Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Hey, maybe they all deserve to go
By David Schoenfield Page 2
In a season messier than an entire group of offensive linemen at an all-you-can buffet, the debate will continue through the start of the BCS title game: Which team deserves to play Ohio State?
LSU ended up getting the nod, but Page 2 breaks down all the potential contenders and the reasons to argue for each school:
While some teams struggled without their starting QB, Ryan Perrilloux stepped in for Matt Flynn and led LSU to the SEC title.
Won the SEC title game even though starting QB Matt Flynn was injured. ... Is 12th in nation scoring offense. ... Big wins included Middle Tennessee, Tulane and Louisiana Tech. ... Undefeated in all games decided in regulation ... also undefeated in all games that don't end in one or two overtimes. ... The chance that some reporter will ask Les Miles if he's really sure he's going to be coaching LSU next season. ... The chance that some reporter will ask Miles if he thinks this game is bigger than a Michigan-Ohio State game. ... The chance that some reporter will ask Miles if he prefers his eggs scrambled or sunny-side up. ... Potential sideline guests: Shaquille O'Neal, JaMarcus Russell, James Carville, Hillary Clinton. ... Potential references to that back-stabbing, no-good scumbag Nick Saban and how the program seems to be just fine since his departure.
West Virginia (10-2)
Undefeated in games in which Heisman-contending QB Pat White doesn't get injured. ... Exciting offense features two 1,000-yard rushers (White and Steve Slaton). ... Backup RB Noel Devine averaged 8.7 yards per carry. ... Big wins included Western Michigan, Marshall and East Carolina. ... The chance that the Mountaineers could show up in those hideous all-yellow uniforms. ... The chance the team would win the BCS title and then wear T-shirts reading "West Virgina, National Champions" ... Potential sideline guests: Jerry West, Major Harris, Kevin Pittsnogle, Pacman Jones, Hillary Clinton.
Won sixth straight Pac-10 championship and, remember, in the Pac-10, everyone plays a full conference schedule, unlike say the SEC, in which all this Georgia-LSU controversy could have been avoided if the they had actually just played each other. ... Second in nation in yards allowed per game. ... Undefeated in games John David Booty isn't hurt or throws four interceptions. ... Big wins included Nebraska and Notre Dame, which would have been pretty impressive 10 years ago. ... Pac-10 looked really tough until, umm, Cal lost six of its final seven and, umm, Arizona State lost two of its final four and, umm, Dennis Dixon got hurt and Oregon lost its final three. ... Potential sideline guests: Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Will Ferrell, O.J. Simpson, Hillary Clinton.
Virginia Tech (11-2)
Won final five games by average score of 35-15. ... Avenged earlier loss to Boston College in ACC title game. ... Fifth in NCAA in yards allowed per game and second in points allowed. ... Lost to LSU by 41 (oops, wait, never mind) ... Undefeated in games where it isn't playing the No. 2 (at the time) team in the nation. ... Big wins included Ohio, William and Mary and Duke. ... Beat Florida State and Miami by a combined 49 points, which would have been really impressive five years ago and, boy, what the heck has happened to those two programs. ... Potential sideline guests: Bruce Smith, Michael Vick, Hillary Clinton.
Undefeated in games when it doesn't actually a play good opponent. ... Sixth in NCAA yards per game. ... Second in points per game. ... Big wins included Central Michigan, SE Louisiana, Toledo and Florida International. ... Wisely did not play Oklahoma, Texas or Texas Tech in conference play. ... And yet was somehow ranked No. 1 at one point. ... The random chance that we could see highlights of the following people during a Jayhawks game: Wilt Chamberlain, Gale Sayers, Paul Pierce, Danny Manning, Bob Dole. ... Potential sideline guests: Larry Brown and Roy Williams (haha, just kidding!), Hillary Clinton. ... The chance for 826 references from the announcers saying, "Kansas is no longer just a basketball school!"
Bulldogs have won six straight, including wins over Florida, Auburn and Kentucky. ... Undefeated in games when the entire team storms the field after a first-quarter touchdown. ... Big wins included Western Carolina, Troy and Mississippi. ... Ranked 69th in NCAA in yards per game. ... But 19th in yards allowed, which means they average a whopping 50 yards more than their opponents per game and, remember, they play in the SEC, so that must be a lot more impressive than it seems at first glance. ... The chance to hear announcers mispronounce star running back Knowshon Moreno's name. ... Potential sideline guests: Herschel Walker, Dominique Wilkins, Ryan Seacrest, Kim Basinger, Hillary Clinton. ... The chance that team mascot UGA attacks an opposing player.
Pummeled then-No. 1 Missouri by three TDs in Big 12 title game. ... Third in nation in scoring. ... Bigs wins included North Texas, Utah State and Tulsa. ... Loss to Texas Tech was largely influenced by injury to QB Sam Bradford. ... Loss to Colorado -- well, there's really no excuse for that. ... This team laughs in the face of adversity -- and NCAA sanctions: Two BCS bowl appearances since Rhett Bomar employment scandal added two more years to existing probation. ... Intanglible: Sooner Schooner drawing a penalty in a big game is always a possibility. ... Coach Bob Stoops, a former lieutenant to visor pioneer Steve Spurrier, also rocks the visor. ... Possible sideline guests: Billy Sims, Adrian Peterson, Mookie Blaylock, Brian Bosworth, Hillary Clinton.
Undefeated against every team except Oklahoma. ... Seventh in scoring and fifth in yards per game. ... Big wins included Western Michigan, Illinois State and Ole Miss. ... QB Chase Daniel has sick numbers: 4,170 yards, 33 TDs. ... Chance to hear announcers constantly mention that Daniel is "perhaps a little pudgy around the middle." ... Possible sideline guests: Sheryl Crow, Brad Pitt, Carl Edwards, Steve Stipanovich, Hillary Clinton. ... Opportunity to reminisce about the Woody Widenhofer and Bob Stull years.
Umm, they're undefeated?