Week Fifteen (?)

How many of you have been waiting at your computers since Sunday morning, constantly refreshing your Facebook notes page to see if I had written this column? Well, refresh no more, for it is here! (No one, of course, falls into that category. Is the laziness joke getting old yet?)

Thanks to the injured status of Matt Flynn and Glenn Dorsey, Tennessee managed to put up a fight against LSU. The announcers even recognized this fact, stating, “…this is a fight for the SEC Championship.” I typically like CBS’ commentators, but that remark is one of the worst I have heard on television. During one return from a commercial break, the camera showed UT’s mascot barking intermittently. Verne Lundquist waited a few seconds, then calmly greeted the dog by saying, “Hello, Smokey.” However, these quips were nothing compared to the constant assault of brain-numbing Dr. Pepper commercials.

I should have known that West Virginia was going to lose, given the predictable unpredictability of this season. The Mountaineers’ collapse against 4-7 Pittsburgh is understandable, given the nature of rivalry games and Pat White’s mid-game injury. The officials tried to prevent the upset with phantom holding calls in the fourth quarter, but they did not succeed. The ending, the Panthers punter walking out of the end zone for a safety as time expired, was either the most hilarious or the most pitiful I’ve ever seen. At least Slaton and White have one more year to make a run at the title.

Missouri’s Chase Daniel was less than spectacular against Oklahoma’s defense. The star quarterback completed 23 of 39 passes for 219 yards but failed to find the end zone even once. The Sooners stuffed the Tigers in the red zone on multiple occasions, forcing field goals. In other news, Florida International topped North Texas for their first win of the season, and Stanford broke a five-game losing streak to Cal. The ACC Championship was sparsely attended, mostly due to its irrelevance.

The losses by West Virginia and Missouri paved the way for a coaches’ call-in show on SportsCenter. Mark Richt, Les Miles, and even Pete Carroll all tried to sell their team to the voters. (Jim Tressel, whom I suppose was confident about his chances, was noticeably silent.) The decision on Sunday evening? 11-1 Ohio State will face 11-2 LSU in the national championship game. The Buckeyes are likely to receive another spanking from the SEC, but I’ll save the rushed and extremely brief prediction detailed pre-game analysis for a later post.

Those darn islanders won again! And would you believe it, somebody actually gave them a first-place vote in the AP poll! Does someone really think that Hawaii could stand against one of the traditional powerhouses? I guess we’ll see when they face Georgia on New Year’s Day. Here’s hoping Matt Stafford reminds them that you need offense and defense to win a football game.

Here’s my Heisman ballot.

3. Thomas Weber, kicker, Arizona St.: Weber was 42/43 on extra points and 22/23 on field goals (that’s 95.7%). He made two over fifty yards, one from 53. In four games, his Sun Devils would not have won without his leg.

2. VINCE YOUNG, quarterback, Texas: Come to think of it, I’m officially renaming the Heisman the YOUNG Award. I would have given my first-place vote to VINCE YOUNG for the third year in a row, but his successor has finally arrived. That successor is named…

1. Tim Tebow, quarterback, Florida: I don’t think it’s possible to describe Tim Tebow without sounding idolatrous. The man (it is reprehensible to refer to Tebow as a “guy”) was only contained by four defenses this season: Ole Miss, Auburn, LSU, and Georgia. His lowest output during those games? 221 total yards of offense against the Bulldogs. 221 yards was his minimum! Against South Carolina, he appeared to run for first downs whenever he felt like doing so. I foresee Tebow winning at least three YOUNGs during his career, if not four (one will be bonus).

In the midst of all the recent coaching changes, I have an announcement to make. Due to my wedding in June and the beginning of my teaching career in the fall, I do not think that I will have time to write this column next season. Therefore, it is with great sadness that I announce my resignation from asimsports, effective January 9. I will finish out this season with bowl commentary during the holidays, but the chances of me returning in August are slim. (The CFP may be shut down indefinitely as well.)

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