Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"Over Macho Grande?"

The clip below is from the hilarious classic comedy film Airplane 2, one of the few truly great sequels to a comedy movie. I share it here today to introduce some thoughts on the selection process for the first every college football final 4. Seriously, this post is about football. But first, prepare to laugh. The captions are not mine, but I have no issue with them either. Listen closely...

The clip expressed my feelings upon hearing that Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State had been chosen for the FBS final 4...and Texas Christian University had not. I have no issue with the teams that got in- they are all deserving. It is the process that has me bummed out. And I'm not sure I will ever get over selection Sunday. Here are my reasons.

During the course of this season I became a TCU fan. There are several reasons for this, some valid and some random. First off, is there any better nickname in the world than Purple Horned Frogs? That just rocks! I watched them play several times early in the year and loved their style, their speed and the way they play the game. Throw into the mix that my dear friend Teresa Tysinger lives minutes from their campus, and I was hooked. Then midway through the season I entered a contest to pick the national champion before November 1. The fewer people picking a given team the better chance you had of winning a big jackpot. Hundreds of thousands had picked 'Bama, FSU, Auburn, Mississippi State and Oregon. Only a couple of thousand had picked TCU. So I went with my heart. And up until Sunday afternoon, it seemed my prediction stood a real chance of becoming reality. And then a 12 person committee stomped on my heart.

You may wonder that if my feelings are that the teams that got in are deserving, then what do I have to complain about? It was the process that ticked me off. For weeks leading up to Sunday, my Frogs had been ranked in the top 4. The week previous to the final selections they had jumped undefeated Florida State (who should have been #1 anyway- the only undefeated team was at #4? This process was a joke!) and been ranked 3rd. They then proceeded to beat Iowa State 55-3 on Saturday. You are #3, you win 55-3 and finish with one 3 point loss to another top 10 team. You have to figure you will not fall out of the final 4. Right? Doesn't that only make sense? With their final selections, the committee is telling us that while winning 55-3 TCU suddenly became a worse team than FSU, Ohio State and Baylor. I understand those are all great teams who deserve their shot as well. But if TCU was better the previous week and won their game 55-3, how did they get worse? It just makes no sense. The college football season turned into a beauty pageant. Who looked the best and how badly you ran up the score became more important than who won the games. Metrics and measurements replaced football and common sense. And then there's the ESPN conspiracy theory. Funny how OSU and it's massive national fan base got the nod over the much smaller alumni pools of Baylor and TCU. I'm just sayin' that money talks. It will all work out for all those involved because they chose 4 excellent teams. But the process truly sucked!

I have one more lament to share. My main concern at the end of every college football season is that someone beat Alabama. I'm a UNC fan, so my  CFB season is mostly tied up in despising Nick Saban. And I really believed TCU could be that team this year. 'Bama hates to play fast, and the Horned Frogs are a blur. The Maroon Elephants struggle with unpredictable, athletic quarterbacks (think Johnny Football), and TCU has one of the best. There is a question as to whether or not they could stop the Alabama offense, but there is no doubt in my mind (think about Auburn's success) that TCU could score a ton of points. But now we will never know...and I have no shot at that jackpot. Ugh.

So here's the deal. Everyone who is not part of the #RollTide cult of evil needs to be pulling hard for THE Ohio State University. Should they fail, then all of us- War Eagles, Tigers, Blue Devils, Tar Heels, Wildcats, Trojans, Gators, Aggies and everyone else- will need to be cheering for the winner of the other semifinal between the 'Noles and the Quack Attack. The point here is this- AnyBody But Alabama. In fact, that is my new hashtag for the bowl season. #ABBA Use it freely in the hopes that the Elephants will meet their demise- find their Waterloo.  See what I did there?

Over selection Sunday? I don't think I'll ever get over selection Sunday. Those wounds run pretty deep. But an Alabama loss sure would be a great start...

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