|Too much offense with BCS|
By Chris Connelly
Special to Page 2
Well, thank goodness that's over.
After all the media coverage and controversy -- the valid criticisms, the inappropriate complaints, the less-than-flattering whispers that held potential for long-standing ill will between major universities -- it ended for good last night. And you can't say the result wasn't decisive. We all know who has the best team.
Anyway ... my favorite moment from the BCS Championship Game, aside from the great Keith Jackson's saying the words "P. Diddy"? Or that fourth-down timeout by Nebraska when the Huskers weighed their options and decided to ... punt? After a timeout? No, my favorite moment came at 8:28 Pacific Standard Time Thursday night ... when Nebraska's Clifford Brye got up and walked off the field after a open-field hit from Jonathan Vilma that for sheer impact ranks up there with Mike Stratton's hit on Keith Lincoln in the nascent days of the AFL, or Chuck Bednarik's shot on Frank Gifford ... but thankfully, without apparent injury. Yeow.
Beats me why the Cornhuskers D stayed man-to-man on Miami receivers such as Andre Johnson when they were running wild ... but you know what they say: Sometimes, generals get caught fighting the last war. Was it Tim Brant who mentioned that Nebraska's defensive coordinator Craig Bohl had written on his door the number 62 after the Huskers' 62-36 loss to Colorado? Nebraska might have been so traumatized by the Buffaloes' overpowering performance on the ground that they overreacted in their game plan against the Canes.
In every other sport, the wise guys around the game gas, gas, gas, and then the teams go out and settle things, proving absolutely everyone wrong in the process. College football is the only sport where Stuff That Gets Said actually has something to do with the final outcome. Would Colorado have given Miami a better game? Could Miami have won the National Championship last year? You do not know. No one does. Then there's what's happened to Oregon, where the great minds became not just football analysts, but drama critics ... finding the manner of Duck victories to be insufficiently ruthless. Oy. But for the otherwise excellent Oregon coach Mike Bellotti to compare the BCS to cancer? Oy gevalt.
At least the bowl games seemed to take the game out of the hands of the coaches and into the hands of the players. School teachers who try to maintain order in the classroom in mid-June must know what it's like to coach college football D during bowl season. Despite weeks of drill, instruction, and preparation on the defensive side, this postseason became The Story of O ... with great players from Joey Harrington to LSU's Josh Reed stepping up and going wild. Schemes, strategies? Here's some luggage and thank you for playing our game.
Florida coach Steve Spurrier, though, apparently did not get the memo. Which is a shame. You'll recall how melodramatically he announced that Rex Grossman would not be starting in the Orange Bowl, because he missed curfew by few minutes. I preferred the attitude of Florida State's Bobby Bowden, who, when one of his players missed curfew before the 2000 Sugar Bowl, didn't punish him ... but gave that player the kind of second chance we all need sometime to come out on top in life.
That player? Um ... Sebastian Janikowski. Proof, as Dr. Thompson has always said, that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. And for that matter, so will our attention.
Chris Connelly writes a weekly column for Page 2. "Unscripted with Chris Connelly," the TV show airs at 5 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday on ESPN.