In a typical punting situation, the punter (The Bull Gator’s second favorite position) stands 15 yards behind his best friend and partner in crime, the long snapper. As a representation of those oh so important 15 yards – and let’s be honest, to keep my sanity (or lack thereof) – I’ve slightly altered the format of the Long Snapper. Don’t worry, James Smith is still – and always will be – the man, the myth, and the legend this column is dedicated to. But now I’ve decided to turn this into one of those columns were the writer picks some arbitrary number of items to discuss and labels them accordingly because none of us are intelligent enough to read said article from top to bottom, so we need numbers to follow as if we’re chimpanzees learning to visualize.
If you’re a fan of Oklahoma, Florida, or USC, you already think the (1) BCS screwed your school, but what you don’t realize is that it doesn’t matter yet. As a Sooner, you have a very good Oklahoma State team and a very raucous Mike Gundy to worry about first. If you’re Florida, the rankings matter to you the least. Beat FSU. Send Nick Saban and Alabama packing. You’re in. And finally, if you’re fortunate enough to live in Southern California, first, take a wrong turn into the ocean, then come to the realization that too much has to happen in order for you to get a shot. Sorry Trojans, but baring a number of category five events over the next two weeks, it ain’t happening.
(2) #2 Texas Tech got hornswaggled by Oklahoma, virtually costing the Red Raiders a shot at the national title. But don’t forget about last year. LSU was seventh in the BCS – where Tech currently sits – before making the jump into position to play for and win the national championship. A lot has to go right for Mike Leach’s crew in order for this to happen, but it’s not impossible.
With a gaggle of 1-loss teams, no one wants to end up number (3) three. Who will it be this year? Someone will not be happy with how things shape up. Look no further than Alabama. The Crimson Tide could conceivably lose to Florida in a well-played, close game. The Gators would then jump into the top two of the BCS Standings – possibly even all the way to number one – giving Alabama one loss to potentially the best team in the nation. There’s no way the Crimson Tide would be put into the national title game if this did happen, but at that point they might actually have the best loss out of all the 1-loss teams. Consider the SEC Championship Game a pseudo playoff game this year.
(4) Javon Ringer Watch: This site’s favorite Big Ten running back’s regular season came to an end with a disappointing outing against Penn State. Michigan State’s Ringer could only manage 42 yards on 17 carries, as the Spartans were dismantled by the Nittany Lions. Ringer heads into the bowl season with 1,590 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.
Ohio State beat Michigan up and down the field on Saturday. The Buckeyes have won (5) five straight against the Wolverines – the first streak that long for Ohio State in the history of the rivalry. Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez was quoted as saying “I’ve been here for one of them. That’s the only one I can really comment on. They have one in a row on us from what I can see.” Oh glorious god of quotations, thank you for providing us with such stupidity in its truest form. First of all Rich, Wolverine football didn’t start with you. Michigan’s program began in 1879 and has 872 wins – the most in NCAA history. You can only claim credit for three of those. In one season, you’ve managed to tarnish that history pretty darn good. For starters, the last five Michigan head coaches all beat Ohio State during their debut seasons. You didn’t join that club. The last time Michigan lost seven games in a season was 1962. They had never lost eight or nine in one season before you came along. Not to mention, you can’t have one in a row. In order for a row to be…well…a row, you need multiple items. I’d like to see how you draw up plays in the I-form. You know, that one where the QB, FB, and RB all line up in a ROW. And finally, if you need help with counting to (6) six (the number this streak will be extended to next year), we can find you help.
If you want to get away from home when making your college choice and favor cold weather, look no further than Boise State. Most small conference schools have their ups and downs. For every good season, there’s a subpar one. But not in Boise. During the last (7) seven years, the Broncos have posted the following records: 12-1, 13-1, 11-1, 9-4, 13-0, 10-3, and 11-0. Not at all a bad choice if you’re all for cheering on a team that wins A LOT more than it loses.
When Notre Dame lost to Syracuse, it was the first time the Fighting Irish had ever lost to an (8) 8-loss team. In 1482, the 3-8 truands took on Quasimodo, but the hunchback was able to hold on and win in the final minutes.
(9) Nine is the lucky number for Oregon State. Back when the Beavers beat USC, it was seen as merely a black mark on the Trojans’ season and not much more. But since then, Oregon State hasn’t lost a conference game and if they can get by in-state rival Oregon for their ninth win of the season, the Beavers – not the Trojans – will be the Pac-10 champs.
You can’t call yourself the Big (10) Ten if you have 11 teams. Plain and simple. Case closed. Book shut. End of story. I know this isn’t breaking news by any means. The Big Ten has had 11 teams for a while now. Maybe Rich Rodriguez is the perfect fit for Michigan. He can’t count and neither can conference officials.
Although the AP Poll counts for naught when it comes to the BCS Standings, the surge they gave to Alabama early in the season may have had some influence. After beating Clemson in week one, the Crimson Tide jumped (11) 11 spots in the AP poll, from 24 to 13. Not to say 11-0 Alabama doesn’t deserve to be number one now, because they do, but if Clemson hadn’t been so remarkably overrated, the jump wouldn’t have been nearly as substantial.
Lately, you don’t want to be ranked (12) twelfth in the preseason USA Today Poll. This year’s #12 was Wisconsin. The Badgers finished the regular season 7-5. Last year’s preseason #12, California, finished the year 7-6. And 2005 gave us FSU, who finished 8-5. This year you didn’t even want to be number twelve’s neighbors. The sad parties at #11 and #13? Auburn and Kansas.
Week (13) 13 was very unlucky for a few schools in particular. Miami allowed 472 yards on the ground in a loss to Georgia Tech. The spanking FSU put on Maryland eliminated the Terrapins from the hunt to play in the ACC Title Game. You already know about Texas Tech. Ohio State beat Michigan, but because Michigan State lost to Penn State, the Nittany Lions won the Big Ten, not the Buckeyes. LSU fell apart against Ole Miss. And NC State stomped UNC, eliminating the Tar Heels from ACC title contention.
To give Texas Tech some credit, the team that started the season (14) fourteenth in the USA Today Poll, has had a remarkable year. Before the loss to Oklahoma, the Red Raiders had knocked off a number one and beaten a team ranked ninth by 36 points. When all is said and done, this was a great year for Tech.
And finally, as long as Tim Tebow suits up for the orange and blue, this spot (15) will be reserved for him.