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Archive for October, 2007

In this new age of parity in college football isn’t it about time we get to see some new faces (who actually deserve to be in the Big Game)? Don’t try to sell me on Hawaii, who want recognition for being undefeated but haven’t played, and will not play, any remotely competitive teams through the whole season. And don’t try to sell me Utah of ’04, or Boise State of ’06. No, that won’t sell. To be in the Big Game you’ve got to play a championship-caliber schedule, too. You can’t wheeze your way through La Tech and San Jose State and get recognition from me. You’ve got to play legitimate bowl-eligible teams at the very least through a good portion of your schedule, and you’ve got to win against them.

The last ten years worth of champions is a veritable who’s who of historically dominant programs (except Florida, who won twice–’96 and ’06–and are relatively new to the elite crowd).  Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas, USC, etc. There are 119 FBS teams in the NCAA–how many times are we going to have to suffer through the same bland uniforms when there are teams like the Ducks out there who are spicing things up a little (I’m on record as saying it’s time to spice up the Crimson Tide’s unis (as well as a lot of other college football teams’), so don’t throw that in my face).

Sure, the TV ratings would be a lot better with Oklahoma vs. Ohio State, but traditional powerhouses are only really entertaining to the fans of those teams. I admit, as an Alabama fan, the same holds true for them as well. We as Bama fans would love to see our beloved Crimson and White play for another title, but few others would.

So how about something new? Oregon vs. South Florida would pit two non-traditional teams against one another. Would it be a great game? Probably. And it appeals to me a lot more than Oklahoma or LSU against Ohio State. That’s just my opinion.

Let me know what you think.

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So much grumbling about South Florida being ranked #2 when it should be OSU at #1 that has us bitter (us being college football fans). I keep hearing gripes that the game, if these two teams were to win out and play for the National Championship, would be lackluster and wouldn’t draw much of an audience. That may be true, but as a college football fan if my team is not going to have a chance to play for the NC then I want the most interesting matchup that can possibly be put together.

OSU and Oklahoma are current powers as well as titans of old, and some predictors are putting them in the Big Game, figuring that South Florida will eventually lose somewhere, and when they do they’ll be overtaken by a one-loss Oklahoma team which is currently sitting at #4. #3 Boston College has less of a chance of playing in the NC game than South Florida, so them I’m not worried about. Oklahoma, however, has a cupcake schedule the rest of the way–their next three games are against teams who were outscored last weekend by a combined score of 149-17 (zikes!). Their best chances for losses will be their final three games against the Red Raiders, the Cowboys, and then a likely rematch with Missouri in the Wee 12 Championship game.

But even if this scenario plays out–if OSU and Oklahoma win out and USF and BC don’t–LSU or South Carolina could still put a wrinkle to things, because if either of them win out with a MUCH tougher schedule than either OSU or Oklahoma and win the SEC then they should leapfrog Oklahoma and earn the right to play for the National Championship. Yes, I said it, if South Carolina wins out–and that includes winning the SEC Championship, likely against a team that has already beaten them soundly (LSU)–they should leapfrog Oklahoma and play the (likely) undefeated Buckeyes for the National Championship.

Now here’s the crux: None of this is going to happen, because if there’s one thing this college football season has shown me it is that what we expect to happen is only going to happen about 50% of the time. That means OSU shouldn’t wind up undefeated, LSU won’t win out, South Carolina won’t win out, and Oklahoma, despite the breeziest opportunity to do so, won’t win out. Will South Florida? Time will tell, but my instincts say no. *Sigh* It’s a tough season to predict, but a damn fun one to watch.

Prediction for the National Championship game: South Florida vs. Oregon

And if you think that’s impossible you haven’t been watching college football this season. Oregon is one helluva team and has a tough schedule remaining, but they can conceivably win out if they beat USC. Plus, being in the PAC-10, they don’t have to play in a conference championship game. South Florida has shown they can beat everyone on their schedule, because they’ve already beaten the toughest teams they’ll face. Sure, they can still lose, everyone can this year, but if they do win out they’ll be in the Big Game in the end.

Read my next article titled: Why Oregon vs. South Florida isn’t a bad thing.

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As an Alabama fan I use them a lot to make some arguments because they are a traditional power who have gone through very few uniform modifications over the years. Here’s the list:

  1. Alabama’s New Look (for one game)
    Bama played a game in ’06 with an slightly modified jersey which sported a Houndstooth collar to commemorate Bear Bryant’s 315th win. There was some uproar about the sanctity of the crimson jersey, but I for one thought it was a great move, and one that should be made permanent. This is proof positive that it doesn’t take a big change to give an old look a new feel.
  2. Penn State Prison-Issue Uni and USC Playdough Yellow
    Blue doesn’t even look colorful in Penn State’s uniforms; and don’t get me started on the white-on-white-on-white look. They look like a prison team, and not in an intimidating fashion. And as for USC’s yellow, I know it’s supposed to harken to the true Spartans, but wow is that one ugly color. Single ugliest uniform color in NCAA football. There are many other traditional powers that could fit into this spot–Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, etc.–but though these two may or may not be the worst of them all, they both strike me as especially awful.
  3. Logos are updated
    alabama-new.gifAlabama, among many others have updated their logos (see: Penn State, Florida, Boise State, and Oregon State, to mention a few) with great success in my opinion. Desperately needing to update: Florida State and Wake Forest, among many, many others. So if they can update their logos, why not their uniforms?
  4. Nobody can wear throwbacks.
    Because there’s usually nothing to throwback to, because the uni hasn’t changed in FIVE HUNDRED YEARS. If you really want to honor tradition–and you do, I know you do, because college football is all about tradition–you can better honor it by wearing a throwback. Alabama had to update their uniform to commemorate a historical achievement.
  5. Other Teams have done it, and look good.
    The new uniforms sported by progressive teams aren’t as bad as all the uproar. Hawaii and Oregon have great uniforms, and the writers who take jabs at them are stuck in the past. The progressive styles of these uniforms make a good argument for why uniforms SHOULD be upgraded.
  6. The NFL
    In the most popular sport in the most popular league in America, NFL uniforms change almost annually, updating, keeping it fresh. College football should emulate this. Miami seems to be the only traditional power to be updating in a similar fashion. And I like it.
  7. College Football is stuck in the past.
    I love my Tide and I love the rich tradition, but there are ways to honor the past without being stuck in it.  
  8. Michigan
    Michigan has great potential; they’ve got the best helmet design in college football and their colors aren’t bad. With a little design improvement those unis could be sensational.
  9. Stop Knocking Orange!
    People keep knocking Miami, Clemson, Tennessee, Texas, Oregon State and Florida (among others) because of the predominant orange they use. In my opinion orange is an awesome color for uniforms–it’s bright and bold and looks fresh. Not that I want my team to change to orange, I like Crimson just fine, but I do believe the orange looks good.
  10. Design Details
    The metal stamp design on Oregon’s shoulders, the thin line on Boise State’s jersey, the band on Hawaii’s leg–individually you might find these accents hideous, but I don’t. Adding details to a uniform spices it up and makes it fresh and new. A tiny accent–like the Houndstooth collar on Alabama’s one-time jersey in ’06–can make a huge difference in a uniform’s appearance.
     

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SEC Power Poll

From Journalism is for Rockstars:

1. LSU
The guys from Louisiana still hold the top spot, in a league where everyone has one loss. A true No. 1 should come to the fore in the next few weeks.

2. South Carolina
The Gamecocks are winning ugly, but they are winning. It’s about survival, kids, not dominance.

3. Kentucky
The Wildcats’ win over LSU proves that Kentucky is among the best in the conference. But, they’ll still be No. 2 in the East unless South Carolina drops another, which is entirely possible.

4. Florida
Whither Gators? The game against Kentucky, which bounced the Alabama-Tennessee game to LFS, will decide whether Florida is No. 3 in the East, or still shooting for the division title.

5. Auburn
Those godawful people from Georgia east Alabama are on a roll, but came very close to losing to Arkansas. Still, survival marks the day.

6. Alabama
If loving being 5-2 is wrong, I don’t want to be right. The trend continues – if you can win, that’s all that matters. Plus, it’s not like Ole Miss hasn’t been a tough opponent. For the past three years, Alabama’s beaten the Rebels by three points. The game against Tennessee will hopefully prove some things.

7. Tennessee
The acolytes of the Fat One may think they have something here, with a thrashing of Georgia two weeks ago. The only problem is that one week does not make a season.

8. Georgia
If it weren’t for a last-second field goal at Vandy, we could be expecting the entire Dawgosphere to be in nuclear meltdown. I still can’t figure out how Alabama played so poorly as to lose to Georgia, but it happened. Remember UAB’s basketball team under Gene Bartow? That’s this year’s Alabama. And Georgia. Play to the opponent – no better, no worse.

9. Mississippi State
A bad team, playing above its ability. That portends well for the future, and speaks volumes about Sly Croom’s coaching ability.

10. Ole Miss
Believe it or not, Ole Miss is better than advertised, as well. The passing game is awesome, opening up running lanes for that four-named running back. The defense? Not so good. Still, L’Orgeron has got his guys playing above their heads, too.

11. Vanderbilt
Vandy is coming back to earth. Of course, if the ‘Dores had upset Georgia, I would be singing a different tune. O, you finicky gods of football.

12. Arkansas
Wanted: football coach.

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Finally!

saints.jpgIt’s bittersweet to see Shaun Alexander lose, and I don’t hate the Seahawks, but the Saints are my team and they were due a win. I’d like to add that with 4th and 3 in the fourth qtr Holmgren opted to try a run up the middle on a run that would’ve been successful if only he’d been running with Alexander. A comeback at that point was unlikely anyway, being down 18 points, but at least Shaun would’ve given them a chance. Too bad.

Geaux Saints!!

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I couldn’t have said it better.

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Here’s the inaugural Houndstooth Top 10 Poll:

  1. South Florida — A non-traditional team that might be overachieving but at least has played some decent competition (unlike Hawaii) and come away with nothing but victories.
  2. Ohio State — OSU is just coming to the really meaty part of their schedule.
  3. Oregon — If they beat USC they could win out and I would love (LOVE) to see the Ducks play in the NC game. Love.
  4. LSU — Lost to Kentucky in OT but still has the best D in the nation. I still believe they’ll be in the last game, against whom I am no longer sure…
  5. South Carolina — Spurrier is back, much to Lee Corso’s chagrine. Sorry Lee, you can ignore it forever, but the fact is you were wrong about the East Coast USC. So, so, so, so wrong.
  6. Cal — Cal loses a tough one to Oregon St due to, well, not scoring enough points, but also by a bonehead play by the QB at the end of the game that cost them the chance for a win. Cal is still a damn good team.
  7. Arizona State — I don’t expect ASU to remain this high for very long, but they are undefeated and they did beat Colorado as well as my beloved Oregon State Beavers, so I have to give them a little love.
  8. Kentucky — How can Kentucky not be in the Top 10? Their only loss was to the #5 team on this list, and along the way they’ve beaten Louisville, Arkansas and then #1 (on EVERY poll) LSU. Can Kentucky make it to the SEC Championship? They need help from South Carolina to do so but things are in good shape for that to happen… (Note: It really is a shame that Kentucky should beat LSU and rank lower than them in the poll, but that’s just the way it has to go sometimes.)
  9. Oklahoma — Another solid one-loss team. Should run through the rest of their schedule, which is weak, with a lot of mid-grade teams except for Texas. Texas Tech and Oklahoma State are their last two games and look like the toughest challenge they’ve got left. 
  10. Boston College — I’ll believe in BC when they get Virginia Tech and FSU. Until then, no. They’ve played less competition than Arizona State.

Stay tuned. This wild season is just going to get better and better.

Who’ll be in the National Championship game? Undoubtedly it’ll be a pair of one-loss teams so at this point there’s no telling. I still like LSU and Oregon, but OU has to get through USC to get there.

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