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2009… Get Ready for the History Books

Best ever? In the running.

In the words of the Grateful Dead, “What a long strange trip it’s been.” Things lately that are worth talking about…

  • Alabama Brings a Title Back Home: When Nick Saban was hired in 2007, most Crimson Tide fans felt it was only a matter of time until Alabama was celebrating another national championship. The number that thought Saban would do it within 3 years was significantly smaller. Some will say it was a tainted victory as Colt McCoy was injured moments into the contest, but a win is a win, and very few will remember the details like that years into the future. What will be remembered, though, is the fact that Nick Saban has now won 2 titles at 2 different schools and appears on the verge of building a Camelot of his own in Tuscaloosa.
  • Pete Carroll Takes His Show on the Road: In recent years, the closest thing to an Emperor in college football has been Pete Carroll in Los Angeles. With no NFL team in town, a resurgent Trojan program, and recruiting classes that rival some of the best in the history of the sport, Carroll was building a dynasty at USC that was cementing him as one of the best coaches in the game. Now, amid rumors that NCAA sanctions are looming and after arguably one of the most disappointing Trojan campaigns in recent memory, Carroll has bolted for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. Perhaps it was Carroll’s way of leaving before more mediocre years occurred. Perhaps Carroll is attempting to get out of town before the NCAA drops the proverbial hammer on the Trojans for Reggie Bush and apparently Joe McKnight. No matter what the reason, the fact that Carroll is leaving creates one of the most coveted job openings in all of college football, and one can rest assured that the coaching dominoes that for the moment appeared somewhat secure are about to be reshuffled all over again.
  • Tommy Tuberville’s Texas Opportunity: The arguments about whether or not Mike Leach should have actually been fired, whether or not Adam James and his father are telling the truth, and whether or not being placed in a shed is good for your concussion are best left to the legal beagles and such, not smarmy sports blogs. What is certainly open for question though is Tech’s hiring of Tommy Tuberville to build upon the Leach legacy and the program that the crazy pirate rebuilt from the ground up. If I was Tuberville, I would be guardedly optimistic. I have a stable of athletes, I have a great recruiting base, and I have a team that knows what it’s like to win. Unfortunately, I’m in the toughest division of one of the two best conferences in football, I’m second-best in the state I reside in after the Longhorns, and I have an offense built specifically for someone else’s scheme and a defense which leaves much to be desired. I’m sure Tuberville was ready to return, but I cannot believe this is going to be a successful venture.
  • The Bowl Gods Wanted Blood, and Got It: For anyone who thought they knew college football, the 09 Bowl season was clearly an exercise in humility. No conference went undefeated, but none went winless either, proving again that an epidemic of parity is alive and well in college football.

A little later today we’ll have our final polls of the season, our CBS Sports Blogpoll ballot, and the SEC Power Poll. We’ll also have the announcement of the OTP Bowl Challenge Winner, and what they have won… aside from bragging rights. OTP has been on a bit of a break the last couple weeks as we savored not only the Holidays and the time away from things like our actual jobs, but we also wanted to simply enjoy the last few games of 2009’s season. Now that we’ve done that, it’s full steam ahead. We’re a few weeks away from signing day, and that’s when 2010 really begins for us. We need to close out 2009 with things like our Cardinal Senior Sendoffs, the evaluations of our preseason predictions, Edge’s superb stat work, and a look at the things that made 2009 an exciting time. That’s this week… and next week… it’s go time for ’10. Buckle up…

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