MGoBlog's Brian Cook has masterminded a scheme so clever that its best expression could only occur in the Oxbridge accent of a Bond villain. However, instead of threatening you with piranha nipple clamps and a plot to take over world financial markets (too late), MGoBlog brings together
whoever is available the elites of the blogosphere and intermingles their rankings like polygamist's children in the weekly Top 25 beauty contest known as Blogpoll. Like College Gameday, he then tabs a different blog to host a weekly colloquy on the college football landscape. Unlike Gameday, there are no Phi Delt pledges chanting "S!-E!-C!" around our set and we are without the possibility of hearing Lou Holtz unleash a torrent of angry urine into his adult diaper over our earpiece like some Baroque water amusement whilst Mark May guarantees himself seriously-messed-with food if he ever eats in South Bend, Austin, or Columbus.
To the interrogatives, good gentlemens. Please play along at home:
Please observe the latest ESPN Heisman Watch. What gridiron presence draws your suspicion and ire?
Javon Ringer. I've seen him three times and he's...fine. If I need a stand-in for The Blake Ezor Story on Lifetime, I'll give him a call. What? Ezor is white? Sorry, I just don't see race. I'm that evolved. We have some Big 10 precedent here: an overhyped back is fed a massive workload against weak opponents to create the appearance of excellence while commentators wow over his ability to place the offense into 2nd and 6. It didn't impress me with Anthony Thompson, Lorenzo White, or Mike Hart and it doesn't impress me now. Here's all you need to know about Javon Ringer - Cal (27 carries, 81 yards, 3.0 avg), Eastern Michigan (34-135-4.0 average), Indiana (44-198-4.5 average), Iowa (25-91- 3.6 average). Workhorse is an ancient Spartan word for three yard gain.
In World War I, British troops were famously characterized as "Lions Led By Donkeys." What Donkey leading a college football team of Lions is leading his troops into the Somme again this Saturday? Who should replace him after the court martial?
Phil Fulmer is my ass of choice. Right after Vida Guerra. Though Ty Willingham, Mike Sherman, and Greg Robinson are excellent candidates, it would be tough to argue that they are leading lions. Tommy Bowden is a compelling choice as well, but elevating him over Fulmer suggests that Clemson is something more than the marginal edge-of-the-Top-25 job that it is - their BS national championship in the 1980's aside. That's right, you heard me: I cited the BYU Corollary! Phat Phil is headed south (14-12 in his last 26 SEC games) and as a Texas fan who can remember the rapidity of going from 1983 dominance to 1984 irrelevance, the time for intervention is now. The Vols play Georgia this weekend and the Dawgs should blow them out. By blow out, I mean UGA will win 23-10 with Matt Stafford going 13 of 25 for 157 yards and an interception, thus cementing him as a finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award.
Tennessee should make a run at UNC's Butch Davis or even USF's Jim Leavitt. Butch is a proven winner and calculating enough to upgrade to the latest piece of hot program without conscience. Leavitt has a strong coaching pedigree with just the right amount of Jon Gruden rage to endear him to the Vol faithful and terrify recruits into complying to his whims on signing day. The Vols should absolutely stay away from Will Muschamp.
We desperately need him. He's far too young.
It's conventional wisdom that it is "good for the game" when certain NFL teams - Dallas, Pittsburgh, Green Bay - or certain NBA teams - LA, Boston, New York - are strong. Others would contend that this is the arrogant self-importance of the traditional elite. With the resurgence of historic programs like Alabama and possibly Notre Dame (now believed to be turning-the-corner in 12 of its last 15 seasons) is it good for college football when certain name programs are strong? If not, why not?
I'm deeply biased as a Texas fan, but I do think there is some value to having strong traditionals. Intense fan interest - even the negative variety - is kindled by programs with a certain aura or stature. That doesn't mean all of them have to be strong and I enjoy the rise of new programs like Missouri or Vanderbilt, but an Oregon/South Florida national championship game doesn't have the visceral umppphh of Texas/USC, Michigan/Alabama, Penn State/Nebraska, Notre Dame/Oklahoma. I might have an entirely different opinion were I a rabid Minnesota Gopher fan.
A related question: what team with some record of success could fall off of the face of the earth and CFB wouldn't miss a beat? Who fancies themselves a name brand, but aren't?
With apologies to the Seminoles, I believe it's Florida State. What Bowden hath created, Bowden hath destroyed. He took a program that was essentially Fresno State and built it into a national powerhouse. Their hold on the national psyche was without peer in terms of recruiting and general popularity. Kids in Trenton, NJ, Cleveland, OH, and Houston, TX all sported Seminole gear. The burning spear, Deion Sanders, Charlie Ward, the frequent out-of-conference and bowl game destructions of proud programs...FSU was badass football. Now it's all gone and I can barely remember it. Nepotism and complacency corrupted their brand name and they currently occupy a space in our national consciousness approximating...Purdue?
4. Texas/OU in Big D. Okie State @ Mizzou. Penn State @ Wiscy. LSU @ Florida. We have Longhorn, Cowboy, Badger, Tiger - which dog is most likely to get it done?
I like all of the faves to win in very competitive ballgames, but I'll cast my lot with LSU. Florida is blindingly fast, but physical? Not so much. I find PSU underrated and victim of a national Big 10 disgust movement prompted by Michigan's decline and Ohio State's pantsings that is unfairly impacting sober assessment of the Nittany Lions (you're unlikely to get a sober anything in Madison). Although Oklahoma State is incredibly dangerous, it's hard not to like Mizzou at home in a shootout. Texas/OU has a history of upsets and Will Muschamp and Colt McCoy give us real hope, but we're dogs here for a reason.
What currently unranked team will we be hearing about soon?
Tulsa. They're currently 5-0 with a video game offense and a future schedule that implies a 11-1 or 12-0 record. Put the home of 900 Foot Jesus on your radar.
What ranked team will finish outside of the Top 25?
Auburn. Their QB play is putrid even by SEC West standards and three more conference losses is quite possible. I don't like their chances in a bowl game against a reasonable opponent either. Tuberville built up some valuable credits with the Auburn War Liger Hybrid Bird Creature faithful by beating Bama the last six years in The Iron Bowl.
He'll need to cash in a few.
Over and out.