Notre Dame to play for National Championship and SEC dominates showdown Saturday
So many scenarios as we entered 'Showdown Saturday.' Notre Dame just needing to beat a Matt Barkley-less USC team to secure a trip to the National Championship game. The SEC taking on some other BCS conference with so much at stake; featuring two schools from the sunshine state. And albeit the game having less significance due to NCAA sanctions and bowl ineligibility, Ohio State against Michigan.
I never thought it would happen, but today I actually rooted for Florida and Lane Kiffin. My hatred for Florida has been going strong for over 20 years, and well, Lane Kiffin just may be the easiest guy to dislike next to Bears QB Jay Cutler. I actually root for that guy--go figure. However, after reading the hatred for the SEC the last couple years, I can't help but support the conference in which the team I root for plays in. Even if it is the hated Gators.
And, as I pointed out last week, I still have little respect for Notre Dame and wanted USC to pull the upset just to infuriate all the SEC haters, so we could potentially have another National Championship game featuring two SEC schools. I guess after Notre Dame's win over USC, I will have to just settle for one SEC school. And now I get to enjoy either Alabama or Georgia EXPOSE Notre Dame. Cue the Dennis Green line, 'they are who we thought they were.' Only difference being Notre Dame will be on the losing end instead of being let off the hook as they've been in so many games this season.
I still can't believe Lane Kiffin essentially did everything in his power to let the Irish of that proverbial hook. In two different possessions with the Trojans knocking on the door, Kiffin decided to go away from their strength versus playing against what has made Notre Dame so successful this season. Did Kiffin not see the Goal line stand the Irish had to beat Stanford? I don't care if Barkley isn't on the field--throw the football. That play calling was not only ultra-conservative--it was straight up mindless. Good luck USC fans with Kiffin as your head coach going forward.
Florida's win at Florida State and South Carolina's win at Clemson (with a backup QB) further proved how mediocre the ACC is. I'm not saying anything most people don't already feel, but I was laughing last week at those who thought Florida State might actually be worthy of a National Championship appearance. Keep in mind, Florida is technically the 3rd best team in the SEC and South Carolina is what--the 6th best team in the SEC? Any chance the BCS would consider removing the ACC from an automatic BCS bowl game? The SEC was 4-0 against the ACC Saturday. I say more SEC and less ACC in BCS bowl games.
Back to hating Florida: Will Muschump was interviewed after the win and not only called his team 'sexy' but said they deserve to be in the National Championship game. Well, had Florida taken care of business against Georgia, they would be playing Alabama next Saturday in the SEC championship game with a chance to play Notre Dame. Had Notre Dame lost to USC, Florida would've had as good a case as any 1 loss team. They beat Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina and Florida State. However, they also struggled with Missouri and needed a miracle to beat LA Lafayette.
Now in Florida's defense, Georgia's win against the Gators was their lone win against top 25 teams. Beating Alabama, however, should guarantee them the National Championship game, despite their soft schedule. It actually is a crime that Georgia avoided LSU, Texas A&M, or even Alabama in the regular season. Florida will suffer as a result. I would be shocked if Florida jumped Georgia in the BCS standings, should the Bulldogs beat Alabama.
And last but not least, Ohio State beat Michigan to cap off their undefeated season. What a shame that Urban Meyer's school isn't bowl eligible due to NCAA sanctions. Do you detect the sarcasm? Remember Meyer did coach the Gators. And let's be honest about how mediocre the Big Ten was this year. Nebraska is their only win that matters. Their schedule is softer than Georgia's. However, let's not forget that knowing they were ineligible, Ohio State never felt the real pressure of being number 1. And in that mediocre conference they survived in 4 games. Would any of those games gone differently had they been eligible? We saw how easily Oregon and Kansas State caved under pressure.
I almost forgot. I actually felt bad watching Alabama just manhandle Auburn.
And is there any way Missouri can be kicked out of the SEC? They are as bad as it gets.
Johnny Football for Heisman.
Here's my conference power rankings for the season.
3. Big 12
4. Big Ten
6. Big East