2009 BCS (football) Reflections

Note: For a look back at my bowl game predictions, click here.

Anyway. Now that the college football season is over here are some things I would like to see for 2010 and thoughts after the bowl season.

A Mormon all-star team (best of Utah, BYU and Boise State).

I know. I know. I am a broken record on this. But this all-star team deserves to be in a BCS championship game. Heck (or hell), all three were in bowl games. And the games. Utah? Win. BYU? Win. Boise State? Win. Imagine if their “best of all three” team played the game at a common Missionary location (lots of new 25 year old guys to come off the bench). Wow. Win.

Look. I will never be wrong on this one. Well. That is unless some Mormon religious scholar discovers the bible suggests that when God referred to “go forth and play football” he really meant soccer. Combined they finished 32 and 5 this year. Boise State, while I don’t believe they are the best team in the nation, I do believe they are very very good and on any one day the can beat any team occupying the number one spot in the polls (especially if someone dares to walk onto the “smurf turf”).

Eliminate The Stupid Conference Games.

I have learned that these conference games make great TV, play an odd role as a semi-playoff system and I hate them. It is kind of like having the old system (where conferences agreed who was going to play in a bowl game contractually) and the BCS system. So sometimes some very good teams have to sit out this extra game because for some reason they don’t make it to the “conference championship” and get left home (well. not really with 94 bowl games, but you know what I mean). Conferences are too big. They are meaningless. Make the conferences smaller again and have some great continuous rivalries (which is what makes college conference games tough anyway).

A Mandatory Mix and Match Saturday.

Sure. A logistical nightmare. Sure. A financial boon for NCAA. About midway thru season or 3-5ths thru all college teams have a mandatory open Saturday. Figure out a mix and match schedule forcing teams to play each other where they are in rankings no matter what conference they are in. Penn State has to travel to TCU. Florida has to go to Boise State. Navy goes to UCLA. Make the better high ranked team travel to lesser rated team so they lose home field and we get to see how good they really are. Make someone beat Boise state on the smurf turf.

Nike and Penn State.

Let’s have Nike design uniforms for Penn state. (Think Oregon uniforms at Penn State). The Ducks may have the ugliest and coolest uniforms in NCAA depending on the week. Penn State always has the blandest every week. Give Nike a year and Penn State will become the Grateful Dead of the NCAA in their happy valley. And Paterno will retire for sure.

Tim Tebow.

He had 203 rushes in the regular season (heck. Mark Ingram had 249). That was probably more rushes per game then 50% of the starting tailbacks in the other top 25 teams had in their games. Oh, that’s right, Tebow is a quarterback, not a running back.

Ok. I get pretty beat up every time I write about good ole Tim. Bring out the punching bag again. I still believe he is a good running back lining up at quarterback. For all you “ChrisTims” let me say hold onto your religion and this last thought about Tebow. While I believe he would suck as a pro quarterback I cannot think of another time in my life I would be more than glad to be proven wrong. The kid is a winner with a great work ethic and a huge heart. I would be ecstatic if he proves me an idiot and made it in the NFL (but I still don’t think it’s gonna happen).


What we can Learn from The Armed Forces Teams.

Ok. We only saw two of them in bowl games – Air force and Navy (but, hey, there are only 4, cause I don’t think the Coast Guard has a team, so not bad). Anyway. They both won but while cool it isn’t what we can learn. Class. That’s it. What do I mean?

A 101 yard kickoff return. The kid is frickin excited. He hands the ball to the referee and then celebrates with his team.

A 70+ run from scrimmage. Big play. Kid is frickin excited. Lightly flips ball to ref and then celebrates with his team.

A kid bashes his way into the end zone. Gets up after seemingly pummeled by everyone on the other team. Hands the ball to the ref and then celebrates with his team.

You get it. I don’t mind kids celebrating (and I think some of the celebration penalties are kind of wacky) but as Barry Sanders used to say “act like you have done it before.” Navy and Air Force. Class acts. Every team in US should watch the film as a code of conduct.


The existing Bowl System ain’t Bad.

What I like about the overall bowl system is it has a habit of matching up good midsize teams against good midsize teams, the exceptional midsize college team gets a chance against one of the big boys, the really bad big boys who shouldn’t have made a bowl game usually get stuck playing against another big boy who shouldn’t have made a bowl and then there are the big boy games (and I am not going to haggle over how sometimes they get the actual matchups wrong).

Look. If bowl games were only 3 quarters maybe a mid size team should be matched up against one of the big boys. But I like watching all 4 quarters and the big boys have…well…a lot of big boys playing for them and inevitably they just wear down the midsize teams. So. With that said I believe the overall bowl system works just fine (although there are still too many bowls)


Coaches make a Difference in College Football

If you don’t think coaches make a difference in college football (beyond the Notre Dame example) just look at the bowl season:

Bobby Bowden. I am fairly sure the team and coaches ignored every play he called and he spent the entire game wandering the sidelines saying “dadgummit that’s the wrong play”. But his team wasn’t going to let him go out a loser (and they were a mediocre team at best so this was a big thing).

Mike Leach. Sure Texas Tech won. But for god’s sake Michigan State suspended 18 players for the game. The water boy had 2 carries for Michigan State. Mike Leach made all the calls from the sideline during the season. He spent the entire bowl game locked in a broom closet and the Red Raiders’ offense didn’t click. They would have been fun to watch if he had been there.

Brian Kelly. Who I feel most sorry for is Florida. They wanted to play a bowl game. Instead they played a flag football game at the company picnic. Kelly made all calls from the sideline during the season and they were an offensive machine. In addition his entire staff is interviewing for jobs while all the kids are running around the practice field. The bowl game? The offense was a broken windup toy. Florida romps.

The Idaho coach. His team sucks in the first half. They look like, well, baked potatoes rather than Vandals. He looks in the camera on his way to the locker room and in a raspy voice only a mother could love says “Watch the second half. You’re gonna love it”. Lo and behold they score with no time left and with no hesitation he sends ’em out there for 2. To win or lose the game. Of course they get the two. Ok. Wouldn’t you kill for a coach like that?


Coaches Part 2 – firings for mistreating big men with pads who could kill you if they wanted

There is something wacky happening within the coaching ranks. Guys who have been doing their job, and doing it well, are becoming poster children for big man abuse. Hey. I am not for stupid abuse of power positions but this is football, these are 19 year olds, there are a wide variety of backgrounds and the coach needs to get everyone on his board fast and win. Right now Woody Hayes, John McKay, Vince Lombardi, Knute Rockne are turning over in their graves. Okay. Spinning. I fear the inmates are positioning themselves to run the asylum. I don’t like this trend. Let them coach. True examples of abuse won’t be permitted; we know that, so let’s stop seeking out silly examples to be made.

The SEC Mirage

You know. The SEC conference always has a couple of either great or very very good teams. I get it. But every conference can say the same. And every year the SEC goes out of conference and gets smacked around. The SEC is a mirage to me (uh oh. Heresy. Or maybe simple idiocy.) Anyway. The SEC. I don’t get it. Simply because within conference they week in and week out kick each other around (which oh by the way every conference does) they are constantly anointed “the toughest conference in America.” They went 6 and 4 in this year’s bowl schedule. Not dominant overall. Anyway. I don’t get it.


My “real deals” (the ones who I believe will do well in NFL)

First. They got the Heisman right this year. They would have gotten it right with either Ingram or Gerhart. They are both trucks who can run over anything in their way and still out run people after they have stopped to stomp on someone along the way. Both are real deals to me.

Second. I don’t get the Colt McCoy ravings. Really good college quarterback. NFL? Not so much. Now Jordan Shipley ? Where’s the love dude? He is this year’s Percy Harvin. I think he will be great in NFL.

Third. There are several really good receivers this year but I still stick by Golden Tate . Big guy. Tough guy. Strong hands. If he doesn’t get hurt I see him crossing the middle of the field snatching passes and bowling over some cornerback trying to arm tackle him for a decade or so.

Fourth. Ndamukong Suh. He’s a monster. Nothing else needs to be said.

Fifth. Everyone talked about Taylor Mays at USC (and yes he is a monster and a freak of nature) but he is going to have to learn to not just hit but tackle when he gets to NFL. The guy to watch will be Anthony McCoy tight end. He is a wide receiver in a tight end body. No one seemed to notice USC struggled offensively every game he didn’t play and kicked ass every time he played.

Written by Bruce