Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Reflections on the Bowl Games

It’s over. The engorged bowl season is over. The Ohio State University won; the Buckeyes are the undisputed national champions, led by a backup, backup quarterback, who famously tweeted upon arriving on campus last year: “Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS.’ Ah, the innocence of youth! We can only wonder at the miracles Cardale Jones’ academic tutors must be performing in keeping him academically eligible. At least he understands the priorities in Columbus. He was also honest. There are no illusions in Columbus about the gladiators of the gridiron being scholar athletes. The football gods are fickle. Alabama, for the second year in a row, did not win the national championship. The SEC did not even make the championship game this year. America was once again denied an Oregon-Alabama title game, but we have the consolation of knowing Ohio State defeated both of them. The football supremacy of the SEC, seven straight national championships, is history, defeated by a former SEC coach from Ohio, Urban Meyer. Urban defeated Ohio State with an SEC team, and now has defeated an SEC team with Ohio State. He must be good. His predecessor Jim Tressel, in football exile as President of Youngstown State, was there to bless the Buckeyes. Florida State was playing on the edge all season. Oregon popped their bubble. Oregon showed it is for real. It also showed the nation that it has a great defense. Until the Ducks played the Buckeyes. Oregon against Ohio State. The Pac 12 against the Big (Ten) Conference for the mythical national title. The top two academic conferences in big time sports played for the coveted title. Math is a problem for the Big Ten now that it has 14 teams, but still officially calls itself the Big Ten. Hence it sometimes, perhaps with a touch of hubris, labels itself the “Big.’ The Big won with Ohio State. The Pac 12 lost even with Phil Knight’s money at Oregon. The Big won big with Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin defeating Alabama, Baylor and Auburn. The state of Alabama lost big (Alabama, Auburn and Southern Alabama defeated). The state of Mississippi’s football revival suffered a relapse with both Mississippi and Ole Miss losing. The Big (Ten) Conference had a revival on New Year’s Day. Ohio State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin, all proponents of smash mouth football, won, as did the presumed weak newcomer Rutgers and beleaguered Penn State. The best part of the bowl games is that they were decided by the players on the field – not by the referees on the field, as in the NFL

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