College Football Mailbag (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday November 14, 2007 12:18PM; Updated: Wednesday November 14, 2007 1:14PM
I'm convinced I'm right, and I have yet to hear one person give even a halfway convincing argument against my theory that if Boise State were the same team they are today but played the same schedule as UConn, they would be ranked in the top 10. Why? Because they would be on the East Coast. No other reason, not one other reason, just that. They would be in the home of the sports writers. It's not just UConn, it's that they're a better team than quite a few of the teams ahead of them, but they're in the WAC.
I don't disagree that UConn was overrated last week (and I was as guilty as anybody), but sorry, you're Boise State argument doesn't hold up this season. Given that teams like Boise State spend the majority of the season beating up on the likes of Idaho, Utah State and New Mexico State, all we, the public, ask, is that they notch at least one victory over a respectable, BCS-conference opponent by which we can properly gauge them. Last year, the Broncos did just that against Oregon State, ran the table and were very deserving of the ranking and recognition they received (and proved as much in the Fiesta Bowl).
Given that opportunity this year, however, Boise lost 24-10 to a Washington team that now stands 3-7. Yes, it was early in the season, their quarterback was young, etc., etc. Yes, numerous ranked teams from the major conferences (first and foremost, USC) have suffered similar losses. The difference is, the Trojans were able to restore some of their credibility by playing Oregon tough and beating teams like Oregon State and Cal. What evidence do we have that Boise is any better than the Huskies (who the Broncos are now rated higher than, incidentally)? That 52-7 win over Utah State or that 42-7 beatdown of San Jose State the week before?
If anything, I actually think the Broncos are receiving preferential treatment in the polls right now not unlike that often afforded the traditional powers. I've watched Boise play several times this season, and while they may still be good enough to win the WAC, by no means are they on the same level as last year's team. However, they're already ranked nearly as high (15th) as they were last year, based presumably on ... history and reputation. So congrats, Boise, you've officially hit the big time. It's like you're Michigan.
Speaking of which ...
I take exception to the stupid comparison of a loser character on a dumb cable TV show to the University of Michigan football program, aka "pretending that they are something that they are not" and "a pretender." OK, whatever. The winningest college football program in history in both wins and winning percentage, seven national championships and 42 conference championships are "pretenders.".... Me thinks too many people are living in the present to throw such lame criticisms around at one of the truly best programs both today and of all time.
Jeez, Erik. You get that easily riled up over a tongue-in-cheek analogy to a fictional television character? I'm not taking sides in this one, but the fact that you've got to dig up historical facts to debunk such a characterization -- isn't that the definition of a "pretender?"
This stupid thing that you posted that some Ohio State fan wrote is still [ticking] me off. To call Michigan "pretenders" is an absolute slap in the face to the greatest college football program. Do your research, Mr. Mandel, it is posted right here. To propel this "pretender" myth even further is not something that I would expect a writer of your stature to do... P.S.: Michigan's former kicker missed three field goals in the Appalachian State game and they were without Hart for two quarters. ... not making any excuses, but had that sad kicker made one of those field goals, Michigan would be a top-10 team right now.
Good god, Erik -- you're killing us. Can we all agree that the only thing more annoying than the "fan that holds on to things that happened 60 years ago" is the "fan that has an excuse for anything his team has ever done wrong?"
Fumble! Fumble! FUMBLE! Why didn't ANYONE mention the blown call by the refs after the Ohio State game!!! Illinois fumbled on the first touchdown run -- how did the officials miss a fumble so obviously? This blown call resulted in the difference in the game.
Sorry -- I spoke too soon. You've been trumped, Erik, by an even more annoying breed of fan: "The guy who blames his team's loss on a first-quarter officiating mistake."
At least we know this much about Saturday's big game: Whichever team loses, I'm sure there will be a good excuse for it.
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