Blog Entry

Musings After Week One of College Football

Posted on: September 8, 2009 2:07 am
Edited on: September 8, 2009 2:19 am
 
We live in a sports world in which everyone is trying to offer up bold predictions and issue ominous statements in order to get a soundbite.  I prefer to think that you can't tell anything after one week of football and that pre-season polls are useless.

The reason that I open with this is that I'm tired of hearing how Oklahoma's title hopes are irreparably damaged, as greviously wounded as Sam Bradford's shoulder.  News Flash: A team doesn't have to finish an undefeated season to hoist the crystal football, though it helps,  Didn't Florida lose to Ole Miss last season?  Weren't the LSU Tigers beaten twice in their 2007 Championship campaign?

Yes, the majority of BCS National Champions were undefeated, but my point is that one game does not a season make.  Besides, recent reports have announced that Bradford has already begun his rehab and should be back in plenty of time for the Sooners' date against the Longhorns in October.  On a side note, props to Texas' Colt McCoy who had the class to send a "get well" text to Bradford.

So members of the media (including those in the employ of CBS), let's tap the brake a little, shall we?

I think that perhaps a more interesting question might be: Is Bob Stoops overrated as a "big game" football coach?

Sure, his 2000 squad came out of nowhere and won the title, but since then, his teams have been embarrassed on a national stage more times than he would care to be reminded.  Three losses in the BCS title game (to LSU, USC and Florida, respectively), this year's loss to BYU as well as a season-opener against TCU in 2005, and of course, the infamous Fiesta Bowl against Boise State, which many college football fans regard as one of the best games ever played.

OU fans, if you're reading this, please don't get upset.  I'm not saying Stoops is a bad coach.  Also, I respect your team.  I'm just saying that, in some very notable games in which his troops should have been prepared and passionate to play, they've just looked bad.  If you can name me one game of consequence since their most recent national championship (other than a couple of Red River Rivalries or Big XII title games against overmatched opponents) that OU has won, I'll reconsider my opinion of Stoops.  And Missouri and Texas Tech do not count; it's my contention that both were overrated when they had the national spotlight cast upon them, then promptly stumbled out of its glow.

Next up, Erin Andrews, ESPN's "It Girl".  On September 11th, she's going to tell you, and Oprah, and an audience of millions, what a "nightmare" it's been since that nude video of her popped up on the Internet.  Really?  A nightmare, huh?  That's why you're going to relate the story in front of the biggest audience you could find?  Hmm, interesting.  The lady doth protest too much, methinks.  Sounds more like someone trying to squeeze as much mileage from said "nightmare" than someone truly scarred by the event.

Florida State and Miami proved that the ACC could put on a good show after the majority of the conference laid an egg.  At least Virgina Tech lost to Alabama.  Respectable.  As was Maryland's fall to Cal, Wake's loss to Baylor and NC State's defeat by the Gamecocks.  But Virgina losing to William and Mary?  Duke losing to Richmond?  I have a question for both Al Groh and David Cutcliffe, a question made famous by a series of Southwest Airlines commercials, "Wanna get away?"

Which is the same question I'd pose Colorado Buffaloes' head coach, Dan Hawkins who boldy predicted a 10-win season this year after only managing to cobble together thirteen wins in his first three seasons.  It's true that, according to the "experts", Colorado has put together some good recruiting classes under Hawkins, but his prediction sounded more like a man's desperate plea to save his job than a guarantee.  If his team continues its current ways, no "prediction" will change Hawkins' fate.

It appears that the SI cover jinx may be weakening.  On the magazine's college football preview issue, they featured four different covers for different regions.  Oklahoma State was on the one in my mailbox.  Sure enough, the Cowboys tamed the Bulldogs.  I guess all that money from T. Boone Pickens made a difference after all.  But seriously, I kid.  Oklahoma State is picked to be this year's "Texas Tech".  I hope not.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see OSU break the OU/UT logjam atop the Big XII's South Division.  It's just that we all saw how the Red Raiders went out with a whimper once everyone had drank the Kool-Aid.  Incidentally, there still may be some validity to that ol' jinx after all; Oregon was on one of the alternate covers, and we all know what happened to them.

Finally, nobody saw it unless they bought the pay-per-view, but the much heralded Nebraska recruit, Cody Green came into the Huskers' season opener in the second half to spell Zac Lee and get some valuable playing time.  He promptly ripped off a 49-yard run in which he almost scored, causing echoes of the great Tommie Frazier to reverberate throughout Memorial Stadium.  Bo Pelini is slowly and quietly building a winner in the Land of the Corn.  Yes, I know.  Like I said above, it's only one game.  But it's also MY blog.  And there's a reason it's named...

...Husker's Take.
Comments

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 11, 2009 9:51 pm
 

Musings After Week One of College Football

She mentions who she is a bunch of times and gets really agitated when the girl doesn't know who she is. That's funny.  I'll have to check it out.

I posted the transcript of the call before but CBS took it down.
CBS has been removing a lot of posts lately.



Since: Dec 11, 2007
Posted on: September 11, 2009 6:33 pm
 

Musings After Week One of College Football

I posted the transcript of the call before but CBS took it down. If you get a chance look at it. She mentions who she is a bunch of times and gets really agitated when the girl doesn't know who she is. At one point EA compares herself to Britney Spears. Its ridicilous.



Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 11, 2009 5:30 pm
 

Musings After Week One of College Football

Chi,

Thanks for the info; I wasn't aware of that.  It only further illustrates the point.

It's such shameless self-promotion.  One should be above such things.  Tongue out



Since: Dec 11, 2007
Posted on: September 11, 2009 11:32 am
 

Musings After Week One of College Football

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.Anybody who has seen that video knows that it was staged. No girl irons naked. Ask any female. And she is clearing posing at several points in it.  Especially after the 911 call she made about the paparazzi when she started screaming at the lady about not knowing who she was "I'm from ESPN. I'm the girl all over the news right now".



Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 11, 2009 12:44 am
 

Musings After Week One of College Football

Sandrat,

Thank you for the kind words.

I completely agree with your take on a coach's responsibility.  In this era, with the amount of money involved, perhaps too much emphasis is placed on wins and losses and not enough on all the things a good coach does "outside the lines".  Dr. Tom has always said that one of his favorite aspects of coaching was mentoring his players and molding them (hopefully) into fine, young men who would carry his life lessons into adulthood.  Ironically, he was sometimes labeled as a "win-at-all-costs" coach by the media for giving certain players a second chance.  Instead, it was simply an example of a man practicing his faith and doing what he thought was right for the young men in his care.

But, I digress.

As for Pelini's troops, I suspect the amount of time we'll see players like Green and Burkhead will depend entirely on whether or not the Huskers' can build a comfortable advantage over Arkansas State (and if they do, how quickly they manage to do so).  I don't know a lot about Arkansas State, but I do know that they surprised the Aggies in College Station last year and played respectably against Southern Miss.  My bet is that Pelini won't allow his team to be ambushed like A&M.  I'm going to buy the pay-per-view and am excited to see Green and Burkhead again, especially after the tantalizing taste they gave Husker Nation against the Owls.

I also think the Blackshirts have a lot to prove.  They have several inexperienced players in their linebacking corps, had one of the worst turnover margins in the country last year (107th) and were unable to sack Rusty Smith even once in the opener.  I got the impression that, towards the end of the game, the Huskers' attempts to keep FAU out of end zone became a point of pride.  If they had failed, I imagine that many players would have considered it to be a loss of sorts.

So, having said all that, I expect to see the Huskers win in a romp.



Since: Dec 20, 2007
Posted on: September 10, 2009 11:44 am
 

Musings After Week One of College Football

HuskerTex, I like your blog, it's a well written piece and I agree with your take on the early polls and what to make of the early games.  Too bad about OU because they played a tough game early while most of the other ranked hopefuls are paying smaller schools to sacrifice their teams to the money-mill.

As for coaching, there are a lot of factors involved in taking home a championship.  I think luck is not the least of them.  In football, the coach has first to recruit quality players, then he has to teach them and mold them to the coaches plan.  The coach then must heard 100 young men through their campus life for 10-12 weeks.  If no one gets in trouble, if all make grades, if no one gets injured, if they win all or almost all of their regularly scheduled games, then they might get invited to a bowl game.  With any luck that bowl game would be the championship game.  Then, if the media huzzah surrounding a championship game doesn't take it's toll, then MAYBE there is a championship won.

In our pursuit of excellence we are losing sight of the value of participating just to compete.  Sport, for the sport itself.  Don Coryell had a phenominal record at San Diego State, he AVERAGED better than 10-1 for about 20 years.  And he couldn't recruit because of UCLA, USC, and all the BIG schools.  It wasn't enough to just win. 

Your own Dr Tom was harrassed by this mentality too.  He won, year in, year out, and because he didn't win "the BIG one" there were those who called for a change.  And so it goes.  Stoops has his troops (sorry, that was an accident) in the hunt year after year.  I hope the OU fans are ok with that. 

OK, so there is still lots of football, how is NU going to do this week?  Are the young guys going to get more or fewer snaps this week?








Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2009 4:38 pm
 

Musings After Week One of College Football

Basically you made your own point, or rather, you made my point.



Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2009 3:00 pm
 

Musings After Week One of College Football

Plus, Oklahoma was a better team last year and still couldnt beat Texas, what makes anyone think they do that here?

Living in the Dallas area, I hear more than I would care to about the Red River Rivalry.  It's like OU/Oklahoma State or Texas/Texas A&M.  There is such a rivarly there, that it doesn't always matter who's the best team, because they don't always win.

Anyone who follows college football should know that.



Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2009 1:54 pm
 

Musings After Week One of College Football

If Bradfords not back by the time they play Miami their title shot is over. Plus, Oklahoma was a better team last year and still couldnt beat Texas, what makes anyone think they do that here?



Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2009 8:30 pm
 

Musings After Week One of College Football

Good point, Dustin.

I respect the Oklahoma program and hope for the sake of the conference, that he succeeds again (as long as it's not at the expense of Nebraska).

But your point about consistency is very astute.  Many coaches would kill for his record and his ability to get his team to the "big game".

Now, he just needs to start winning more than losing.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com