Saturday, August 28, 2004

College Football Update

6 hrs., 25 min. and 14 sec. to go until the first college football game of the season and I've just learned that Mike Williams is not eligible to play college ball. It seems he tried to enter the NFL draft, received some money (making him ineligible to play NCAA ball), then the courts said he couldn't enter the draft. Now both the NFL and NCAA have left him out in the cold. No football for Mike this season.

In one sense I feel bad about this. Not because I feel sorry for poor Mike. He went for the cash and got burnt. You live by the dollar, you die by the dollar. No, I feel sorry that I won't get to see this guy play college ball anymore. Just because I don't like the way USC and the sports writers made up this baloney about being co-national champions, doesn't mean I don't like to watch USC play. The Matt Leinart / Mike Williams combo was as entertaining as any. Too bad Mike sold out.

Since I brought it up, let me get on my co-national champion soapbox for a moment. We had a national championship game. USC was not in it. I'd almost compare USC's self proclaimed title to Al Gore whining about his loss in Florida but that would be unfair to Al Gore. At least he made it to the election. It would be more like calling Ted Kennedy "Mr. President" for four years just because he and some of his supporters think he should be President. He wasn't even in the election. If that's how we're going to operate, I demand that I hereby be referred to as "Supreme judge of all college football disputes" since I think I'm better at it than anyone else. Yeah, I'm number one!! Memo to USC: Shoulda, woulda, coulda. YOU'RE SECOND! And without Mike Williams you won't be there long. Bunch of whiners.

Let me make another observation. When LSU bumped USC from the championship game, a lot of sports writers had egg on their face. When LSU won the national title, the vast majority of them got a side order of crow. This season the BCS calculations have been re-arranged. The polls now have a greater impact on standings than strength of schedule. This year the "human" factor is being emphasized over statistical analysis because sports writers don't want their precious opinions trampled on by those stubborn statistical facts. Once again, I must agree with Lee Corso's analysis this morning. That analysis being that now a team with a weaker schedule (like USC) will go undefeated while the teams with the toughest schedules (the SEC, look at the rankings) will drop a game or two and pay dearly for it. Championships are subjective in gymnastics. This is football. This is not a popularity contest. If we're going to name a team champion based solely on wins and losses and not consider who their competition is, then De La Salle High School should be the reigning NCAA national champions (as an aside, please note that Evangel Christian, a Louisiana school, came closest to defeating De La Salle last season).

So add college football championships to the growing list of things that are moving away from reality and into subjectivity. It's sad that even in college football, there can be an "elite" class of individuals who can influence the national championship via their opinions without ever setting foot on the field.


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