Monday Morning . . . on Thursday!
Yes, Thursday only because of the BCS situation, which has probably forever altered the designation of January 1 as “Bowl Day”. Congratulations to Texas and Vince Young, now everyone knows what the Big Twelve knows. Have you ever seen a player dominate a game like Young? Not me. Congratulations also to West Virginia, LSU, and Utah, who, like Texas, made the so-called experts look their worst.
In addition, here are some awards not normally noted on that particular, or any other, network:
Least Promising Broadcast Team: Ron Franklin and Bob Davie. You thought I would mention Brent Musberger and his “whoever my partner is this year” team. Everyone knows he is awful. Here’s a new name for you to bash: Ron Franklin! Good voice, but is he really watching the game? I can call his game watching my TV at home better than he can from the pressbox, and he has his team of spotters, back room analysts, etc! You can tell when Ron misses a call because Bob gets really quiet, apparently not wanting to draw attention to a play-by-play announcer who has missed something major. Yep, fumbles, first downs, penalties, time outs, Ron misses ‘em all. Pay attention, Ron.
Most Deserving Team that Should Have Been in the BCS but Wasn’t: It certainly wasn’t Oregon. Maybe LSU. Ohio State proved that they deserved to be there, beyond a doubt.
Most Disappointing Performance by a Conference: ACC, no doubt. Yes, I have much respect now for Florida State after an Orange Bowl where both teams left nothing on the field. But look at how the Miami Hurricanes got pounded, enough that substantial coaching changes resulted. Look at how Utah pounded Georgia Tech. Victories by Clemson over a Colorado team that was ready to play golf weeks ago, by NC State, and by a Boston College who wasn’t even in the ACC a few years ago don’t help the reputation of the conference. Big Ten? Maybe, but read below about what has happened with at least two sets of Game Officials, both involving Big Ten teams. And no Big Ten team got the drubbing that the Hurricanes or the Wreck did.
Most Annoying Crowd Chant: Close call, but it has to be that FSU Indian-War-Chant-Tomahawk-Chop thing they do, with that USC three note band extravaganza a close second. See also this previous post. Penn State knew they were doing fine when the FSU Band would start that Chant after a Nittany Lion incomplete pass.
Officiating Crew Not Ready for Prime Time: Dead even, between the Conference USA crew that botched the Iowa-Florida game and the Sunbelt Conference Team that “called” the Nebraska-Michigan game. Not just my opinion, the blown call on Iowa’s onside kick toward the game’s end was so bad that the NCAA is going to review their referee assignment to bowl game policy. And, the Alamo Bowl crew is often added to any reference made to that Conference USA officiating mess. Even ESPN commented about how bad the Sunbelt zebras were doing in San Antonio. Only hard-core Husker Nation card carriers have overlooked the bad officiating. But after watching how the Big Twelve refs nearly lost control of the Gator Bowl between Virginia Tech and Louisville did I begin to understand. Nebraska fans see this kind of game official ineptitude on a weekly basis during their entire Big 12 season; it was business as usual for them.
Best Officiating Crew: The Big East Officials who covered the Orange Bowl. Could you sense the intensity of that game? Everyone I spoke with on Wednesday morning commented on that game with a level of reverence not often seen. The fact that everyone stayed up way past their bedtime to see the outcome speaks to how intense the game was. The officials never lost control. A lesser group of officials, say a group from Conference USA or the Sunbelt Conference, would not have done so well.
Best Thing About NCAA Football: It remains the players, the coaches, the stories of success and of the lives changed for the better. Congratulations to all participants of all teams who take part in this most wonderful time of the year. Now that it’s over, I’m going to have to check out how the new NHL looks, at least until National Letter-of-Intent Day!