Sunday, October 12, 2008

Monday Musings

  • The Big 12 really stole the show this weekend. Saturday started with The Red River Shootout, which was an amazing game that featured two truly great college quarterbacks and two truly great coaches. Next, Texas Tech and Nebraska put together an instant classic. Then, Saturday concluded with the shocking OSU upset at Missouri that featured big plays and one very good 41 year old coach. I don't want to get in the best conference argument, but I have to point out that no conference has featured better quality matchups than the Big 12 on Saturday. If you take away the abysmal instant replay debacles in the OU and Missouri games (more on that below), these were damn near perfect football games. Great teams, great coaches, and remarkable crowds. In short, it was a banner day for the Big 12, and I suspect it won't be the last. For example, this Saturday Chase Daniel will be looking for redemption of many kinds at DKR in the heart of Austin.

  • Other than being three of the most important and compelling matchups Saturday, what do the OU/Texas, Notre Dame/UNC, and Missouri/OSU games have in common? Each game was marred by atrocious instant replay calls. I'm not going to go off for 2,000 words on this...I've done that before, but I will just ask one more time, if your desire is to prevent human error, how can you possibly defend the use of instant replay in college football? I used to believe that the biggest flaw with the system was that the replay guys didn't have the guts to overturn any calls. Then, on Saturday, we saw calls that clearly should have been upheld overturned, and we saw just as many calls that clearly should have been overturned upheld. Now, my theory has evolved to the following: when you have two guys watching every play trying to decide whether every catch was a catch, every spot was exactly where the knee touched, and every fumble was a fumble, etc... it creates sensory overload. In other words, these guys watch every freaking play with such intensity, they have completely lost the ability to see things with clear eyes and common sense. Actually, that doesn't even make sense. Maybe it's just that they absolutely don't know what they are doing. Whatever the reason, the system doesn't work, and the NCAA should immediately change to the NFL system. If you are going to have instant replay, you have to limit its use, and you absolutely have to get it right when you use it. The NFL does as good a job as possible, and for once, college football should emulate the NFL.

  • While they are fixing the instant replay rules, maybe the NCAA can fix these ridiculous clock rules. Here's my biggest problem with the clock rules: If you are trailing in the second half of a game, you simply must have at least two timeouts left for the last three minutes. If you only have one timeout and you don't have the ball in your hands at the 3 minute mark, you are done. Don't believe me? Well, let's play out the best case scenario:

First down: run up the middle and use 7 seconds on the play. Timeout. 2:53 left.

Second down: run up the middle and use 7 seconds, 3 seconds to blow the whistle and for the play clock to reset, 40 seconds run off the clock...

Third down: snap at 2:03, run up the middle and use 7 seconds, 3 more second to blow the whistle and for the play clock to reset, 40 seconds run off the clock...

Fourth down: snap at 1:13, punt the ball, 7 seconds run off the clock before the fair catch is made.

So, you take possession with 1:06 left with no timeouts. In other words, even when you have a timeout, the opposing team can go 3 and out and bleed nearly 2 minutes off the clock. I have always felt the NFL clock rules were the main reason the NFL games was much less enjoyable to watch than college football. I've never enjoyed the fact that a 14 point lead in the 4th quarter of an NFL game is nearly and insurmountable lead, and I've always loved the fact that a 14 point lead in the 4th quarter of a college game is anything but insurmountable. Now, it's hard to tell the difference between Saturdays and Sundays. If the NCAA ever does away with stopping the clock after a first down, I may lose my mind. Seriously, this could cause me to have a nervous breakdown. Sadly, I'm not kidding.

  • Here are some facts from the weekend:

1) Georgia Tech beat a very bad I-AA team by 3 points at home;

2) Matt Ryan and the Falcons may not yet be a playoff team, but they sure have the heart of a playoff team;

3) Tommy Bowden is coaching his last season at Clemson;

4) USC is in great shape to play for the national championship; and

5) If your girlfriend is a Clemson graduate and you have been dating less than 3 years, it is completely unacceptable to ever, under any circumstance, go to a Clemson game instead of your alma mater's game. You know who you are!

  • Here's a question for you: What happens if BYU goes undefeated, USC and Penn St. have one loss, and Texas, Mizzou, OU, LSU, Florida, and UGA finish with two losses? That's right, folks, there will be a controversy over who plays BYU in the BCS Championship Game. Don't sleep on the Cougars.

  • What's the best part of the MLB playoffs? Joe Buck doesn't announce NFL games. If you had the pleasure of hearing Dick Stockton do the play by play of the Dallas/Arizona game Sunday, can you understand how Fox can possibly put Stockton behind Buck in the lineup? I certainly can't.

  • Speaking of the MLB playoffs, I have yet to watch a pitch. It's not that I don't enjoy the MLB playoffs, but I just find this year's version very boring. That being said, if Manny squares off against the Sox in the Series, I won't miss a pitch, and I will be cheering for Manny like he is a Brave. Why? Well, I love Manny. How can you not love Manny?

  • Last but not least, here's The WAD Top 7 (remember, I rank these teams as all voters should: after this week, who do I actually think are the best 7 teams in the country? I know, it's a novel concept):

1) Texas

2) OU

3) Alabama

4) USC

5) Florida

6) Penn State

7) BYU

Others getting votes: Texas Tech, Mizzou, UGA, and Gardner Webb