College Football Round-Up: Heisman Toss-Up? Oklahoma and Florida Appear Headed To Miami For Championship
NCAAF

5 Things I Learned This Weekend About College Football

12/7/08 in NCAAF   |   Ryan   |   153 respect

Man, what a great weekend for college football.  Even though many of the championship games were not terribly competitive (shame on the ACC and Big 12), the SEC and Conference USA (I'm including this with a moderate smirk) helped carry the load on a busy Saturday.  Here's what I took away from this weekend:

1.  Sam Bradford made a great case for winning the Heisman, but the fact that the Big 12 refuses to play defense may cost him the opportunity to hold the trophy.

I'm not going to use this space to convince you that Bradford is not deserving of a Heisman trophy.  He's had an amazing year for the team with an amazing offense.  His numbers are unmatched by anyone in college football this year or nearly any year.  Although I wouldn't vote for him first, I cannot argue with anyone that would.

That being said, I think Bradford's chances to win the award are shaky.  I think Colt McCoy and Graham Harrell are going to cost him some votes and that may ultimately cost him the award.  The first reason I feel this way - the geographic issue.  These three are going to compete for the votes in the Midwestern voting block.  Every time McCoy gets a first-place vote (and he'll definitely get some votes!), he'll be taking one at the expense of Bradford.  This could prove to be very costly to the Oklahoma star.  Second reason I feel this way - the numbers issue.  It's hard to look at the numbers of all three of these quarterbacks and take them ultra seriously.  Even MSNBC, which is projecting Bradford to win the award had to make mention of the crazy stats these QBs are putting upIn their argument for Tim Tebow (their second-place finisher) was pretty telling:

However, one factor that has been vastly overlooked is the quality of competition. Of the Gators’ 12 wins, nine have come against teams whose defenses rank in the top 37 in the country.

On the flip side, Texas’ Colt McCoy didn’t face a defense ranked higher than 65th. Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford faced only two defenses among the top 30 nationally in non-conference foes TCU and Cincinnati. Every other team he played against had a defense ranked 50th or worse.

If voters really sit down to think this out, this could cost Bradford some votes and ultimately allow Tebow to sneak back to the podium to accept his second-straight Heisman trophy.  This year's voting could be very interesting.


2.  Bob Stoops is more concerned with meaningless records than he is with winning another National Championship.

Hey, I'm all for scoring points.  Who doesn't like to see a good offense at work?  But, at some point you've got to say enough is enough. 

For a long time I had a problem with Steve Spurrier sending in the Gators' second-team offense to throw the ball down the field with five minutes left of a game in which they held a 30-point lead.  But last night may have taken the cake.  But at least Spurrier did it with a second-string unit.  With less than five minutes left in a blow out last night, Stoops sent Bradford back out on to the field to see if they score yet another touchdown on a helpless Missouri defense to reach 60 points in a record fifth-straight game.

So what do I take from that?  To me that says Stoops cares less about making sure Bradford is healthy for a National Championship Game.  To me it says that he would rather set a record than show a gesture of sportsmanship to a team that was already demoralized.  Hey, I know it's not his job to make Missouri feels good about themselves, but it is his job to make sure that Bradford doesn't get hurt in a meaningless moment. 

And then he had enough nerve to say after the game that the record didn't mean anything to him.  Oh yeah, then why was your starting quarterback throwing the ball down field at the end of a game in which you had a 30-point lead?  Don't you think that the "record" lasted so long because coaches realize how useless it is to score 60 points in five-straight games?  I think it says more about priorities than it does about ability.

3.  Texas got hosed.
In nearly any other conference, Texas would have been beating up on Missouri in the Big 12 Championship.  One of the fun facts I learned this weekend on my trip to the SEC Championship was that most other conferences handle their three-way ties differently.  In nearly every case, the BCS is used, but only to eliminate the lowest ranked team.  Then, when the two-way tie is restored, the tie-breaker reverts back to head-to-head.  Oops.  At least the OU fans made the best of the situation.  Priceless.

4.  The ACC is bad.

Is there anyone outside of Virginia Tech and Cincinnati that thinks the Orange Bowl is happy to have the Bearcats and Hokies coming to town?  The "paid crowd" for yesterday's game was 53,000 people, but the teams combined to sell less the 10,000 tickets.  ugh....  After the "show" they put on yesterday, sounds like the fans were smart.  Now I can't fault the fans from the northeast for not making the trip to Tampa.  I certainly would save my money for a bowl game.  But who should we fault?

Oh yeah, how much does it suck for BC to lose this game?  They lose the #1 bowl spot from the ACC.  The #2 bowl tie-in was given to Georgia Tech before the ACC Championship Game even took place.  Clemson got the #3 tie-in with the Gator Bowl.  Ouch, that was a big loss.  #4 is the best the Eagles can hope for?  Here's hoping they don't end up in Idaho!

5.  Dolphins Stadium should prepare to have a new scoreboard installed after Florida and Oklahoma blow it up in the National Championship Game.

Man, this has the makings for quite a showdown.  Given Florida's trouble slowing down Alabama's not-so-potent passing attack yesterday (Julio Jones made some unreal plays yesterday), I can't imagine that they're looking forward to facing a team that has more than one outstanding receiver.

Oklahoma has a great attack, but they haven't faced a defense as good as Florida's.  For all of the things that went wrong for the Gators yesterday, the defense came up with big plays when they needed them.  The task is pretty tall for them in Miami, as they haven't faced an offense half as good as the Sooners'.  Of course, the Gators can put points on the board also!  Whoever is keeping stats for that game had better get a good night's rest before the game, because it figures to be a long night for them!

I'm not sure which team I think will win this one yet, but I definitely expect to see sparks flying from the scoreboard.  While I'm not ready to make a prediction on the game's result, I will predict this:  Oklahoma won't score 60 points for a sixth-consecutive game.  I would bet the farm on that one!
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12/7/08   |   Ryan   |   153 respect

gobigblue1960 wrote:
Well, let me bash the overrated SEC for you.....Alabama and Florida have very good football teams, but who excactly did they beat that makes them better than anyone in the Big 12? NOBODY, that's who? Mississippi State, Ole Miss LSU, Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Georgia, and Arkansas....ANY of those school's causing sleepless night's to their opposition?  OVERATED, year after year, after year....

SEC overated at the start of this season?  ABSOLUTELY!

SEC overated year after year?  Absolutely negative.

I'm not going to deny that the Big 12 is the top conference this year, but I think it's a bit much to say that the SEC is overated year after year.

2007-2008 Bowl Records (BCS Conferences)
ACC (2-6)
Big East (3-2)
Big Ten (3-5)
Big 12 (5-3)
Pac 10  (4-2)
SEC  (7-2)


2006-2007 Bowl Records (BCS Conferences)
ACC  (4-4)
Big East  (5-0)
Big Ten  (2-5)
Big 12  (3-5)
Pac 10  (3-3)
SEC  (6-3)

2005-2006 Bowl Records (BCS Conferences)
ACC  (5-3)
Big East  (1-3)
Big Ten  (3-4)
Big 12  (5-3)
Pac 10  (3-2)
SEC  (3-3)


16-8 over three years in bowls and 11-4 all-time in BCS games hardly seems overated.

12/7/08   |   Ryan   |   153 respect

faniq123454331 wrote:

Before you start bashing a team for "running up the score" make sure you know the context and history. First Texas has been screaming all week that they beat OU, blah, blah , blah. They defeated Missouri 56-31 earlier in the year. OU needed the last score to show they could hang more points on Missouri. Also the last team to win the Big 12 Championship OTHER than OU? Texas in 2005. The score (against Colorado) 70-3. Texas fans can scream about Stoops lack of sportsmanship and running up the score, but OU just played until the end of the game. With the BCS necessity of impressing the voters and to shut up Texas (who will still whine and cry anyway) playing until the end was a necessity. All Texas had to do to lock things up was beat Texas Tech -- they didn't. OU then needed to make the case of why they are a better team then Texas. They have.

Oh, I'm not a Texas fan.  And, honestly, I was really kind of a Stoops fan before I heard his interview after the game.

If you wanted to chase the record, just say that was a goal the team had.  Don't say you didn't care about it even though all of your actions indicated you did.

OU didn't "need" to run up the score.  They had everything in hand with virtually no threat of losing a spot in the National Championship Game.  Honestly, I think he's lucky no one got hurt on that last drive.

12/7/08   |   brianmc0331   |   10 respect

I learned that Boise St. stocks up on Lube Before every season in efforts to reduce friction on the screwing that they take at the end of the year come Bowl selection time

12/7/08   |   faniq123454331

Before you start bashing a team for "running up the score" make sure you know the context and history. First Texas has been screaming all week that they beat OU, blah, blah , blah. They defeated Missouri 56-31 earlier in the year. OU needed the last score to show they could hang more points on Missouri. Also the last team to win the Big 12 Championship OTHER than OU? Texas in 2005. The score (against Colorado) 70-3. Texas fans can scream about Stoops lack of sportsmanship and running up the score, but OU just played until the end of the game. With the BCS necessity of impressing the voters and to shut up Texas (who will still whine and cry anyway) playing until the end was a necessity. All Texas had to do to lock things up was beat Texas Tech -- they didn't. OU then needed to make the case of why they are a better team then Texas. They have.

12/7/08   |   gobigblue1960   |   4803 respect

Jubanator14 wrote:
As to that no Big 12 team plays defense argument. Maybe it is no SEC team, except for Florida and maybe Alabama, can play any offense. So bad offense's help boost the defensive stats of the SEC schools. I mean Georgia Tech put 45 on Georgia and Clemson put 31 on South Carolina, two of those great SEC defenses.

I am not trying to bash the SEC or anything, but the offenses in the SEC is just so bad, except for Florida and Alabama sorta.

Well, let me bash the overrated SEC for you.....Alabama and Florida have very good football teams, but who excactly did they beat that makes them better than anyone in the Big 12? NOBODY, that's who? Mississippi State, Ole Miss LSU, Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Georgia, and Arkansas....ANY of those school's causing sleepless night's to their opposition?  OVERATED, year after year, after year....

12/7/08   |   Jubanator14   |   367 respect

Ryan wrote:

I can't argue that Georgia and South Carolina laid an egg in their final performances - I'd be a fool to say you were wrong.  You can add LSU in the egg-laying by losing to Arkansas and almost losing to Troy.

I think the bowl season will tell us a lot about whether it was just bad offenses or bad defenses.  Actually, the national championship game will tell us a lot!  Maybe the Cotton Bowl, also.

I will grant you this:  The top half of the Big 12 is better than the top half of the SEC this year.  They have four (maybe five if you count Missouri) top-tier teams this year while the SEC only has two.  And then Missouri and Kansas (ugh - how do you lose to South Florida and then beat Missouri?) are there on the seond tier.    The SEC has Georgia as a second-tier team and then Mississippi (ugh) and LSU (ugh & ugh) fall somewhere behind that.  After that, in each league, it's stinky.

Oh yeah, and even I wouldn't say that Alabama has a good offense and I'm an SEC guy.  After Florida, the conference STINKS offensively. 

I think a better answer to this question comes after January 8th, but I agree that the offenses are pretty bad in the SEC this year.

Well Ole Miss will get Texas Tech and OU and Florida will play for it all.

12/7/08   |   Ryan   |   153 respect

I can't argue that Georgia and South Carolina laid an egg in their final performances - I'd be a fool to say you were wrong.  You can add LSU in the egg-laying by losing to Arkansas and almost losing to Troy.

I think the bowl season will tell us a lot about whether it was just bad offenses or bad defenses.  Actually, the national championship game will tell us a lot!  Maybe the Cotton Bowl, also.

I will grant you this:  The top half of the Big 12 is better than the top half of the SEC this year.  They have four (maybe five if you count Missouri) top-tier teams this year while the SEC only has two.  And then Missouri and Kansas (ugh - how do you lose to South Florida and then beat Missouri?) are there on the seond tier.    The SEC has Georgia as a second-tier team and then Mississippi (ugh) and LSU (ugh & ugh) fall somewhere behind that.  After that, in each league, it's stinky.

Oh yeah, and even I wouldn't say that Alabama has a good offense and I'm an SEC guy.  After Florida, the conference STINKS offensively. 

I think a better answer to this question comes after January 8th, but I agree that the offenses are pretty bad in the SEC this year.

12/7/08   |   Jubanator14   |   367 respect

As to that no Big 12 team plays defense argument. Maybe it is no SEC team, except for Florida and maybe Alabama, can play any offense. So bad offense's help boost the defensive stats of the SEC schools. I mean Georgia Tech put 45 on Georgia and Clemson put 31 on South Carolina, two of those great SEC defenses.

I am not trying to bash the SEC or anything, but the offenses in the SEC is just so bad, except for Florida and Alabama sorta.