The Week That Were: 11.28.09

Last TWTW of the season before we start talking about conference championships and the like. Since we’re all recovering from tryptophan overdose and 4 AM shopping trips, you’ve got two choices for the sound track for this edition.

With a bang and a whimper, the college football season drifts away like so many autumn leaves down the gutter. Can you tell I didn’t do well in college writing class?

This week we stopped as a nation to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Even though times are difficult, we have so much for which to be grateful. For instance- I’m thankful I’m not either of these guys:

I’m thankful that I understand the media’s rules for covering college football. On Thursday, Texas was in a shootout with an aTm team that can graciously be called “woeful”. But that just shows how awesome the Big 12 is and how important rivalry games are. But when a team from the Big T1e1n is in a close game against… well, you know.

I’m thankful for Nebraska- not only have they returned to greatness through solid defense, they understand the important aspects of the game.

“Everybody wants lofty numbers on offense and everybody gets caught up in that stuff,” Watson said. “I’ve always been a huge fan of (Ohio State coach) Jim Tressel because he’s never let any of that stuff bother him. He’s played his brand of ball, and you look, in this modern era, he’s been a guy who’s won a lot of games. Because he’s done what his team needs to do to win.

snot coaching much longer
‘snot coaching much longer

I’m thankful that someone, somewhere, still thinks running the ball down your opponents throat is an acceptable way to win football games. Stanford’s offense is Mich1gAAn, circa 1999; power running, play action bootlegs. Poor Notre Ame- they couldn’t beat either the current incarnation of TTUN or what they used to be.

While I’m thankful that the abomination that is the Weis administration is coming to an end in South Bend, I’m sad that we won’t have Charlie to kick around anymore.

Like many Sooner fans, I’m thankful that “Big Game Bob” finally won a game that matters. Now they’ll have warm memories of him when he’s coaching in South Bend next year. (that’s your “I think I’m Nostradamus” prediction of the week- Remember you read it here first)

I give thanks every year for the coaches I’ve known- theirs is a thankless job. You lose, and you’re out at Louisville, Marshall, and Virginia. You win, and you’re still out at Akron.

It’s good to see another team from Ohio lifting high the banner of excellence, even if they’ve got a little bit of asshat in them. It’s also good to see that the old philosophy “Score bunches of points, don’t play defense” isn’t limited to Ann Arbor.

I’m thankful that my favorite squadron didn’t wear chaps this weekend. Or, has to have a discussion about “do you think it’s time for coach to retire?” I’m also thankful for Tim Tebow… there, I said it. No maybe ESPN will stop singing his praises.

As grateful as I am about not choosing certain uniform styles, I’m still glad that this awesome helmet exists. And that they were “stealthy” enough to help Mizzou beat Kansas. The Jayhawks are celebrating the fact that, for the second straight week, Mangino didn’t kill someone.

I’m also thankful that, as urgent and dire as my favorite rivalry can be, we don’t have coaches who do this. To set the scene, U$C was up by 14 at the time, had just received the ball back on downs, and had taken a knee to run the clock out. UCLA’s coach had called a time out (looking to cover the spread?), and Pete Carroll took umbrage to that. And the result– Deep pass for a TD, Trojan players acting like jerks, UCLA players responding, etc. What do you expect, though- someone painted the bear!

What bothers me (seriously, watch the video) isn’t the “go for the bomb” mentality; heck, St. Woody famously wanted to go for three at the end of a blowout against Mich1gAAn. What doesn’t sit well is Carroll’s gleeful antics- as a leader of men, you can only lay the blame for his team’s response at his feet. I am thankful, though, that he gets to answer questions about being in a close game with a mediocre opponent in a rivalry… whoops, it’s not the Big T1e1n, so never mind. Enjoy the “whatever bowl the 3rd/4th team in the Pac 10 goes to”, Pete.

The Iron Bowl left me with mixed feelings- I’m thankful that our “ApocalypSEC 09” game is still afoot, but not happy that Auburn lost given that they unleashed some of the greatest trick plays assembled.

I’m thankful that the games are actually played rather than just done on paper. It makes rivalry so much more important, and gives us upsets like The Irrelevant Ball Coach over Clemson, Gawguh winning a big one for Uga against a one loss Tech, WVa overcoming The ‘Stache, NC State beating UNC, Kentucky taking Tennessee to overtime, Houston hanging 73 on Rice. Football is good.

I’m always grateful for the small things, too; sweet potato pie, fried turkey, time with family, high school football (even if it is JV). That’s why Kirkwood’s win on Thanksgiving is sweet, and Webster’s Grove’s championship adds a double dose of awesomeness to the weekend.

People who want my opinion
People who want my opinion

It’s almost time to hand out gaudy gifts- nope, not a stupid hamster that you bought on “chartreuse Saturday” or something- it’s “Year End Awards Time”.

Since I’m a) a blogger, b) not important and c) not a former Heisman Trophy winner, I don’t get to vote for the “Big Statue that only one person has won twice, and don’t you forget it”.

But, let’s say I did… my ballot would look a little something like this:

  1. Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan- Better career numbers than Tebow, passing AND rushing.
  2. Toby Gerhart, Stanford- This year’s Bo Jackson. He’s getting the ball, and there’s not much you can do about it.
  3. Colt McCoy, Tejas- Should have won it last year, and has been the sole offense for a team that may be playing for the glassy trophy.
  4. Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska- Other teams have to change their game plans to deal with him. That’s enough for me.
  5. St. Tebow of Gainesville- Yeah, if only he hadn’t been concussed. Or playing with a limited offense this year.

This week, it gets serious (unlike all the other weeks, when we were just goofing around):

  • Pac Ten championship: Nike University vs toOSU- Winner to play the Buckeyes
  • ApocalypSEC 09: ‘Bama vs The Tebows
  • Big 12 Shootout- Bo’s Boys against Colt
  • Big lEast title bout- U Chic fil a and Pitt
  • Ohio and my Heisman Candidate meet for the MAC championship
  • Conference USA championship has Houston and East Carolina squaring off

And, of course, there’s still the playoffs in every other division of college football. Heck, even Canada figured out how to do it, and they can’t even get the number of downs or size of the field right.

We’ll be back on Thursday to talk about a game from the “minor leagues” of college football, and will highlight Ohio’s true dynasty.

Until then, since I’m feeling all warm and Christmasy, here you go:

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