In an attempt to gear up for the upcoming season, here's a list of ten things we could live without for 2007 (because I know you love lists):
- 10. Rule 3-2-5e, the rule that starts the clock after a kickoff or punt. Oh, wait it's gone now, with things having been reverted back to 2005 rules. Instead the NCAA put in a large number of rule changes designed to make the game go faster. Was something broken? It's the passing game, isn't it? All those long pass plays and clock stoppage. Well, just implement a rule that requires offensive playcalling to be 50% run, 50% pass. Do it for a year. It'd be fun, if for nothing else than to watch Texas Tech's Mike Leach explode.
- 9. Pretending that there isn't a major crisis looming in college football which I'd project is about three to five years away. The inequity between the haves and the have-nots will become too much to bare and there will be a split a happenin'. It will be more than just the movement of major teams between conferences.
8. Success of the Big 10 network. I'm not against the Big 10 Network. Some conference needs to start their own TV network just to see what happens and they Big 10 has a good population base from which to try, so why not?
But Glen Mason as an analyst for for the Big 10 Network? There was no love lost in Minnesota when Mason was fired, despite his decent record at getting them into bowl games. Even non-Gopher fans were glad to see him go. For the Big 10 Network to be successful, they'd better be bringing in some personalities that people can relate to. Note to Big 10 commissioner Jim Delany: after you establish a market then maybe hire some people we can enjoy hating.
And if you can't establish a market, the thing will implode and everyone can look to the internets where they ought to be looking anyway. So get your butt going, Jim, headlong into failure so the conferences can look at something else that'll work.
7. Live mascots biting football players and coaches complaining about it. If you're going to get bit by a live animal there'd better be blood or something coming off before a coach starts publicly complaining. You're expecting us to believe that really big guys running into each other at full steam is less painful than a little doggy nipping your ankle?
I hope in 2007 that it's a fake mascot biting a football player because we'd have a lot of fun with that. Maybe someone like the University of Florida's Albert E Gator mashing down on a cheerleader from Vanderbilt. Mashing is the key word there. People don't use that much anymore, do they?
- 6. Endless talk about Joe Paterno's and Bobby Bowden's retirement. When Tom Osborne retired after 25 years at Nebraska, it was the end of a golden era for the Husker faithful. When Bowden and Paterno retire, it will be the end of college football as we've known it. Gone will be the days of college football coaches who stay with a team for life. You know it's coming. I know it's coming, so let's just let it happen when it happens and then move on with our lives. I promise I won't do more than three articles about it in the upcoming season.
5. A Sucky Big 12 Conference. 2006 was a painful year for the Big 12. In 2007, the conference won't have the excuse of starting eight new quarterbacks, and it's doubtful the Big 12 overall will be that much better. Lots are ranking Texas and Oklahoma highly but that's only because they have to.
Hate to say it, but the Big 12 needs some nice non-conference wins early like Kansas State beating Auburn, Oklahoma State beating Georgia, or Colorado beating Florida State early in the season. If Nebraska could beat USC when they come to Lincoln, well that certainly wouldn't suck either.
4. Celebrities on the sidelines. Hey, Larry the Cable Guy ponied up and bought a luxury box at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium. Has Matthew McConaughey done that at Texas? What about the gobs that show up for USC?
That's what America needs - more celebrity exposure. It's not enough that you can't stand in a check-out line at Target without seeing 58 magazines celebrating their exposure.
If we have to endure this stuff, I hope it ends badly. Paris Hilton causing a brawl during a Miami game. Snoop Dogg getting run over by the entire UCLA defensive line. Massive lawsuits against these schools for not protecting the poor celebrities who shouldn't have been there in the first place. The bankruptcy of USC's athletic department due to legal expenditures (insert maniacal laughter here).
3. Pictures of children from the losing team crying at football games. It was funny the first time, but just like an eight year old who keeps repeating the same joke because he got a laugh the first time it won't stop. There is nothing that says I'm an spineless jerk like putting pictures or videos of children from a losing team crying on your web site or television broadcast. Get a sense of class and some work ethic. Find a grown man crying and put that up. They're out there, you just have to work a little harder to find them.
Maybe it'd help to remember that crying children come back to haunt you. I remember reading a ten-year-old Matt Shaw had beer poured on him as he left the Orange Bowl crying after a loss. Years later he came back to play tight-end for the Huskers when they beat the Miami Hurricanes to win Osborne's first national title in '94. So take that, Hurricane fans. Payback is a bitch.
- 2. Inadequate replay equipment. Oklahoma versus Oregon 2006 - the replay official who is no longer doing officiating because of the incident - stated that he didn't have the same views we did when he was making a review call that ultimately cost Oklahoma the game and potentially a shot at the national title. There are millions spent on big replay screens and a ref couldn't get a decent review because of substandard equipment? This must be corrected by now.
1. A BCS National Title Game on January 8th. It's a week too late. It didn't feel right. A lot of college football fans were ready to move on with their lives, but they couldn't because there were two bowl games that no one cared about, and then the anti-climactic destruction of Ohio State in the title game.
You know that it happened because some marketing types convinced some management types that they'd get more hype on the title game by extending the season. Fact is, by the time the game rolled most people were tired of hearing about it and just wanted to see it played. We don't need more hype about college football. It's a good enough sport the way it is, but people can't leave it alone. Especially marketeers. They can't help themselves. Recognize their weakness in this regard and stop screwing with the football schedules.