Saturday, April 5, 2008

Get Out of Jail Free Cards

Everybody’s favorite board game that they have never finished, Monopoly, and everybody’s favorite sport that they are never happy with, college football, actually have a lot in common. And no, it’s not the NCAA’s monopoly over college sports for the exploitation of student athletes (ha!).
  1. All the teams (games pieces) are racing through a season (around the board) to pick up the most wins (properties), where the easy ones don’t mean anything and the quality Out of Conference does (Boardwalk, baby!)
  2. You’ve got your games of chance every week when any team can win or lose in a game of inches and seconds, while teams, the NCAA, and the network carrying the game make the money in community chest.

  3. Ok, maybe that’s a stretch. How about this…
  4. Get Out of Jail Free Cards. Somehow, there are college football teams that seem to have a stack of these just waiting to use on ESPN, CBS, the print media, the internet, and the fans. Certain games are overlooked, second chances are given, and no matter what they adored by the media and the fans.
Just look at 2007…

West Virginia
Get Out of Jail Free - You’re in the title game. All you have to do is beat Pitt, at home, in the last game of the season. You just rushed for 517 yards against Uconn. Then Pitt comes into your house, the refs are on your side, Pat White hurts his non-throwing hand, and you lay a 13-9 egg and look like you couldn’t find a needle in Dave Wannstat’s mustache piling up 109 yards of total offense.

But it’s okay:
Your coach bails for Ann Arbor, tells a recruit before his own ex-players, and you paste an overrated Oklahoma team in the BCS bowl. It’s like you never even lost to Pitt when the marbles were on the line! You run the spread option and people like saying it, thus you’re free.

Get Out of Jail Free – The juggernaut of juggernauts out of the Big 12. North Texas won’t put up a fight as you lay 79 on them, nor will the next 3 teams, what-was-Miami(Fl), Utah State, and Tulsa. Then the Buffs of Colorado beat you and do it with their defense. No matter, you’re still in the hunt for the title. You kept chugging along until you ran into a Texas Tech team that complements its passing attack with its passing attack. Another defense struggle against a team without a defense, and the Sooners only put up 27.

But it’s okay
: Well, you beat the supposed #1 team in the nation in Missouri. For the second time in a season, and thus giving them their only two losses on the season. You are awarded by a BCS game and another BCS loss. West Virginia (48-28), Boise State, USC, and LSU. The 55-19 pasting by USC is worse than any loss Ohio State has incurred in any BCS game. Oklahoma and Stoops are 0-4 in BCS games since the National Championship season. You have no reason to be okay, but you’re in the Big 12 and the only people that really pay attention to the Big 12 is the Big 12.

And last but definitely most…
Get Out of Jail Free – The USC Trojans are cruising through their season, as one would expect in the Pac-10. Nebraska laid down for you and was considerably worse than the Washington team Ohio State played out of conference, as the Huskers got 70 points scored on them more than once. It’s okay, because The Cardinal came in a 41 point underdog and left the victors at your own house (the color, not the bird). Stanford went on to lose to Notre Dame, by the way. Then Oregon shuts down USC with their defense. Defense. Oregon is not known for playing defense. If this was a shootout, understandable, but this was a low scoring affair.

But it’s okay:
There will be no fall of Troy on ESPN’s nor the NCAA’s watches. By the end of the season, the talking heads are again saying USC and Oklahoma are the best teams in the nation, losses to Stanford and Colorado losses notwithstanding. You get to play the 2nd or 3rd place Big 10 team for the second year in a row, Illinois, and clean their clocks. "Yea well we beat the team that beat Ohio State"…Congrats, if Ohio State got to play Stanford in a BCS bowl, I’d take Ohio State by 41.

But then again, USC continues to disappoint during the season, just 1 year after getting beat by Oregon State in the season and then UCLA for all the marbles in the last game of the season (and still won the Pac-10!) If I was USC, I’d be the #1 supporter of the playoff system if all that matters is winning after the season is over.

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