The Bowl matchups were just announced. Some good, some bad… some, no one knows what to think about at this point. I emailed my good friend Brubaker (who writes for the amazing site www.collegehoops.net) and asked him his opinion on the whole mess. No matter if the site is for basketball or not, he knew what I was talking about and, he was smart enough to put things in a top-ten-type-email, so I was able to give some of my own responses. Something tells me he will have some of his own responses to what I have to say about things. And away we go…
Brubaker: 1). It’s hard to argue against LSU/Ohio St. for the title, but Oklahoma may have gotten the shaft. Beat #1 by 21 points in the conference championship, and no shot at the title? Plus, seeing LSU jump so high after beating a mediocre Tennessee team is a bit odd.
Smoothron: 1). No matter what is said, there’s not much to be argued about OSU/LSU. Talk about Oklahoma all you want, but if someone were to edge out one of these teams to play in the National Title Game, I’d take Georgia over anyone. Say what you will about not winning your conference, but NO ONE was playing as well as UGA towards the end of the season. Oklahoma was just never able to put it all together, and if you take OU’s two losses against LSU’s, there’s just no question in my mind.
For argumentative behavior that has spanned over a decade… follow us after the jump.
Brubaker: 2). Hawaii should get pounded by Georgia. Forget the talk about last year’s Boise St win over Oklahoma, because last year Oklahoma wasn’t that great. I think this bowl could end up looking like the beat-down Georgia gave Boise St 2 years ago in Athens, when they made them look like a JV team. It makes for a great story but let’s face it- if Hawaii played in the SEC, Big 12 or Pac 10, they’d be lucky to be 7-5. When you have to come from behind to beat Washington and San Jose State, you’re not championship material.
Smoothron: 2). I couldn’t agree more. As stated before, no one in the country was playing as well as UGA has been playing since they got beat in Knoxville that (drunken, at least for me) October afternoon. Mark Richt has essentially handed over all coaching duties to assistants, and all he is doing is recruiting and motivating. How much motivating is there to be done when the team you’re playing hasn’t played anyone and they are bitching about not being in the National Title game? Oh yeah, Athens to New Orleans is 541 miles. www.mapquest.com doesn’t even recognize when you try to figure out how far it is from Honolulu to New Orleans. Also, June Jones sucks out loud.
Brubaker: 3). Kansas-Virginia Tech might rival the Utah-Pittsburgh matchup in the Fiesta a couple years ago, as most unwatchable BCS bowl game ever. Heading into the season, could anyone name a player on Kansas’ roster? Did anyone even realize they had a football team?
Smoothron: 3). This game is seriously unwatchable. As “good” as VT might be, can you really name any players for them? Didn’t think so. As Bru mentioned, no one knows anyone that plays for Kansas; and if their coach wasn’t fat, the program would be irrelevant. Mark Mangino has literally become the Rick Majerus of the football world. He has done more than anyone could ever do with Kansas football (much like Majerus did with Utah basketball [leading the National Championship game at half]) and he will NEVER get a better job. We are truly in a world where health matters. Excuse me, I need to get my fat ass on the treadmill.
Brubaker: 4). USC will absolutely smoke Illinois in the Rose Bowl. Having seen Ron Zook coach (and lose) a number of big games, I have no doubts the Illini will be woefully unprepared for USC’s speed on defense.
Smoothron: 4). Have we mentioned yet that Bru is a Florida football die-hard? That may or well, may, have something to do with the Zook hatred. As a Michigan fan, I’ve watched the Wolves tear apart the Illini for the better part of a decade. I’ve also, sadly, seen USC annihilate the Wolves twice since 1/1/04. Nothing about this game makes me believe that Illinois stands a chance. Vegas has made the Trojans a 2-TD favorite. I’m quite inclined to lay the 14 against the Zooker.
Brubaker: 5). You think Alabama is happy with their $4 million investment as they prepare for the Petrosun Independence Bowl?
Smoothron: 5). To start, NO. However, are there two more fiery coaches than Nick Saban and Dan Hawkins? One went on the record ripping the moms of his players for wanting to take a vacation during practice… IT’S DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL!! And, the other compared losing to UL-Monroe to 9/11. Hey, you can’t blame them for trying. Okay, yes you can. Let’s not look at this game as a bad thing, but just pray for great pre-and-post-game quotes, I mean, what else can you hope for from the Petrosun Independence Bowl?
Brubaker: 6). Speaking of ludicrously overpaid coaches, I’m a little surprised Notre Dame wasn’t placed in a BCS bowl this year. They have about as much claim to a BCS bowl this year as they did in the past 2 years, when they had their ass handed to them by Ohio State and LSU. But, it is still definitely Ty Willingham’s fault for poor recruiting. Yes, the same Ty Willingham who won more games at Washington this year against a tougher schedule, and the same Ty Willingham who recruited Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzjia and Maurice Stovall who all won games for ND last season.
Smoothron: 6). I couldn’t agree more. I hate to have to point out, that ND gets about a million bucks from the BCS every year just to be independent and not bitch… even if they don’t make it to a BCS (or any) bowl for that matter. At this point, I really wish the NCAA just didn’t recognize them because they weren’t in a conference. Obviously, this may not happen until the NBC contract runs out. But, what if the NCAA just told all schools, “If you play Notre Dame, you will receive a one-year ban from all post-season activity.” Is this a possibility? Please, can it be? By the way, I’m still waiting for the NAACP to sue ND for something….
Brubaker: 7). UK will beat Florida State. How many times in the past 25 years could I could be confident saying that?
Smoothron: 7). Look, I almost agree. The crowd that the Cats will see in Nash-vegas will be as much as a home crowd as the Cats could ever see outside of Commonwealth Stadium. There was definitely a part of me that wanted to see the Cats in Memphis, just so they could beat UCF’s ass and shut Burnsy up. But, this works out better for all involved. I believe I’ll be down in Nashville giving (drunken) updates, and hopefully posting some (drunken) pictures from the game. Speaking of the game, FSU is always going to under-achieve while Grampa is coaching; and UK seems to over-achieve while Grampa is coaching. Cats win.
Brubaker: 8). Is it just me, or has Tennessee played Wisconsin in a bowl at least 7 times in the past 10 years?
Smoothron: 8). Yes, it’s just you, but I can imagine why you feel this way. The Big 10 has been bad for the last couple years. Tennessee hasn’t exactly been a premier program for the last couple years (didn’t play in a bowl game in ’05). The last few games they’ve played in haven’t exactly been pretty: losing to PSU last year, beating TX A&M 1/1/05. This should just be an ugly football game. There just isn’t much to say about Wisconsin. Yeah, Ron Dayne went there.
Brubaker: 9). In response to a text from Smoothron on Sunday, I don’t think Florida will kill Michigan. Michigan will move the ball on Florida with the run, and they should keep it interesting. I think Florida has too much speed on offense, but it will be a close game.
Smoothron: 9). Say what you will Florida Fan, but I still don’t see how Michigan keeps this game close. Sure, Henne and Hart (and hopefully NOT Manningham) need to improve their pro stock, but that’s not enough against a very good Florida team. Lloyd Carr could reinvent the “One for the Gipper” speech and I don’t think Michigan would have a chance in this game. This should essentially be a home game for the Gators, as Michigan fans just won’t travel well with the Wolves not playing to expectations this year. Tebow will be just coming off winning the Heisman, and will be wanting to start the back-to-back campaign off strong. UF should also be pre-season #1 or #2 behind Georgia starting next year, so they really need to win this game to secure one of those spots. UF wins by double-digits… much to my hungover chagrin.
Brubaker: 10). Finally…Playing the what-if game. Say LSU beats Ohio State in a close, uninteresting game, something like 14-10. Now, say Georgia pounds Hawaii; Oklahoma pounds West Virginia, and USC pounds Illinois. LSU would likely be crowned champion, but I’m not convinced they’re better than any of those teams. Oklahoma lost 1 game with their QB injured, and USC lost at Oregon, who was playing as well as anyone in the country before their QB went down. Plus, Georgia has been on a roll lately. Could we see another split national champion on the ballots?
Smoothron: 10). In a word, “No.” The coaches and the media helped vote LSU to the #2 spot to play against Ohio State. When LSU beats Ohio State, history will be made. The first team in the BCS Era to ever win the National Title with two losses. Say what you will, but this should really start turning the wheels towards a tournament. USC, Oklahoma, Georgia, and maybe even Hawaii all have/had legitimate reasons to be playing in the National Championship game. It’s years like these… with 4-5 teams with realistic shots at the title that perhaps help us get to what we all want… a F*#%ing tournament!!!!
Thanks for bearing with us on our first email dialogue. We hope to one day be able to do one which far more interests people…