I may love the collegiate game as much as I love the NFL. Sure, I’m an SEC snob finding the level of play in the Southeastern Conference deserving of NFL, Jr. status. Beyond my bias, though, I do possess expertise in the realm of NCAA pigskin, so allow me to brush off chippy shoulders and chirpy commentary and appreciate the 2012 NCAA football season.
In regards to collegiate ball, I love the bands, the students, the parties and the alumni boosters who never miss a game (and haven’t missed a game since their wife gave birth to their firstborn in 1972–the firstborn who also became an alumnus of the same university, and has since given birth to their own program fans, who are presently enrolling in the family alma mater).
I watch the game from a different perspective — careful to see what all teams in all conferences are doing throughout the season. When Bowl season rolls around, it offers potential to profit handsomely among friends, within contests, or by laying down some scratch vs. the odds makers.
(Be sure to check back for a college bowl breakdown in a couple of weeks. I’ve won everything from an HDTV to cold-hard cash to dinner and, of course, invaluable bragging rights.)
The 2012 season has been one of the best ever and I don’t suppose that will change heading into the last week of the regular season. I’m laughing — perhaps scoffing — at the pundits stating that the BCS picture is shaping up. Have they learned nothing in watching the games this season? Oh, right. They don’t actually watch the games, they only talk about them. I would argue that the BCS could be a great big ole mess (fittingly) after this weekend (and the following weekend, when the conference championship games take place).
Notre Dame is sitting at No. 1 in the BCS rankings. Did we ever think we’d say that? And do we, a collective football nation, believe the Fighting Irish to be the best team in the country? Ehh… probably not. But, way to take advantage of a busted system, Notre Dame. Take this pat on the back, because the Notre Dame brass has figured it out. Play as an independent, schedule two or three formidable opponents — arguably just one — in a 12-game season and then run the table. Hear that Notre Dame Victory March again? It just seems like there is restoration in the college football world. How ironic.
Notre Dame travels to the grossly overrated USC to give thanks in the Los Angeles Coliseum this weekend. They’ll be most thankful that QB Matt Barkley has been sidelined with a sprained shoulder and red-shirt freshman Max Wittek will be taking the field for the Trojans.
That having been stated, don’t buy those tickets to Miami just yet, Notre Dame fans. The Trojans have relied heavily on the reputation and potential of Barkley all season — never really playing as a unit on a mission. Notre Dame will be up against the best team effort the Trojans have put on the field in 2012 and the Trojans have nothing to lose. USC is bowl-eligible win or lose and knocking off No. 1 would serve as the season highlight. While I’m hesitant to call it, in 2012 it seems that every No. 1 is destined to fall.