Hard to Season to Swallow

// 2008 CFB Season Left 2009 Flat
Well, the CFB season is now over and there is a little sad boy in me that has to weather the next 8 months of blah in sports.  Sure the NBA is about to crank up and may get interesting this year, but as a league it is still a shadow of its former self of the late 80’s and early 90’s.  The NFL playoffs and of corse the Superbowl here as well and I’ll watch with as much interest as I can garner, but CFB ’09 is dead.

The sadness doesn’t come from the fond memories or thrilling moments.  It doesn’t come from not being able to watch my team or because my team lost the big game.  No, it comes from the fact the CFB is the most exciting sport in the world, well, usually.  This year served as a reminder that we are watching students play a game not pros perform their jobs.  The lackluster performances started early and stayed throughout.  Bradford was hurt before halftime in the very first game ever played in Jerry World by a BYU team who left us scratching our heads.  You see, OU was supposed to be the dominant force that the talking heads told us they were and BYU just beat them on a neutral field with… Defense?  This left everyone with some sort of excuse for the Sooners of corse- ‘1st game jitters’ ‘Bradford really is that valuable’ ‘BYU is the next BCS buster’ etc.  I guess hindsight really is 20/20 though.  Not that I am trying to toot my horn here, but I saw this season inevitably failing to match up to 2008 on the simple principle that “Its never as good the second time around”.

2008 was the year of Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Harrell to Crabtree, and the above mentioned Sam Bradford.  It was also the year that Utah went undefeated and beat Bama in their Bowl.  It was an AMAZING year in CFB and will go down as one of the best. But as 2009 came around everything went downhill starting with last years National Championship where they simply put the wrong team in the game against Florida.  OU shouldn’t have been there, Texas should have been.  Fast forward, first week of this season.  Bradford goes down with OU’s hope of being a NC contender and LaGarrette Blount throws a punch- gets suspended. Then “MIAMI’S BACK!!!!” Not so fast my friends.  Then Florida beats LSU!!!  Might I add highly overrated LSU.  As were many of the teams this year.  Notre Dame is still unrealistically nuts, and they fired Weis.  Brian Kelly pulled a Saban.

Teams were down in all conferences with the exception of the Mountain West.  Last years darling, and new edition to top picks, Texas Tech had to find a new O line which caused Taylor Potts to loose all confidence after that non-call helmet to helmet by Sergio Kindle, leaving them to handle team strife, prima donna’s, and a step back.  Colt McCoy came out and immediately showed he missed having his weapons of last year, and funny enough so did Tim Tebow.  Alabama couldn’t score a TD in the redzone to save their lives and their QB played as poorly as one can and somehow still win.  Granted it appeared the refs helped out a little, as they did with UT and UF.  USC showed why Pete Carroll was so upset with Mark Sanchez for leaving early- they didn’t have a viable option for this year.  Oklahoma State was “stunned” by a difficult Houston Cougar team and pre-season darling Ol’ Miss whiffs at South Carolina.   All of these once unstoppable offenses hit a year when the students who once made them work had gone to the NFL or graduated, leaving the season up for grabs.  Well, up for grabs for those lucky enough to be in the BCS conferences.

We finished this year with yet another non-sensical Heisman winner and the luckiest National Champion ever.  Seriously, how did Bama manage to beat Tennessee (minus aforementioned refs help) or Auburn or Arkansas?  We know Saban had planned for Florida for a year and he showed that when his first formation was a SPREAD!!  Clearly he knew if he didn’t take the momentum they were done.  Then he makes it to the big game and the starting QB, and fan voted national player of the year, goes down in the first series where it looked like UT may dominate Bama.  The BCS game was a microcosm of the whole season; starting-Heisman hopeful- QB hurt… lots of 3 in outs… a couple of terrible attempts to tackle a runner resulting in TDs… Punt… Punt… Punt… But NEVER to the returner… Kick off, short and sweet, again avoid the returner… A ‘could be moment’ 24-21… True freshman reality…  Late scores to run up the winning margin…  A missed extra point…

Bad execution, poor judgements, and controversies of the negative nature.  That was 2009.  Jim Leavitt, Mark Mangino and Mike Leach are portrayed by ESPN to be sultans of swat and big mean men, two of them very well may be.  Urban Meyer may also be gone from football.  Then who can forget the NCAA’s flexibility with a young man’s mistake in the Dez Bryant suspension?  This leaves us looking at next year, and has for the last 3 months.  It looks like Miami and Texas A&M have a chance at their conferences next year.  Oregon and USC should be REALLY good and the PAC-10 should populate the top 10.  The Mountain West will still be ignored.  Texas Tech’s administration will have many new faces after a terrible loss in the law suit to the Head Pirate, and the football program will erode back to the Dykes’ era.  Ohio St will dominate the Big 11, again, minus that one loss to Michigan.  Cincy football is over, as is Kansas, and South Florida.  Paterno will finally retire, and while being ignored, another MWC team will go undefeated.

Yeah, this was a bad year in CFB.  None of the conferences were as good as they were last year, and when I say none I mean none of the 6 BCS conferences.  The MWC was incredible, did you see Air Force DOMINATE the Cougs?  USC, Florida’s, & OU’s dominance ended and the teams that took over for them weren’t all that good.  Its fitting that we finally had a true defensive player up for the Heisman this year, because he was THE BEST PLAYER hands down.

So Congrats to you Tide fans, but please wear the success with humility.  No one should ever apologize for being the best mediocre team in a year full of mediocre team, a champion is a champion; but at the same time have a little perspective and remember what really happened.  Until next year my friends.