Home » blog » Carnage on the College Football Freeway

Posted by on November 22nd, 2011 in blog, CFF Features, Dan Pierson | 1 Comment

It is often said in sports (particularly professional ones) that a season is, “a marathon, not a sprint”… and with the absurdly long schedules used in the NHL and MLB, for example, that statement is definitely true.  However, one of the many beauties of the college football season is that it’s not just a sprint, it’s more like a Grand Prix race on the Autobahn… and you better not have engine troubles out of the gate because your race could effectively be over before you make it to conference play.  So, in staying with the race-car analogy, Week 12 of the 2011 season was supposed to be nothing more than a pit-stop (or raststatte if we’re still cruising the autobahn) for the upper-crust of the BCS teams.  All the Lamborghini’s (LSU & Ok State), Ferrari’s (Alabama & Oregon), and Aston Martin’s (Oklahoma, Clemson & Arkansas) were supposed to cruise along to the real tests awaiting them in the weeks to follow – the Bedlam game for the Oklahoma schools, the Civil War for the Ducks, and the SEC West showdown between LSU and Arkansas.  Well let’s just say that didn’t go according to plan, or in the famous words of a certain ESPN commentator who likes to drop F-bombs on national TV… “not so fast my friends!”.  Let’s take a closer look at the wreckage (rankings shown are from before the Week 12 games were played):

#2 – Oklahoma State Cowboys – Far and away the biggest upset of the day, both in terms of the point spread (Ok St was favored by 28) and the talent discrepancy.  Simply put, Iowa State shouldn’t have been able to compete with the Cowboys.  Oklahoma State has a handful of NFL prospects and the most dynamic offensive force in the college game (Justin Blackmon) while Iowa State will be lucky to have a player from their school drafted to the CFL.  Oklahoma State was averaging 50 points per game, the Cyclones just 25.  I could go on and on… but as your favorite grumpy old coach would tell you “that’s why they play the games”.  Iowa State weathered the storm early, scored a late TD to send it to overtime, then intercepted Brandon Weeden on the initial play of the 2nd OT and punched in a TD of their own to send the fans charging onto the field at Jack Trice Stadium.  And just like that, a tragic week in real life for the University of Oklahoma State (plane crash killing 2 women’s basketball coaches), also became a depressing day in the fantasy land that is sports.  The Cowboys still aren’t totally out of it as far as playing for the BCS title, but they’ll require a win vs. the Sooners and a ton of help from the SEC to get there.

#4 – Oregon Ducks – Well if any of this site’s loyal readers are Ducks fans… I truly apologize for the possible jinx I put on them in my previous article!  I guess my blog about USC quarterback Matt Barkley trumped my Ducks blog (or my columns have nothing to do with anything in real life, but hey it’s more fun to pretend).  Not sure what happened to Oregon, but plain and simple they were not ready to play; conversely, Lane Kiffin had his boys ready to rock and roll from Jump Street and USC sprinted to a 21-7 halftime lead at Autzen.  The Ducks were able to rally, but a shanked FG by a sophomore kicker ended their 21-game home winning streak and most likely eliminated them from returning to the BCS Championship game.  As a side note, don’t sleep on USC… granted they’re ineligible for post-season play this year, but Coach Kiffin is still bringing elite talent to Troy and clearly they’re still a force to be reckoned with.  If they can somehow convince Barkley to come back next season, they might be a sleeper national champ pick.

#5 – Oklahoma Sooners – For the first time in the history of the university, Oklahoma lost to Baylor on Saturday.  The legend of RGIII continues to grow nationally, and the win vs. the Sooners is the feather-in-his-cap (so far).  Before Saturday’s game, OU realistically had only an outside chance of getting to the BCS Championship, and in a weird bit of irony their chances became even slimmer after their arch-rival Cowboys had lost the night before.  After losing to the Bears consider the Sooners officially eliminated… which is sad only because it’s always fun to see their covered wagon cruise around the field in a domed stadium, just something about that which always makes me laugh.

#7 – Clemson Tigers – If you get waxed by 24 vs. NC State, well I guess that means you’re basically a pretender.  I don’t think any school from the ACC could really consider themselves a national title contender, but Clemson’s run was still fun while it lasted.  If Debo can keep recruiting like he has so far, the Tigers may be in the discussion in the next few years.

Where does this all leave us?  For starters we now have the 3 highest ranked schools in the BCS not only hailing from the same conference, but also from the same division within that conference – LSU, Alabama and Arkansas.  This coming Friday afternoon will see LSU host the Razorbacks, and then Saturday is the Iron Bowl in Auburn.  Both of those games should go a long way in determining who gets to head to New Orleans for the 2012 BCS Championship game.  D-1 college football may not be perfect but it is always entertaining!

1 Comment

1 Comment for this entry

  1. Joe T. says:

    Good stuff Dan… Dead on with article

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