LSU and Bama Are Tops and Other CFB Thoughts from 2011

Gary BrownCorrespondent IIDecember 24, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05:  Eric Reid #1 of the LSU Tigers makes a catch over Michael Williams #89 of the Alabama Crimson Tide for an interception during the second half of the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

What makes college football the greatest game in the land? Simple. No other sport generates anything near the level of passion among fans as the classic college game does.

I mean think about the fact the NBA is tipping off Christmas day get you juiced like a Saturday in the fall? Do you really notice anything different from one NFL game to another except the color of the uniforms? When did you last sit down and watch a whole major league baseball game on television?

Enough of that. On to some random thoughts from the regular season that played out in 2011.

Hey Alabama fans! Yes, you deserve to be in the national title game, but could you please tone down the rhetoric about how you are really better than LSU? There was a game on November 5 and they did win on your home field. That means, for now, they are better than you. Be proud, be excited but have a little common sense.

Oklahoma State fans also need to give it up. You should not be in the national title game. With a loss to Iowa State you really don’t deserve to hoist the crystal football that goes to the winner of the BCS title game.

By the way, while the death of the women’s basketball coach and an assistant is sad and tragic, it is hardly an excuse for losing that game. Do you really think that five percent of the football team could even have told you who the women’s coach was before that day? Might not be politically correct to say that, but football players don’t spend much time worrying about women’s basketball.

It gets old to hear college football “experts” talk about how boring the first Alabama-LSU game was. Why did they hate it so much? Great defense is just not that sexy to them and it is much more difficult to explain the nuances of defensive line play than to go on and one about a brilliant touchdown pass.

STILLWATER, OK - DECEMBER 03:  Brandon Weeden #3 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys runs the offense during play against the Oklahoma Sooners at Boone Pickens Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images



By the way, scoring tons of points does not mean you have a great offense.  It is much easier to rack up basketball type scores when you are playing really bad defenses.

Why are the human polls so often referred to as subjective and the computer polls as objective? Guess what, people who write computer programs make decisions about what is most important when they write code. This means the end results are also less than objective in many ways.

How bad are the computer rankings? Well, many of them have 7-5 Texas in their top 25, while the Longhorns are nowhere near ranked by the AP or Coaches poll. One computer poll has Arkansas at number eighteen. The humans in the same two polls put the Hogs at number seven.

Did Robert Griffin III deserve the Heisman? He had a sensational year in the Big 12, but that is just it. His conference opposition is not known for playing great defense. Texas, on paper, had the best passing defense in the conference. They were ranked 46th nationally in this category. Again, it is easier to build really big numbers when the other team is not doing much to stop you.

Who did deserve it? LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu made big play after big play for the Tigers on defense and special teams. Sure, he sat one game for violating a “team rule”, but his play on the field against high level competition made him the most deserving in the field.

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 26: Running back De'Anthony Thomas #6 of the Oregon Ducks runs down the sidelines with a pass reception in the third quarter of the game against the Oregon State Beavers at Autzen Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. The D
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Now some quick hits….

Quick, who won the Big East and ACC this past year? Could we ask these two conferences to either become relevant in the national discussion or give up their automatic BCS bid to schools that are trying?

For the record, West Virginia took the Big East and Clemson is the ACC champ.

Please pick a uniform and stay with it. Oregon gets a pass on the mix and match uniform trend because they were first and they typically look really good. Other schools, well, not so good. Georgia looked like a UFL team in their red suits and Maryland’s opening game day duds could cause a headache.

Kudos to Kellen Moore and Boise State on a great run. I don’t care what level of ball you are playing, when you have a record of 50-3 as a starter, that is impressive.

Before getting all hot and bothered about the Broncos lack of BCS opportunities, please stop and ask yourself a question: Would they have put up such great results if they were playing in one of the major conferences? Any reasonable person would say no, and it is more than probable they would not have even won even a single conference championship during the past four years in the big four(Sorry ACC and Big East fans).

Congratulations Ohio State. Besides not being cited for lack of institutional control for having a coach who lied to the NCAA and university officials, the NCAA also decided to cede an advantage to you by allowing two coaching staffs during the transition period: one to prepare players for the Gator Bowl and one to focus on recruiting. Bet Michigan and Michigan State wish they could do that.

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 05:  Quarterback Kellen Moore #11 of the Boise State Broncos warms up before a game against the UNLV Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium November 5, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Broncos won 48-21 giving Moore his 46th victory and making
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

And to think, we all thought the NCAA was getting tough on cheaters.

What do Arizona State, UCLA and Texas A&M have in common? All three had bad enough seasons that they felt compelled to get rid of their head coach, while also having a successful enough season to make it to a bowl game.



If that does not tell you how meaningless bowl games have become then nothing does. It use to be only good teams got a post-season opportunity…now even bad teams get a trip during the holiday season. Tickets anyone?

What was your most memorable moment from the 2011 regular season?

Mine? In the first Alabama-LSU game Tiger defensive back Ed Reid and Bama tight end Michael Williams went into the air for a pass at the one. When they landed it looked at first as if Williams had won the battle for the ball, but when the two came up it was Reid who was holding the ball. This one play probably gave LSU the victory in that game and a clear path to the BCS title game.

On to the “watchable” bowl games!


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