When we look back on this college football season, I think the above is the best way to describe it. Had Hollywood submitted a script containing events that have transpired in the past couple of months, no one would’ve bought it as even the grandest of fictions. Well, that is also assuming someone could have sat down and actually predict any of this.
As we entered the bowl season, the biggest story was about Notre Dame firing Weis and hunting down a head coach. Remember when we all thought that was crazy? I mean there was all kinds of “turmoil” around (the Internet) regarding rumors that Stoops would be our next head coach. Of course he continually denied said rumors, and somehow, many a Notre Dame was shocked and a small section downright appalled that Notre Dame could no longer land a “big name” coach and we had to “settle” for Brian Kelly.
All that “drama” became child’s play as college football (and blog writers) were soon given a Christmas keep that has kept on giving: everyone went batshit crazy. It was one of those things in which you remember exactly where you were and how you first heard the news that everything you once thought was stable in college football would be turned upside down for no reason.
Personally, I was out with my family about an hour outside of Auburn, awaiting a tour of some Christmas lights that my sister had known about. While we were waiting, I decided on a whim to check Twitter to see if anything was going on. And then I saw a tweet I was sure was a joke: Urban Meyer is resigning for health reasons. Yeah, sure…no wait…everyone on ESPN and SI is tweeting this…now there’s an official statement…
And then I started to burst out laughing uncontrollably and then my sister followed when I relayed the news.
But oh no, let’s not stop there. The Gators had a “spirited” practice and Urban Meyer had a change of heart and wanted an indefinite leave of absence. Oh, and Mr. I’m-doing-this-for-my-family, made sure that they were the last to know; in fact, his wife went on record to say there was no way her dear husband would change his mind. Then a few hours later she’s sitting in a presser hearing her husband change his mind yet again, saying he expects to coach next fall.
As if that whole situation wasn’t crazy enough, that same week, the Pirate Captain of Lubbock decided to lock a concussed Adam James in an equipment shed (or “garage” — semantics) during a practice. To make sure Leach got his point across to James, he then locked him in the visitor’s media room.
And how did this come to light? Well, it seems ESPN analyst Craig James wasn’t able to sleep at night knowing that he has only aided in destroying one school’s football program so he went for another one and when public. So armed with his kid’s story and some apparent video proof from his son, a shot was fired directly into the hull of Leach’s happy little pirate ship, starting shit-slinging the likes of which I can’t remember ever seeing.
Texas Tech then went to immediately investigate the issue and suspended Leach indefinitely. Leach, who is also a lawyer as well as a pirate, sued Tech’s ass and sought for the courts, yes the courts, to allow him to coach in the Alamo Bowl. As the two sides met for their court date, Tech found a loophole to Leach’s loophole and fired him “with cause”.
The dust storms of Lubbock quickly turned into a shit storm of epic proportions. Leach went on ESPN and scorched the earth saying Tech lied and even stated the training staff and doctors said he did no harm, a flood of emails came in supporting Leach, and news came out that questioned Adam’s attitude as well as his father’s motivations. But oh no, it doesn’t stop there, soon a handful of players went on the record saying they were glad the pirate walked the plank and the training staff and doctors that Leach said supported him signed affidavits saying Leach went off the deep end and used language that would’ve made Charlie Weis blush.
Somehow in the midst of all of this Tech won the Alamo Bowl with interim coach Ruffin McNeill putting on one hell of a Leach impersonation, making it seem as if both quarterbacks and head coaches can be inserted into the Leach system at will. However, Ruffin must have done too good of a job reminding the Tech administration of Leach because they decided to hire the offensive genius of….Tommy Tuberville? However, Tommy tried to put Red Raider nation at ease though, saying he could retain the “Air Raid” offense. To prove this, he fired six assistant coaches, including the offensive coordinator, and then hired another one from Troy. I seem to remember what happened the last time Tubs tried this…he had to fire him after just seven games.
And to think, just one year ago, Texas Tech was in national title talks and on the verge of a BCS birth.
Of course, there was football still to be played and that had it’s own humor to it. I’ve already made my thoughts on this season’s bowl offerings known, but the national title game had it’s own special brand of failure.
You see the BCS runs on one thing, and that one thing has continued to keep it alive: hype. That’s why you have the “every week is playoff” line being tossed out constantly, it hypes every single game to ridiculous proportions. Of course, a championship of a system completely built on hype equates to a game that has been over-analyzed and over-hyped every which way for well over a month (because crowning a champion after both teams haven’t played a down in over a month makes so much sense).
Of course none of that hype or analysis ever once considered a game in which Colt McCoy gets a pinched nerve in his throwing arm and knocks him out of the game (on one of the weakest hits ever). So in comes a true freshmen getting his first real snaps on the biggest stage possible. Predictably, he is a deer in the headlights and despite Alabama’s best initial efforts to hand Texas early points, the Texas offense was only able to amass 6 and the Alabama started actually playing a bit, as well as benefiting from a pick-six off a shovel pass to go into halftime with a 24-6 lead. Saban then went ultra-conservative in the second half and the Tide did a whole lot of nothing (including seeing Heisman winner Ingram get sidelined with an injury for a bit).
All of this resulted in nearly three full quarters of the most unwatchable football that I’ve ever seen. Yes, the biggest game of the year became a running punchline for most of the night. The BCS fat cats were saved in the end though, as Texas was actually able to pull off a comeback thanks to Saban completely hitting the brakes for who knows what reason. However, they will still not escape the fact that their most competitive and compelling BCS game featured two non-BCS schools.
As as the final whistle blew, we all thought it was time to kick back, relax and bid farewell to one crazy season. However, it seems a handful of people around Southern Cal decided to shake things up just a bit and make everything that happened during the bowl season look like child’s play.
That story however will take a whole other blog post to cover. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment which will include NCAA violations, crappy NFL teams, near riots, idiotic ADs, the worst press conference of all time, and of course: