Saturday, November 27, 2004



In the coming weeks, I will rant, write, ponder, issue screeds, etc. about tradition. One of my constant complaints is that those of us who suffer in the blue states also suffer from an erosion of solid traditions. Although the tradition about which I am to write may sound trivial to some, my position is that it is very much an American tradition worthy of a place at the "table" of traditions established in the American Century - the 20th Century (and, no, I do not think that the 21st Century will not be the American Century, Part II, but it certainly is possible that it will not be... more later).

U.S.C. v. Notre Dame

As a former (and, perhaps, future) football coach, I am pleased that Pete Carrol and the U.S.C. staff and players are focused on the end goal of the year: the National Championship. However, football is like a marathon on an uneven surface, and one needs to know how to pace oneself. I am not sure that Carrol understands the terrain of this particular course yet as he still seems to coach each game as if he was in the N.F.L. for the long haul. It appears that they may be down playing today's contest too much. I read in a newspaper today that many of the players seem to think that the Cal and Arizona State games were bigger. I can certainly understand the hype that may have lead to that feeling, but someone should remind the Trojans (including the staff) of two things:

1) It's Notre Dame;

2) Notre Dame beat Tennessee AT Tennessee this year.

As for #1, the alums of Ol' SC circle, highlight, and underline the date of this game every year. I would guess that most of them (including me) are really ticked off that this is not our last game in this even numbered year (As long as we are tampering with tradition, let's bring back La Tech for our last game after U.C.L.A. in odd numbered years... I AM JOKING). Carrol really down played the game in today's paper, but he needs to realize that it is much bigger than any other game year-after-year (U.C.L.A is a close second) if he wants to keep his job.

But does he want to keep his job?

I know that Julie's is gone and that the 9-0 has been shut down, but Carrol should have least thrown a bone to the alums by saying something like the following, "Hey. it's Notre Dame. A sold-out Coliseum against a team that knocked off Tennessee at home. I'm looking forward to the challenge and taking another HUGE step towards the national championship game in January."

But, no; Carrol was like the players who downplayed the game.

The website has even downplayed the game as of Friday night, as the main athletic site has no focus on the game, and the football page's top story is on parking and a free-shuttle service from the Staples parking lot.

If you are a Notre Dame player, you are insulted. Let's face it, I AM INSULTED.

Also: this team is not as good as the team was last year after nine games. The secondary is suspect, and the offensive line is questionable. This game, on the national stage, will determine whether or not they have finally met expectations for this year or not. If they cover the 22 point spread against Notre Dame (and if they beat U.C.L.A. without any questionable calls), then the Trojans deserve to be in the national title game... in the Rose Bowl.

Can U.S.C. win? YES!
Should U.S.C. win? YES!

Methinks I should bet the dog.

Ahhh... but that tradition survived by luck last year.

In other news....

What the heck happened to ASU? Answer: They are the second most overrated team in the nation (Wisconsin is #1).
Texas should not be ranked higher than Utah or Louisville.

Here is my top ten (as if you cared):

1) U.S.C.
2) California
3) Utah
4) Oklahoma
5) Auburn
6) Louisville
7) Texas
8) Georgia
9) Iowa
10) Tennessee

And since Tradition seems not to matter in College Football, here are the way the bowl games should go as of this morning in my pseudo-tradition mode (that blows off lower rated conference winners):

Rose: U.S.C. vs. Cal (5:00 p.m. PST 1/1/05)
Fiesta: Utah vs. Texas (1:00 p.m. PST 1/1/05)
Orange: Oklahoma vs. Georgia (9:00 a.m. PST 1/1/05)
Sugar: Auburn vs. Louisville (5:00 p.m. PST 12/31/04)
Cotton (or whatever the next highest paying game is): Iowa vs. Tennessee (5:00 p.m. PST 12/30/04)

Holiday Bowl: Boise State vs. Iowa State (assuming they beat MO today)

How about bringing back the no-repeat rule for the Rose Bowl this year??????? Cal-Iowa, anyone???


Let's start a new tradition since my the old one (I prefer the old bowl system) is dead and using BCS standings:

1 plays 2 in a rotating scheme of four bowls (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange)
In years that 1 v 2 is not in the Rose Bowl, the RB gets 3 v 4 unless it chooses otherwise.
5 v 6 and 7 v 8 would rotate through the remaining bowls unless they want to trade teams based on location and "tradition."

9, 10, 11, 12 would be divided between the Cotton and Holiday Bowls (rotate and/or base on location of school).

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