December 03, 2006

Now Let Us Turn to the Work Which Must Be Done

SO ENDS THE BUSINESS of college football's regular season. This evening, the Bowl Championship Series alignments were announced, and it was revealed the University of Florida Gators will face the Ohio State University Buckeyes in the national championship game. The University of Michigan Wolverines, which ended up in third place after USC fell to UCLA on Saturday (!), will face the USC Trojans in the Rose Bowl.

Of course, I'm a bit disappointed about this. However, I also knew in my heart only a Florida loss on Saturday would cement Michigan's place in the national championship. Although we had only lost that one game to Ohio State, and by a margin of just three points, we had lost and so a rematch would have been anticlimatic.

Still, all that is now in the past, and Ohio State and Michigan must each now turn to the work which must be done. Simply put, both squads must do all they can in the next month to prepare for the January games, which will be against tough and seasoned opponents. Then, when January arrives, Ohio State must utterly destroy Florida, while Michigan must throw the Trojans down to the ground.

This isn't just about conference loyalty, or proving to the world OSU and Michigan are the two best teams in college football. This is about the hopes and dreams of millions of football fans from around this great nation, who would truly enjoy it if both USC and Florida got knocked on their asses next month. I mean, it's always fun watching the second-rate prepsters at USC cry in their beers whenever their football team loses, and it's always fun watching the arrogant Gators get their jaws snapped shut. Unless they're playing Florida State, which I detest even more, but that's another post entirely.

Anyway, Florida has so annoyed me this season I'm about to write something which would have been unthinkable for me just a month ago: I am going to root for Ohio State in the national championship game. Not only am I going to root for them, I'm going to stand up and cheer whenever they score a touchdown. I'm going to yell at the television whenever Jim Tressel's squad kicks an extra point, because they could have gone for two. Simply put, I want Ohio State to play so hard against Florida the Buckeyes leave the game wearing alligator shoes.

Much of this is because of Florida's coach, the classless and gauche Urban Meyer, who has spent much of the past couple of weeks whining about the BCS and openly advocating for Florida's inclusion in the championship. Now that Florida is in the game, the boorish simpleton is clucking about like a satisfied hen. As he said on Sunday of Florida's berth, "It's well deserved, and I'm proud of it."

(grind teeth)

I will simply applaud Michigan coach Lloyd Carr for his measured and appropriate response to Meyer's shameless antics. I will also applaud Coach Carr for his wise decision to stay silent on the matter until Sunday morning, when all was pretty much decided. Unlike certain schools, the University of Michigan does not need to lobby for a place in a national championship game.

That's because Michigan's football team has something which Florida's doesn't. Well, actually, it has many things, but a key one of those things is discipline. Now, discipline is a hallmark of any quality football program, but something which one may find lacking in a collegiate football squad from Florida. To be fair, the Florida Gators seem to be the most well-run football program of any in the wretched state, but even that doesn't say much. After all, it doesn't take a lot to improve upon the behavior one finds at -- oh, let's say the private University of Miami, or even certain other schools in the Florida college system:

(n.b. clip contains sound)

There are other versions of that tape out there with the actual sound footage on them. Some feature the comments of the game analyst, a one-time Miami football player who practically cheered on the fighting Miami squad. The man was later fired for his remarks, but it says something that players were engaged in a massive brawl, some swinging their helmets as weapons, and it met with approval.

What? Yeah, OK, so Florida technically has "nothing to do with all that" and this whole line of inquiry is "a complete cheap shot." That's not the point. The point is ... well, I wanted to show the clip. Also, even though Florida may be the least aggravating of the state's college football squads, they're still incredibly aggravating. As such, they must be crushed underfoot and beaten like a cheap rug.

But I digress. Ohio State, please go out and mercilessly crush Florida next month, if only because it could shut Urban Meyer up for as many as three weeks; or, at the very least, embarrass him horribly. That would be a beautiful thing.

As for my Wolverines, I hope they soundly defeat USC. For one thing, it's USC, whom everyone dislikes. But if that isn't reason enough, there's always the fact the Pac 10 is a generally overrated conference which needs to get knocked down a peg or two. Michigan, I think, is just the team to do this. So go forth, men of Michigan, and return Champions of the West.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at December 3, 2006 09:38 PM | TrackBack
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