James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Game of the Century

To say "Game of the Century" is not to arrogantly assume there will be none as big or bigger in the next 95 years, presuming we still have college football as we know it. But there hasn't been a bigger game since 99 turned to 00. The 2000, 2001, and 2003 BCS title games were marred in controversy because one of the teams arguably didn't deserve to be there. The same couldn't be said in 2004, but Auburn was as deserving to go as USC and Oklahoma and was squeezed out. In 2002 there was an uncontroversial title game, but the #2 going in - Ohio St. - wasn't head and shoulders above the rest of the Top Ten, having won many close, low-scoring games during the regular season. That's why its overtime victory over Miami is considered an upset.

This year is different. USC and Texas stood out and stood apart from the rest of the field unlike any two teams since perhaps Nebraska and Florida in 1995 - but even then, Florida was clearly a distant second. This might be the biggest game in college football since the 1971 Nebraska-Oklahoma Thanksgiving game.

This is, after all, a 19-game win streak against a 34-game win streak.

I'm expecting a similar outcome, a 35-31 thriller, with USC emerging victorious. And keeping the score that low indicates that I think both defenses will play well.

In other bowls, Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno facing each other in a BCS cash cow even as they each approach 80 years of age, affirms that they are still earning their salaries. And as a Nebraska fan, I'm pleased that the Huskers are facing Michigan in the Alamo Bowl. Certain college football teams are so tradition-laden that I feel a certain honor and excitement in facing them as opponents, even if they are in a down year.

What are those teams? I'm thinking of

Michigan
Ohio St.
Penn St.
Notre Dame
Alabama
USC
Oklahoma
Texas

Nebraska itself would be on the list as well. I don't know who'd be the 10th. Okay, I'd have to put the three Florida teams right in there. How do the teams on this list differ from the rest? One indication is, I always know who coaches these teams. The same can't be said of most schools, even when they're ranked year in and year out.

I am also pleased that Notre Dame and Ohio St. got BCS bids. If Ohio St. got edged out to a 10-1 Oregon team, that would have just told the Buckeyes and every other power that if they schedule teams like Texas and lose, they will be punished. Instead, they were rewarded, and hopefully this will encourage other powers to schedule each other for early-season match-ups in the future.

2 comments:

  1. Good point about Ohio St. and their schedule. Losing a game that goes down to the wire against someone like Texas should be worth more than beating Middle Of Nowhere St. by 50.

    Oh, and the Huskers are going down. Sorry.

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  2. The Huskers already went down. As a Husker fan, I am also sorry.

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