Sunday, November 02, 2008

Monday Musings On a Sunday Night

  • I am fighting the urge to ramble on with superlative after superlative describing Saturday night's instant classic between Texas and Texas Tech. I'm not going to do it, though. The reason? What could I possibly say to adequately describe what we saw? How silly would someone sound trying to adequately describe The Mona Lisa or Michelangelo's David? From the quality of play to the electricity of the crowd and to the pure breath taking heroics on both sides in the last 1:30, it was everything you could ever hope for in a college football game. And yes, SEC fans, it took place in West Texas and had nothing to do with the SEC. Amazing, right?

  • Speaking of the SEC, love him or hate him (I've made my feelings clear), Urban Meyer has assembled the East Coast USC, and he isn't going anywhere any time soon. I watched the Cocktail Party on TIVO early Sunday morning, and I was astonished at what Florida was able to do to UGA. I'm not necessarily astonished at the blowout (as OU and Texas have shown us in years past, when things go south in a rivalry game, it's not uncommon for them to get out of control), but I am astonished in the manner in which UF went about dismantling the Dawgs. More specifically, I was astonished that UF's speed and physicality (not sure that's a word) on defense forced UGA to beat themselves with penalties, turnovers, and debilitating frustration. This was not a game that was highlighted with long touchdowns and exciting offensive plays by the Gators. Instead, it was a game that was highlighted by a lot of hard hitting (on both sides), a relentless Gator pass rush, and a pretty hard nosed straight forward Gator offense capitalizing on field position and turnovers. In other words, it was a workman like performance from a team you usually expect to win "pretty". Last year, despite Tebow's amazing individual statistics, UF played pretty spotty defense and lost four games. This year, Tebow's stats are less gaudy, but this version of the Gators, at least at the moment, looks frightening because of the way they play defense. Something tells me that when everything shakes out that defense is going to give UF a chance at another Crystal Ball. Now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to go light myself on fire.

  • As for my beloved Jackets, Saturday was a great day. I mean, any time you beat a team for the first time in 33 years, it is a good day. That being said, I was, of course, disappointed with the way our offense hung our defense out to dry after Nesbit went down, but I'm not going to hold on to that. What I will hold on to is the memory of standing in the Upper East stands and watching our students rush the field in pure elation after the game. Not since our 41-38 win over UVA in '98 ("Dez White....Dez White!" and "Oh, Charlie!") have our students and our fan base had a moment quite like that. I know some of you get tired of me waxing poetic about my alma mater, but trust me when I tell you that very few other college students go through what Tech students go through. From the moment you sit in orientation and get the whole "look to your left, look to your right, one of these people will not be here this time next year" speech, there is nothing like the Tech experience. You are constantly faced with challenges that include calculus, chemistry, and less women than a seminary. In other words, I was really happy those kids got to experience what Joe Ham and company let us experience back in my days on the Flats. In fact, I think I enjoyed watching those kids celebrate on Saturday more than I enjoyed doing the celebrating back in '98. That, my friends, is what it means to love your alma mater. Well, that and writing a fat check to the alumni association. I'm batting .500, which frankly, is pretty good.

  • My buddy Chris and I were watching NFL games together today when Chris made two powerful observations: 1) Donald Driver looks just like one of the guys from the Blue Man Group; and 2) It is impossible to like someone with the nickname "Matty Ice". Since I now have a full blown man crush on Matt Ryan, I am instituting a WAD ban on the use of the phrase "Matty Ice". If you insist on calling him something other than his real name, please just refer to him as "Ice". I can live with that.

  • Is anyone else as intrigued with the November 22 match-up between Washington and Washington St. as I am? Will this be the worst two major college football teams to ever take the field at the same time? I mean, we aren't talking about Vandy and Duke back in their worst days. We are talking about programs that have history and tradition that include Rose Bowls, national titles, and the two worst 1st round picks in history (Steve Entman and Ryan Leaf). This match-up is historic. I can't wait.

  • So, who will represent the Big 12 South if Texas Tech beats Oklahoma St. and then OU beats Texas Tech and OSU leaving us with a 3 way tie between OU, Texas, and Texas Tech? I'm glad you asked. Courtesy of the Big 12 official website, here are the tie-breaker rules:

Divisional Tiebreakers: The following procedure will determine the representative from each division in the event of a tie:


a) If two teams are tied, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the representative


b) If three or more teams are tied, steps 1 through 7 will be followed until a determination is made. If only two teams remain tied after any step, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the representative.

1) The records of the three teams will be compared against each other


2) The records of the three teams will be compared within their division


3) The records of the three teams will be compared against the next highest placed teams in their division in order of finish (4, 5 and 6)


4) The records of the three teams will be compared against all common conference opponents;


5) The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series Poll following the completion of Big 12 regular season conference play shall be the representative


6) The team with the best overall winning percentage [excluding exempted games] shall be the representative


7) The representative will be chosen by draw.

So, I think that means that the team with the highest BCS ranking after the end of the regular season will represent the Big 12 South in the Title Game. Right now, Texas Tech is No. 2 in the BCS, Texas is 4, and OU is 6. Therefore, the question becomes this: if OU beats a No.2 T. Tech team, and then an OSU team, which is now ranked No. 9 and may not fall that far with a loss to Tech (right now, Ohio St., UGA, Missouri, LSU, UNC, and Ga. Tech are all two loss teams ranked somewhere between 10 -20), will that be enough to vault over Texas, who does not play another BCS ranked team in their final 3 games? Obviously, I don't have the ability to run all the computations on a computer, but my common sense tells me yes. Therefore, we may very well be headed to a scenario where OU loses to Texas and still wins the Big 12 and plays for a national title! Did you ever think that could happen? And, in all the years of hate in the Bedlam series, do you think there has ever been a Saturday where OU fans were rooting harder against the Pokes than next Saturday? I'm guessing the answer to that one is no!

Finally, The WAD Top 7:

1) Florida

2) Oklahoma

3) USC

4) Texas Tech

5) Alabama

6) Penn State

7) Texas