As many of my readers will note, I am a big fan of the University of Georgia football team. Sure, we have really crappy graphic design, but it’s a great school and if it weren’t for Athens you wouldn’t have rock lobsters, widespread panics or any REM in your sleep. Athens is a great music town, but it’s an even better football town. Especially when there is buzz of a potential national title berth. I’m excited too, but I hate rooting against teams. I prefer to root for a team and just let the rest be what it is. It just feels guilty to be stoked over the poor kids at Oregon and Kansas State, just for a shot to beat ‘Bama to play for a title.
But it occurs to me watching ESPN analysts (yes, the first four letters of that word made me laugh as well) that you simply can’t project possible outcomes in any sport. Therefore, I felt it important to project (and yes, when you project you’re projecting) the best possible college football national title scenario: USC beats Notre Dame, Georgia beats ‘Bama, Oregon falls to Oregon State, Florida beats Florida State in their season finale, South Carolina knocks off Clemson and Kansas State suffers a loss in the Big 12 title game. This would lead to a Georgia-Florida rematch in the national title game. After the ‘Bama-LSU debacle last year, pandemonium would ensue and perhaps Bill Belichick would have to step in and decide who the best team in the country is, all by his lonesome (after all, he’s the NFL version of Nick Saban). He declares Wesleyan the national title winner (he was a center there don’cha’know), even though they’re a Div III team and of course, Tim Cook, being an Auburn alumn doesn’t stand for such an insult to the SEC and prompts the iPads and iPhones in the world with a message to rebel. Arnold Schwarzenegger tries to step in (after all, if you cross the former Governor of California with a Terminator you get a USC back really worth paying), but fumbles, which sparks the zombie apocalypse. Yes, that’s it. I just linked USC to the zombie apocalypse. It’s all Lane Kiffin’s fault. He is evil I tell you, and he must go. Actually, they’re on probation – which means Monty doesn’t let him leave the house after 8pm except on game nights.
Anyway, back to Maryland joining the Big 10. They would be the 5th team in the conference to do a Gangnam Style YouTube video, so they got an invite and vote on it on Monday. Now, you might think that 5 of 10 teams is 50% but you’re wrong. Just before the Zombie Apocalypse, the Big 10 bent the time-space-counting continuum and made a conference with 13 teams called the Big 10. However, given that 2,500 students attended a Gangnam Style flash mob at Maryland, it’s somewhat surprising they have any Physics classes left, so an alternate theory (after all, this could be true in an alternate universe, right?!?!) is that they haven’t learned to count in that conference (or the Big 12, which ironically has 8 or 9 or 10 teams – can’t keep track they keep bolting so fast) as they keep skipping Math 099 in favor of dance classes.
Anyway, back to Texas. I can’t believe the Pac 12 almost destabilized their entire conference by allowing disproportionate checks to be cut every year to member teams. Yes, the reason the Big 12 has the problems it has is that different teams get different amounts of money for TV deals. The only thing that matters in college football any more is TV deals, btw. If you don’t believe me, watch the above video and think that one of the worse teams in the ACC is potentially going to the Big 10 just so they can get in on the media markets stretching from Virginia, through DC and up into, well, Maryland. Granted, the SEC wanted Texas A&M to get the fertile recruiting grounds (which really means media markets) of Texas, but that’s aside from the point: Texas is breaking the Big 12 and the only people that would put up with it are schools that have been begging to join the Big 12 or a bigger conference for decades and are totally stoked to finally get in. Now that the Big East has been shagged absolutely rotten and had their innocence and good members stolen by other conferences it’s time for the conferences to start raiding the ACC. If you have 16-team conferences, you need fewer of them, right. But really, they did a Gangnam Style parody at Texas too, although with far fewer people ’cause apparently they have to go to class or something…
The popularity contest of conferences means that if Maryland leaves for the Big 10 and Rutgers goes with them that the Big East continues a futile search for the meaning of life (42) and Rutgers, the original source of college football, goes back to a somewhat elite status provided they can continue to claw their way back up (“Shut up, we were good back in 1869, man!”). Princeton, the team they beat that fateful November 6th in 1869, still looking for revenge, decides that since the NCAA and the BCS have destroyed football that they must end football once and for all. To do so, they develop a new disease called WalterChaunceyCampitis, which has no impact other than to make people not like football. Problem is, they decide to start with some Div III team no one cares about: Wesleyan. Patient 0 just took a new coaching job there, after being one of the few coaches anywhere fired for going 8-4. Little did they know that without love of football, most people were just… Zombies. And of course, zombies have to try and infect everyone else, spreading their apathy.
Of course, Atlanta has a lot of University of Georgia alumns, which is why those walking dead refugees retreated to the land of the SEC, where no amount of brain sucking conference jumping can stand in the way of playing for a 7th straight national title, if only to piss off Jimbo Fisher, who was apparently caught impersonating Lane Kiffin in a Twitter account (he would have impersonated Mora but UCLA won and Mora tends to send snipers after people who do that anyway) by continuing to tweet: FSU #1. Given only one person believes that, Rick Grimes knew right where to find him, while searching Patient 0. He was easy to find, too. He was getting his butt kicked somewhere in North Carolina State. And really, Notre Dame would have beaten USC to keep this whole thing from unfolding if only Lane Kiffin had fired his dad. But he didn’t, because dear old dad is not only a legend, but he’s still a good coach. And he’s dad of course. And of course, dad beats Notre Dame ’cause otherwise there’d be no walkers.
Anyway, back to Oregon. Other than the University of Georgia, they’ve become one of my favorite teams in the country. They started this run with Chip Kelly with limited resources (other than that guy from Nike helping them out). They have the wackiest uniforms in the country, belong to a conference where the ability to count was important to conference members and they were the first school to do a Gangnam Style video. They run a wacky offense. They have this next man up thing, where everyone tries really hard and gives a crap. They are the opposite of apathy. When they get beat, it’s not from lack of trying and it really sucked to watch, even though my team potentially benefited from it.
But at the end of the day, Oregon is a team that thrives and gameplans on things like rhythm and inertia. And every now and then a team with a singular name that should be plural and a mascot of a sickly tree in Palo Alto waltzes in and beat them in overtime. And it’s a loss to be proud of, ’cause it was a bloody, trench warfare fight and both teams ended up escaping infection by Kiffin. Part of me hopes they get to play for a national title still. And since their QB is a freshman, he at least probably will (unless he goes pro too early like the guy in his spot before him did – although he can’t do it this year according to Marice Clarett) along with the guy who he beat out for his spot, Johnny Football. That’s another guy spared from the apathy apocalypse. And everyone else who actually plays their hearts out consistently. Anyone can be great at times, but to be great consistently is rare and the biggest obstacle to doing so is apathy.
PS – I’ll tell you who’s the first guy to get his brains eaten: A guy told me to stop posting things about college football on my website 5 or 6 years ago and I did. But recently I realized I never really liked him. He wouldn’t have made it this far through this post. In fact, I doubt anyone did… But if you did, you’re spared, unless you’re that guy. ‘Cause I like football.