The BCS is like Jessica Alba (And Here’s How to Fix It)

January 2, 2007
Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba is kind of like the BCS…
Too hot to mess with.

Let’s start from the beginning. The outcry over the BCS and the desire for a college football playoff system stems, I believe, from our innate American need to proclaim someone the best at everything (the richest, the sexiest, and so on).

The resistance to implementing significant change to the current bowl system is due to the fact that the schools and bowls are already making tons of money. Let me try an analogy: If you were already dating Jessica Alba, would you be out hitting the bars and clubs every night looking to meet someone hotter, or would you be spending as much time as possible at home with Jessica?

But what I really want, and I think most other fans too, is simply to watch great, exciting football games. That’s why I was up last night witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime (did someone say “Game-changing?”) performance. And games are always more exciting when they “mean” something (like a do-or-die playoff game would—see “Madness, March”).

On PTI today, Tony Kornheiser pointed out that before the much-maligned BCS, we probably woudn’t even have seen a game like yesterday’s. As Tony said, “Baby steps.” But now that you’ve seen Boise State play (and you can admit that it was the first time, even if you vaguely recalled that they’re the team with the “smurf turf”), don’t you want to see them play again?

So here’s what I propose:

Treat the BCS bowls as quarterfinals. USC and Boise State are through to the semis, along with the winners of the Orange and Sugar Bowls. Then, next week, instead of one exciting, meaningful game, we get two. The two winners then play the week after for the true, undisputed, glorious championship of college football. The sun will shine, birds will chirp, and children will sing happily in the village square, for at last, we have crowned a champion!

It only takes one extra week and virtually nothing has to change. We still have the original bowl games. They can keep their sponsor names for all I care. We just add a couple extra games that are guaranteed to be cash cows for the TV networks and the schools. It’s like Jessica Alba brought home one of her hot friends. Everybody wins!


Boise State Wins the Outrageous Ending Bowl

January 1, 2007

This is clearly off-topic, but I can’t help it. I’ve just witnessed the most incredible ending to a sporting event I think I’ve ever seen. Even if you only started watching with two minutes left, here’s what happened, as best I can recall in my postgame stupor:

Down 28-20, Oklahoma drives the length of the field in one minute, scoring a touchdown on a pass deflected in the endzone. This completes a comeback from being down 28-10 in the 3rd quarter. Oklahoma clearly has all the “momentum”, such as it is.

Boise State receives the kickoff, and the returner is one tackle away from housing it. Taking over on the 25 yard line with 1:26 left, Boise State QB Jared Zabransky is picked off on the first play by an Oklahoma DB and it’s returned for a touchdown. 35-28, Oklahoma. The momentum shift has achieved tsunami status. Sooners fans are dancing in the aisles.

Boise gets the ball again with 54 seconds left on their own 20. After a couple completions, a sack, and a couple incompletions, they have a 4th-and-18 on the 50 with 0:18 left. Facing do-or-die time, Zabransky hits Drisan James on a deep cross, which probably would have been good for a first down, only James then pitches the ball to Jerard Rabb crossing the other way for a perfect hook-and-lateral, Rabb wins a race to the pylon, and dives across to finish off the most spectacular touchdown of the year (the video is shown above).

Overtime. Oklahoma scores a touchdown in one play, as Adrian Peterson goes around the left side virtually untouched. 42-35, Oklahoma.

Boise State puts together a matching TD drive, unleashing a bewildering array of trick plays. The touchdown comes on a 4th-and-2 from the five, when QB Zabransky goes in motion to the left and the ball is direct-snapped to wideout Vinny Perretta, who rolls right and floats a perfect touch pass to Derek Schouman in the endzone. A direct-snap WR option on fourth down! Unbelievable. 42-41, Oklahoma.

Boise State then elects to go for two and try to win the game right then and there. In a play reminiscent of the old “Statue of Liberty” play, Zabransky fakes a WR screen to the right, hiding the ball behind his back and handing it to tailback Ian Johnson, who ran around the left end into the endzone and fired the ball into the stands in celebration. Your final score: 43-42, Boise State.

Look for it on ESPN Classic very soon. Probably tomorrow.

Update: And as if all that weren’t enough… After the game Ian Johnson, the Boise State tailback who scored the winning two-point converstion, dropped to a knee and proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend.

Update #2: I can’t stop thinking about this stuff today. Here’s an attempt at explaining why the “BCS problem” persists, and a simple solution for it: The BCS is like Jessica Alba (And Here’s How to Fix It)


Rex Grossman is Glad RotoPoll Doesn’t do Football

January 1, 2007
Rex Grossman

At least not yet.

But even without empirical proof, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if there were RotoPoll rankings for football, Chicago Bears QB “Sexy Rexy” Grossman‘s wretched performance last night was the worst game of the year. It’s hard to imagine being much worse than 2 of 12 for 33 yards, 0 TD, and 3 interceptions. But there’s more… he also rushed twice for -1 yard and lost a fumble.

Brian Griese didn’t do much better in his place. The Bears definitely have a problem at QB heading into the playoffs (but I guess that’s not news to anyone).


Off-topic: Somebody Burped During the Giants-Redskins Game

December 31, 2006

This is way off topic for this blog, but I don’t have anywhere else to write stuff like this…

I was mindlessly watching the Giants-Redskins game last night (which actually was one of the better games of the season), when my wife, paying even less attention than I was, suddenly exclaimed, “Did Bryant Gumbel just burp on the air?” Thanks to the magic of TiVo, I quickly verified that somebody let out a loud belch at the 3:04 mark of the 3rd quarter. It happened during dead air, making it seem like either NFL Network play-by-play man Bryant Gubmel or color commentator Cris Collinsworth was to blame. I found a YouTube clip of the first incident:

It happened again at roughly 13:28 of the 4th quarter, this time while they were talking. With about 6 minutes left in the game, Gumbel addressed the issue, saying that threre was an “open mic” somewhere, and that he and Collinsworth were not, in fact, battling “indigestion.”

I have no idea who did the burping. Honestly, I doubt it was one of the booth guys, because I have to believe they’d turn off their mics to burp, cough, sneeze, or anything else, and failing that, at least follow it up with an “excuse me” or something. They’re professionals—it’s not like it’s the first time they’ve been on TV. But I also wonder why the “open mic” didn’t seem to catch a lot of other random sounds… just a couple loud belches.

A quick search reveals that a couple other blogs have weighed in on this topic as well.