We haven’t written about any college football in a while. No real reason why, its just that……. yeah, there is a reason. You see, to us, college football is the comfort food of American sports: the long standing traditions, rivalries, the bowl games, etc. were all things unique to the sport and wrapped up in that as well was the legacy of the traditional powers. One had a pretty good idea year in and year out who was going to be at or towards the top. There was something just very soothing about that.
Well, this year has turned everything on its head as there has been seemingly 2 or 3 upsets among the top 10 every week. At what point do these cease being upsets and at what point does our head stop spinning from trying to make sense of it all? Not very comforting.
Anyway, the BCS championship picture is far from being sorted out. There is still a lot of football to be played and a lot to look forward to.
One thing we won’t be looking forward to, however, is LSU head coach Les Miles being asked every day whether or not he is considering the Michigan job that opened up when Lloyd Carr stepped down (Miles played and coached for the Maize and Blue). We’re not big fans of ol’ Les
d we have taken #1-ranked LSU’s success a little too personally this year because we felt that at least a couple of games were just handed to the Tigers (Thanks, Tommy!).
But hey, maybe we will look forward to the grilling. Afterall, if LSU beats Arkansas (+12) in their 16th game this season in Baton Rogue on Friday and wins the SEC championship game a week later, we can’t help but think the constant questioning will be a distraction as they prepare to play Kansas(?)
for the BCS title thus potentially allowing us to salvage a bit of pride in some predictions
we made at the beginning of the year.
And just a word or two about Coach Carr: By all accounts Carr is a stand-up guy who ran a clean program and though he sounded like a curmudgeon at times during his half-time interviews (hey, so would you if Jim Tressel and Ohio St. were kicking your teeth in every year) he was loved by his players. But Carr also epitomized the challenge of adapting to change, especially when it came to the spread-option offense and specifically how to defend against that offense.
This was made dreadfully apparent in Michigan’s first two games, losses to App. State and Oregon, both of whom ran this offense with highly mobile, versatile quarterbacks. Michigan’s defenders were hopelessly outmatched with the quickness displayed by their opponent’s offense.
Michigan is one of 6 or 7 mega-programs in the country that can recruit nationally and year after year they pull boat-loads of 4 and 5-star recruits from around the country, so the talent is there…. its just not the right type of talent. Its Big Ten talent but not talent that puts a premium on defensive speed and quickness that is needed to challenge consistently for the BCS title.
In the act-react arms race that is now college football, head coaches need to find athletes they can put on the defensive side of the football that possess quickness AND that can defend and tackle in space. The days of fullback line plunges are over and those of a defensive unit being mad
e up of 11 guys all around 6’-2”, 230-240 lbs. that can all run 4.5 and 4.6s are upon us.
Of course, this will all change again 5-6 years from now when Nebraska wins the BCS title under head coach, Turner Gill, because no defense in America can stop this new-fangled, straight-ahead, Power-I running game of the Huskers.