump into the playoff.

TCU and Baylor, I would love to agree with the argument that if you were Texas or Oklahoma, you wouldn’t have dropped. But I don’t believe that. No matter the 4 teams in the playoff, the amount of cash is going to be absurd (which is why I’m astounded it took so long to get a playoff in place). The playoff committee is not making decisions to fatten their wallets. How in the world is Lieutenant General Mike Gould going to make more money off of his selections? He isn’t. Tom Osborne’s wallet isn’t getting fatter with brand names in the playoff. The only way that would be happening is with SUPER SHADY dealings, which would be one of the largest sports stories of all time. So I can’t believe for one second brand name is a factor in that room. TCU, and more specifically Baylor, need to be upset with Bow Bowlsby.

“One True Champion”…..my ass. Pre-season, the Big XII PR department and commissioner nailed this one. A conference that plays everyone every year was a great argument going into this season, and it still is. I believe all conferences should do that. Get rid of cupcake games, and just play everyone in your conference. But, because that probably will never go away because FCS schools love that money, the Big XII appeared to have a good scheduling argument for this playoff. Everything was fine until TCU and Baylor kept winning and had to lose a game along the way. So ole Bob sat there, waiting for things to unfold. Can’t say I blame him, no need to make a statement with 4 and 5 games left in the season. But then it gets down to the last 2 weeks and still no real statement. Well, Bob and his advisor/constituents/bros/whoever he talked to came up with a genius gamble. “Hey, if the way things are going and we get a few bounces, we could sneak 2 teams into this bracket. If I don’t name a true champion, and call them co-champions, then it present two conference champions to the playoff committee. Yes,” he said taking one last powerful puff on his cigar, “let’s run with it.” So on Dec 1st, a week before the final rankings would come out, Bob informs everyone of his gamble. His statement leaves most/all people perplexed. Normally a pretty simple and clear tie breaker is head-to-head matchups. Bowlsby even stated during the Big 12 Media days to start the season that head-to-head would be the first tie-breaker in deterring his “One True Champion.” But in his mind, and I’m sure plenty of others, the thought was “This is college football, nothing stay status quo.”

The morning of December 7th, the college football world woke with Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, Ohio State, TCU, and Baylor all having won their final game. Status quo was the worst possible situation for the Big XII. But Bowlsby’s game plan was in place, too late to turn back now. He pushed all his green and purple chips emphatically to the center of the table with the all the other Scarlet chips in as well. Everyone knows how this turned out. The Big XII’s two pair lost to the Ohio State’s flush. Big XII fans grabbed their pitch forks and torches demanding answers from the conferences leader. He provides them with this gem. If TCU could have back pedaled that quickly, they probably would have beat Baylor. Big XII fans fire back with, “Well, now that it’s decided, could you at least tell us who you would have voted for?” Bowlsby responded. Umm, I guess it makes sense if he “misspoke” earlier about head-to-head. So with those two giant failures/head scratchers out there, the next outcry is, “We need a conference championship game!” The conference can’t play one without getting to 12 teams, NCAA rule. So have to add two teams, simple right? Commish says everyone calm down, not gonna happen right now.

So it’s been 2 days, change won’t and can’t happen this quickly for the Big XII, but Bowlsby has to come up with a game plan this off-season. It can’t be, “Pray to the football Gods we have someone go undefeated.” There has to be entirely way too many things to fall into place for a conference to try to weasel two teams into the playoffs from one conference, doesn’t matter which conference it is. What the Big XII did has to be a lesson for all the Power 5 conferences. A conference has to go all in on one team getting into the playoffs. More importantly, the Big XII needs to find 2 teams to come to its conference so all of the Power 5 conference are on the same playing field. The Big XII took a swift kick to the gut on this decision, but it was the correct one. Now, who is going to be the winner of the first ever playoff?

That’s easy. Nike.

 

 

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL 2013 PREVIEW!

It’s interesting that I look at the huge gap in between posts. Last post was coming of the end of the football season, and my first one after it deals with the start of the new season! Got to be some sort of coincidence right?? Who knows? Moving right along, we will start by my own personal take on the preseason AP Top 25 poll. Honestly, preseason polls are nothing more than a good arguing point for college football fans because it’s all based solely on last year’s results and guessing what will happen this year. I mean USC was ranked #1 last year, and finished unranked. Plus, the AP poll is just the media, so what makes their voice so much more important than say, mine! I follow the game plenty, so how come I can’t give a vote for what teams I think will be good this year? I know, it’s their J-O-B, but how many of them REALLY actually watched more than just the prime-time games and slurped the Kool-Aid that other media outlets were producing?

With that being said, to kick this season off, I’m going to look at the AP Top 25 with my own spin on it. To limit the length of the post, each team will get the twitter treatment and have a limit of 140 characters. With that, we are off!

Alabama
1. Alabama- Killed a tree, Saban is a football robot from the future, and it will take two losses in the regular season to stop a possible 3-peat
Ohio State

2. Ohio State- Braxton Miller Heisman front-runner, Urban Meyer still misses Tebow, best team in a weak Big 10, would be only 5th best team in SEC
Oregon

3. Oregon- A high-octane fashion show that I can’t look away from, great chance to win Pac-12 and get more people to wear highlighter colors
Stanford

(Word has it the picture above is their avg home attendance)
4. Stanford- The nerds have been hitting the weight room big time in Palo Alto, would not be a shocker if they won a second straight Rose Bowl
Georgia

5. Georgia- If they lose to Clemson to start the year, people will be calling for Mark Richt to be fired, he will win 10 games, and life will move on.
South Carolina

6. South Carolina- “Welp, Clowney is fast, but my team is slightly overrated so hopefully he knocks ole boy’s helmet off again and Connor Shaw doesn’t suck”
Texas A&M

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7. Texas A&M- Manziel get suspended for the season so A&M can win 5 games, then nobody outside of college station has to hear about y’all ever again
Clemson

8. Clemson- Dabo! Sammy! Tajh! Offense everywhere! This the year the orange and purple meet those lofty expectations? Not buying it till I see it (see billboard for reminder of last BCS bowl season)
Louisville

9. Louisville- They have a serious NFL prospect at QB. This team has no business in the top 10, see losses to 5-loss Syracuse & 7-loss UCONN at home in 2012
Florida

10. Florida- Probably deserved Alabama’s spot in the title game last year, if you listen closely, you can still hear Muschamp yelling on the sidelines
Florida State

11. Florida State- Have one of the greatest intro’s in college football, but the Seminole chop gets as annoying as Boomer Sooner. Should win the ACC this year
LSU

12. LSU- Coach eats grass, and their “off” year in 2012 were losses to #1, 8, & 10 in 2013 polls by a combined 13 points. The tigers will be good
Oklahoma State

13. Oklahoma State- HE’S A MAN! HE’S 45 NOW! COME AFTER THE REST OF THE BIG 12! And they will, lots of points in a wide open conference for the Cowboys
Notre Dame

14. Notre Dame-No more fake girlfriends, outside of possible questions at QB, Touchdown Jesus should be pretty happy with the 2013 season
Texas Longhorns

15. Texas-No love for a team with 19 starters back. I guess I’m not the only who doesn’t trusts David Ash & a D that couldn’t tackle anyone last year
OU

16. Oklahoma-Blake Bell sucks, Boomer Sooner sucks, that Sooner Schooner sucks, Norman sucks, Stoops sucks, and that is 100% unbiased, just fact
Michigan

17. Michigan-Not even sure if the best team in their own state, just find a way to beat Ohio State and it’s a good year for the Maize and Blue
Nebraska

18. Nebraska-11 wins last year, but all anyone remembers is getting 70 hung on them by a 5-loss team that didn’t belong in the conference title game
Boise State

19. Boise State-Join a big boy conference, then maybe everyone will take you seriously. In the meantime, shut up and color your blue turf
TCU

20. TCU-That new statue out front is terrifying, just like their defense will be, now lets see if Casey Pachall can put the bottle down
UCLA

21. UCLA-The ultimate sleeper team in the Pac-12, they finally are going to be able to make the Battle for LA relevant nationally again

22. Northwestern (Football history is so poor and lacks rivals that I couldn’t find any “funny” thing to put up for them. Lame!)-This team will make life difficult for everyone in the conference, wouldn’t surprise me if they win 10 games this year
Wisconsin

23. Wisconsin-This team has no business being in the top 25. Looked really bad at points last year, oh and had 5 losses!
USC

24. USC-How does Lane Kiffin have a job? What has he done EVER to show he is actually knows how to coach or recruit? The answer is nothing
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25. Oregon State-Wishes they were Oregon, try dropping Nike so you don’t play 2nd fiddle to the CEO’s Alma matter. Have no idea how they will do this year

And of course my Alma matter:
Red Raiders

Texas Tech-We could win 5 games; we could win 9 games. Nothing would surprise me. But we WILL be fun to watch this year! Welcome back Kliff! Wreck Em!

The season is within reach! Almost there! You can do it! The NFL will get a similar preview soon as well!

JoePa’s Funeral

I did not attend school at Penn State University. But Penn State has had a greater impact on my life than the school will ever realize. This university has alumni who have become some of my closest and greatest friends I could possibly have. These people have had such an impact on me, I have adopted the school as my 2nd favorite college team (obviously behind my Red Raiders). I happen to be up in NJ for some training for a little more than 3 weeks in November. Just a quick 4 hour drive away was Penn State. I always love to take advantage of the area when I am in new parts of the country; mainly to attend as many different sporting events at different venues as I possibly can. Without even having the ties to the university I had, going to a football stadium with a capacity of 106,000+ people was something I wanted to do. I bought tickets to the final home game of the season 10 days before the game. 7 days later, Joe Paterno was fired.

The same man who coached at Penn State for over 45 years, was let go from the only thing he knew. Watching ESPN all week, they showed the wide variety of emotions that State College and alumni felt with that firing. Outrage, grief, sadness, raw, uncontrollable emotions could be viewed all week. There was talk about cancelling the football game/rest of the season. But the game went on. I had heard from my Penn State friends all week before the scandal went public about the great scene on Saturdays in Happy Valley. I couldn’t have been more excited about it. But with the firing of the face of Penn State University, I had no idea what to expect. I was at the Alamo Bowl after Mike Leach was fired, and it was a giant angry mob mixed with a circus without a tent. So I could relate to an extent with how these fans felt. But JoePa meant so much more to these people than anyone could realize. He had established himself as a family member in so many lives, even without having direct contact with most of them. I attend the game with a friend of mine (newly engaged to one of my roommates from San Angelo, congrats again to you two, love you both) and she introduced me to a few more people while we were up there. We arrived to our tailgate at roughly 7 am.

In my 4 years at Texas Tech, we had a total of THREE games played before noon. I don’t do early games. But the first game of the day is common in Big Ten country. I was shocked to hear from my new friends asking, “Where is everyone?” Shit people its 35 degrees at 7 am, I know where they are. But listening to them, showing up at 7 was normally late for most home games. The atmosphere at the stadium was a typical tailgate atmosphere. Obviously, JoePa was still a big talking point amongst the crowd, but remember, at the time Penn State had only lost one game and was in control of its destiny to go to the inaugural Big Ten championship game in Indy. So the talk was focused towards the game itself. After hours of beer, mimosas, and breakfast food, we made our way into the giant stadium.

The picture above shows the view we had from our seats. At this point, you can see the team coming out on to the field for the game. What is hard to see from the picture is that the entire team came out of the tunnel locked arm-in-arm with each other. There was no jumping around, getting hyped; it was just a football team slowly marching through the band. The crowd, as well, let out cheers that were unlike anything I had ever heard. It’s because the man who wore a tie and thick glasses and led the team onto the field for the past 45 years was not there. It was at that point, I realized that I was attending a funeral more than a football game. Don’t believe me?

This was before the coin flip. Both teams met in the center of the field for a pre-game prayer, something I had never seen at any sporting event. After a quick round of cheers from the stadium for the gesture from Nebraska, once both teams began to kneel, silence swept through the crowd instantaneously. 107,000 people shut the hell up in less than 2 seconds. The scene gave me goosebumps. You could hear the lone man, on the 50 yard line, praying. I heard every word, just as if I was out there with the team, with my hands joined with my temporary enemy. You think 100,000+ people loud is a sight? Trying standing there with not a single noise being made, it will shake you to your core. Once the prayer was over, the game kicked off and nothing strange really happened after that. The massive student section was loud all game. The overall game atmosphere was nothing short of spectacular and awesome. However, the first game in 45 years without JoePa, resulted in a 17-14 loss for the Nittany Lions. Once the game was over, that funeral feel was injected back into the stadium. After all, it was also Senior Day at Beaver Stadium. While filing down the stairs and out the stadium, I saw people crying. You could tell this game meant so much more than anyone could possibly grasp. Losing this game was throwing salt in the wound so many people had in their hearts. It was at that point, with such an overwhelming amount emotion surrounding me, I was able to at least attempt to grasp what the effect of losing their Grandfather was like.

Overall, the entire weekend was a great experience. Penn State reminded me a lot of all the great times I had at Texas Tech. Before I left, I was shown where JoePa lived and saw this outside…

An 85-year-old man, being hawked by news stations, like he was Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian about to make another mistake that for some reason we, as Americans, care about. Leave him alone. That just made me angry. Phil Knight said it best when Paterno finally departed this earth, “Whatever the details of the investigation are, this much is clear to me: There is a villain in this tragedy that lies in that investigation, not in Joe Paterno’s response to it.” With hindsight now, it’s very easy to say Paterno could have done more. But, being in a job where the chain of command is a way of life, I know if I would have told my superiors about something THAT serious, I would not have followed up on it either because I have TRUST and FAITH in them do to the right thing. I firmly believe that was the thought process Paterno went through when his assistant approached him with what he had witnessed in the showers that day before. Did he need to be let go when the story broke? Unfortunately, yes. But he deserved so much more respect than he was given by the University when they let him go. There is a quote on the wall by his statue that reads:

“They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach.” -Joe Paterno

Paterno made Penn State a better place. I saw it first hand, and see it in my friends from this great university. Paterno was not a good football coach; he was the greatest ever. He was also a great man. He was not driven by greed; he was driven by what was right. I have no doubt in my mind that the same university, which this man dedicated his money and life too, killed him back in November. They took his reason to live, and ripped it from him. I attended two pieces of history. I attended the very first game after a legend’s firing and, at the same time, attended his funeral. What better place to honor a man, who changed the landscape of college football forever, than at the stadium he practically built with his own hands and with 107,000 people? That’s exactly what those in attendance did that day, and it will always stand out as one of the more unique and powerful experiences I will ever have been fortunate to be apart of. So in honor of him, and my Penn State friends:

WE ARE…

PENN STATE!!

I hate kickers…

I’ll spend another entry to get into me, who I am, why I stated blogging, blah blah blah….

But I am legitimately mad, angry, pissed off that last night I had to spend 3+ hours of my life listening to Brent Musburger drool over the Honey Badger in the same fashion as he drooled over Colt McCoy when he was in college. That is not even the worst part about it. The next time a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP is so bad that the all-star offensive performer is a kicker, warn me so I can be sure to shove needles in my eyes while splashing Tabasco in them as well to make sure I can’t see what is happening. Look, I’m not taking anything away from the back-handed slap that Alabama repeatedly gave LSU all night because it was one for the all-time. However, I’m taking it back to kickers and why I am going to propose the idea that all kicking, all special team aspects of football as we know it, should be eliminated from the great game of football.

The old football adage is that special teams is 1/3 of the game, just like offense and defense make up 1/3 as well. BULL CRAP! We first take a look at the top: the Hall of Fame. There is just one pure place kicker and zero punters in the Hall of Fame. Kickers decide some of the biggest moments in football history and yet they are important enough to vote only 1 pure kicker into the Hall. Next, if special teams/kickers are so important, why are there so many college football programs who don’t have a good kicker? Alabama is a prime example. You have a kicker who can’t make a FG over 50 yards, which isn’t unreasonable to expect from a kicker, but did having a crappy kicker stop them from winning a national title? Exactly. The third reason kickers need to go is they have way too much influence on football games. Kickers stand around all week, kick FGs, sprinkle in a few actual kicks with a full team out there, no rush on the attempts and you have the traditional practice week of a kicker. For an aspect that is “1/3” of the game, in all reality only gets about 10% of practice time a week. Then come game time, they ultimately week in and week out decide the fate of the team.

These teams sure wish they had a little bit better performances this year out of their kickers:
Boise State
Oregon
Oklahoma State
Oklahoma
Alabama (Not in the end, but for a while had to sweat it out)
TCU (1st game of the year against Baylor)
Missouri (week 2 against a sorry Arizona st team)
Baylor (against K-state, lost by 1, kicker missed only FG attempt)

Those are just the schools I could think of off the top of my head. I’m sure every team in America had at least one game decided solely on a missed kicker this season. In college football, in which 1 extra win could change the school’s season and, more importantly, end of season pay out based on the bowl they go to, kickers are costing their respective universities (like Boise St for the past two years) MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. It’s a joke.

So what do we do about these kickers? There is nothing about a kicker that says “yeah he is a football player” no he is “just a kicker.” Get rid of them, all of them. But nobody likes “that guy” who just bitches without a way to make it better. Insert Clary’s solution to replacing kickers. Football gets rid of all special teams and now football has more of a pick-up game feel. Game starts with the coin flip and the receiving team takes the ball at their own 20. Now instead of punting on 4th down, teams go for it EVERY TIME. I know somewhere Mike Leech is smiling at that idea. If the defense stops them, they take over just like a basic stop on 4th down. When a score happens, teams go for 2 EVERY TIME (And also, NFL, allow teams to run back the PAT for 2 points like in college so the PAT could have some meaning again for the defense). Now coaches can put even more time to the actual aspects that make the game of football what it really is; offenses and defenses are better, and games like the trash last night can be better avoided. Do it from the youngest level of football all the way to the NFL. I have yet to meet anyone who gets fired up about a football game because the kickers in the game have such great leg strength. I mean seriously, the only difference between John Daly and Sebastian Janikowski is one strike a football and the other strikes a golf ball. Let’s make football more exciting and, in my opinion, a “purer” version of football because now the game is decided by actual football players. Not, like Peyton Manning would say, “idiot, liquored up kicker[s]”

Oh ya, college football, there aren’t enough characters on the internet for me to start on how terrible the BCS is and why there needs to be a playoff.

Now come back y’all for more entertaining takes of sports, food, current affairs, men, women, family, friends, skinny jeans, beer, drinking games, TV, naps, festering, nick names, stupid people, guest appearances from friends of mine, lazy people, a good burp and fart, a little about who I am, why it’s a “coke” not a pop, why Gatorade is better than Powerade, why Snickers is the greatest candy bar ever, words with friends and really anything that grabs my attention because the great thing about blogging is nothing is off-limits. Till next time…

Clary needs to enjoy more of the full reclining couch he is currently sitting on.