January 08, 2008

Once again, the BCS gave us a thrilling slate of games and an undisputed national champion beyond argument or reproach. (Sorry, I like to insult readers' intelligence right off the bat, because I enjoy a challenge.) Then again, in a ridiculous year where every team was flawed, it's fitting that a two-loss team raised the Waterford.

In case you've ever wondered who is preventing a college football playoff, it's folks like Ohio State president Gordon Gee, who said, "You would have to pry a national championship (tournament) from my cold dead fingers. My view is a simple one. Any notion of a college football playoff system is absolute nonsense." Please try to contain your astonishment that a small cartel of rich, powerful old men would ever conspire and collude against the greater good.

BCS foolishness once again stained an otherwise spectacular season, which makes that the perfect place to begin the Weekend Primer Season Recap. In my season preview, I made a number of predictions. Some were good, some were bad, some were superbad, and each of them will be assessed here for all time, or until this whole Internet fad goes away.

I went out on a limb and predicted BCS chaos. I also predicted Appalachian State over Michigan, Stanford over USC and Pitt over West Virginia (just making sure you're still paying attention.)

Darren McFadden. D-Mac had the single most impressive performance of the season, rushing for 206 yards and three touchdowns (and throwing for another) to lead Arkansas to a 50-48 upset of top-ranked LSU in Baton Rouge. That game had major implications for both the Heisman and national championship races, Oh, wait, no it didn't.

Tommy Bowden, Dennis Franchione. Bowden won nine games to pull off yet another daring escape, while Franchione wasn't so lucky. The good news for "Coach" Fran is that he appears to have a bright future in the newsletter business.

Nick Saban, Charlie Weis. The two most overpaid coaches in America did manage to garner a large amount of headline space (and nobody takes up space like Weis), but they combined for only 10 wins. Saban fulfilled the Tide's wildest expectations by winning the PetroSun Independence Bowl. I don't recall how Notre Dame fared in their bowl game, but I'm assuming they had a decided schematic advantage in it.

Virginia Tech vs. LSU. I can give you 41 reasons why I whiffed on this one, although this might have made for a compelling bowl rematch ... not that compelling games and the BCS have anything to do with each other.

I predicted that Hawaii's Colt Brennan would shatter Klingler's single-game passing records against Charleston Southern. Unfortunately Brennan didn't even play, giving us an early preview of his disappearing act against Georgia (which was stunning, considering the Warriors had been battle-tested by the likes of Northern Colorado, Idaho and Utah State).

Although I facetiously said that Tim Tebow and Chris Leak would be the best QB tandem in the nation, they still probably were ... and Leak was long gone. Tebow was sensational in becoming the first sophomore to win the Heisman.

That the national champ would be either USC, LSU, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisville, Cal, Va Tech, Michigan, Ohio State or Texas. Let's face it: I was money on this one.

Things that are great about America: Rock n' roll, Superman, Mom's apple pie and the time-honored tradition of bowl games played on Jan. 5 in Toronto ... Wonder if Jim Tressel will change the Ohio State football facility security code from "4114" to "3824" ... Kansas' incredible BCS run should give hope to underdogs everywhere: If you schedule the likes of Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo and Florida International, avoid three of your conference's best teams during conference play, and then pull off one mild upset in a bowl game, maybe you, too, could become a big-time program ... Now that Kirby Freeman has decided to transfer, Miami -- the program once known as Quarterback U -- has zero quarterbacks on the roster ... Admit it: until you see him charge out of the tunnel in purple and gold on Aug. 30, don't you still think there's a chance Les Miles could still be Michigan's head coach?

"It's kind of hard to rally around a math class."-- Paul 'Bear' Bryant, former Alabama head coach

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