Your BS Guide to the BCS Title Game
Well, shed your tears, for the BCS as we have come to know (and kind of hate) it will be no more after tonight. Actually, it’s the Cletus-SEC fans who should be shedding tears as it will now be harder for them to boast about titles won by their…conference, now that there will be a pseudo-playoff.
As for tonight, it’s Auburn and FSU for the crystal football and I know you’re wondering again, who do I root for? Help me BS, you’re my only hope. Well, have no fear, we’re here as always.
Unfortunately, it’s not an easy call to make. On the one hand, we could be pulling for Florida State University, one of the more easily loathsome college football programs in the land. They’ve got a storied history of winning as well as always seeming a bit slimy. They’ve largely avoided heavy sanctions over the years, despite a few controversies, but hey, when you have a winning history like this, the NCAA doesn’t really want to look at you to harshly.
Okay, but leaving aside any personal feelings against FSU, think about what Bobby Bowden did for a moment – from 1987 to 2000, he had double digit victories every season. Fourteen consecutive years. And this was playing eleven regular season games a year. Kind of incredible. And it’s not pertinent to anything about this post or tonight’s game – I just wanted to mention it because it almost defies logic.
So my point is you could root for them. You could manufacture some happiness for Jimbo Fisher that taking over for Bobby Bowden after being the “coach in waiting” for a while actually worked out for him, something that rarely seems to.
But rooting for FSU would just make me feel dirty, with Jameis Winston’s rape allegations and the joke of the Florida state attorney press conference being among the chief reasons why. And as far as “on the field,” who of substance did they beat this year, really, since everyone likes to play that game? Everyone points to Clemson and, yeah, FSU put a hammering on them. But that’s Clemson. That’s what they do. They’re the Georgia of the ACC – always promising, always highly ranked, never come through in any meaningful way. Yeah, yeah, meatheads, of course we’d take either of those two schools’ successes. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about programs that never quite get over the highest hurdle. That’s nothing to be ashamed of necessarily – but what I’m saying is Clemson finds a way to lay a stinker every year. This year it was on a big stage at home against FSU. And really, without that hammering, I wonder if everyone treats FSU as the shoo-in for the title game that they did after that. Because, you know, beating effing Duke in your conference title game is kind of laughable. (Of course, Duke almost put a whipping on SEC Texas A&M and Johnny Douchenozzle, which would have been fannnnntastic.)
So where does all this leave you? Rooting for Auburn? Let’s examine that for a moment.
Auburn won a national title after the 2010 season with a player they clearly bought – Cam Newton. Oh, you can pull the “Nothing was ever proven!” card like Dick Vitale does every time someone dares to question the angelic reputation of Coach Cal, but let’s make no mistake – Auburn was dirty. How the hell else does a middling coach like Gene Chizik have that kind of a season? And I don’t dislike Cam Newton, ether – the guy is a hell of a talent. He was as good as Vince Young, Reggie Bush or Matt Leinart as a college player and he’s far better than any of them as a pro. And have no illusions – he was a “pro” even in college. His dad tried to sell him to the highest bidder….and after showing no interest previously in Auburn, lo and behold, he wound up there!
Anyway, enough about that tangent… they won the 2010 title. And there’s no doubt that however he got there, they were the best team and more than earned it. And after crashing back to reality, they hired Gus Malzhan back and, well, this guy can coach. And recruit. And play ball, or whatever else you need to do to appease the college gods, as he amazingly has Auburn back in the title game.
Think about that for a moment. A year after Auburn’s football program looked as dead in the water as Arkansas does right now, Malzhan has them in the national title game. That’s utterly incredible. He’s not only in the SEC, but he’s sharing a state with Saban and the machine that is Alabama, and has to play the Tide every year in the Iron Bowl – he doesn’t have the chance to duck them, like other SEC schools. And here they are.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say if you stripped away conference affiliations, and just looked at these two stories… most of us would pull for Auburn, if we had to choose. They’re the better “comeback story,” and their season with its two “miracle” finishes to end the season is the kind of narrative that almost can’t be scripted and is an example of why we all love sports in general and college football in particular.
So what’s a college football fan to do? I think, as we’ve noted here before, you should pick the team that you find yourself unconsciously rooting for. We all do this… as the game gets going and big plays happen, whether you openly admit it or not, you’re maybe inwardly groaning when one team fumbles or the other scores on a big play. There’s your answer – you may just not want to admit how dirty pulling for an SEC school makes you.
It’s one of those “Can they both lose?” games, for sure. So maybe you look at it this way: if FSU wins, SEC mouth-breathers will have to stop with their “consecutive titles” bullshit, as though they’re talking about the 1960s Boston Celtics. If Auburn wins, a swaggering team/program/entitled QB gets a come-uppance that maybe will be enjoyable.
Either way, college football for the 2013 season ends tonight. That alone is sadness.