Passing the Time - Rating the Overrated
That got me thinking….
In an effort to be negative and hateful, (and since we obviously have the time) I think we need to delve into some of the unspoken ugliness that surrounds a sport that most of us have grown to love. (Or in some of your cases, lust after with the intensify of a 14 year old living next door to Jenna Jameson).
So with that, let’s talk about the 10 most overrated aspects of college football.
10) The Big 10 Conference
This one is easy. I realize that back in the day…when there were hardly enough decent teams to fill out a UPI top 20 poll, the Big 10 was extremely relevant. Michigan and Ohio State in particular have been built over time as some sort of super-human football factories, led for the most part by ESPN and an east-coast bias that doesn’t have the sack to travel anywhere outside of the tri-state area for stories.
Following close behind are a cavalcade of mediocre wannabes that include Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State. None of which are horrible…yet none of which would probably be over .500 if they didn’t play each other during the regular season and just so happened to skip the possibility of a conference title game.
If all that isn’t enough, don’t forget it’s the Big 10 and their precious Rose Bowl tie that is the root of almost any and every bowl controversy ever created. Oh yeah, did I mention that they went out and made their own network so the cable customers of the upper Midwest could shell out extra dough to watch that dynamite Purdue – Eastern Michigan match up every September?
9) ESPN Pundits
I realize it takes somebody on ESPN’s payroll to actually sit down and talk about the games of the week…SOMEBODY has to do it...but is there any doubt that ESPN could do better than Lou Holtz, Todd McShay or Mark May? And yes, I realize that without guys like this, your Thursday and Friday evening would be full of talk surrounding this year’s WNBA championship. However, has anybody ever stopped long enough to ask a question that really needs to be asked….Are THESE the best guys ESPN could get to talk about college football? Hell, at least CNNSI had the sack to fire Trev Alberts for being a yammering douchebag.
Todd McShay alone has said some of the most idiotic shit every spoken into air in the history of man, and yet he CONTINUES to show up on shows introduced as, "ESPN College Football Expert" Todd McShay. Huh!? Says who? Todd's Mom? You fuckin suck Todd. Get a job at Menards and stop telling me that Alabama has as much talent as anyone in the nation. (Who probalby didn't lose to Lousiana-Monroe at home apparently)
8) “Mid Majors”
The NCAA basketball tournament has been great for “mid majors” and their reputation. However, in a more physically demanding sport such as football, there simply is no reason to believe that Hawaii or Boise State are as good as any of the BCS conference teams. Don’t get me wrong, these teams eventually pull off an occasional upset…much like the big fat egg OU laid in the Fiesta Bowl a few years ago. But if you were laying down odds…just how many times in hell is Hawaii going to beat Georgia in pretty much anything but women’s volleyball?
David vs. Goliath is a great story for the NCAA tournament, and gives that event the flavor it needs to survive at the forefront of sports for three solid weeks. But in terms of football, crappy teams like Hawaii do nothing but take valuable pub time and bowl bids from teams who truly are good and deserve a real crack at beating a real team. Thanks a lot OU…99% of this is on you falling for a Boise State play that doesn’t even work on Xbox.
7) Spring Football
Don’t get me wrong…I completely understand the allure of spring football. A person can only take so much Red Sox vs. Yankees crap on ESPN, as the first wave of off-season boredom kicks in. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that since you’re dealing with 18-22 year old kids with nothing at stake, the effort isn’t quite the same as Saturday’s in the fall. I mean, it’s bad enough some people break down scrimmages as if they were real games. But is it really necessary to put a scrimmage on ESPN? You do realize that’s a team playing against their own backups don’t you? I don’t get it. I’ll never get it.
6) “Traditional Powers”
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess this will be the most controversial of my top 10. Why? Because my key demographic is people who believe that the only reason they lost last year was because there weren’t enough pictures of former all-Americans in their weight room. I know you don’t believe this…but you, Penn State, Alabama, Notre Dame etc are nothing but memories of a bygone area. Oh sure, when I was a kid, all of these teams were battling for a National Championship. But today?
Being a “traditional power” means absolutely nothing. Again, I don’t expect you to believe this..but trust me. Hell, look at the top 25 in the last poll of the year. LSU and Georgia…good teams but traditional powers? USC would qualify..as would Ohio State and Oklahoma. But how bout Missouri, West Virginia, Kansas, Boston College, BYU, Arizona State, Cincinnati, Hawaii, Illinois, Clemson, Texas Tech, Oregon and Oregon State?
See any Penn States, Notre Dames, Alabamas or Nebraska’s in there? How about Florida State or Miami? For some reason, you people feel your helmet alone should win you 9 games. Hell, with the exception of USC and Oklahoma…even the BEST a “former power” can hope for is a formerly “ho hum” 9 win season that will get you nothing but a trip to a mid-level bowl that nobody gives a rats ass about. (And last time I checked...you aren't USC or Oklahoma. Not even close)
5) The Spread Offense
It seems like every 5-10 years or so, somebody comes up with an excuse as to why “non-traditional” powers succeed in college football. It happened with BYU in the mid 80s. It happened with Houston during the Andre Ware years. And now, it’s happening in the Pat White and Chase Daniel era. The spread is just this generation’s version of something quirky that pundits and announcers can hang their hat on to explain their shitty predictions. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Missouri and West Virginia weren’t good teams last year because they ran the spread. They were good because guys like Pat White, Steve Slaton, Martin Rucker and Jeremy Maclin decided to go to school there. Think Oregon is some premier offensive juggernaut because they have wacky uniforms? Uhh…Dennis Dixon may have had something to do with that..and it didn’t have anything to do with how many tight ends he had lined up.
4) College Gameday
Am I the only one who gets bored with College Gameday in about 2 seconds? Yes, I know they’re on campus and people are yelling. I know the big redneck guys with giant buckles, big hats and their twangy banjos open the show and it signals the start of the football day. But have you ever really sat down and intently watched that show? Does anybody realize it’s the same show pretty much over and over? OK, Corso is going to make a wacky pick. Chris Fowler is going to have some feel-good story about some guy who’s mom was run over by a train or whatever. Desmond Howard will answer some insanely idiotic question sent in by some hayseed from Kentucky.
Think about it…the whole thing is really about kicking off the weekend…but am I the only one who gets bored with the whole shtick? Am I the only one annoyed that they don’t spend more than 2 minutes on any single game, and even then…they tell you something that every other ESPN talking head has mentioned 500 times during the week. Not saying it isn’t a nice little program when nothing else is on but Dora and Thomas the Tank Engine. But this is a perfect example of something that gets way way way more credit than it deserves.
3) Recruiting Services
You know my stance on this. Much like College Gameday…recruiting hype serves a nice purpose when nothing else is going on. But packing into your Hyundai and driving 13 hours to watch some 17 year old pick your school’s hat up to the clapping of his coach and 3 of his closest relatives…you may have taken this too far. Hell, just look at the entire Blaine Gabbert saga from last year. Let the damn kid pick a school. What the hell are the odds that ANYBODY could live up to the hype of 400,000 middle-aged men in faded Dockers…wasting their company’s hard earned payroll? Once again, by itself..not a bad idea. But no way can you have an overrated list without recruiting hype.
2) Playing a tough non-conference schedule
Don’t get me wrong…I love a nice USC bloodbath over Nebraska in the non-conference. And yes, it’s pretty entertaining to watch some big-time game that doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot. But blame this on the state of Kansas and the MAC champion Jayhawks. Mark Mangino and his prancing hawks showed the world that it’s absolutely idiotic to play anything less than 4 public scrimmages before your conference season works. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t agree with the practice, and I feel KU and their cousins from Hawaii have set back college football decades by completely mocking the system.
If a team is going to schedule patsies….then punish them for doing so. Is it completely necessary to reward them for having their toughest contest in the non-conference is a home game against Central Michigan? Are you serious? It’s not right, but playing a tough non-conference schedule under the current system is completely idiotic. Because of that, I officially forgive Steve Pederson for chickening out against Houston a couple of years ago. Play whoever you want and play them at home. Just win your conference games, and you’ll be just fine. (of course you may have a cholesterol level of 32,000…but your team will be just fine. (until they are exposed in front of a national TV audience after 2 months of close victories due to smoke and mirrors).
1) The Playoff Debate.
Don’t get me wrong…I think a playoff would be kinda cool. But until the ratings for bowl games decline..it will NEVER EVER happen. Because of this fact alone..it’s a complete and total waste of time to hear this 323,000 times a day during the season. (And yes, you can thank NU Chancellor Harvey Pearlman for killing the playoff system the last few years.)
But hell, even if the playoff system WAS passed…don’t you think the NCAA would find some way to screw it up? And don’t you think the corrupt bastards who run the bowl games wouldn’t have their say to ruin the whole thing as well? If something makes so much sense as this..wouldn’t it be safe to say it would be completely jacked up to the point that you wouldn’t even want it anymore.
Besides…with a playoff system, your non-conference home games against Peru State, Southern Utah and Western Illinois would be all for not. Good idea. Won’t ever happen. Stop talking about it.