Wednesday, December 10, 2008

This Week in Route 1 Football: Conference Championship Edition

Today is a college football sort of Tuesday here at Mass Hysteria, but rather than espouse sheer anger and misery like my predecessor, I am here to share with you my feelings of joy, happiness and general awesomeosity. For, while your local college football entry may have lost and banished itself to Gaylord-induced mediocrity on Saturday, the favored nation of this scribe, the Mighty Gators of the University of Florida, emerged victorious over the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide, sending the Orange and Blue to this year's BCS Championship.

Yesterday, saddled with a combination of Montezuma's revenge and the Black Plague, I decided to re-watch the SEC Championship sober, as opposed to how I watched it on Saturday. Sadly, this viewing involved less unicorns, but did allow me to more fully appreciate the true breadth of the Gators' accomplishment on Saturday.

First off, all credit must be given to Alabama. That is a really good team. Their defense is goddamned ridiculous, Glen Coffee is a bruiser, and Julio Jones may be the most physically talented WR in the nation not named Crabtree. Moreover, they gameplanned perfectly against the Gators - that being to run the ball up the middle against the Gator D, to plug up the inside gaps that Demps & James get their big gains through, and neutralize Tebow's deep pass. Throw in the loss of the nation's most talented run/catch option in Percy Harvin, and Florida really had no business winning Saturday's game.

Except that they forgot about one thing. They forgot about Tim Tebow.

Now, my man-love for Tebow has nearly reached restraining order levels, but seriously, Saturday was maybe the best game I've ever seen him play. While the numbers weren't necessarily eye-popping (217 passing yards, 57 rushing), it was the When and How of those yards that made the difference. When his first and second options were covered, Tebow found little-used wideouts like Carl Moore and David Nelson. When the team needed a 3rd and short, Tebow would always find a way to convert. And in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, the Gators outgained Alabama 130-1. Now, much of that fourth-quarter credit can be given to the defense, but much of it was Tebow's architecture of an 11-play drive followed up by an eight-play drive, eating up clock and sealing a Gator win. Tim Tebow won that game Saturday. Tim Tebow carried the Gators to the National Championship.
Before getting into the awards, let me simply close with this: Tim Tebow deserves the goddamned Heisman Trophy, and it really shouldn't be close. Tebow has played 11 of the country's top 40 defenses this year (based on opponent YPG), beating 10 of them handily. Sam Bradford, on the other hand, has played one, and Colt McCoy has played zero. Against those tough defenses, Tebow has thrown or rushed for 40 touchdowns this year, while throwing only two interceptions. Bradford has thrown six picks, and McCoy has thrown seven. Tebow has had to break in freshmen (Demps), deal with injuries to his major weapons (Harvin, Cornelius Ingram) and introduce transfers (Emmanuel Moody, Carl Moore), while losing two of his top four receivers from last year. Bradford and McCoy each returned three of their top four pass-catchers from last year, and had no major injuries. Tebow's passer rating this year is actually better than it was last year, and in fact nearly all of his passing stats are nearly identical to what they were last year, when he won the Heisman. Throw in his huge effort in the Alabama game, the pressure of being a returning Heisman winner and therefore every opposing defense's top target, and the deft handiwork it takes to circumcise Filipino boys, and the choice should be clear.

Look, Colt Brennan didn't deserve the Heisman last year by throwing for video game-esque numbers against terrible defenses, and therefore neither do McCoy or Bradford this year. No, the Heisman should instead go to one player who is simultaneously college football's best player, best leader and best pass-and-run threat: Tim Tebow. Heisman voters, please make the right decision. Vote Tebow, and vote often.

On to the Awards:

Hooters Real Fucking Deal Award - Like you even have to ask.

Weylu's Epic Fail Award - Now, some would say that a certain band of misfits from Chestnut Hill may have Epically Failed this weekend, but both I and HZLMS (once he stops crying) would argue that BC had been playing well over its head all season, and merely getting to the ACC Championship given their glaring weaknesses was an accomplishment. Therefore, this week's Epic Fail is the Ball State Cardinals, who pissed away a perfect season by losing to Buffalo, which has only been D-1 since 1996 and has mascots named "Victor E. Bull" and "Victoria E. Bull." So, instead of having a perfect season and possibly your first and only Top-10 ranking ever, you, Ball State, lost to Victoria E. Bull. That's just simply Terr E. Bull. I bet you feel Miser A. Bull.

Closing of Russo's Candy House Disappointment of the Week - While HZMLS angrily touched upon it in the previous post, I too would like to express my general disappointment at the treatment of our local D-I entry in the convoluted pile of dogshit that happens to be the bowl system. You know why BC gains the reputation of its fans "not traveling well?" Because they get fucking sent to bowls in backwater cities like Boise, Nashville, Charlotte and Detroit! I could be the biggest BC fan ever, and you still couldn't pay me to spend my recession-ridden dollars on watching my team play against a shitty Vanderbilt team AT HOME.

Everything about this incites pure hate.

Do you realize that BC hasn't played in a New Year's bowl game since the 1992 Hall of Fame Bowl against Tennessee? The quarterback for that Tennessee team was Heath fucking Shuler, who is now so old that he's entering his second term in Congress. So yes, while I'm disappointed that BC lost on Saturday, I'm even more disappointed that the bowl system has anally raped them for the last 16 years or so. Of course, being Catholic, anal rape nevermind.

Prince Leaning Tower of Pizza Eyesore Award - Ok, say you're a recruiter for the Army. You spend your day trying to recruit people to participate in a wildly unpopular war. Your current commander-in-chief may actually be legally retarded. Your organization didn't exactly earn the best PR from the whole Pat Tillman situation. And yet, once a year, your football team plays on a national stage against their biggest rival, for everyone to see. And then they dress like this while losing 34-0.

Now, I fucking love our armed forces and everything they do for us, I have Army friends who have served multiple tours in Iraq, and gladly buy a beer for any and all armed forces members that I see at bars but, shit, I mean, really, those uniforms can't possibly help recruiting efforts, can they?

Frank Giuffrida Exalted Human Being Award - Now, you think I'm going to start talking about Tim Tebow, and how he carried my beloved Gators over the No. 1 ranked team in the country while simultaneously curing cancer, punching a grizzly bear and pulling a crying baby out of a burning building. But no, that would be too predictable. So I'll give this week's Giuffrida to Cal RB Jahvid Best, who ran for 311 (worst band ever not named Sublime or Nickelback btw) yards and four TDs against Washington, furthering the racist right-wing cabal's conspiracy and plot against Tyrone Willingham, whose firing was completely fueled by the Ku Klux Klan-esque college football regime and who posted an 0-12 record this year as a statement against The Man and certainly not because he's a shitty football coach. Best has earned the Pan Roasted Salmon, served with sauteed spinach, a junior salad and your choice of potato.


Pepster said...

Tim Tebow does not deserve the Heisman this year. I could argue Bradford or McCoy, but if I had a vote, it would go to McCoy. Leading his team in rushing while putting up huge passing numbers.

Regarding your arguments about what kind of defenses McCoy and Tebow played against, is it possible that the SEC schools ranked so high b/c their offenses, and a lot of their teams, were way down this year? Isn't it also possible that the Big 12 defenses were ranked statistically lower than they should be b/c they faced McCoy, Bradford, Harrell, Robinson, Daniel, Reesing and even Griffin (from Baylor)? I should think so.

The SEC is no where near as good as in the past, and Tebow's play has been down nonetheless.

My Heisman vote (if I had one)

1. McCoy
2. Bradford
3. Crabtree

(with Tebow 4th and Shon Green 5th - I mean, over 2,000 yards rushing).

Hazel Maes Landing Strip said...

I would just like to say FUCK CLEMSON. That is all.

Pepster said...

I watched some of the Army-Navy game, and I actually liked the Army unis. I thought the "Duty.Honor.Country" across the back was a bit much, but the camo pants and helmets with the black shirts were a plus. The game however, can't really help recruiting.

Best tradition in sports though, when both teams sing the alma maters from both schools.

GHABB,Y~! said...

It's a chicken-and-egg problem with the Big 12, as I'd argue that the offenses are better because the defenses suck so much. Out of the QBs you listed, only McCoy, Bradford and maybe Robinson are NFL-caliber, while guys like Harrell and Daniel are products of their systems, systems that thrive against shitty defenses.

Meanwhile, I'd argue that the offensive skill position players in the SEC are MUCH better than those of the Big 12, as are the total caliber of athletes in general that teams have to play.

Tebow's passer rating and TD/INT ratio are actually better this year, while his completion percentage and YPA are only a tick below. The only thing off are the rushing numbers, which more account for his smarter decisionmaking in the spread than anything, as last year he ran at every and any opportunity. The argument could be made that Tebow played better this year, if not certainly smarter. Moreover, if Ole Miss didn't block a last second extra point, we probably wouldn't even be having this argument, because everyone would be handing Tebow his second Heisman right now.

While I realize I'm a ridiculous and unabashed homer, I also think Tebow has a real case here if you account for the quality of defenses played and truly examine his numbers.

Rocco said...

Fuck. Are those really our mascots? That's embarrassing. Great game though.

Loved the Army unis. Duty.Honor.County
Brings tears to my eyes.

And I happen to like 311 and Sublime.

OSU baby!

Rocco said...

OSU? I'm a retard.

nfsffw said...

It makes no sense to me that the Heisman is awarded before the bowls.
While the National Championship Game is really the only game that matters anymore, we still have every Tom Dick and Harry team that managed to scrape together six wins playing one more game - WOOHOO Notre Fucking Dame!
This isn't like MLB or the NFL, where awards are always done based on regular season performance - there is no postseason in college football.
I somehow think Bradford will win, I hope Tebow does. I love watching this kid play football.
If Bradford does win, the upside is a pretty long history of Heisman winners shitting the bed in their bowl games, which could be really good for the Gators. Add to that a chip on Florida's collective shoulders for slighting Timmah, and you have a blowout in the making.