Gads, no more college football.

Had an interesting experience this morning. We’re midway through a spell of frigid weather. I woke up about 4:30AM, checked the outside temp and was pleased to note it was 34 or so – not yet freezing. At 8AM it was just about the same and a pan of water outside was predictably not frozen. I assumed we had dodged a bullet since the sun was out bright and you would naturally assume the coldest part of the day was past. I went back out at 10AM and the water was covered with a thin sheet of ice. What’s that all about. Might be a good time for Obama to unhook from Big Al Gore and admit that it’s actually getting colder before it becomes too late. Too late is when even the most casual observer realizes it’s not getting warmer. He could claim he saved the planet from global warming and was moving on to the next big problem. There was a picture on the tube of a Nuke power plant in Jersey closing because of ice in the Delaware River. I looked really closely at that picture and think I spotted a polar bear way off in the corner, clinging to an iceberg.

Although we are still not through the cold spell, I can do an initial assessment on the garden. Tomatoes are history. The peppers were double covered so I can’t see what’s going on under the canopy but I’ll be surprised if they make it. I peaked under one spot where snow peas are planted and they looked ok and I’m hopeful that the cabbage, broccoli, and lettuce will make it. The forecast is for another 4 or 5 days of this frigid weather so anything that survives will be a bonus. I’m not liking the way the leaves on the citrus trees are looking. Way too soon to make a prediction but they definitely were hit. Ditto the elephant ears which I am not sorry to see get hammered.

I hate it that college football is over.

About the Gators. After the Sugar Bowl you have to come to one of three conclusions: (1) Cincinnati was way, way over rated. You got that hint when the odds makers had Florida a 13 point favorite even though the Bearcats were ranked 3rd in the nation and the Gators, 5th; (2) Alabama is really, really good to have beaten the Gators so soundly; or (3) Florida had a seriously off day and is really #1 in the nation. If by some stroke of magic Alabama loses to Texas, we’ll know for sure that (3) is the right answer. The thing that I enjoyed most about the Cincinnati game was the number of pass receivers that Tebow used. Where were these guys all season long? Ditto a couple of the runners especially that sophomore who broke a couple of long runs in the 4th quarter. I had never heard his name once during the season so I’m starting to feel better about prospects next year. I guess the Urban Meyers thing will straighten itself out between now and then. Nancy thinks the heart problem story is bogus and the real problem is that his wife gave him an ultimatum – her or the Gators. If that’s true – chomp chomp Ms Meyers.

And while on the subject of football, I hate the idea of a national playoff system. It will do to college football, what’s happened in the NFL, the NBA and college basketball. That is, reduce the significance of regular season games and go to a strategy of just making the playoffs. In college football, every game is important. In the NFL, for example, once a team has secured a playoff position, they dog it. Keep out good guys to rest and recuperate them for the playoffs. The tail end of the NBA season is exactly the same – for most teams the last month of play is just for exercise and used to rest the starters. The ones that have to play there hearts out to eke out playoff spot are almost always destroyed in their first playoff appearance. There is no incentive at all for teams to win more games after they’ve secured their position – in fact it’s dumb to risk injuries just to win a meaningless game.

College football is full of rivalries that go back, in some cases a hundred years. If those games happen to fall late in the season, as they often do, the intensity of the game can’t help but be reduced if one of the teams is already playoff secure and more worried about keeping healthy for the playoffs than winning a meaningless game. Why would a team ever put together a tough schedule? Why not get out of the conference and become an independent? Does anybody watches college basketball regular season games? It’s all about the playoffs, March Madness – which will soon be expanded from the top 64 teams to the top 100 or more. Most sports fans could list the top basketball schools but couldn’t tell you what conference they were in – especially the small school power houses. Anybody know what conference St. Johns is in; Gonzaga; Temple; UConn; George Washington??? I’d hate that to happen with college football where the conference strength is an important factor and every conference game is important.

It also means that sometimes a Cinderella team will win whether or not they’re the best team in the country by virtue of their full season record and the teams they’ve played. They may be the healthiest team at the end of the season because they haven’t sustained injuries associated with playing the big, physical teams in the SEC, Big 10 etc. Honestly, is there anyone who thinks TCU or Cincinnati, or Boise State is really the best team in the nation?? Best in conference, sure; Best in class, sure; exciting to watch, no doubt; best band; but #1 in the country? I don’t think so. Personally, I’d can the BCS championship and let the fans just argue it out over a couple of brewski’s about which team is the best in the nation. Even with the championship game, nobody ever believes the end result is correct unless you happen to be a fan of the winning team. Take the Texas – Alabama game this year. Every Texas fans knows they would have won if Colt McCoy hadn’t been injured after just a few plays. And every Alabama fan knows that even after spotting Texas two big time scoring opportunities in the first couple of minutes of the game, they still won. Does anybody think that the results of this game really tell us the #1 team in the nation? Hell, everybody knows Florida is better than Alabama, don’t they? And once I saw Boise State’s Orange and Blue colors, I knew TCU was toast. I think Boise State and Florida should now play to determine which team should really be wearing Orange and Blue.

What really gets me is that there are actually bills pending in congress to force a college football playoff series. Orrin Hatch and several others are sponsors – probably Ivy leaguers . Orrin, come on, man up. You’re a Republican. You sound like an ACLU, “that isn’t fair” kind of lib. Please, stay in Utah and write cute songs. Make yourself useful by trying to keep Gitmo operating and keep out of the really big stuff like college football.

I’ve got an idea. How about dividing the country into two groups and have two football seasons. I don’t care how the split is made except it can’t be all the large schools in one and the small schools in another. I suggest dividing the country into four quadrants. Each season you’d rotate among the regions so that in one season the SE plays the SW; In a following season the SE plays the NW and eventually, against the NE. One group plays from Sept to January, the other from January to May. That way we’d have college football all year and they’d be good games. We could designate summer as the bowl or playoff season and sprinkle those games based on regular season results.

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