We can't let this college football season pass without one final edition of our hall-of-shame feature honoring the worst in college football. Especially this bowl season, when we've got no end of candidates to honor.
Or is that dishonor? Anyway, here are our candidates:
Maybe we're all just bitter here because the entire CN staff picked the Sooners to beat Clemson. It's not like we didn't have our reasons: Oklahoma was getting healthier while Clemson lost star freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson to a torn ACL. But the Sooners mailed it in, turning the ball over five times while Cole Stoudt went out as a champion as Watson's replacement. 40-6, really, Oklahoma?
Nobody really thought Florida State was a national champion contender, except for the fact that they kept pulling games out of the fire. And that might have been the best reason to pick Florida State in the Rose Bowl; they just kept on finding ways to win in the end.
Until they finally discovered spectacular ways to make sure they couldn't win.
I can almost hear the call from Phyllis in Mulga: "PAAAAWWWWLLL? WHAT'S THIS CAWWB THANG? IS IT THE NEW TROPHY FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPION?"
No, Phyllis. It's not.
It's the opposite. It goes to the worst, not the best. And this bowl season, it goes to the entire SEC West for not only crapping the bed, they rolled around in it all day New Years' Day. Only then realizing that "something stinks around here."
Everybody outside of the South has grown weary of the tales of SEC infallibility, especially as it's been driven by the ESPN hype machine. It's hard to call claims of ESPN's SEC bias "stupid, uniformed stuff" when the "stupid, uninformed stuff" is actually coming from ESPN's talking heads.
The SEC West actually got off to a good start in the bowls with Arkansas 31-7 victory over Texas. But then the league caved in. Notre Dame came back to beat LSU 31-28. Then the wheels came off the trailer. TCU crushed Ole' Miss 42-3. Georgia Tech beat Mississippi State 49-34. Wisconsin beat Auburn 34-31, then Ohio State beat Alabama 42-35.
But wait, didn't Tennessee wipe the Gator Bowl field with Iowa? Yep, and we'll get to that. The thing that we should take away from this bowl season is that college football needs more, not less, non-conference games between teams from the top conferences. When Mississipi State plays Southern Miss, Alabama-Birmingham, South Alabama, and Tennessee-Martin, nobody has any idea how good or bad this team is. Frankly, any team where fans or administrators say "our conference schedule is tough enough" should automatically be disqualified from the college football playoff.
The Big Ten is officially eliminated from placing a team in the playoff. It is September 6th.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) September 7, 2014
Especially when SEC dorks pull crap like that.
Ohhhhhh, Iowa. You just had to drop a big #2 in Jim Delany's punch bowl. Actually, it was more diarrhea than anything fully formed or even remotely solid. Iowa was already a lock to get nominated by falling behind Tennessee 28-0 barely 18 minutes into the game, then Jonathan Parker entered the blooper hall-of-fame with this bizarre kickoff return.
I think this play was so bizarre that nobody quite knew how to call this. It couldn't be a fumble, because it was done intentionally. (Though one could argue that, while intentional, it was also clueless...) Since the ball was flung forward, it couldn't be a lateral, so it had to be a forward pass. And since it wasn't behind the line of scrimmage, it's illegal at that point.
But what what Parker thinking? Did he think he was on the punt coverage team, trying to keep the ball out of the end zone?