we go again
are reading this, you must be hungry for genuine college
football action. You are the reason we do this, for you
are a fanatical lover of heartily-played pigskin scrimmages
only found outside of the professional ranks. This is where
the game remains (somewhat) pure, so we get the attraction
on this and many other levels.
is to be expected in this, an Orange Bowl year for the BCS,
is the kind of competitive parity and gutsy, non-conference
match-ups that recent seasons have initiated. But though
it is a golden age for many aspects of the physical game,
intellectual and personal dimensions of individual athletes
and how THE overseeing body regulates their pursuit are
of such, there is an excellent article written by ex-Colorado
WR/PR Jeremy Bloom that gives his genuine, sardonic insight
into the NCAA and its decision(s), namely the one that curtailed
his college career.
Bloom and the NCAA
He gives a first-person overview of this never-ending battle
that affects all players - past, present, and (especially)
season's has now started, which helps to give answers to
those months-old questions that will be made evident once
December's hindsights roll around. Here are just a few of
those that, once played out, will provide the substance
sure to make sense of our random curiosities.
QB Matt Leinart and Southern Cal take only four returning
offensive starters, though sans the absolutely-handed WR
Mike Williams, to that highest height again? Upperclassman
leadership and experience on all defensive levels says yes.
will have something to say about that - they return 17 starters,
all upperclassmen (but one). So then, their plight is clear
- can returning Heisman winner Jason White overcome the
late-season Big XII hex that so many recently past Sooner
squads have fallen prey to? The conference is tougher than
ever, so they will have to earn this one to make me believe
- but look for them to do USC if they both make it to the
end for the title game, for their tests are cumulatively
tougher (OU comes in 41st on NC.net's SOS rankings, USC
State's highly-anticipated, multi-sported QB Justin Zwick
has his work cut out for him with the Buckeye's (seemingly
slipping) Big Ten slate. Can he keep OSU from another no-show
campaign after such successes? Too often the Ohio State
has letdown years after surges. This turnover should be
different. Yet, look for Columbus to be cringing as they
anticipate their 11/20/04 home tilt with Michigan - how
many times has a promising Buckeye group headed into this
biggest of rivalry games, too with strong squads to go along
with high bowl expectations, only to
hex, curse - if
you haven't cried on the way home while headed east on the
670, you may not know the legendary disappointments of which
of the boys from Ann Arbor, can they take all of those question
marks, notably at tailback, and again make a team that somehow
reaches the top tiers of the final polls?
the Big Ten's foray into instant replay be the beginning
of a new age in college football? Or will the marginally
conceived way it is applied permanently drive a stake into
the heart of such a game-delaying process? And how will
other-conferenced teams play into this scenario - do they
become subject to instant replay in those games they play
against Big Ten-ers?
we are on the Big Ten, will Joe Pa keep the Penn State recruiting
wheels greased by announcing his four-year extension of
tenure? I predict this is a smoke screen as described, and
this means Paterno bows out either after this season or
looks to make some noise after (again) revamping their coaching
ranks. How will new head coach Bill Callahan apply players
recruited for ex-coach Frank Solich's schemes?
kind of ominous sign is it when a 'hurricane' (Frances)
has already influenced the college football landscape? 1998's
meteorological turn of events haunts the delayed games.
the playing of the Miami-FSU game again NOT produce one
of the teams playing in the national title game? Every year
up until the last, this game's winner was in the BCS title
game. Swami Sammie says
Pac Ten, Big XII and the SEC
are to provide those due (Jan. 4th) in Miami.
didn't need this past Thursday's wiping of the Aggies by
Utah to key many to the Ute's anticipated prowess. But playing
the 104th toughest schedule (see NC.net's SOS listings)
means they have to run the table to possibly get a BCS wildcard
more importantly, will making the BCS formula more heavily
weighted by the polls solve things so that a mid-level conferenced
success story can legitimately make one of those (now) ten
spots? Fairness, though, isn't found so much in this eventuality
- the playing field is leveled once the predestined bowl
alliances/allegiances are broken up (enough) so these worthy
small-but-strong football schools are respected through
an increase in post-season destinations. Tell me
the end, which one would mean a larger bottom line for more
kind of morally bankrupt scruples does the Colorado athletic
department have to allow head coach Gary Barnett to continue
his tenure of doom? I really wonder how these people think
history can possibly reflect kindly upon them for not cleaning
house, especially after the multiple fiascos exposed everything
from poorly overseen recruiting tactics to disgusting attitudes
(Barnett's) in the face of alleged sexual misconduct(s),
namely rape. The lessons taught via Barnett's actions harkin
back to the days when colluding 'good-ole boy' networks
of administrators were more willing to help each other,
regardless of the accusation (and its inherent truth), rather
than make their school(s) respected institutions of integrity.
Just ask Sylvester Croom's qualified African-American predecessors
about cracking such networks.
he has two losses or less, is Ron Zook looking his destiny
square in the eye since Steve Spurrier is now unemployed?
Being a UF alumni, I can strongly warn - do not underestimate
the powers of a proven winner in Gainesville.
this the year that Colorado State's Sonny Lubick's balloon
bursts? The college game is all about managing the annual
turnover, and Lubick has proven to motivate enough squads
on this level such that most insiders now expect him to
deliver, regardless of the talent levels. New starting-QB
Justin Holland's level of play will tell all.
LSU's QB Marcus Randall replace the proven Matt Mauck? Mauck
made everyone look good, something many of the most talented
QBs can never do, despite amassing big personal numbers.
Most polls have Saban's crew ranked somewhere in their top
five, an overly stellar placement that this prognosticator
feels is too high, sorry Todd. That SEC west is too tough
West Virginia's failure(s) again to overcome their Terrapin
rivals be their undoing? To ironically answer this, reference
Maryland's disappointments against FSU.
will Pittsburgh do without Fitzgerald if they were 8-5 with
him? QB Rutherford being replaced is another hit from which
they just cannot bounce back, huh.
I forget Georgia? Has everyone forgotten them? Look out
for those swamp dawgs
just to embarrass myself
Can we finally make it so
that when a football player gets a $20 'loan' from a coach
(or otherwise), he is treated the same as when a swimmer,
wrestler, or rower does this? If 'an athlete is an athlete'
for certain circumstances, why make getting free shoes or
a meal so different when a football player does it? To mimic
the ending message from Devo's "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
video - Oh, that NCAA
I digress. As always, expect the unexpected. See you at
the Horseshoe November 20th. Mr. Joe will be there, too.