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Friday, January 09, 2009

U.S. College Football's "National Chamionship"

Allow me to congratulate the national champions in college football... the University of Utah Flying Utes.

What, you thought it was Florida, just because they won one overhyped match against a team that couldn't beat Texas, and then celebrated by dumping their brand-name sports drink all over coach Urban Meyer1 and proclaming their QB PopeTebow I?

Utah finished undefeated. No losses - full stop. They beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl worse than Florida did in the SEC Championship. Florida lost to Ole Miss.

Let me write that last bit again... they lost to Ole Miss.

National champions don't lose to Ole Miss, not since the antebellum era anyhow. Florida didn't just lose to them, they lost at home.

Now, you may be thinking, "What does a football (soccer) loving prat like Earl know about American college football?" Plenty.

I've watched for years, attended university in America and am American, despite my lingo. I've been to plenty of games (got to one this year even though I had to travel... outdoor club seats, very nice) and can talk offense, defense, etc. I like the spread offense, especially with motion (you can run the option, tunnel screens from the outside and what not, and you give the backs more room to operate). I'm a big fan of the 4-3 on defense and love the blitz, especially safety blitzes (the only area in my life where I'm a big gambler).

I realize none of this is particularly amusing, except perhaps for the sight of me attending games in full Arsenal regalia and trying to get chants of "Here we go, here we go, here we go" started.2 That and the fact that I know far more about college football than the average college football fan will ever know about proper football (again, soccer).

Nonetheless, the real point of all this is that college football's national "championship" isn't a championship at all. It's a big lottery where college football fans, television networks, and sponsors all buy two dozen tickets and every year the winner is some sweaty git in an ill-fitting suit who works for one of the bowls. Actually, it's all of the sweaty gits.

Also, when I say "works" I really mean "goes on repeated junkets to the Bahamas and spends inordinate amounts of money on bowl blazers and golfing luncheons." I suspect much drinking and carousing is involved as well, along with the occasional "gifts" to college presidents, but that's just a suspicion on my part and not a formal accusation.3

By "gifts" I mean large piles of newly minted twenties and hundreds4 in briefcases with the bowl logos on them. Although, I suspect the Fiesta Bowl people just send their cash in large Tostitos bags ...or perhaps just lots of Tostitos.

When you think about it, it's quite a job. In fact, it's the dream job for every lad toiling away at a university fraternity, the absence of freewheeling sex notwithstanding5.

Meanwhile, college football fans continue to wait for a real playoff and championship, the way scrawny dogs sit on a vegetarian's porch and wait for them to throw out pork chop bones. Samuel Beckett could write a play about it.

There is a simple answer for fans. Ignore the BCS results. Give the AP and other "titles" to Utah. Start referring to the BCS as the B-S Championship. Start using "scare" "quotes" "around" "anything" "remotely" "BCS-related." Toilet paper the Orange Bowl. Send boxes of chicken necks to the President of the NCAA6. Vote for Oprah U. in the college polls.

As the President-elect is fond of saying, "I had nothing whatsoever to do with Governor Blagojevich's crimes."

Erm... besides that, he said, "We are the change we have been waiting for."

I really don't know what that even means, but college football fans could use a good dose of change... and a real championship. I hear that the President-elect agrees.

1 Not related to any of the Pope Urbans that we know of, or Keith Urban for that matter.
2 I'm "oh - for" on that account
3 As clarified by DOUI staff counsel F. Johnny Lee
4 After all, who uses fifties these days?
5 Depending on your definition of carousing
6 On no account did I actually suggest that you really do this. It wasn't me. Seriously, I don't know who made you do it.

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