November 10, 2006

A Sea Change in American Life

THIS WEEK, America witnessed a revolution in the standing order of things. As a nation watched transfixed, a small band of partisans challenged the establishment, and triumphed. It was a victory which will undoubtedly make its way into history, and one which has shaken many basic assumptions about American life.

What? No, I'm not talking about the election. I’m talking about Rutgers – Rutgers, for God’s sake – beating Louisville on Thursday night football, and scoring 21 unanswered points to do so. For that matter, I’m talking about the whole Big East Conference, and the very idea of having to take it seriously. My God.

I found this idea so troubling that, faced with such a situation – in which No. 15 Rutgers knocked off No. 3 Louisville, which itself had knocked off No. 3 West Virginia the week before – I did what many Americans would do. Namely, I consulted The Revelation to John to see if this was a sign of the End Times. In Revelation 6:18-25, I found the following:

When he opened the eighth seal, I looked, and behold! there was a great earthquake; and the Trojans fell, the Mountaineers were thrown down and a giant wild boar did devour the War Eagle down to its last feather. The BCS standings vanished like an old ledger shredded on a tired Jan. 3, and every conference was removed from its place.

Then the coaches of the earth and the sportscasters and the columnists and the season ticket-holders and the fans engaged in much wailing and gnashing of teeth, particularly if they rooted for the SEC. Even in Ann Arbor and Columbus, the fans of the great powers paused for a moment and said, “Wait, what? Rutgers did what? Aren’t they the ones with the blue field? No? Wait -- the ones with the blue field are undefeated too? This is madness!”

I don’t know about you, but I have to agree with the commentators tonight who described Rutgers’ victory as the most important since the school beat Princeton – in the first college football game ever. It was an amazing comeback and an amazing performance and proof that Rutgers needs to be in a major bowl game this year.

I’m just having trouble getting my mind about the fact that Rutgers has a great football team. Also, I wish I could say this was an isolated experience this year, but I’m increasingly becoming befuddled at the changes happening in college football. I mean, Wake Forest has a good team this year? What’s up with that? Kent State has a winning record this year? Kent State? One of the worst teams in college football?

That’s not to say I mind the changes – after all, there’s nothing wrong with USC getting knocked on its ass for once – but things are getting a bit out of hand, especially with all these football commentators going on about the BCS. Now look. All this talk about who will play second-fiddle in the National Championship Game is meaningless. We all know which one-loss team will be in the best position to play on Jan. 8.

Ohio State, of course.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at November 10, 2006 12:31 AM | TrackBack
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