BlogPoll Roundtable 4.4: Barking Carnival

Buckeye CommentarySenior Analyst IOctober 7, 2008

This week’s musings on the organized nonsense we like to call the BlogPoll takes place on Barking Carnival (Texas). I will always have a soft spot for Texas since defeating them in 2006 and causing Vince Young his only pain of 2005 (he could barely get up a couple of times in that game). Good times. On to the roundtableness…

Please observe the latest ESPN Heisman Watch. What gridiron presence draws your suspicion and ire?

Charles Scott? Really? You could choose any of those listed No. 3 to No. 5, but Scott seems to be the most dubious choice. He has played one good rushing defense, Auburn, and had a good game (21 carries, 132 yards), but does that sound like a Heisman winner to you? Unless he goes off and runs for 2,000 yards, I cannot imagine he even gets invited to New York.

Besides, Chase Daniel and Sam Bradford are the runaway leaders at this point, and if Nissan and Dr. Pepper have their way, they will create a carbonated-prune powered vehicle that will escort the two quarterbacks onto the field in the B12CG, which will decide the Heisman Trophy, conference title, and spot in the BCSCG.

In World War I, British troops were famously characterized as “Lions Led By Donkeys.” What Donkey leading a college football team of Lions is leading his troops into the Somme again this Saturday? Who should replace him after the court-martial?

The biggest donkey leading lions is the leader of the Nittany Lions. This is probably sacrilege, but Joe Paterno does more harm than good at Penn State, and his success this season proves it.

Where was the Spread HD in 2005 and 2006? What was Paterno thinking as he allowed Morelli to wallow in his own filth for two seasons while Daryll Clark was on the bench?

Also, Austin Scott continued to play until his dismissal, despite barely gaining 1,000 in four seasons. The moment he was kicked off the team, the Lions gained a running game as Rodney Kinlaw and Evan Royster quickly took over.

All you have to do is watch Royster for one quarter to know that he has been the most talented back on the team since the day he showed up.

What is worse, Morelli and Scott made the players around them worse, as the offense was never able to utilize Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, and Jordan Norwood.

Maybe I am overstating this a little, but Penn State’s spread offense may be the most dynamic spread in the country with the exception of Florida’s, and all the players running it have been around for at least two years.

It’s conventional wisdom that it is “good for the game” when certain NFL teams (Dallas, Pittsburgh, Green Bay) or certain NBA teams (LA, Boston, New York) are strong. Others would contend that this is the arrogant self-importance of the traditional elite. With the resurgence of historic programs like Alabama and possibly Notre Dame (now believed to be turning the corner in 12 of its last 15 seasons) is it good for college football when certain name programs are strong? If not, why not?

I do not enjoy the underdogs. The traditional elite programs should rule the roost in college football forever. Here’s why.

A rising tide (no pun intended) floats all boats. Name the two greatest games in recent college football history? Correct answer: Ohio State v. Miami and Texas v. USC (shut up, Boise State; you were playing for nothing).

It does not get much more traditional than that, and if you want to argue that Miami is not a traditional power you need to check the record books and NFL rosters.

Miami also won the game that ushered in the modern era of college football (1984 Orange Bowl versus Nebraska). Elite programs guarantee meaningful games with the best athletes, performing in the best stadiums, with the most history.

How does this help the middling programs, you say? When they rise up and compete with the major programs, it is more impressive than ever.

A related question: what team with some record of success could fall off of the face of the earth and CFB wouldn’t miss a beat? Who fancies themselves a name brand, but aren’t?

Without a doubt, Virginia Tech. This is not even close. They annually fool the voting proletariat into placing them at least eight spots too high in preseason polls only to experience meltdowns in November that make Michigan State look clutch.

And, let me get this straight, their claims to fame are one superstar quarterback, a glorified high-school stadium that plays…wait for it…Metallica!! (“Wooooo! This is awesome even after the 10,000th time!!! Woooooo!!). Try a marching band, guys. Please. Would any of you miss them?


Texas/OU in Big D. Okie State @ Mizzou. Penn State @ Wiscy. LSU @ Florida. We have Longhorn, Cowboy, Badger, Tiger. Which dog is most likely to get it done?

None of these games are overly tempting, which means that more than one will win. I will take the Longhorns and not just to kiss Carnival’s ass. Oklahoma State is not ready for primetime and will instantly press after Maclin scores on his first three touches leading to more Missouri touchdowns.

Florida is white-hot pissed about the LSU game last year and, don’t forget, LSU gave up 320 yards to that putrid Auburn offense. Tebow and co. are going to score more than you think. I would like to think that the Badgers, recently reunited with their marching band, could muster at least one good victory in the league this season.

Don’t the laws of the college football universe require Oklahoma to lose soon? Being ranked No. 1 or No. 2 for any period of time over the last couple of seasons has been an invitation to lose.

I think the Longhorns are ready. I know they have no running back to speak of (how did that happen?), but Muschamp seems to have become the de facto coach in Austin, which means we can expect more yelling form the sideline and toughness.

What currently unranked team will we be hearing about soon?

TCU. Oklahoma bombed them 35-10, but the Horned Frogs committed four turnovers and 12 penalties along the way. They still have a dominating defense by most standards and a ball-control offense. They get Utah and BYU at home so there is a real chance they can shoot up the rankings and possibly end up in a BCS bowl.

What ranked team will finish outside of the Top 25?

Kansas. The Jayhawks currently reside at No. 15 but their remaining games include at Oklahoma, Texas Tech, at Nebraska, Texas, and at Missouri. Uh oh. Best case scenario? 7-5.