College Football Mailbag (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday August 22, 2007 12:58PM; Updated: Wednesday August 22, 2007 4:05PM
Question from my 11-year-old son that I knew only the All-Knowing Patriarch of College Football, and the genius behind Bowls, Polls, and Tattered Souls would know: Has a Division I-A game ever finished regulation in a 0-0 tie?"
I'm not normally a big fan of "can-you-be-my-personal-encyclopedia"-type questions, but I'm all about educating our nation's youth, so I welcome this particular query. That, and I just happened to come across the answer a few days ago while researching something else.
Because overtime did not come into college football until 1996, there have been numerous games throughout history that ended in 0-0 ties, but the most recent in Division I-A was the 1983 Oregon-Oregon State game. In the Beaver State, that particular edition of the "Civil War" is affectionately known as the "Toilet Bowl." In the process of writing this answer, however, my officemate and proud Williams alum Pete McEntegart informed me of another such occurrence in the 1995 Williams-Amherst (Division III) game. To the best of my knowledge, no I-A game has ended regulation 0-0 since the inception of overtime, but if someone out there knows differently, please, let us know.
Hey Stewart, is it just me or is the Mailbag being posted on the Web site later in the day? I remember the good old days when I'd heat up my TV dinner at work and read the Mailbag over lunch, but lately, it's not posted until the early afternoon, when my risk of being discovered increases dramatically.
You are correct in your observation, and that's primarily my fault. I don't know if you've noticed, but the Mailbag has grown increasingly longer with each passing year (when it first started, I averaged around 1,800 words; this week's is more than double that), so I certainly don't fault my editor for taking longer to get through it.
But enough about me -- I'm a little bit concerned about you, Rob. What's with all the TV dinners? You don't want to be eating that stuff every day -- the sodium's going to send your blood pressure through the roof. Are there no quality sandwich places near your office? C'mon, treat yourself a little, man. Secondly, what kind of job do you have where you'd get in trouble for taking 10 minutes out of your day to read a football article? What kind of Gestapo operation are they running there? It's not like you're surfing porn. (Although I suppose I don't help your cause on those weeks I go heavy on Jordana and Jenna pictures.)
Stewart, how can a team returning 16 starters from a 10-3 team a year ago, including a QB (Matt Ryan) who earned all-conference honors while playing hurt all year, not be ranked in either poll to start the season?
I was a bit surprised by that myself, as I had the Eagles on my preseason ballot, but I don't think they're as much of a "no-brainer" as you make them out to be. Yes, BC won 10 games last year, including an impressive rout of Virginia Tech, but going 9-3 in last year's ACC (the 10th win came in the Meineke Bowl on a last-second field goal against Navy) isn't exactly the mark of a juggernaut. I'm sure a lot of pollsters still remember their ugly season-ending loss at Miami, not to mention there's a great deal of mystery surrounding the team because no one in the college ranks knows the slightest thing about new coach Jeff Jagodzinski (most notably how to spell his name).
I do, however, know plenty about BC's new offensive coordinator -- it's legendarily eccentric former East Carolina coach Steve Logan. My guess is Logan, who mentored both Jeff Blake and David Garrard at ECU (and who last week drew a picture of his future gravestone for a New York Times reporter, complete with the inscription, "He scored 61 and lost"), will have a very positive effect on Ryan, and BC will have another nine- or 10-win season (and, sadly, another trip to a third-tier bowl).
Stewart: Your colleague at SI who covers the NFL (with the last letter of the alphabet in his name) ranks the television broadcasters who cover pro football. What do you think about those who broadcast college football? If there was a BCS title game between announcers (call it the "Keith Jackson Bowl"), who would play?
I didn't realize we were forbidden to speak Dr. Z's name out loud. Don't worry, we know who you're talking about. And actually, I did rank the college broadcasters a few years back when SI.com ran a "Masters of the Mic" series. My USC and LSU of play-by-play guys, if you will, remain the same -- Ron Franklin and Brent Musburger. (Don't start with me, Brent haters. I'm not ashamed to admit I still get a kick out of hearing those three words: "You're looking live.") Unfortunately, ABC/ESPN has marginalized Franklin -- the undisputed voice of prime-time SEC football for a decade -- by shifting him to ABC's afternoon Big 12 games (and replacing him with Mike Patrick?? C'mon. If I wanted to be preached to for three hours, I'd go find a church). Both decisions baffle me, as does Dan Fouts' decision to become a play-by-play guy.
Amongst color analysts, Bob Davie has really grown on me the past couple of years, and Kirk Herbstreit has ascended to undisputed status (in my opinion at least) as the most insightful in-game commentator. So if I were to redo those lists three years later, my play-by-play guys would remain mostly the same (No. 1 Franklin, No. 2 Musburger, No. 3 Brad Nessler, No. 4 Verne Lundquist and No. 5 Sean McDonough), while the analyst list has changed to: No. 1 Herbstreit, No. 2 Todd Blackledge, No. 3 Davie, No. 4 Charles Davis (the surprise star of FOX's first BCS broadcasts last year) and No. 5 Chris Spielman.