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Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light

In roughly 11 hours, two things will be certain…

1.) There will be many, many, many drunk people in south Florida. You know, more than normal.

and

2.) College football will be done for the 2008 season.

The National Championship (or “Mythical National Championship” for smarmy blogger types) is tonight in Miami, and Oklahoma and Florida will have 60 minutes to give us enough football action to at least get us to February 4th or the day when 17-year olds bring old men to tears by putting on a cap with a logo and signing their name to a dotted line. What the hell is wrong with all of us?

What is most exciting to me is that one team is going to collectively look like horses’ asses after tonight. Whether it be Gator LB Brandon Spikes calling the Big 12 slow, Gator CB Joe Haden shaving letters and numbers into his hair, Sooner CB Dominique Franks saying Tim Tebow wouldn’t be in the Top 3 in the Big 12, to Sooner safety Nic Harris expanded that to the Top 7 while saying Percy Harvin is just another receiver. I’m no genius and it’s been beaten to death, but why in the hell would you serve extra motivation to Tim Tebow? He is without doubt the best player on his team, best player in his conference, best player in football, and arguably one of the best players in recent memory. The guy eats lightening and shits strawberry shortcakes and all you have managed to do was piss off a sleeping giant. Ask the Japs how that strategy worked back in 41.

Tim Tebow… Shortcake Shitter

In an effort of full disclosure, I’m an unapologetic SEC homer. Watching the SEC on Saturdays in high def with a glass of bourbon is I hope what heaven is like. However, I can also recognize quality teams when I see them, regardless of conference affiliation. Oklahoma is a good team. But Florida is a great team. A great team with speed. Speed unlike Big 12 speed. ESS-EEE-SEE Speed, brother! And in recent years, that combination has served national champions pretty well, to the tune of 4-0 for the SEC in the big game.

Truthfully, as long as this game is even remotely interesting and/or exciting past halftime, it will be better than championship games of recent seasons. Oklahoma doesn’t have Ohio State on their jerseys, so there is a chance that they may actually show up. But as most everyone knows, with Bob Stoops’ record in major bowls, having Chokelahoma is the next best thing to the Buckeyes.

Pundits across the board are calling for a good game, with decent scoring, and an entertaining curtain drop to 2008. Slight edge goes to Florida from the national types, though that may be biased a bit since our feedreader is predominantly SEC. The game itself even leaves your faithful creative team here at OTP at a loss as to what’s going to happen. However, we follow the national trend, picking the Gators in a 2-1 vote.

Edge: 31-24 Florida, MVP to Tim Tebow

RV: 31-24 Oklahoma, MVP to Gerald McCoy

Alan: 42-21 Florida, MVP to Tim Tebow

Reasons why I picked the Gators? Aside from their demon speed? I have just a few…
1.) Stoops has lost his last two bowl games, and four of his last five at OU. Meyer had won four straight bowl games in a row before his young defense gave up 524 yards to Michigan last year in a 41-35 loss. Winning and success usually breeds more of it. Advantage: UF

2.) Injury to Sooner DeMarco Murray leaves him out, injury to Gator Percy Harvin but he will play. Harvin is a gamechanger, much the way Murray was, and Florida with Percy is considerably better than Florida without. If that’s possible. Advantage: UF

3.) Travel from Gainesville to Miami is a lot easier than Norman, OK, not to mention the crowd advantage the Gators should have playing about four and a half hours from home. Advantage: UF

11 hours left. 660 short minutes to savor the flavor of college football before it’s gone again for months. Eat it up. Get crunk. Do whatever it is you do, because you don’t have much longer to do it.

Thoughts on the game?

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4 More Days to Complain About the BCS

3 more games is all that stands between all of us and a cold and bitter winter/spring of no football. What this means, of course, is that time will have to be spent working, or entertaining family and friends, but I’ve got approximately 86 hours until I have to acknowledge that I’ve let some things slip over the course of the last 4 months. As far as I know I am still gainfully employed, maintaining a semblance of a normal relationship, and my ass hasn’t merged itself with the sofa yet, so this break may in fact be coming at a semi-decent time. Though with the recent purchase of Rock Band 2, I make no promises that assmerging will not, in fact, occur.

Tonight, however, we cherish one-third of our remaining games as Texas does battle with Ohio State. We use the term “do battle” loosely, if Ohio State’s recent performances in any game of a worthwhile nature is an indicator of what is about to happen in the Arizona desert. The Buckeye Band may play “Hang on Sloopy” but only because there isn’t a song created entitled “Dear Sweet Jesus Please Make the Men in Burnt Orange Stop Ripping Our Anuses Apart With Their Football Excellence”.

What this wind down also means is that on Friday morning, after the dust and coke have cleared from South Florida, we will have one fan base claiming to be national champions and at least 2 more totally and utterly flamingly pissed off.

As Orson at EDSBS points out, and we agree with, Utah has staked a viable claim to a portion of the national title with this little nugget-O-truth:

Award Utah a fourth of the national title. This is not 2004 Utah, a team that turned a fluffy schedule and a victory over a palsied Pitt team into an undefeated season. Utah beat 5 ranked teams and embarrassed the SEC West champion. They did not lose a game this season. They had a defense that dealt out harm to all they faced and boasted one of the more accurate quarterbacks in the nation. They beat people with spread-option tactics executed with wishbone brutality.

If you want more from a team, you’re either unreasonable, a total flaming asshole, or both. In lieu of a playoff, we have to resort to fractions, and to be fair: one fraction is just as good as another.

To be fair, Texas can lay their claim to another 1/4 (arbitrary) of the title should foot meet ass as I expect tonight in the Fiesta Bowl. And God help us all if Oklahoma should muster the sheer luck to beat Florida on Thursday. It is then, and only then, really, that Texas fans have a legitimate bitch with their lot in the whole football universe this season.

Head to head matchup results sound good and they fire up the fanbases. I will give you that it makes a much stronger argument than “Roll Tide, faggot!” or something else wittily crafted in the dark corners of the typical football fan’s soul, but in all reality, all those arguments are equally worthless. Should Texas have played for the Big 12 title? Probably. But they didn’t, and that really sucks, and that’s too bad for Texas. Yes, I know they beat Oklahoma. Kentucky beat LSU in 2007, but no Kentucky fan was claiming a part of that title.

Football, much like life, is unfair at its most basic core principle. You’ll hear people moan and groan about the BCS system and insist that a playoff is “more fair”. Of course, this is completely untrue, as a playoff, by sheer nature, is unfair. Is it “fair” that a team can have one poor game and not win the title? What if, given the 2008 situation, a team like BYU, ranked 16th in the last BCS standings at 10-3 had 4 good games and won a title? Is that fair? I can promise you that the resounding sentiment from the 15 schools above them in the standings would be a loud “Fuck no.”

So that leaves us with the choice of one shitty system (the current BCS situation) or changing gears to another shitty system (a playoff). For the teams that get screwed under the current system, there’s an easy fix… don’t lose. For fans, the media, or the blogosphere to sit back and bemoan the lack of inherent fairness in the BCS system is total buffoonery. It was never designed to be fair. It was designed as an imperfect fix to a situation that no perfect fix exists for. College football, by design, is subjective. And that, the fundamental nature of the sport we love, is the reason that a playoff is no better.

Complaining about the BCS not being fair is akin to bitching when the rainstorm outside didn’t litter your front yard with gumdrops and half naked strippers. Why? Because that isn’t what rainstorms are intended for. They bring rain. And your option is to accept that fact and move along without bitching about things totally outside your locus of control or you can stand on the lawn with your brass poles and your nipple pastys and hope things change. As for me? I’ll take my BCS rainstorm and just thank whatever deity resides above me that I have this wonderful crazy obsessive sport to complain about in the first place.