Sunday, September 27, 2009

College Roundup: Big Upsets Are The Talk Of The Town

While many people count unpredictability as one of college football's most appealing traits, there are some things that you can rely upon as certainties each season. As sure as the leaves changing colors and Brent Musberger referencing point spreads, you can depend on an overhyped Cal Bears team to collapse as soon as they're placed in a showcase game. They are the Pac-10's version of the Clemson Tigers- a team that is perenially listed among the 'sleepers' that are ready for a breakout season and is given a boost by those same writers into the AP top 10. And yet, just as soon as their fans start thinking that maybe this year will be different than other years, the team falls apart in epic fashion. This year, it was the Oregon Ducks that had the honors, demolishing Cal, 42-3, in a game that the Bears had given up on by halftime. Now, their exposure as a fraud will somehow be used to indict the entire Pac-10 as being overrated, even tho it was another Pac-10 team that took Cal down. Ahhh, such are the joys of investing so much emotion in a sport that determines its champion via popularity contest.

Cal wasn't the only highly ranked team to go down in defeat this weekend. College fans around the country once again owe Iowa a huge debt of gratitude for sparing a weary nation from a Penn State appearance in a National Championship game. Hopefully, we can go another year without having to watch a Big 10 team roll over in a BCS title game. Unfortunately, fans can't rest too easily just yet, as so many top 10 teams already have a "1" in the loss column that a team that lost early, Ohio State, could sneak back into things.

Another one loss team whose BCS dreams have been revitalized is the Notre Dame Fighting Holtzes, who rallied to beat Purdue in a rare game in which Charlie Weis wasn't the worst coach in the stadium. That honor went to Purdue head man Danny Hope who upon seeing a frenzied Notre Dame scurrying to the line to spike the ball, opted to call a timeout to save their opponent a down and give them an opportunity to draw up two plays to win the game. When Notre Dame is cashing their BCS check for 17 mil, they should be sure to send something nice over to West Lafayette.

Miami went into Blacksburg and showed that they aren't quite back to being "Tha U" just yet. But it wasn't really much of a shocker, because I don't think people really expected them to return to elite status in one year. This kind of thing is a process. To put it in terms that Miami fans will understand: it's like when your players are runnin' trains on coeds. At first, maybe they can snag a coed in a quad somewhere. Start playing better, and they might just get one will go into the lobby with you. That's about where they're at right now. But they'll get to that 7th floor. Just give them time.

Elsewhere in the state of Florida, Gator fans briefly feared the worst when football Messiah, Tim Tebow, was laying motionless on the turf after receiving a blow to the back of his head at the end of a vicious sack. Tebow now finds himself in a hospital bed, but football announcers across the country expect him to rise again in three days.

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