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"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Final College Football Blog!

Well the college football season is over. Here it is the very last edition of the college football blog for the 2008-09 season. It was a fun year and there were a lot of great games to be debated and talked about all the way up to Spring Practice when everyone’s hopes are renewed.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you again next year. (Maybe). But, don’t delete this blog from your reading since there will be other topics to be discussed other than books and college football now that my mind has time for other things besides football.

Moving on…

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl attendance: 72,047
#3 Texas over #10 Ohio State 24-21
A great finish to what was a great game all the way around. Both teams played well and this was a fun one to watch at the end. Ohio State thought their drought in BCS games would come to a close, but alas, no. The Buckeyes had a strong 4th quarter putting up 15 points to take the lead 21-17 with 2:05 left to play. But McCoy brought Texas back and drove the field to score with only :14 on the clock and Texas claimed the win. Colt McCoy is a great QB and tossed for over 400 yards in the game while throwing 2TDs and only one pick. Ohio State in my opinion just mismanaged the game despite their success in the final frame. And, once again I should fill this page with slanderous statement against OSU, but I leave them to lick their own wounds this time.

GMAC Bowl attendance: 32,816
Tulsa over #22 Ball State 45-13
I didn’t watch this throw away bowl game and I couldn’t have cared less who won the GMAC Bowl. Really? Tulsa vs. Ball State?

National Championship Game attendance: 78,468
#2 Florida over #1 Oklahoma 24-14
I’m sure if your reading this you saw the game so I need only sum it up in two words and three letters: Tim Tebow and S-E-C. That’s all. Oh, and how many teams are going to get beaten by that jump pass? At least Oklahoma had it covered. Too bad Tebow is just that good. Should he decide to come back for one more year, he may very well place himself at the top of the all time greatest college football players.

A State of the Conferences Address:
The Bowl Challenge is a measuring stick for the conferences when it comes to who’s on top for any particular year. I rank these by how I see them shaking out based on win/loss percentage and by how many teams each conference sent to bowl games. So… here we go:

PAC-10: 5-0
A perfect bowl season for the PAC-10. Congrats. Half of your conference went to bowl games and all of them were winners. USC, Oregon State, Oregon, California, and Arizona all claimed victories. USC, Oregon and Arizona to me collected the only good wins since Oregon State won a 3-0 game against Pitt and Cal took out a Miami team that had to play essentially a road game at Cal on the other side of the country. The PAC-10 despite claiming a clear statistical victory here can still not be considered the top conference since (only) half the teams made bowl games and USC is the only team that can really compete out of conference against the bigger schools.

SEC: 6-2
Two losses, both of them bad. Bama was unprepared and fell to Utah and SC got beat down by Iowa. Other than that, a full 8 of 12 teams went bowling and 6 came home with big wins. Vandy took out an ACC divisional champ in Boston College, LSU stomped Georgia Tech, Georgia took out Michigan State, Ole Miss put the Red Raiders of Texas Tech in their place, Kentucky laughed at East Carolina and Florida won the National Championship Game. This marks three years in a row that the National Championship trophy will get to live at home in the SEC. The Southeastern Conference once again established itself as The powerhouse conference and separated itself from the Big-12 with those wins by Ole Miss and Florida over Big-12 programs.

ACC: 4-6
Hey, you have to hand it to the ACC. Despite having what everyone thought was a down year, they ended up sending a full 10 teams bowling, more than any other conference. Too bad they managed only 4 wins in those ten games. Virginia Tech was the star of the league this year claiming the Orange Bowl and conference titles. Other than that, none of their bowl wins came in big games and the other stars of the conference (GT and BC) both got kicked around. When will the ACC that everyone feared would dominate after they realigned a few years ago show up? That’s yet to be determined, but if they keep developing this conference could one day be a major factor.

Big-12: 4-3
The three losses stand out more than the four wins since two of them were in big bowls (Oklahoma and Texas Tech) with Texas claiming the only big win in the Fiesta Bowl. And, I mean come on, who can’t beat Ohio State in a BCS game? Nebraska and Missouri were winners; barely, with Kansas and Oklahoma State playing equal competition and coming out at 1-1. The Big-12 may have had more wins than losses, but I think everyone now has to say that the Big-12 South was just a little bit overrated this year and there really is no truly scary defense in the conference. A lot of offense that’s to be sure, but Defense wins Championships and defines who the best conferences are. (Texas Tech over Oklahoma; Ole Miss over Florida; Ole Miss over Texas Tech; Florida over Oklahoma)

Big East: 4-2
South Florida, W. Virginia, Rutgers and UConn all got wins. None of them in “major” bowls. The class of the field Cincinnati fell to an ACC Champ and that’s all there really is to say about the Big East. Decimated by the departure of Virginia Tech and Miami (see above) this conference can now look forward to basketball season.

C-USA: 4-2
Tulsa, Rice, Air Force and Southern Miss. These are the teams that C-USA has to hang their hat on. Wow. I have nothing to say here. Tulsa won the “biggest” of those bowls and that was over #22 Ball State. Other than that, they played no major competition and when they did, they lost.

Mountain West: 3-2
Utah stands out as the class of the conference and provided this year’s biggest bowl upset with the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. Congrats to them and too bad you couldn’t claim the AP National Championship as a consolation prize for being the only undefeated team in the country. TCU also collected a good win over the MAC (insert throat clear here) and Colorado State took out Fresno State. Other than that BYU got beat by Arizona (a lower team even for the PAC-10) and the rest of the games were uninteresting. Houston vs. Air Force? Really?

Big Ten: 1-6
Can we please ban Ohio State from BCS bowls for the next three years since they have been beaten on a national stage for the last three years? Over the past two years, the Big Ten has beaten exactly TWO bowl-bound BCS teams (Michigan State's victory over ND, and Penn State's win over Oregon State--both this year). By contrast, the SEC has beaten 8 bowl bound BCS teams, same number as the Pac-10. The 11 Big Ten teams scheduled exactly 13 BCS teams in their non-conference schedule this year. So they schedule like crap in the non-conference, don't seem to beat any good teams that they do schedule, and then get torched in bowl season. At what point is that no longer an aberration, but a reflection of the state of the conference? The Big-10 managed just one win and that was Iowa over a South Carolina team that didn’t even have a quarterback. Wow.

WAC: 1-4
Louisiana Tech took out Northern Illinois (see below) for the WAC’s one and only win. Even the mighty Boise State fell to a Mountain West TCU team and the WAC is back… in the bottom two conferences in division one football.

MAC: 0-5
Hahahaha… Indeed, the MAC is Whack!

7 comments:

MAC is wack said...

As sad as the MAC was, NIU may have put up the strongest MAC performance, getting beaten by seven points with the most conservative play calling I've ever seen. I know I've griped about the f-ed up playcalling typical of bowls, but it was like NIU didn't even want to win. You've got to score more points than the other team if you want to win (I'm channeling my inner Terry Bradshaw or John Madden). Ol' Stan Parrish couldn't get Ball State up for that game, just like he couldn't win a game the last time he was a head coach - guess where?

Can't wait for something besides football. Next year, I'm boycotting the bcs. Every year I say I'm boycotting college basketball due to the overt cheating and poor officiating. Every year I watch.

In case you are interested there is an excellent article about why the bcs is bad for statisticians and quantitative methodologists on Slate.com. I highly recommend giving it a peruse - it is a completely different perspective on this travesty.

MAC is wack said...

I forgot to say great job with the blog. I will kind of miss your brutal honesty and Tim Tebow verbal masturbation, though I doubt you have ever gotten as hard for him as the Fox announcers the other night.

shanepettit said...

Sniff sniff... I'm a little sad that it's over. I hope the blog returns again next year.

Several things. I will concede that the SEC overall looked great in their bowl games. But the Bama loss was a little underscored. It wasn't just a bad loss. It was embarrassing. It was the worst loss of the big games (Penn State is the only one that might compete, but you can't blame a Big 10 team for getting beat up by USC). If you use the logic that Florida over Oklahoma and Ole Miss over TX Tech is further proof that the SEC is better than the Big 12, them Utah over Alabama is one point for the Mountain West in the MWC v. SEC debate, and I'm just being ridiculous. I don't think bowl games are truly great for judging conferences because they match different picks, sometimes a 1st choice from one conference will go against the 3rd choice of another conference. But it is the best comparison there is. Also, it can be misleading... everyone pretty much can agree that the PAC 10 is not the strongest conference, but the win loss bowl record shows otherwise.

As for the championship game, Florida's endurance is impressive. Contrary to the talk, Oklahoma showed they have a good defense. There were some mistakes, as there always are, but it wasn't Oklahoma's defense that cost them the game, despite all the Tebow love. It was the other side that cost the game. And was it just me, or was the game boring despite being close? But I am thankful that the championship game got back this year to placing two teams against each other that won't get blown out.

As i never commented before on the Cotton Bowl (which I attended), I wanted to say that Ole Miss looked great. Some stuff was sloppy, but they stepped up when they needed to. Texas Tech looked very sloppy at times. On 4th and 4, they went with a quarterback sneak? That is bad play calling, MAC. I still think Texas Tech is the better team, but there was a lot going against them: Ole Miss was hot, Crabtree was hurt (one of the interceptions was because Crabtree fell as the ball was thrown), I think there were as many as 3 starters in the secondary that were either hurt going into or during the game, Leach going coach shopping and news on where he might be had to be a distraction, and I still think Tech is hurt by that Oklahoma beating... come on, even Baylor almost pulled off an upset in Lubbock afterwards. Nonetheless, excuses are excuses, Ole Miss showed up, Tech didn't, Tech lost.

I was there hearing the "SEC" chants that AJ described, and I actually kind of laughed during the Ole Miss yells. If Tech had won that game, I guarantee we wouldn't have chanted Big 12. We would have chanted Texas Tech. Ole Miss never went around chanting "Ole Miss". It's fun to debate the whole conference thing, but I still like the team I'm a fan of better than the conference as a whole. And lumping all the teams can backfire, like when 6 hours after the SEC chants in Dallas, Utah dominated Bama. Despite that bad loss, though, the SEC still did the best in its bowl games.

Ok, I wanted my perhaps last post of the season to come at a late hour. Thanks AJ for the blog and nice job... I looked forward to reading it each week more than any other postings. MAC's comments are always fun and added to my enjoyment... I hope to find out who MAC is someday. And now I have to go and try to pretend that the NFL is college. But what do I do after 3 weeks?

AJ said...

Two things here to wrap this up... One I hate Florida, but you're right MAC, I do have too much Tebow love. And, Shane, nobody wouldve chanted Big-12 because nobody cares. The reason your conference will never overtake the SEC is because you guys don't care about each other. You have to both love and hate the other teams in your conference. It's like a domestic abuse family. I hit you because I love you so much. And, yes there were a lot of mis managed games in the bowls which was one of the few dissapointments of the season. Thanks guys for playing along this year.

MAC is wack said...

aw.

shanepettit said...

We can all agree on that one... the SEC and the South in general can be more likened to a domestic abuse family. I admit, it's fun to watch.

MAC is wack said...

I just love the SEC for the state troopers on the field at the end of games. That is classic.