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...