Observing Game Day

In Part I of our look at college football this season, we discussed how you never know what’s going to happen. Trying to figure out what a bunch of college kids are going to do is like trying to write regular expressions when your slashes are flipped the wrong way and you are making typos at the same time. And boy, Ole Miss sure made some serious fat fingers when they lost in an embarrassing debacle against a team in a lower division than them, Jacksonville State. And then there was Kansas, only managing to put up a field goal, which is 3 points, against North Dakota State in the first time they managed an upset against a Big 12 team. But that’s the thing, kids will be kids… The message for part II of our College Game Day analysis is about old hatreds being hard to die. You see, the University of Georgia dominated Florida for a long time. Then along came this little schmuck named Steve Spurrier. Then Florida turned the tide against Georgia and began to win. And instead of Georgia going for national titles, it was Florida that dominated that part of the South Eastern Conference (SEC). Spurrier left Florida for the NFL, where he had a short and lackluster career before returning to college football to take over for the South Carolina Gamecocks. At this point, I don’t really care whether or not Georgia beats Florida. I only care that I get to see an angry Steve Spurrier throw his visor against the ground, cursing at my Bulldogs. So the first hatred that is hard to die, is that of the opposing coach. With Georgia ranked 22 and South Carolina ranked 24, it will be interesting to see whether either team, currently distracted with off the field blunders, will manage to pull themselves together and play like they mean business. Some things you just can’t forget. If the Cisco guy decides to hold the entire city of San Francisco hostage then my guess is that he’s not going to be able to get a job doing Cisco stuff there any more (if he ever gets out of prison). Miami just can’t forget a loss to Ohio State, who is currently ranked #2 in the country and seems an early favorite to play for a national title berth. But Miami, ranked #12, is out for blood. Reason is that in 2003, Miami (who had previously won 34 games in a row and was a national title contender every year) went down to Ohio State, who had been a bit lackluster before that but who now is a perennial national title contender. Understandably, Miami is thinking that a win will turn the tide back their way. It’s akin to if MySpace could beat Facebook in Halo though; Facebook would still have a better site, but if you really liked Halo and you had to make a choice between working for MySpace and Facebook, you might eventually end up working at MySpace. Is that analogy a stretch? Probably, but the point is that another type of hatred is the hatred you feel for a team you think stole your mojo (like with Austin Powers, you gotta’ go get your mojo back). The next form of hatred goes back a long, long way. Back to Alabama still being mad about northerners meddling in their affairs. The new south has lost much of the memory that was seared into its mind of the loss of a war. But in many a small town throughout the south, Penn State will be boo’d, with that old man that only science can be keeping alive (no, not Favre, Paterno) coaching against the man that could win the Governor’s seat in Alabama if he wanted, having won a national title last year, Nick Saban. Without last years Heisman Trophy winner, who is likely to sit the game out due to injury, the Tide may have a little bit of trouble against the Nittany Lions, who happen to be starting a true freshman. That means an 18 year old sitting there with millions watching him on the interwebs – like the star wars kid (over 18 MILLION views?!?!?!), only he’ll need better moves with the Alabama line frothing at the mouth to eat him alive… Then there’s Florida State and Oklahoma. Really, there’s not a lot of hatred here, just a team on the rise (Florida State) and a team that has been good for a long time (Oklahoma). Perl vs. Python: they each have their uses, but no one really looks down on either (unless you’re a Ruby guy from USC, but then you look down on everything always anyway, despite the obvious flaws in your own program – DOH)… The only other games to note are:
  • Oregon vs. Tennessee – Oregon will either win big (as they are projected) or falter as they tend to do at least once a season. When your QB goes stealing laptops and you’re stuck with a new guy, it could take a little time to get things worked out. But then, the QB ended up at Ole Miss where he is not exactly doing so hot, now is he (those laptops were obviously running Windows Millennium thus causing a big massive horrible terrible Karma drain for both Massoli the QB and the Ducks)…
  • Virginia Tech vs. James Madison – Expect VT to treat James Madison like Ballmer would like to treat the iPhone! After their loss to Boise State last week, the Hokies are going to have a lot of aggression to unload on someone.
  • Idaho vs. Nebraska – Not really, the Huskers are going to decimate the Vandals, but I love sayin’ Vandals…
  • Minnesota vs. North Dakota St. Er, I mean South Dakota. After a loss in 2007 to North Dakota State, the Golden Gophers of Minnesota can’t forget that they still have some players from that team around when they go up against the South Dakota Coyotes (True men don’t kill Coyotes, in case you haven’t heard). What should be an easy win… Well, I’ll believe it when I see it…
  • Notre Dame vs. Michigan – I never thought I’d see the day that neither team is ranked. Both are locked and loaded with talent and on any given Saturday could win any game they play. Both have had (or have had) nobs for coaches, but both could literally end up with a national title and the ESPN guys would be saying “I saw that comin’.” You know, like we all say about the emergence of Google (or not). BTW, some day remind me to tell you about my theory about Charlie Weiss vs. Haynesworth and the whole golf cart thing…